Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Why Some of My Eversharps Are Upside Down

You might have noticed in my “World’s Largest Eversharp Collection” the occasional pencil that was pointed the opposite direction from the rest of the crowd.  Here’s one example, in the upper right:


There’s a very practical reason for that.  Sometimes I bring an Eversharp into my collection, not because there’s anything special about the pattern or the materials, but because of the top treatment.  Eversharp did some really nice stuff when it came to fraternal emblems and the like.  The upside down one shown in this picture was featured in The Catalogue for the exquisitely detailed Elks emblem on the cap:


My fear has always been that I’ll go through the collection some day, culling out duplicates, and I might accidentally cull out one of these special caps into a junk box or worse, into a bargain box on a table at my next show.  In order to avoid this, facing one of these pencils upside down means “look at the cap, dummy.”

This one also went into the drawer upside down:


It has a name engraved on the barrel: L.W. Hirtz:


The imprint near the top identifies this one to late 1916 or early 1917: “Ever Sharp” (two words) with no mention of Wahl, but with the Wahl patented clip:


And, for the reason that has this one upside down in my drawer:


A fantasticly detailed scene of a globe being circled by trucks and even a horse-drawn wagon, underneath which is the caption, “Trans-Continental Freight Co.”

The home office for The Trans-Continental Freight Co., unsurprisingly, was in Chicago where Wahl was also located.  According to a listing in the 1922 American Exporter Trade Directory, the company was founded in 1898 and was located at 203 South Dearborn Street.


Here’s an advertisement the company ran in the October, 1918 issue of The Rotarian, featuring the same logo found on the pencil:



I haven’t found any connection between the Trans-Continental Freight Co. and anyone named “L.W. Hirtz,” but the company had numerous branch offices across the country, making it difficult to narrow any search.  Besides, over the last 100 years the cap might have been switched to a pencil other than the one to which it was originally attached.

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