Saturday, October 18, 2014

Somewhere Along the Road to Oblivion

I don’t remember how this one came my way, and I’ve had the picture laying around long enough that I think it’s best I just say what I know and see if someone can help me fill in the blanks:

By the time Eversharp turned this one out, the wheels were really coming off. The company had only barely survived the ballpoint pen fiasco which began in 1946, during which Eversharp’s investment of millions into the "new" pen were lost though a combination of competition from upstart Reynolds, the invalidation of Eversharp’s patent and the aggressive price wars that followed.

Eversharp beat a hasty retreat from newfangled product development in 1948 with the introduction of the Symphony, a very conventional and old-fashioned pen accompanied by the same repeating pencil the company had been producing since 1936 – dressed up a bit to look all fancy and such. The new old Eversharps failed to capture the public’s attention, and the company went into a painful tailspin that culminated in the sale of the writing instruments division to Parker in 1957.

From what I can tell, these appear to have been made around 1949 or 1950. It appears to be loosely styled after Symphony:

Also, the pencil does have the same repeating mechanism found on the Symphony and earlier models. With the introduction of the Ventura line in 1953, the company switched to a cap-actuated mechanism for its flagship line and painfully cheap nose-drive pencils for everything else. That fluted cap button may not be original – they were interchangeable with the Skylines, Symphonies, and even the Dorics.

I haven’t seen examples of these cataloged by the company, and there’s no reference to them in the 1953 repair catalog. I’ve also found a few other examples along these lines, and the styling appears pretty random:

Especially that one on the bottom.

1 comment:

Chthulhu said...

Jon, I have one identical to the one at the bottom; I've tagged it as a Symphony as well, based on your Museum and Catalog.