Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Speaking of Canton Pearl . . .

One of the really fun things about collecting mechanical pencils is the way companies would mix and match elements of different models. One series of Eversharp pencils is this group from the company’s "Wahl Oxford" budget line, from page 70 of The Catalogue of American Mechanical Pencils:


These were made during depths of the Great Depression – no time to be wasteful, not even with leftover bits of plastic from the company’s regular lines. Check these out:


There’s our India Pearl and Canton Pearl pencils, paired with Wahl Oxford pencils made from the same plastics. There’s one difference between them:


The India pearl example has a full rollerball clip marked Wahl Eversharp, the same as what you’d find on Eversharp’s flagship lines. The other has the same Wahl Oxford clip you’ll see on the other examples in the series. The Eversharp clip on the India pearl example, I’m sure, is anomolous for the series:


Why would an Eversharp be stamped "by the Makers of Eversharp?"

Does this mean anything? I don’t think so. In yesterday’s article, I showed you how easy it is to swap clips out on these Eversharps:


Sure, it’s possible that someone either intentionally or absentmindedly installed the wrong clip on the India pearl at the factory. After all, the India pearl plastic already shows that there was some factory mixing and matching going on. It’s just as likely, however,that the clip is a replacement for a broken clip or an upgrade requested by a customer. As with any pencil on which parts easily interchange, if you can build a rare variant from readily available parts, it isn’t a rare variant. A $20 clip and a Wahl Oxford pencil missing a clip isn’t worth any more because one’s been screwed into the other.

But a Wahl Oxford in India pearl is no regular Wahl Oxford. Although the sum isn’t any greater than the parts . . . the parts are significantly greater. Do I have any plans to replace this clip with a "correct" one?

Absolutely not.

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