Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Makings of a Champion

Every so often this one comes up in online discussions, and I think I’ve also received an email or two I haven’t gotten around to asking about it. The question involves the heritage of the "Champion":

I’ve seen this unusual multicolored plastic on pencils attributable to the Welsh Manufacturing Company of Providence, Rhode Island. Collectors have nicknamed it "end of day" plastic, borrowing a term from glassmaking. Before the manufacturing of glass goods was automated, when the glass left in kilns was almost used up, workers would often mix together the leftover glass from different ovens, regardless of what color they were, and use it up rather than wasting it.

That’s not exactly how celluloid is made, so the old glassmaking "end of day" analogy isn’t entirely appropriate. These chaotic colors were deliberately made this way rather than being patched together from leftovers.

But to get back to the question of who made the Champion, I can tell you this:

It was the same manufacturer that made the later Diamond Point and Jeweltone pencils!

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