Sunday, August 28, 2016

Demonstrating Something New

A few months ago on Facebook, my friend in Switzerland Guillaume Chappuis posted a picture of a few pencils he had lounging about the Alps, and one in particular caught my eye:

It’s a Superite, made by DeWitt-LaFrance, and the patent pending language on both the clip and the barrel of the pencil indicates a date of manufacture between late 1919  and mid-1920:

The pencil is made of what many manufacturers referred to as “silni,” for silver nickel (Matt McColm corrected me.  Says Matt:  "Nickel silver, German silver, alpacca, silni are all names for a copper-nickel-zinc alloy that resembles silver in color, but contains no silver."), and the three-diamond pattern typical of DeWitt-LaFrance pencils is found on the barrel:

But what sets this example apart is that it is a demonstrator, with carefully placed holes revealing all the business going on inside:

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