Monday, December 19, 2016

Imagine the Effort!

I’ve picked up a couple of these Mabie Todd acid-etched pencils recently.  The top one came from Pearce Jarvis at the Ohio Show, and the bottom one – I don’t remember where I got it, but I know I brought it with me for show and tell at the Philly show last January, so it’s been at least a year:


The crowns are marked Fyne Poynt, and the clips bear the patent date for Charles Mabie’s patent number 1,125,144, for the clip:


I wrote about one of these from Rob Bader some time ago, at http://leadheadpencils.blogspot.com/2012/09/these-guys-really-did-this-right.html.  The example in that article advertised American Jobbers Supply, a company which supplied telephone line materials.  The blobs on the barrel in that article represented glass telephone pole insulators:


The example I got from Pearce is covered with similarly elaborate embossing:


It advertises the Brown Company at the nose, and “Nibroc Papers” at the top end:



the field in between is covered in three and four-spoked blobs.


Here’s the back story: the paper towel was perfected by William E. Corbin, superintendent of The Brown Company, which began producing Nibroc Paper Towels in 1922.  Nibroc – is Corbin spelled backwards.  Corbin was from Charleston, New Hampshire and even served as mayor of Berlin, New Hampshire in the early 1930s, which is why the Nibroc logo includes the “Old Man of the Mountain,” the geographical feature featured on the back of New Hampshire’s state quarter.

As for the Nibroc blobs – that should be enough to figure it out, but I’m still drawing a blank.  When it comes to me (or to one of you), I’ll have to post a follow up.

Let’s get to that other one now:


This was an elaborate souvenir of the Tenth Annual Banquet of the Jewelers’ 24-Karat Club of Pittzburgh, held at the William Penn Hotel on April 5, 1921.   This pencil has some fantastic details:



Including some interesting blobs covering the barrel:


The Tenth Annual Banquet was an elaborate affair, given thorough coverage in the April 13, 1921 issue of The Jewelers’ Circular, beginning on page 85:


The complete text of every speaker’s address is reprinted, and there’s even a group picture taken at the event:


And, in a stroke of luck, the article even makes reference to a certain party favor, and its mysterious blobs:


Although Mabie Todd isn’t mentioned by name, the article states that “Maiden Lane was well represented” by “a whole carload of jewelers.”  “‘Carrots’ were in profusion at the banquet tables and by actual count there was more than 3,000 of them represented in silver form.  It was some ‘vegetable,’ that pencil as a souvenir.”

Yep.  Those little blobs on my 24-Karat Club pencil are . . . carrots.  And yep, there’s 24 of them.

1 comment:

Vance said...

The blobs on the Brown Co. pencil look like an end view of the roller on the paper towel dispenser.