Sunday, August 14, 2016

I Didn't Care

This one grabbed my attention when it showed up in a recent online auction, since I love demonstrators:


This repeating pencil screamed Japanese knockoff to me, with its clip that looks as much like a Parker clip as they thought they could probably get away with:


And the innards closely resemble those of an Eversharp repeating pencil:


Getting shots of the imprint was difficult, since it’s tough focusing on an engraved imprint on a clear barrel.  After several takes, I got one that shows “Newman Sharp Pencil”:


“Sharp Pencil” is a dead giveaway for a Japanese product, since the term in Japan refers in the general sense to any mechanical pencil.  The Japanese tradition of referring to any mechanical pencil as a “Sharp Pencil” goes back to the “Ever-Ready Sharp Pencil” invented in 1915 by Hayakawa Tokuji, founder of the Sharp Corporation.

I haven’t been able to find out much about the Newman, although eBay has several listings for Japanese-made Newman’s dating from the 1990s.   In one mention on The Fountain Pen Network, one member commented that he thought Newmans were popular in the 1960s and 1970s, although this one would appear to be a bit earlier than that.  Until I learn to read Japanese or I’m filled in on the company’s history by someone who can, I’ll have to settle for enjoying a really cool looking pencil.

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