Monday, November 21, 2016

Over the Top

You don’t see these very often:

Sheaffer’s lowly “Working Togs” utility pencil line was sometimes dressed up a bit with a gold filled domed cap to cover the eraser, rather than the built-in exposed sort.  It’s taken me some time to find examples in good condition, since these caps are usually found dented:

Note that the chasing is different, with breaks between the lines on the version with the all-black barrel.  These were listed in Sheaffer’s 1940 catalog, found in the Pen Collectors of America’s website (what?  You haven’t joined yet?), as modlels JLE (with the gold center barrel) for $2.50 and KLE (with an all-black barrel) for $1.85:

But the catalog doesn’t show this one:

Dan Reppert has had this one, and I’ve admired it for years – I finally had to bite at the Michigan Show.  This pencil combines the deluxe cap treatment of the model KLE with an ordinary brown pearl-center pencil, an uncatalogued variant made specially for one significant cutomer:

W.E. Buhler, “That Sheaffer Salesman,” ordered a run of these, with his name and a picture of Sheaffer’s Fort Madison facility.

Joe Nemecek shared another uncataloged variant on the JLE at the DC Show:

In a demi size.  Maybe a JLEv?

1 comment:

Matt said...

Does Joe's pencil contain a Tuckaway mechanism? The JLE cap fits perfectly on a 1940-41 Tuckaway mechanism, for example, but the plastic barrel length is different than his. However, his plastic barrel could not have come from a Tuckaway, since the Tuckaway blunt tip is much fatter than a Fineline tip. But a shortened utility barrel will fit on a Tuckaway mechanism.