Sunday, October 16, 2016

My Famous Mabies

I received a call at the office a couple of months ago from New York from Sherry Camhy, a journalist who was working on a story about mechanical pencils for Drawing Magazine.  When she started poking around on the internet for some historical background, she ran smack into this blog and the mechanical pencil museum.  I guess you can’t swing a dead cat around the internet without hitting me, if that’s what you’re looking form.

Sherry was like a kid in a candy store, asking if she could use this picture in her article, then that one, then that one . . . unless she planned to fill the entire issue with excerpts from The Leadhead’s Pencil Blog, I knew she was going to have some difficulty prioritizing.  Since my office is four minutes doorstep-to-doorstep from my home (one of the advantages to living in a small town), I offered to shoot some pictures specially for the occasion.

Privately, I didn’t want her to use one of the embarrassingly bad pictures I’ve posted here over the years.  Besides, I knew exactly which ones I was going to shoot for her.  These were from New York, and three of the four of them were already famous:

I gave her a choice of the wood and marble backgrounds so she could take her pick, then shot a few closeups of the most over-the-top one:

All but the bottom one in that first picture were part of a very special collection of Mabie Todd pencils and combos I purchased back in 2012  (The bottom example is the one from “Another Forgotten Corners at the Patent Office” published on December 7, 2015 at The collection previously belonged to David Moak, author of Mabie in America, and all three were pictured in his book – when David decided it was time to let his collection go, then as now, you couldn’t swing a dead cat without finding me as a potentially interested party.

These were the first out of Moak’s collection that I’ve photographed and published here.  It wasn’t that David asked me not to . . . I just didn’t want to do anything that would hinder his book sales, since I know the joys of selling boxes and boxes full of books.

Now David’s Mabie Todds have made  it into print once again, in the pages of Drawing Magazine:

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