I’ve since found another which pushes this particular point even further:
;The clip on this one has a slightly less pronounced upturn to it, and note that rather than a ball at the end this one is simply curled up on itself. The imprint and construction is no different from what you’d expect to see on an example made in the 1920s:
Unlike many Hicks pencils, this one has a more squared-off cap which conceals an eraser:
The most interesting feature on this one, however, is the engraved message on the barrel:
“I.S. - ‘58 / 5 Years / O.E. McIntyre, Inc.” Obviously this can’t mean 1858, but could it refer to 1958? O.E. McIntyre, Inc. was a family owned direct marketing (junk mail) company in New York. Although I haven’t found a firm date when the company was founded, most of the references I’m finding online are from the 1950s and 1960s.
Of course, anyone could have engraved anything on this pencil – or made a mistake on the date – but this certainly suggests these were made even later than I thought. More than a decade later.