Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Ford's DeLuxe / New Yorker Connection

The Ford’s DeLuxe line of pencils appears on page 81 of The Catalogue, while The New Yorker appears on page 106.  At the time the book was published, in 2011, all I knew was that these two pencils appeared to be identical, an observation that isn’t particularly earthshattering when the two are placed side by side:

Since then, my friend John Hubbard from Birmingham, Alabama has established that the “Ford” in Ford’s DeLuxe was Ford Cromer, the founder and owner of the Artcraft Pen Company - Artcraft is a passion of John’s, since it was one of the only pen companies from Birmingham.  More recently, in the Spring, 2016 issue of The Pennant, John revealed an advertisement in which Artcraft marketed the “New Yorker” brand of pens and pencils in the December 20, 1932 edition of The Birmingham News:

But if you think that wraps up the story all neat and tidy like, think again.  I would have circled around to the Ford’s DeLuxe and New Yorker connection at some point to tell you what John found, but that’s not what brings me back to the story right now.  As I was browsing around looking for matches to my strange pearl Sheaffer, I thought the Ford’s Deluxe and New Yorker pencils appeared very, very close:

So, with the all the determination that was required to pull apart the Gold Bonds, Gold Medals and Diamond Medals shown here over the last few days, I set about yanking apart a Ford’s DeLuxe and a New Yorker, and there you have it:

What remains to be proven is whether it was Sheaffer which made the Ford’s DeLuxe and New Yorker pencils, or whether Sheaffer supplied the mechanisms to C.E. Barrett in Chicago, who in turn made the pencils to be sold by the Artcraft Pen Company.

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