Wednesday, January 27, 2016

"Coronetesque," Not "Skylinesque"

At the Philadelphia Show this year, I was culling through Rick Krantz’ junk box when I noticed this one:

Since I’d just written a series of articles about the Eberhard Faber Pencil Company, maybe I was a little more in tune to Fabers when I stumbled across this rear-drive pencil marked “E.Faber” on the clip.   I didn’t look at it too closely at the time - I just noticed the name and tossed it into the pile of things I wanted to take home with me.

But now that I’m looking at this more closely, I’ve noticed something.  That plastic, with those purple lines in the green marbled plastic, is pretty distinctive.  In fact, there’s only one other place I’ve ever seen it:

These are Eversharp Bantams from the 1930s.  With a dearth of catalog information during the time period, it’s difficult to say exactly when these were made – we know that some were made in 1933, because of the specially marked “Century of Progress” bands on some made as souvenirs for the Chicago Worlds’ Fair that year.  When they were phased out isn’t clear, but it would certainly have been before the Skyline was introduced in 1940.  The color is an exact match:

This has me circling back around to those “Skylinesque” Faber pencils, which have Eversharp’s repeating mechanisms inside (

And also has me thinking more about the ballpoint story (, in which I had noted that with everything I had learned about Eberhard Faber, I couldn’t figure out how the company would have gotten dragged into the ballpoint fiasco in 1945.

This pencil might provide the answer.  Maybe Eversharp and Eberhard Faber didn’t “team up” for the ballpoint project.  Maybe I should have referred to those Faber repeating pencils as “Coronetesque” instead of “Skylinesque,” since the Eversharp Coronet pencils of the mid- to late 1930s also used the same mechanism.  Maybe the association of Eversharp and Eberhard Faber in 1945 isn’t so random after all:

Maybe the two companies had been working together for ten years by the time the ballpoint idea came along.

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