Tuesday, October 4, 2016

I Should Read My Own Book!

After yesterday’s article posted, I had this nagging feeling that I’d overlooked something about these extra-long tops which have turned up on two Eversharps in my collection:

I did.

I thought it would be worth thumbing through American Writing Instrument Patents Volume 2: 1911-1945 to see if maybe Wahl took out a patent on this top, and maybe that patent would shed some light on what purpose this might have served.

It did.

In the assignee section, I found this one among those patents assigned to Wahl:

On December 26, 1922, John C. Wahl applied for a patent for a “fastening device to be used in connection with mechanical pencils, fountain pens and the like,” which was issued on August 26, 1924 as number 1,506,207.  The purpose for the invention was “to provide a means whereby a mechanical pencil or the like may be quickly detached from a chain or ribbon, so that the user may not be hampered by having the chain or ribbon dangling from the pencil or the like while using the same.”

Could that be what this is?  There was only way to find out, and I cringed at the thought of being wrong and destroying the only example I have with the ringtop intact – but I had to know.  I pulled, very gently, on the top ring, and . . .

I’ll be damned.  It’s a quick-release ringtop.

As for the extra-long top on my full sized model, when I inserted the detachable ring into the hole . . .

A perfect fit.  Does that mean my full sized example has the wrong cap, taken from a ringtop long missing the top?  Possibly - although it’s still possible this feature was used to secure fraternal emblems or other top treatments in the same fashion.


Matt said...

If you have a touch screen, you can zoom in on the hole in the gold cap in the second photo and see one side of the spring as shown in figure 7 of the patent.

Historian said...

Fascinating. And, thanks for going the extra mile!