Monday, January 5, 2015

A Little Better Than OK

While the Studebaker clip on yesterday’s Eversharp was a showstopper, the pencil itself was . . . OK. These utility pencils, they worked hard and usually have the scars to prove it – yet they are so robust that it’s rare to see one truly broken. About the only time you find them in great condition, without the enamel chipped, the tops chewed or any number of other issues is when time forgot them, like this:

David Nishimura emailed me about these a year or so ago about these, and I jumped at the chance. The short version of the 151 was the 151SW –

Or the skinny ones were, anyway. Although the standard size of the "working togs" pencil were designated simply No. 151, I think "SW" meant "Short Working togs." According to the 1922 Wahl catalog, "every school girl should have one." There was another version listed that was a bit shorter, but fat – the catalog designated it as the 151MW, for "Midget working togs," and suggested it was perfect for golfers.

This of course, wasn’t the only thing David was offering to me that day:

The pencil – the typical post-1922 Eversharp checking pencil – isn’t unusual, but this one is in as crisp a state as you’ll find. Lead? Yeah, the boxes of lead are out there, too. But the outer box? And the whole ensemble together? That’s not something that comes along every day.

I’ve got one more bit of minty goodness to share in the enameled Eversharp department.  This turned up in an online auction:

This is how these two came to me. The box is slightly different from the preceding one and appears to have been for bulk sales of a half dozen of these. Take a close look at the tips: these are the much tougher-to-find late model checking pencils from 1929, with the straight tips:

I wrote about the only one of these I had found a while back ( The pencil in that article was in really rough shape, and I’d picked it up anyway because all the chipped enamel revealed that these have aluminum barrels rather than brass. As upgrades go, this is as good as it gets – one even has a price sticker to boot:

Sure, the model number 30240C is just written on a generic label in pen. It was, however, satisfying to see that designation, when compared to the 1929 catalog:

1929 was the only year in which these carried this designation.

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