He's right. Since 99.9 percent of what's in the book are the things in my personal collection, and I only had two Cross pencils in my collection, I honestly forgot to include the maker until the last minute. The A.T. Cross Company ended up taking a back seat, appearing on page 175 in the "Just a Couple More" section, which I wrote literally the day before the book went to press.
Everything I said in the book is absolutely true. Cross is one of the oldest and most established manufacturers of pencils -- true. Cross pencils are very high in quality and construction -- true.
And most collectors breeze right by them without a second thought, because in general most of the ones you see all look alike -- ok, you can send me all the hate mail you want, but you know it's true.
That's most of the ones you see. I knew there were guys out there who had spent years accumulating examples of the brand that you don't see all the time and could teach me more about Cross in a couple hours than I would be able to learn in the next decade of picking through flea markets and pen shows.
Guys like Jim Rouse. Jim was at the Ohio Show, but I had not made his acquaintance yet and even though Joe told me he had his entire Cross collection with him, I wasn't able to get away from my table long enough to spend some time with him.
The Baltimore Show, however, was another story. Joe introduced us on Saturday and I asked if I could bring back a camera to document his collection on Sunday morning. Jim agreed, so early on Sunday morning, before most of the dealers were in the ballroom, My camera and I spent some quality time with Jim's portfolio of vintage Cross pencils . . .
NOTE: This article is now included in the print version of The Leadhead's Pencil Blog, available anywhere you buy books, or also from The Legendary Lead Company.
To order, here's the link: Volume 1 at Legendary Lead Company