Friday, February 13, 2015

Inside and Out

As far as I’m concerned, "Eversharp copy" means more than a metal pencil that kind of looks like a metal Eversharp. It has to both look and operate like one:

None of these are American. Although I strive mightily to limit my collection to American mechanical pencils, when it comes to all things Eversharp, I do bend the rules on occasion. Have a look inside these:

OK, the bottom one isn’t exactly like an Eversharp, but I’ve got a thing for perpetual calendars, too. Sue me. However, the others match what you’ll find inside an Eversharp (that’s the ringtop example below in this picture):

None of the imposters are marked with a manufacturer’s imprint, but all are clearly foreign. The bolted-on clips are usually a pretty good indicator, but the clincher is the silver content stamped on the tangs of the clips:

Eighty three to eighty three and a half percent silver isn’t quite sterling, but it’s close. 

Here’s a "Dictator" that I couldn’t resist, either.

Inside, the pencil has something very close to an Eversharp mechanism, but with a sold slotted tube rather than a true Eversharp mechanism with separately formed "legs" inside which the threaded pushrod travels:

The "Dictator" is stamped "Alpacca" on the crown:

Alpacca isn’t a brand - it’s another designation of the metal content, which is also known as "German Silver." German silver doesn’t actually have any silver content at all: it’s an alloy usually comprised of 60 percent copper, 20 percent nickel and 20 percent zinc.

Even though I usually don’t go out of my way to pick up foreign copies of the American Eversharp, at the Ohio Show there were a couple things in the auction that I made a point to bring home:

True to form for foreign Eversharp copies, both have bolted on clips, and the silver is marked close to sterling:

But these don’t look anything like an Eversharp. In fact, the rounded tops and complicated groupings of rings look a lot more like something made by W. S. Hicks:

But only on the outside:

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