Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Harder Than It Had To Be

Sometimes it just seems like this pencil research is harder than it has to be, and the "Reporter" was one of those times I really felt like I was going the long way around the barn (is that an Ohio saying or what?).

Long before The Catalogue was a glint in my eye, back when I was first setting up my Online Mechanical Pencil Museum, I had posted a picture of the "Reporter" accompanied by a caption that wasn't much more than "I dunno."

I had received these from an online auction several years ago, and originally there were six in the lot.  I kept the two best ones in the litter, but even these best two examples aren't working, and sold or traded the rest. 

In response to "I dunno," George Kovalenko came to the rescue -- it was one of the first of many, many times he has done so -- with a .pdf of an advertisement for "Parker's Reporter Pencil" from the 1931 Eaton's Department Store Catalog, which proved that these were in fact a Canadian Parker model.  

Sometimes, it's worth taking a step back and marveling at the power of the internet.  If a boy in Newark, Ohio says "I dunno" in the woods, does anyone hear it?  Yes, a man in Saskatoon does -- and has an answer that would have taken years for me to find, if I had ever thought to look in Canada to find it!   So, thanks to George, the Reporter appears in The Catalogue at page 114, properly listed under the "Parker" section instead of the "I dunno" area.  

The ad from Eaton's indicates that the pencils come in blue, green and yellow, with that sickly brownish color being "yellow."

Of course, it's been driving me crazy that I'd never seen a blue one before.  When I acquired that large bunch of pencils from Michael McNeil, I was excited to finally find one:

But . . . I didn't exactlly.  A closer look at the clip reveals that I might not have had to go all the way to Saskatoon to connect the Reporter to Parker after all:

It's a Parco, not a Reporter!

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