Friday, August 9, 2013

D. All Of The Above

I ran an article a few months ago about a “tree trunk” Eversharp, which at first blush looks to be a match for the Waterman “tree trunk” pens.  But when I disassembled it, it turned out to be an ordinary Eversharp pencil with a custom made tree trunk cap:

Yeah . . . “ordinary.”  Like I wouldn’t trade a couple kidneys for it.  Aside from the tree trunk cap, which was no doubt made by the same hands that fashioned Waterman’s tree trunk pens (and is anything but ordinary), I’d noted that the barrel on which the cap was fitted was truly a clipless full-sized barrel, without even the tombstone-shaped hole where a clip would have been fitted.  I made the mistake of saying a clipless full-sized Eversharp was “unheard of.”

That’s “Mistake” with a capital “M.”  I was pretty excited about this pencil, and my exhuberance was showing more than usual – it’s never a good idea to say something is “unheard of,” because that amounts to an assertion that no one has ever heard of one.  What I should have said, and what would have been accurate, was that I’d never heard of one.

David Nishimura was first to pounce, and rightfully so.  “Uncommon, to be sure,” he commented at the blog, “but I do have a few.”

I knew I’d goofed and probably needed to rectify it, but I decided to wait to eat my jumbo-sized piece of humble pie until I found an example I could show it off, whether in pictures or in person.  After all, I’ve “heard of” Bigfoot, but I’m not about to say they exist no matter how many people claim to have seen one  – even if one of those eyewitnesses were someone as credible as David Nishimura!

At the Raleigh Pen Show, it was Jim Carpenito who brought me my pie a la mode.  The fact that I was able to buy this one from him took a little bit of the sting out of writing this article:

There’s no trace of any cutout for a clip.  Bigfoot is alive and well:

Better still is that unlike Ellen Haupt’s tree trunk Eversharp, this example is imprinted “Ever Sharp Patented”: that’s two words and no trace of the word “Wahl”:

That dates this pencil to before the date Wahl began making Ever Sharps on its own account in late 1917.   It’s got a metal tip, so it’s not one of Keeran’s original Ever Sharps of 1913 (which would have had a “fibrous” tip, i.e. wood).  But to which era does it belong?

A.  The Heath clip Ever Sharp era (1914-1916)
B.  The Trowel clip Ever Sharp era (1916-early 1917)
C.  The “pre-Wahl” Wahl clip era (early 1917-third quarter 1917)

Unfortunately, since the imprints were the same on all three of these, the correct answer is

D.  All of the above.


Martha said...

A variation of never say never. So, were the clipless ones used as desk pencils? Or. . .?

Jon Veley said...

I don't think they were desk pencils without a streamlined top. What they were used for, other than writing, I don't know.

Martha said...

Perhaps some pencils were too long to fit into a pocket and clip to it, so they didn't bother with a clip.