Friday, August 17, 2012

Just How Long Was That Worlds' Fair?

I stopped by Carl Daniels’ table in DC, and he had this great Esterbrook pencil on his table. This one put the "Show" in Pen Show – he wasn’t ready to sell it just yet, but he did allow me to take it back to my room for a little alone time in the photo studio:

This one’s an easy one to overlook. Since it’s black, it doesn’t exhibit the telltale marbling that identifies it as an Esterbrook "Pushmaster" pencil, but the chrome-plated top button with "Esterbrook" on it, coupled with the absence of the word "Esterbrook" on the clip, are dead givaways:

A Pushmaster is a rare sight in itself, but what made this one really interesting was the metal inlaid into the back of the cap, which looks to be sterling:

Although it isn’t identified as such, I knew immediately what it is: the logo for the 1939 New York Worlds’ Fair! Since Carl’s table was very close to Esterbrook mavens Lisa and Brian Anderson, I took it over to give Brian a look – and Brian added another interesting bit to the story:

Pushmasters weren’t introduced until 1941.

There’s several possibilities. Maybe the Pushmasters were introduced a little earlier than previously thought. Maybe Esterbrook commemorated the Worlds’ Fair long after it was over, or the owner of the pencil had such a good time at the Worlds’ Fair that he or she had a jeweler make and inlay the fair’s logo onto a favorite pencil.

Or maybe the Worlds’ Fair went on for two years?

1 comment:

Vance said...

The NY World's Fair of 1939 closed at the end of October 1940. Close enough to 1941 for some preliminary market testing, don't you think?

The symbol, by the way, is called the Trylon and Perisphere.