Sunday, November 11, 2012


In two separate online auctions, I found pencils marked "Gilliam’s":

The small ringtop is marked "Gilliam’s EZERITE 14k Gold Filled Pat"

The larger one is marked "Gilliam’s True-Point Sterling."

The barrels on both of these have the same pattern, although the detail is much clearer on the ringtop:

Although I don’t know who "Gilliam" is, I do think I know who made these. Barrel patterns on early metal pencils are a lot like fingerprints, and this pattern is very distinctive. Here’s the ringtop Gilliam’s next to a more familiar brand of pencil:

The other pencil shown is a Superite, made by DeWitt-LaFrance. Although I can’t get it apart to see what’s going on inside, the same is true of the DeWitt-LaFrance pencils – the barrel design alone is enough to convince me!

***UPDATE*** Hey, I got one right, but it was another case of taking, as we say in Ohio, "the long way around the barn!"  George Kovalenko just posted an article over at "Lion and Pen," in which he reveals that Joseph Maynard Gilliam, owner of the "Dubel Servis Corp." (a maker of fountain pen/pencil combos) had a business address, in 1925, of 130 W. 42nd Street, New York -- the same building in which DeWitt-LaFrance's business offices were located.

1 comment:

George Kovalenko said...

Here's some more info about Gilliam.

George Kovalenko.