Friday, September 21, 2012

Two Out Of 62 Ain't Bad

That lot of 62 "mostly advertising" pencils had one other great piece in it, shown here next to the one I had in the blue "clown" plastic typically found on Sheaffer Balance pencils:

It’s another Rite Rite "torpedo" pencil (that’s my description, not an official name), patented by Herbert H. Lang on August 22, 1933 (patent number 1,923,153), although he filed his patent application two years earlier, on August 27, 1931:

This Rite Rite is a little different from the ones I’ve found in the past. First, as you can see, it’s a little longer, but also, it has a couple nice nickel-plated trim bands on the top cap:

The colors on this were a little washed out in that online seller’s fuzzy pictures. I was so pleasantly surprised when it arrived and I saw that the colors were actually yellow, lime green and black veins, because there’s only one other place I’ve seen it:

That’s our Rite Rite shown with a Wahl Eversharp Equipoised Purse Pencil from around 1931. Eversharp called the color "borneo pearl," but it’s identical stock to what we see on the Rite Rite:

It gets even more interesting. At the Springfield Antique Show last week, I found a ringtop example of Lang’s torpedo pencil. Here it is, shown next to a Wahl Eversharp flattop pencil from around 1929 or 1930 in Wahl’s super-rare "flamingo" celluloid:

That makes three times I’ve found Rite Rite torpedo pencils in a Wahl Eversharp celluloid (the third, shown on page 127 of The Catalogue, was Wahl’s green and bronze color they referred to as "brazilian green"). In The Catalogue, I’d also noted the similarity of the clips on the Rite-Rite to those found on the Equipoised purse pencil series:

Could there be any connection between Rite Rite and Wahl Eversharp? None that I’ve been able to find. Hyman E. Golber, doing business as H.E. Golber & Co. in Chicago, filed a trademark for the name "Rite Rite" on June 22, 1922, claiming that he first used the name on March 5, 1921.

By the time Lang’s patent was issued in 1933, the company had changed its name to "Rite-Rite Manufacturing Co." Sometime after World War II, the company was apparently sold to the Joseph Dixon Crucible Company in Newark, New Jersey, and later examples are marked "Dixon Rite-Rite."


Harry said...

I have a Nassau pencil in that same blue "clown" celluloid. Hmmmm...

Jon Veley said...

Hey Harry, send me a picture of that one and I'll run a follow-up article -