My other walk-in find at the Chicago show came from Keith Lange, who stopped by just as the show was starting to wind down for the weekend. Keith had with him a box of odds and ends, and when I found a Penman in there, I think I bored the poor guy to death with the tale of Penman, Starr, war profiteering and the tax evasion scandal that brought down Joseph Starr (see pages 151 and 152 in The Catalogue).
As I dug a little deeper into the box, this pops out:
I really like early Salz pencils; even though they were pretty cheaply made on the whole, they were just a little bit different and more interesting from other pencils from the mid-1920s. From the age of this one, I would have expected it to have one of the Salz 1925 patent clips, but instead, this one has what appears to be an ordinary Z-clip:
But what really gets me about this one is the color:
It's not your usual woodgrain patterned plastic. This one is swirled blue, yellow and red. A while ago, I was reading a book on vintage marbles (a book I decided to put aside, because I am absolutely not going to start collecting marbles, I told myself) that described swirled red, blue and yellow marbles as "Superman" marbles. I think there's also an ice cream flavor in these colors that goes by the same name.
But Superman doesn't quite do it justice, does it? How about . . .