Monday, December 5, 2016

A Minor Mystery Solved

When these were among a pile o’ pencils I bought recently, they reminded me to tell you something I learned about years ago but I haven’t shared here:


These are lower quality pencils; that basketweave sort of pattern is typical of pencils made by the Eagle Pencil Company (particularly under their Epenco brand), while the dark plastic with the blue streaks is that cheap plastic used by Stratford (the successor in name to Salz).  The clips are marked with one of those names I’m sure you’ve seen:


“Kreko.”  I included a few of them in The Catalogue on page 94, but since at the time I didn’t know anything more about them, I described them only as “Kreko pencils.”

After the book was written, I found this:


S.H. Kress & Co. was a chain of five-and-dime stores along the lines of Woolworth, and the Kress Stores adopted the trademark “Kreko” for its house brand of all manner of office supplies, from typewriter ribbons, to carbon paper . . .

. . . to pencils.

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