Tuesday, April 2, 2013

My "Monster Tuckie"

I thought about running this one yesterday, and then I thought – since I’m not entirely convinced this is a hack job – that running it almost on April Fool’s day might be perfect.

Here’s the pencil:

It’s sort of a Sheaffer Tuckaway - or rather, like a TUCKaway. Here’s the behemoth next to a normal-sized Tuckaway that Joe Nemecek brought for me to the Philly Show:

Notice from the nose back to where the gold-filled part starts, these two are about the same (except the larger one has an all ribbed celluloid section, while the shorter one is only half ribbed). While the shorter one has a one-piece cap, the larger one has a two-piece cap (the top piece is an eraser cap).

Now there were "all" gold filled Sheaffer Tuckaways – I believe collectors refer to them as "first year" Tuckaways – with an upper gold-filled portion just like what we see here. I put the "all" in quotes because on those examples, rather than a full (tuckaway) sized celluloid barrel they had a shorter black section. If I had one on hand I’d show you the two side by side, and I’d try swapping parts back and forth to see if they were interchangeable.

But even if they were, there’s a little more to this. Inside, there are some differences between a normal Tuckaway and my monster Tuckie. Here’s the normal one disassembled:

Note the initials on the barrel and the lack of an eraser – that was enough to condemn this poor little soul to Joe’s junker box. Now here’s the monster Tuckie:

Note the plastic bushing at the nose, and the eraser "bumper" mounted on the back of the mechanism. That bumper is the same one used on the early Sheaffer working togs and pearlie pencils.

Since my monster Tuckie doesn’t work very well, I did try swapping parts between these two pencils, if nothing else to have a working curiosity:

The parts aren’t quite compatible. The regular Tuckaway barrel is just a little too big:

So what is my monster Tuckie? For now, I think, just a conversation piece.

Postscript:  the general consensus is that my monster is a combination of first-year Tuckaway parts and some later parts.  Matt McColm sent me a picture of three examples disassembled:  the top one is a typical later Tuckaway, the center one is a later "Crest" Tuckaway and the bottom one is a first-year Tuckaway:


Anonymous said...

Jonathan, I have a first generation Tuckie and I've compared its parts to those of your monster TUCKie. The gold barrel, eraser assembly, and cap over the eraser are right off of a first generation. I did not take the nose cone off, but the mechanism has the eraser "bumper" like your disassembled monster. So, I'd say someone has replaced the short black section of the original with a longer section from something else.
John Hubbard

Jon Veley said...

Hi John, I'd be interested to know what yours looks like inside. My hesitation is that I don't think I could put a shorter front section on this one even if I wanted to do so-

Anonymous said...

Jon, I have to agree with John! If you haven't obtained one by then, I'll bring a "1st year" Tucky all-gold-filled pencil to the DC show for comparison. The back parts on yours do identically match up with the pencil I have.