Thursday, December 18, 2014

EHCO (ehco. . . ehco . . . ehco . . . )

The Don Scott Antique Show is a monthly show at the Ohio State Fairgrounds, running from November through April. The November show, which begins on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, is really something to see and I always end up spending about twice what I plan to spend.

This year was no exception, and one of my best finds of the day was in the very back row of the larger building:

No, that’s not Echo – that’s EHCO, as in the Eggens Hambler Company. The set consists of an eyedropper pen with a gold-filled overlay and a rear drive pencil:

On page 52 of The Catalogue I’ve got an entry for Eggens-Hambler, which was a partnership formed by John Eggens and William Hambler, both of whom were former employees of the L.E. Waterman Company. Eggens started with Aikin Lambert, joining Waterman in 1910; Hambler joined the company that same year. Their resignations from Waterman, and the formation of Eggens-Hambler, was reported in the March 1, 1922 edition of The Bookseller and Stationer:

The Modern Stationer and Bookseller reported substantially the same information in its January 25, 1922 issue, adding that the company would also make stylographic pens. Several periodicals reported on the initial formation of the company, but there isn’t much to be found after that. Business must have been good initially, as both The Jewelers’ Circular and The American Stationer and Office Outfitter reported the company moved into larger offices at 180 Broadway late in 1922:

The company advertised in the December, 1922 issue of Office Appliances:

There is an indication that the company filed another trademark (serial number 197,999) published on February 3, 1925, although I haven’t been able to track that one down. The company apparently did not survive the Depression, failing in 1934, according to the Robert D. Fisher Manual of Valuable and Worthless Securities.

The letters "EHCO" in an oval are the company’s first registered trademark, in which the company claimed first use on February 1, 1922. In addition to being inside the box lid of my set, the mark also appears on both the pen and the pencil:

There’s one more thing about this EHCO set that’s really interesting. Here it is, shown next to one of my other purchases from the show:

The Eversharp ringtop set is in a rare pattern, the name of which continues to confound Eversharp collectors (the full-sized pencil was featured in an article here a while back). No, that’s no goliath ringtop, and yes, that shows the true scale of the two sets compared: the Eggens-Hambler pencil, measuring just 2 1/4 inches, is one of the smallest fully functioning mechanical pencils in my collection.

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