Nardi pencils are an interesting breed. One of the first articles I wrote about the brand here at the blog was about the brand and the later-production Nardi which indicates that the Nardi remained in production for quite a few years, probably as late as the 1940s.
The pencils are an elegant multi-color pencil. To advance one of the colors, the entire upper half is pushed forward and locks into place. That button in between the screws on the clip is the release, which allows the upper barrel to move back; to change colors, rotate the upper barrel and compress – there’s no way to know which color you are going to get, since there’s no indicator.
Romolo Nardi of Camden, New Jersey patented three different versions. The first, applied for on June 6, 1923, was issued on July 29, 1924 as patent number 1,503,244:
The second, applied for on December 9, 1924, was issued on March 16, 1926 as patent number 1,576,988:
The third and final Nardi patent, applied for on February 11, 1926, was issued on July 20, 1926 as number 1,593,347.
So far, this appears to have been the only one of Nardi’s invention that actually made it into production – although the cumulative nature of the three versions means that each of the first two live on somewhat in the third. All I’ve found in the three years since I last visited the Nardi have been variations on this same thing – a different color here, a different top material there – so I haven’t had anything else to add.
Except for the following, courtesy of Michael Quitt:
The official name for these pencils was the "Tri-Kolor," at least at some point during their production. There’s a 1929 date stamped on the bottom of the box, but that could mean anything. At best, it might have been the date the pencil was shipped by Nardi or received by the customer. . . although that date seems about right, I’m not giving it much weight because it could just as easily have been someone playing around with a rubber stamp years after the fact.
In addition, Michael’s example provided something else: