Sunday, March 25, 2012

Joe Beat Me Out This Time

Back on December 9, I provided closer views of the enamel-over-brass checking pencils made by Wahl Eversharp from 1922 until around 1929:

Unfortunately, I still haven't been able to track down a blue one.  However, at the Baltimore show, Joe Nemecek was showing off his loot to me on Sunday, and here's one of his finds:

Note that the trim on this example is gold filled rather than nickel plate.  Joe's pencil is also enamel over brass, and the paint is just flawless.  But wait a tick -- that tip doesn't look like a checking pencil:

Joe's is a standard Eversharp pencil, not a checking pencil.  First one I've seen -- great find, Joe!


Donald said...

Could you comment (or maybe speculate) on just what a checking pencil was used for? I write with the "75" size Eversharp lead which is pretty thick, and I have a few boxes of Eversharp black checking pencil lead and, boy, it is really thick! And green and yellow checking lead? Just what do you think was being checked?
Don J.

Jon Veley said...

Hi Don,
I did a little research after I got your comment to see if I could find the meaning of the word "checking," and while I didn't find anything definitive I did find some things in the definition of "check" that gave me some clues. For claim checks, for example, a fat lead such as this would be useful for writing big numbers or otherwise marking tickets. And for grading tests, these would be great for making a big red "X" over a wrong answer, or maybe a large green smily face at the top of a test well taken. When I googled "checking pencils," many of the results were for fat lead wood pencils sold to teachers for grading tests.

Anonymous said...

what about the possibility that these would be used as a lead holder, i.e. you would sharpen the thick lead with a pencil sharpener?