Sunday, March 22, 2015

Driving Home the Point

These three Autopoints have come my way in recent months:

Note that the yellow example has the early spoon-shaped clip, while the red one has a slightly later ball clip:

The spoon clips are shown on all of Autopoint’s models in the 1927 catalog; in the 1930 catalog, the spoon clips are shown on the utilitarian models with nickel trim, while the more upscale models with gold filled trim have the newer style ball clip.  Absent 1928 or 1929 catalogs, or a more healthy supply of date-marked Autopoints, I’m not sure precisely when the ball clips were introduced.

As for that short, utilitarian model with an exposed eraser and nickel trim, it doesn’t seem to have much in common with the other two, besides its origins.  I included it because it shares one interesting feature with the other two:

All three are stamped “Bakelite.”  Bakelite, besides having a dedicated group of collectors who go ape for anything made by the stuff, has another distinction in the Autopoint context.   In 1925, the Bakelite Corporation became so enamored with Autopoint that it made an offer to purchase a controlling interest in the pencil company.  The offer, we’ll just say, was better received by some of the principals than others, and when the deal was approved, several of the principals left the company to form Dur-O-Lite.  

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