Friday, October 5, 2012

I'd Better Correct This "Right Away"

Here’s an Eagle "Ritaway" I found amongst David Silber’s pencil hoard at the Raleigh Show in June:

Ritaways are really interesting pencils, sporting painted wooden barrels. This one has a particularly unusual paint job that looks more at home with a lava lamp than with a flapper:

The trim on this one is gold plated, and it’s the same clip found on later Eagle Magnum Pointers:

I discuss the Eagle Ritaway on page 46 and 47 of The Catalogue, and I note that it was a transitional step in the evolution from the Pointer series to the Magnum Pointer. I even pictured them side by side:

I didn’t go so far as to say that the innards are the same on the Ritaways and the Magnum Pointers, but I had thought that they probably were. Why did I think this? Well, they sure look the same from the outside, and unfortunately, the only way I know to see what’s going on inside a Magnum Pointer involves destroying the pencil. I’ve destroyed one Magnum Pointer trying to repair it, so I haven’t ventured to try it on a Ritaway – not even in the name of pencil science.

So when David’s Ritaway came along, I had to buy it, cool paint job notwithstanding, for one simple reason:
it proves I thought wrong.

This is the only example of the Ritaway I’ve found that has a patent number on it, and it isn’t the patent number for the Magnum Pointer.

John H. Fischler applied for the patent for the Ritaway on April 19, 1921, and patent number 1,410,666 was granted on March 28, 1922.

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