Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Junior Executive

It’s been more than three years since I last talked about Eversharp’s metal checking pencils:


Simply put, that’s been because I haven’t had anything new to say about them.  For review, I’ve discussed the three different incarnations of the pencils – here’s the initial version cataloged in 1921 as the “Eversharp 100,” at top, and the (the full article is at http://leadheadpencils.blogspot.com/2011/12/eversharp-checking-pencils-update.html):


And in that more recent article, I figured out that the checking pencil was redesigned for 1929, with a modified mechanism, ribbed clip and aluminum barrel (shown at the center in this picture, with the full article at http://leadheadpencils.blogspot.com/2013/07/good-thing-im-crazy.html)


In the years since, I’ve slowly been upgrading my stash of all three lines, trying to get complete runs in all the colors for each series – without all the ugly chunks out of the enamel.  Yet there’s one that’s been bugging me:


Here’s the page from Eversharp’s 1922 catalog in the PCA library, showing that these pencils also came in gold filled and silver plated barrels in Eversharp’s chevron pattern – even though they were identical to Eversharp’s checking pencils, the catalog refers to these as “Executive” pencils.  The 1924 catalog added a plain silver plated barrel to the “Executive” lineup.  For 1928, model 67P is cataloged in a plain gold filled barrel as simply a “Long standard diameter barrel, no eraser, uses checking lead.”

Despite appearances in catalogs over the entire 7-year run of second generation checking pencils, I had never been able to find any of these, until Michael McNeil emailed me from the great Northwest to show me a spread of pencils he was ready to sell, one of which finally filled that gap in my collection.

Sort of.

In a good way:


In a demi size.  And with a military clip to boot!   Yeah, I know . . . the caps are interchangeable, but it wouldn’t make sense in the 1920s to offer an “Executive” pencil in a ringtop, would it?  

As my previous articles indicate, that beveled tip is a good indicator that what’s inside should be a second-generation mechanism, with a plain slotted screw threading into the barrel, and that’s exactly what this one proves to have:


It’s a perfectly scaled-down version of the regular line:


Hard as these are to find, it would be a leap to call them uncataloged or “off-catalog”: the PCA’s library, which is the most complete in the world, is lacking complete catalogs for 1923, 1926 and 1927.  If I were to guess at a production date, I’d say these would be towards the beginning of the second generation, between 1923 and 1925 – that’s when Eversharp had the widest selection of cataloged models in weird sizes (the “Midget” and “Matchstick” pencils also appear in 1924).

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