Sunday, December 7, 2014

"Only The Rich Can Afford Poor Writing"

Here’s a group of some more recent Redipoint pencils, made by Brown & Bigelow of St. Paul, Minnesota:

I’ve neglected writing about these in favor of older models, and it was Tom Zoss (the man behind the Zoss list) who reminded me that even in more recent times, B&B put out some really nice pencils. Tom stopped by my table at the Ohio Show with the bottom example pictured here, and the moment he showed it to me I remembered a similar pencil with that translucent red top to match it:

Tom’s example has the ‘60s equivalent of a sterling overlay. These are usually so thin that they end up wearing off, but this example is in really good shape. Ritepoint made something similar, but Redipoints are much more hard to come by:

Moving up in the lineup is an interesting footnote from B&B’s history. The plastic on this one is a little mousy, but what’s interesting about it is the name on the clip. For most of the company’s duration, "Redipoint" was the name used on Brown & Bigelow products, but shortly after the company started turning out ballpoint pens under the name "Redipen," the company turned out this matching pencil called the "Reditip." The name didn’t stick:

Finally, there’s those great space-age pencils at the top. I love the clips on these, and the exposed erasers on the top examples are fairly unique among B&B’s products:

There’s something else I like about these exposed-eraser models. They were given to me by a friend of mine locally, who thought of me as he was cleaning out a desk drawer full of old stuff. They advertise a local electrician, and they include an interesting slogan:

"Only the rich can afford poor wiring." Ever since I got these pencils, I thought that said "poor writing."   In fact, when this article first posted, I still had it wrong.  Thanks to Martha -- it makes a lot more sense that way!


K said...

Perhaps, at least at the time of the slogan, the rich were seen as valued simply because of their wealth, and could get away with being sloppy. The rest of us need to make a better impression.

Jon Veley said...

Or how about "you look too rich...why don't you take this pencil and practice a bit so you can be like the rest of us?". :)

Martha said...

Except it says WIRING not writing. Now it makes more sense : )

Jon Veley said...

My gosh, you're right! I never noticed that! I guess I've never looked at them as closely as I did with a lens. Going back to edit the article accordingly ...

Martha said...

I'm amazed I don't have one of these since my dad is from Minneapolis.