Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Middle Children

Note:  it might be helpful to start by reading yesterday's post first.  The link is here.

Diamond Medal was a Sears brand which collectors have lumped under the “National Pen Products” umbrella – technically not true, since National Pen Products was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Montgomery Ward (the incorporators included a Montgomery Ward VP and C.E. Barrett’s sister in law:  see http://leadheadpencils.blogspot.com/2014/11/out-of-shadows.html and http://leadheadpencils.blogspot.com/2015/07/what-about-boogeyman.html).  C.E. Barrett, the man associated with National, also ran C.E. Barrett & Co., which I believe supplied the Sears products, including both Diamond Medal and Gold Medal.

Sometime around 1934, the Parker Pen Company began supplying Sears with obviously rebadged Parker pens and pencils marked “Diamond Medal.”

As I wandered through the museum with yesterday’s odd-looking Sheaffer in my hand, I came to the Diamond Medal section and I noticed something:


The top example was probably made by Rex Manufacturing Company, which also manufactured at least the insides of what I call “4 horsemen” patent pencils under a variety of names.


Probably.  I’ll get to that later.  And I think that top Diamond Medal was made after 1929.

I’ll get to that later, too.

The second and third examples from the top are a lot more like that top one than first appearances might suggest, so I’ve lumped them tentatively in the Rex pile, as well.

Maybe.

The bottom example is a Parker Parkette rebadged as a Diamond Medal.   But what about that one right above it?  It has the same plastic, but that nose cone looks to be a match for our mystery Sheaffer, and wait a tick – the one above it looks to be made from the same distinctive cream-pearl celluloid:


I wrestled for awhile with the burgundy and black Diamond Medal, and I couldn’t get it apart – even though I’m dead sure what’s inside it is identical to my pearl Sheaffer.  However, when I browsed through my Gold Medal collection – Gold Medal being another brand marketed by Sears, and attributed to C.E. Barrett & Co. – I found this one:


And inside:


Tomorrow's article, introducing Waterman-made Gold Bond pencils, is here..

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