Friday, January 1, 2016

Poking Around and Speculating

Nothing like starting off the new year cleaning up something from the last one!

In the course of discussing Conklin’s “Two-Fifty Pencils,” I said that the cream and black ones shown in this picture have been nicknamed “zebras”:

In my defense, I also said that the cream and black color didn’t look particularly zebra-ish, certainly not as black and white as the pens I’ve seen people call “zebra.”  So we’ll put one in the wrong column, and one in the right column, maybe?

Several people jumped in to say that what I had shown was not in fact the Conklin “zebra” plastic.  David Glass was the most helpful in the peanut gallery, shipping along with that same comment a picture he’s allowed me to use here:

Note that while the pencil is missing the clip, the clip on the matching pen is the later, more teardrop-shaped version of the Mooney clip, which he has also observed on some of the “halloween” pens, along with a slightly more streamlined cap.

Joe Nemecek's example has that same streamlined clip:

Says David: “These variations suggest to me that they were produced for several years, say 1929/30, 31,and perhaps 32/33. Sure wish we had the catalogs for every year. I have a collection of over 300 Conklin ads, but not much marketing was ever done on the cheaper lines of pens or pencils. So...we are mostly left to poke around and speculate.“

My thanks to everyone who jumped in on this one.  True to my philosophy on this, I’ve added a note and a link to this article, rather than going back and fixing it to make myself look smarter.  After all – this blog is about the learning process as much as it is about the information I’ve learned.  Had I not poked around and speculated wrong, I wouldn’t have received this picture to share with you!

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