Monday, November 17, 2014

Feeling Blue

I will always have a spot for the humble Blue Jay. A ringtop example was featured here the very first week of the blog (

Blue Jay pencils were produced by the Blackwell-Wielandy Book and Stationery Company of St. Louis, which offered several products under that trademark. Produced, mind you, not manufactured . . . I never thought that the company got a wild hair to set up the machinery and equipment to start making metal pencils out of the "blue," if you’ll forgive the pun.

Unfortunately, ringtop pencils are tough to place, since the clips are what usually provide better clues as to the origins of a lot of these. So, after a couple years, I was pleased to find this one:

This one has the same imprint at the top as my ringtop, although it’s in pretty rough shape and tough to see:

And there’s the distinctive DeWitt-LaFrance clip, which puts this in that ever-growing Eclipse Never-Dull family of pencils:

But whoever made this metal pencil didn’t make everything Blackwell-Wielandy offered. This one turned up in an online auction a while back:

This is the No. 305 Blue Jay "Compass":

Blackwell-Wielandy also offered a line of wood pencils, so it seems likely that this would have been supplied by one of those. Catchy name, hybrid wood/mechanical pencil design? Eagle and Faber are at the front of the line of my list of likely suspects.


Anonymous said...

Wallace Pencil Company had manufacturing in St. Louis for many years, in a building just west of "downtown". Perhaps Wallace was the maker of the B-W wood pencils.

I have a pdf file of a Nomination Form to add the B-W building to the Register of Historic Places. While it is mostly concerned with the building, there is also information about B-W, the company. If anyone is interested in having it you can find it on the St Louis Area Pen Users (SLAPU) website, If not a member and not interested in joining, email a request to me at

Jon Veley said...

Good points, and thanks for the additional information! Question: did Wallace do anything mechanical? I thought they were all wood pencils.