Friday, November 7, 2014

Get Your Minds Out of the Gutter

Here’s one that Joe Nemecek brought with him to the Baltimore Show when it was last held at the Tremont Hotel downtown:

You can barely make out the word "Eversharp" on the cheaply plated clip:

Apparently, this was an attempt by Eversharp to get into the utility pencil market – a pretty obvious attempt to emulate Sheaffer’s "working togs" utility pencils, in fact. What’s really striking about this one is that the entire length of the barrel, and even the top, is ribbed, except for a small area on the back of the barrel:

Whether that area was intended as a smooth spot where the pencil would rub on your hand between your index finger and thumb, or whether it was intended as a convenient place to have your name engraved, Edd Dawson took advantage of the latter:

Judging from the clip, I’d say this one was made in the mid-1940s, around the time Eversharp was simplifying its clip construction from the buttressed Skyline assembly to press clips that were so poorly gold washed that "gold rinsed" seems like a better term for it. Eversharp’s ballpoint pen fiasco was likely swirling about at the time, as the company was desperately looking for ways to redefine itself and salvage market share.

Now usually, when I write one of these articles, giving it a title is the last thing I do. Most of the time I start off in one direction intending to write an article a certain way, but by the time I’ve finished, the details I pick up along the way have changed my course enough that the best thing I can do is wait and see how the journey shakes out. As I finished writing this article, as I usually do, I stepped back and paused to consider what I should title this one. "Ribbed for my pleasure?" No, I didn’t think that was a good idea. "Joe Gives Me a Good Ribbing?" God no, that’s even worse.

I thought it best to take a pass this time.

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