Sunday, April 14, 2013

Re-memo These?

Back in January, I wrote about a Ross-Memo pencil I’d picked up when I went to a boat and RV show ("Take a Memo – Pencils Are Everywhere," January 23, 2012):


I had theorized that this celluloid example was probably earlier still than the thicker-walled black examples shown in The Catalogue, because the way the celluloid shrank caused these to warp and become unusable, probably in relatively short order. I found another example in the box at the Springfield Show last summer that seems to confirm that these poorly designed celluloid examples were the earliest:


The side of the box has the words "Patents Pending," which suggests they were made before Ruth Ross received his first patent in 1937:


You can see from the pictures just how badly warped this one is, but I was buying it for the box and also for the instructions that were inside:



Later, the company must have switched to a thicker walled, black plastic design that was less prone to the problems that plagued the early Ross-Memo pencils, but eventually the company must have decided that an all-metal design was the answer:


Both of these came to me by way of Michael Little, the black one by mail and the cool red patterned example at the Ohio Show:


The really neat part about that red one is that the inner barrel is chased and enameled to match:


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