It’s a good thing when I don’t come home with the coolest thing I see at a show, because I’d probably get bored with the hobby if I always did. This time, it was Jim Carpenito who showed me this little gem – I bought a lot of things from Jim at the show, but he made it clear that this one was for sale, and I didn’t even try to wheedle it out of him (although I’ll admit to telling him if he ever decided to part with it, he knew who he should talk to).
And so, with great pleasure, I introduce the single coolest thing I saw at the 2013 Baltimore Pen Show:
And the crowd goes silent . . . crickets can be heard chirping . . . so, you may ask, what’s so cool about this pencil? Four things, actually. The trifecta plus one of cool, I should say. First, the imprint at the top:
"Ever Sharp Patented Triple Plated." The absence of any mention of Wahl, and the fact that "Ever Sharp" is two words, means that this is a pre-Wahl Ever Sharp, made before the Wahl Adding Machine Company bought out Charles Keeran’s Ever Sharp Pencil Co. In 1917. Is this one of the ones made by Wahl under contract for Keeran or earlier by Heath? Although I suspect this was Wahl-made (all of the Heath-made examples I know of were sterling, gold or gold filled, while this one is triple plated), there’s no way to be 100 percent certain. Why? This brings me to cool factor number two:
The only way to definitively identify a "pre-Wahl" (meaning one that isn’t marked Wahl, regardless of who made it) is by the clip, which could be either a Heath pierced clip, a Keeran trowel clip (probably made by Wahl), or a typical Wahl clip. In this case, there’s no clip! That’s extremely unusual for a metal Ever Sharp!
And why isn’t there a clip? That brings us to cool factors number three and number four. Here’s number three:
It’s a cutaway demonstrator! At the bottom end there’s a larger opening to show off how the lead falls into the chamber and is pushed forward by the pushrod:
And at the top, a smaller opening reveals how the back end of the pushrod assembly advances down the screw drive:
You may be thinking to yourself, why didn’t just put the clip on the other side of the barrel, opposite the cutouts? That brings me to the fourth coolness quotient for this piece:
"Property of Ever Sharp Pencil Co."