Saturday, November 28, 2015

Before I Could Even Unpack

I had just arrived at the Michigan Show last month, pushing a cart heavily laden with totes, when Jerry Adair rushed up to me before I even reached my table.  There was a pencil, he said, that I just had to see and probably would have to have.

Fortunately, the fellow who had it was set up right next to my assigned table, so I was at least able to park my cart before I had a look.  Of course I had to see it.  Of course I had to have it.

Because, of course, I have no idea what to make of this thing:


If you’re wondering what that metal bar is on the side of the barrel, I am too.  My best guess is that it exists solely to create enough friction to hold what’s inside:


There are, infuriatingly, no markings whatsoever on either the barrel or the sheath to indicate who might have made this.  It has a faint “National Pen Products” kind of look, but all the long-short pencils I’ve seen screw into the sheath and aren’t held by friction.  Also, that tip looks newer than the 1920s.

All I can do is throw this on the back of a virtual milk carton, ship it out there and ask if anyone else knows what this thing is.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amazing! I have the pencil part around here somewhere but never realized that there was a sheath for it.I have no idea who made it.

Michael Little
Phoenix, Arizona

Jon Veley said...

Another reader sent me a backchannel comment wondering whether the piece might be Sheaffer, since the sheath bears some resemblance to a Balance pen barrel.

I told him I doubt this. The plastic may look like Sheaffer's black and pearl at first blush, but the yellowish cream parts are solid color, not the translucent pearl you'll find on Sheaffer celluloid.