Saturday, August 5, 2017

An Irresistible Association

This one came along in an online auction, and it makes me think things that I know aren’t right.  At least, I think they aren’t right:


It looks a lot like a Sheaffer Titan, with that bell cap and jade color, and it’s about the same size.  But the clip is what has me scratching my head:


“Foley’s,” on a riveted clip that appears to be made using the Ferris patent assigned to L.E. Waterman.   The pencil would have been made in the late 1920s, certainly after the Ferris patent expired.

And yet . . .

The only Foleys I’m aware of in connection with pens or pencils are John Foley and D.F. Foley, nineteenth-century gold pen (nib) manufacturers whose contributions to the field were decades earlier than this pencil.  D.F., John’s son, worked for Aikin Lambert at one time (he left the firm in 1888), and he later found himself named as a defendant in L.E. Waterman’s lawsuit against A.A. Waterman.   Waterman, of course, absorbed Aikin Lambert.

Like I said, I know none of this has anything to do with a pencil marked “Foley’s,” made decades later . . . even if it was made using an expired Waterman patent for the clip.  But all this history swirling around Foley, Aikin Lambert and L.E. Waterman keeps me wondering about this one.

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