Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Three Interesting Watermans, Part One

With yesterday’s article concerning the development of the Waterman larger sized pencils in the back of your mind, have a look at these three oversized Waterman pencils which turned up at the Michigan Pen Show last month:

Note that the top example has a “Clip Cap” globe clip.

Note also the plain hard rubber tip on that top one, while the middle one has the short metal bit on the end shown in the 1925 catalog.  The bottom one . . . well, we’ll get to that one:

If my theory is correct, that the Model 25s started out with a metal tip which was later deleted, and the plain Waterman’s clip was switched out in favor of a Clip-Cap in late 1924, just as the 1925 catalog artwork was approved, you’d expect to see a 1924 patent date on the mottled example, and that is exactly what’s there  – faintly – just below a  badly chewed up 14k band:

That badly chewed up band allows us to date the pencil even more precisely than “post 1924.”  On Valentines Day, 1927, Waterman took out newspaper advertisements in several papers to announce the Waterman “Aristocrat” set, commemorating Waterman’s 44th anniversary, which had special 14k gold trim:

But note: the advertisement clearly shows a metal tip on the pencil, which is absent from my pencil.

Since this pencil was a special anniversary edition, and the only advertisements for it were published in February, 1927, I think it’s safe to assume these were made in one run within a relatively short time, early in 1927.  It would be interesting to see other examples to determine whether any were made with metal tips; were I a betting man, I’d say they probably weren’t, and the tip shown in the advertisement is either artistic license in the illustration (modifiying existing artwork to include the fancy cap) or a drawing made up in anticipation of the model’s release, before the decision was made to drop the tip.

I like the second alternative.  I think the metal tip was dropped from the Model 25 around the beginning of 1927.

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