Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Here's a nifty little find from Chicago:

This is a clutch pencil with a painted metal barrel, and it strongly resembles the Lovejoy patent design that was used on some Moore, Eversharp and Dur-O-Lite pencils, but it might be different on the inside -- I haven't been able to get it apart.  The pencil sports a Listo accommodation clip, but the clip may or may not be original to this pencil. 

What made the pencil interesting to me is the lettering painted on the side:

"Top-O-Matic with Guided Lead Action."  The smart aleck in me would add a third line:  "because it's way better than shooting lead out willy nilly."

When I first wrote this article, this was the end of the story.  But Michael Little was with me when I bought this one in Chicago, and nothing gets by this guy.  When Mike gets to thinkin' about something, it's usually only a matter of time before I get to buyin'.   He emails me a couple weeks ago to let me know he's got another Top-O-Matic he thinks I might like:

He was right, obviously.  This boxed example is about as crisp as you would expect to find:

And the presence of that clip tells me that I don't want to see what's probably a big, ugly hole underneath that accommodation clip on my Chi-town find:

The one I got from Mike has an additional line of text on the barrel:

But "Goodwill Products" doesn't appear anywhere on the paperwork.  Here's one side:

Aha.  That explains why I haven't been able to get it apart.  On the other side, the maker of the Top-O-Matic is revealed:

Mays Associates of Providence, Rhode Island.  I'm hoping there's more to know about this, but for now I've reached a dead end. 

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