Monday, May 21, 2012

There's GOTTA be a Connection

All but the last 17 miles of my drive to the Chicago Pen Show were a breeze.  I'd done a bit of work at the office before taking off shortly before noon, then stopped to have a leisurely lunch with Janet on the way through Columbus.  It was sunny and 80 degrees, and I hummed along with a Gotye CD as I cruised across western Ohio and through Indiana.   

But things got ominous as I neared the end of I-65.  I was driving the wife's car because it has GPS, and the nice lady was telling me in a soothing voice to turn right when I didn't think it was a very good idea. 

Turns out I was right . . . I was exiting onto 15th Avenue in Gary, Indiana, and as I was leaving the highway -- with no way to reenter -- I saw the exit for I-90 just a couple hundred yards away.  It might as well have been a million miles away.

I had quite the one-sided discussion with the GPS lady as she calmly recalculated my route, sending me down a Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway that didn't look like it had been mowed yet this year, and through a war zone of a neighborhood where mine was the newest car by a decade and three out of four houses had plywood for windows.  I finally decided to quit yelling and listen to her, since she was the only chance I had of getting out of Gary, Indiana alive.   I have never been so happy to see an Interstate sign in my life. 

Turns out my little detour did bypass the tollbooth to get onto I-90 and saved me 60 cents, but I can tell you with confidence:  they could charge 60 dollars to avoid that little jaunt and I'd still pay it!

Anyway, just as I was beginning to relax again, I hit two obstacles:  Chicago traffic and a gullywasher of a rainstorm.  I was becoming irritated with GPS lady again, as she calmly told me to "proceed on the current road" when I was at a dead stop in the pouring rain.  But hey, I thought to myself, things could be worse:  I could be in Gary, Indiana!

I arrived at the Westin O'hare and was in my room at around 8 o'clock.  Trading for the day was over, but Judd Perlson's pizza party was just getting started, so the day was by no means a total loss!  After a bit of socializing and unwinding, Michael Little and I decided we should go through each other's stuff and do our swapping that evening.

He pulled a bunch of stuff out of my boxes, and I pulled a bunch from his. We compared piles and decided that we were both happy.  Among the things I got from him were these:

All three are advertising pieces, probably from the late 1940s or early 1950s, bearing the name "Lyncraft," and they have a very distinctive clip:

So distinctive, in fact, that they reminded me of something else:

There is no way the similarities to the logo for George Kraker's "Pencraft" logo are a coincidence.  Someone either bought the rights to the logo or blatantly copied it.  Although I'm at a dead end on this for now, I found another clue, from another pencil I acquired from Mike in that same swap:

Same size, same clip, but this one has a twist:

The lettering is so heavily stylized that I'm having a hard time making it out.  It appears to read "Esandar" or maybe "E Sandar?"


Michael Little said...

Are you sure that is ESANDAR? Looks more like FSANDAR to me when I zoom in on the picture. I think that is an F not an E and the line underneath makes it look like an E.

Michael Little
Phoenix, AZ

Dale Yessler said...

Instead of the name, "Esandar," I think it is a play on words and should be read as two initials: "S and R." This is a fairly common naming device where there were two partners or owners.

Chthulhu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chthulhu said...

I just received a pencil that's obviously part of this group, though the grooves on your top one are on the tip of mine, along with grooves on the barrel like you second example. Same top jewel, same clip, but the clip on mine is stamped "Joe Myers."

Take a look:

Mike Hungerford

Jon Veley said...

Great collectors collect alike, Mike. I picked up a "Joe Myers" at the Scott Antique Market weekend before last and noted the same thing.

More clues that I've found since the article was written appear to prove that all these were made by Dur-O-Lite, but I can't find the link between Kraker's Pencraft and Durolite. The latter may simply have appropriated the logo after the rights expired.