Friday, October 26, 2012

You'll Flip Your Top For These

Joe Nemecek’s looking for one of these now, and I promised I’d keep an eye out for one for him. I have, but I haven’t found one that’s a duplicate yet. This one turned up in DC, and I just couldn’t part with it:

It’s a Nupoint, and this one is just cherry. The clip bears a strong resemblance to the clip used on early Parker "Lucky Lock" pencils:

But what attracted Joe to it, and what also intrigues me, is the unique pivoting top. I’ve not been able to find a patent for this little feature, but there’s got to be one out there somewhere:

I did find a few other neat metal pencils in DC. Here’s an "Advance," which is identical to the Salz made "Manhattan," right down to the pattern:

And here’s a "Hi-Speed." There’s a full size version in The Catalogue, but I didn’t know it also came in a ringtop:

Last (for now), here’s one marked "ALCo." Since the American Lead Pencil Company’s acronym was "A.L.P. Co.," I think this is probably Aikin Lambert Company:

All these have one thing in common:

The fact that an Aikin Lambert example turned up with this flip top might finally provide the answer I’ve been looking for. A while back I did stumble across this notation in the November 18, 1922 edition of The American Stationer (page 22):

The first time I read this, I wasn’t convinced that the person writing it really knew the answer to the question, because "No doubt this is the same pencil" doesn’t sound very conclusive. Now that I’ve found a flip top pencil marked Aikin Lambert, though, I’m inclined to agree.

There was another question about Nupoint on that very page of The American Stationer:

"Midget" Nupoints, made at another Aikin Lambert facility located at 3 Dey Street, New York instead of 163 Front Street? So what is a "midget" Nupoint? I think I know . . .

The sterling silver example at the top is a standard sized ringtop pencil. Those tiny ones, while lacking the flip top found on their bigger brothers, nevertheless bear the family name:


George Kovalenko said...

Jon, that should be Aikin.


Jon Veley said...

Agreed and fixed -- however, note that in both of the American Stationer excerpts, it's spelled "Aiken." I wonder why?

Joe Nemecek said...
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