Monday, October 3, 2016

Two's A Coincidence

I got a little carried away at the DC Supershow in August.  On Friday, I bought one collection, on Saturday I bought a second and on Sunday, I bougth a collection of Victorian pencils.  This one came from Friday or Saturday’s haul, but I don’t remember which:


At first blush, by itself, there’s nothing outstanding about this . . . it helps to put a “normal” one next to it for perspective:


This is only the second example of that weird, elongated cap I’ve turned up.  The first one was found on a midget Eversharp I wrote about the other one here back on December 17, 2014 (see http://leadheadpencils.blogspot.com/2014/12/overcompensation.html).  Here’s the two together:


The first thing to bear in mind is that Eversharp caps are interchangeable, and I have no reason to believe or not believe these caps were installed on these pencils some ninety years ago.  It’s possible that these two represent the ringtop and side-clip incarnations of this unusual cap . . .

And maybe not.  Have a look at the tops of these two caps alongside each other:


The machining is identical, suggesting that these weren’t just one-offs (or two-offs).  Things become a little more clear when the tops are compared:


The cap from my full-sized model has a socket on the top, a little more than an eighth of an inch deep and across.  At first I thought this might be a means of affixing a fraternal emblem or some other special-order cap treatment, and that may be the case – but I’ve got an Elks fraternal Eversharp pencil which has the medallion mounted on a cap which is indistinguishable from the regular line:


Perhaps Eversharp was playing around with the idea of a more robust way to secure these top treatments . . . but then what of the ringtop, which wouldn’t have had any such treatment?  A comparison of this cap to a “normal” ringtop might provide the answer:


Note that on the longer example, there’s an extra layer of metal there.  I’m wondering if, instead of or in addition to its application as a better way to secure a fraternal or other emblem to the cap, this might have been an experimental means of beefing up their ringtop models.  I’ve got dozens of ringtop caps in my parts bins from which the mounting has been torn out, and it could be that Eversharp was playing around with a more securely mounted plug which could be press fit into the top and would be less prone to failure.

Note:  on reflection as soon as this article posted, I wondered if this contraption might have been patented, and whether that patent might explain what this attachment does.  The answers were yes and yes -- see http://leadheadpencils.blogspot.com/2016/10/i-should-read-my-own-book.html.

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