Thursday, December 15, 2011

"What the Heck is This?"

I know that it would be silly to play a "guess what this is" game with this piece.  This is a blog about mechanical pencils.  Of course it's a pencil.

That doesn't mean that I didn't fall for it, though.  A friend approaches me at the Ohio Pen Show and says, "I'll bet you don't know what this is," and I'm thinking to myself "OK, Jon. . . you know this.  Television remote control?  No.  Nuclear weapon detonator?  No, looks a little small.  Pocket pasta maker?   Hmm..." 

Duh.  I'm at a pen show.  I'm a pencil guy with a giant booth promoting my new book about pencils.  Someone approaches me with an object and asks me to guess what it is.  Why did I fall for it?  He should have asked me if I wanted a "hurts donut" while he was at it. 

So here's the pencil:

What an interesting, different piece -- really.  This is the first pencil I've seen that has a screw in "section" like a fountain pen, which makes me wonder first off why more fountain pen manufacturers didn't think of this.   Simply put a pencil mechanism in a section instead of a nib and feed and presto, youve got a quick way to make pencils to match your pens.     This had to be a "why didn't I think of that" moment for a lot of manufacturers, but apparently the idea didn't catch on.

So I've admitted that I fell for it and didn't expect this to be a pencil when it was presented to me.  But today I will have the last laugh, because although this piece is unmarked, I can tell you to a moral certainty exactly what it is.    Here's a closeup of the top of the case and the bottom of the pencil:

Interesting, isn't it?  Such a distinctive flat coin-shaped protrusion on that rounded top.

As a proud Ohioan, I have a pretty good collection of pencils made by the Pick Pen Company of Cincinnati, Ohio.  Here is a pair that I picked up at the Ohio show:

Hmmm... the plastic on that top example looks pretty close to today's mystery pencil:

Pick pencils from this era are pretty easy to spot in the crowd, thanks to their distinctive tops, shown here compared with our mystery piece:

So yes, I know what this is.  It's a Pick pocket pencil.  Nana nana boo boo.


a-z said...

This is like the Long and Short Diamond Point (see

Jon Veley said...

Yes, very similar. But note that the Diamond Point pencil shown in that auction doesn't have a "section" like the pen does.

Thanks for the input!