Friday, November 21, 2014

I Couldn't Have Picked a Better One

Note:  this is the fourth in a series of related articles this week.   If you're feeling like you're coming into the middle of the story, the first article is

In totally unrelated news, which turned out to be related news, Jerry Adair approached me at the Ohio Show, while I was in the afterglow of photographing Carol Strain’s Webster set made by Rex, with a question. He had this set:

When he acquired the set, the pen was missing a clip. Jerry was wondering where he could find a ball clip as long as the one on the pencil; the best he had been able to find was a plain Z-clip that was a little bit stubbier.

Your search is over, I reassured him: you have found the correct clip. Jerry remained skeptical until I showed him this Laughlin set, which I had brought along with me at Mike Kirk’s request for a little show and tell:

At the same time, I was oooohing and aaahing a bit at Jerry’s set, because it tugged on my Ohio-born heartstrings:

Unfortunately, that great imprint appears only on the pen barrel. Pity, I thought, because I’d really like to find a Rex-patent Pick pencil . . . but regardless, I was sure that the pencil did in fact belong with the pen, since Jerry’s set was so nearly identical to my Laughlin set. Jerry ended up selling me the set, and as I was writing the last few articles here about the Rex Manufacturing Company, I got to looking at the pencil a little more closely:

The presence of only one of the "four horsemen" patents stamped on this one suggests the pencil was made in late 1925 or early 1926 – at the same time Rex was making sets for Sears under the Gold Medal brand name but before Rex picked up business supplying National Pen Products for Montgomery Ward. So Jerry’s Pick set confirms something I was suggesting in yesterday’s article: that Rex didn’t have an exclusive deal with Sears.

And, on closer examination, I found something else that made this proud Ohioan a very happy guy:

It is marked Pick after all!

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