Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Before the Lone Horseman

What on earth, you might legitimately inquire, would interest me in this tired looking Gold Medal pencil?

Gold Medal pencils like this one are in that group I refer to as the "Rex family" of pencils, after the four patents issued and assigned to the Rex Manufacturing Company of Providence, Rhode Island, which are normally found imprinted on the caps. I’ll admit, before we go any farther, that my interest in this weather-beaten pencil was simply that it has a black barrel, and normally you don’t find Rex patent pencils in black for whatever reason. I knew it would look nice next to a couple other Gold Medals in my collection:

But when the pencil arrived and I looked at it more closely, I found something that really got me excited.  Starting with that great lapis blue example, here's what you would normally expect to find one of these stamped on the cap:

These four patent dates appear hand-in-hand so often that I’ve come to nickname them the "Four Horsemen" Rex patents. There’s a rundown on all of them at http://leadheadpencils.blogspot.com/2013/03/prequel-lets-make-that-birth-death-and.html. But then there’s examples like that red hard rubber one, which has a different imprint:

I had theorized in that previous article that the February 19, 1924 patent date might have been included on some of these while the "four horsemen" patents were pending, as a deterrent to copycats if nothing else.

So what manner of imprint is on my new black hard rubber example, you might ask?

Simply "Pat. Pen."

Note:  this story continues at http://leadheadpencils.blogspot.com/2014/11/out-of-shadows.html.  

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