Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Conklin Nozac Update

Over the last year, I’ve picked up quite a few weird Conklins, dutifully photographed them, and failed to post articles about them.   A few finds from the Ohio Show has nudged me to pull all the pictures together and share them

I’ll start with a few Nozacs today.  This first one came my way by Pearce Jarvis, who was set up just a couple tables down from me at the Ohio Show:

I had drooled over this set at the DC show, but I’d already had plenty of fun and just couldn’t find it in me to pull the trigger at the time.  After all, I had to pay a hefty premium here, because the pencil had one of those pesky matching pens I was going to have to buy, too.

In this case, however, it wasn’t just that Pearce didn’t want to split up the set – the pen is necessary for the provenance of the pencil, which has no imprint.  The imprint on the pen transforms the pencil from “a desk pencil made from the same celluloid as a Conklin Nozac herringbone, and almost positively made by Conklin” into simply a Conklin Nozac herringbone desk pencil:

I had never seen a Conklin desk pencil before this one, and to top it all, the size of this thing is really impressive.  Here it is, next to a full-sized Conklin Nozac herringbone pencil:

Dave Glass also added to my collection at the Ohio show, starting with this pair:

They look like twins at first glance, right down to the imprints:

However, there’s two subtle differences to note – ok, two and a half.  One and a half are at the top end: note that one has an earlier “Patent 1918" Mooney clip and a half moon (crescent) above the clip, while the other has the later, more streamlined version of the clip and no crescent:

But the real difference – enough for me to spring for both of these, is at the other end.  There’s more to the story than the fact that the later one has a plain chrome plated tip rather than the gold filled one with a ring around it:

Nozacs have a complicated rear-drive mechanism – but now that I’ve picked up this pair, I’ve changed that to “Most Nozacs.”  That later one, with that chrome plated tip, is a simple nose drive pencil.

David Glass also had this one - the color was just too nice to resist:

I’d call it a Nozac because of the styling, although what would make it a Nozac pencil would be a matching pen, which would use Conklin’s piston filler (no ink sac . . . nozac, get it?).

This next find turned up at the Findlay Antique Mall, where John Hall and I stopped on our way up to the Michigan Show in October:

Gotta love the style of that box!

Inside was a demi-sized Nozac set with a few interesting features:

“If a tree falls in the woods, and no one hears it” . . . an eternal mystery akin to “If it’s a Conklin Nozac in Herringbone, but it’s black” . . ..  Fortunately, this set doesn’t appear to have seen much use, and the clear center section shows that there’s a black herringbone pattern in the plastic:

But what intrigued me the most about this set was the fact that it is clipless – not a ringtop, not missing a clip – absolutely clipless:

These last pictures are two years old, showing a pair of pencils that turned up at the Ohio Show back in ‘13.

I’ve got another example of that green one, but I’m powerless to resist when a nice example in that plastic comes along.  It’s just about the nicest, brightest celluloid you’ll see anywhere, and it was unique to Conklin:

But the black one, with that medallion on the clip . . .

If it was a “one hundred percenter” sales award for any company other than Conklin, I should think that company’s name would be on here somewhere.  That’s hardly conclusive proof that this was an award for Conklin salesman, so I’ll have to settle for a one hundred percent awesome Nozac.

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