I received a call at the office a couple of months ago from New York from Sherry Camhy, a journalist who was working on a story about mechanical pencils for Drawing Magazine. When she started poking around on the internet for some historical background, she ran smack into this blog and the mechanical pencil museum. I guess you can’t swing a dead cat around the internet without hitting me, if that’s what you’re looking form.
Sherry was like a kid in a candy store, asking if she could use this picture in her article, then that one, then that one . . . unless she planned to fill the entire issue with excerpts from The Leadhead’s Pencil Blog, I knew she was going to have some difficulty prioritizing. Since my office is four minutes doorstep-to-doorstep from my home (one of the advantages to living in a small town), I offered to shoot some pictures specially for the occasion.
Privately, I didn’t want her to use one of the embarrassingly bad pictures I’ve posted here over the years. Besides, I knew exactly which ones I was going to shoot for her. These were from New York, and three of the four of them were already famous:
I gave her a choice of the wood and marble backgrounds so she could take her pick, then shot a few closeups of the most over-the-top one:
All but the bottom one in that first picture were part of a very special collection of Mabie Todd pencils and combos I purchased back in 2012 (The bottom example is the one from “Another Forgotten Corners at the Patent Office” published on December 7, 2015 at http://leadheadpencils.blogspot.com/2015/12/another-forgotten-corner-at-patent.html). The collection previously belonged to David Moak, author of Mabie in America, and all three were pictured in his book – when David decided it was time to let his collection go, then as now, you couldn’t swing a dead cat without finding me as a potentially interested party.
These were the first out of Moak’s collection that I’ve photographed and published here. It wasn’t that David asked me not to . . . I just didn’t want to do anything that would hinder his book sales, since I know the joys of selling boxes and boxes full of books.
Now David’s Mabie Todds have made it into print once again, in the pages of Drawing Magazine: