Wednesday, July 5, 2017

World's Largest Eversharp Collection - Organized at Last

Six years ago, when I wrote The Catalogue of American Mechanical Pencils, my collection was well organized.  Then I started this blog, and new additions were put on a different shelf, in the order they were photographed.   When I could, I would squeeze them in alongside their closest relatives on the wall of pencils, but when I would run out of room, I’d put like things together in some other random spot.  Then I couldn’t keep up with photographing new additions, which were piled in no particular order into another printer’s cabinet.

I moved the museum into a larger room about four years ago, and at that time I decided my Eversharp collection was taking up too much space on the wall.  They were moved into a large printer’s cabinet, with only a few drawers lined with slotters and the rest jumbled into piles.  My Eversharps, the pride and joy of my collecting efforts, resembled the rough draft of a great novel, with random footnotes and artifacts stacked so closely together that the story itself got lost.

As American Writing Instrument Trademarks 1870-1953 went to press and I had a bit of time on my hands, I decided enough was enough and it was time to really go through and reorganize everything.  Everything came out of the new additions cabinet, and over the course of several weeks it was like Christmas as I went through everything and put everything in its place.

Things are much more organized now, and at long last, all of my Eversharps are in one place and organized.   Now that what is probably the world’s largest collection of these is all straightened out, I thought a tour would be in order.

The first drawer contains the earliest examples: Heath clip Ever Sharps made between 1913 and 1915 and spade (trowel) clip Ever Sharps from 1916 on the left, and Wahl made Ever Sharps on the right.  Oh, and that big black pen is the Keeran “Indestructo” I wrote about for the Pennant last year:

I wrote an article years ago, before I wrote the pencil book, titled “Eversharp Pencils: Nine Lives and Nine Generations,” in which I cataloged nine distinct imprints used on metal Eversharp pencils and theorize when (within a year or two) each was introduced and why.  The article is still floating around out there in cyberland (the link to it is, and while it hasn’t attracted too much attention, it’s proven over time to be dead-on accurate.  All of the American-made metal Eversharp pencils I’ve examined in the years since have fallen neatly into those nine categories and I haven’t seen any in the years since which are any different.

I don’t consider it a duplicate unless the pattern, material and the imprint are all the same as something I’ve already cataloged.    These next few drawers group metal Eversharps by imprints 2 through 9 from the article:

I’ve got a separate drawer for metal Eversharps which are special, either because of their features or their material - things I don’t want getting mixed in with the masses if they were organized by imprint.  Here’s where the snake clip Eversharp and the two “Waterman Tree Trunk” examples reside:

The next drawer includes checking pencils and utility pencils, including those neat Wahl car parts advertising pencils:

This drawer contains pencils from 1924 to 1930:

Followed by a continuation of that series, moving into the Dollar Pencils.  The two strays at the top are common Dollar Pencils, with clips awaiting a transplant onto more exotic colors which may surface:

This next frame shows on the left, later Dollar Pencils and “Palmer Method” pencils at the top, with those Autopoint-like removable nose Eversharps (and Monitors) at the bottom.  On the other side are those transitional Tempoint style-Equipoised pencils on the top, and English Eversharps on the lower right:

Next is a drawer full of the pencils I’ve referred to rightly or wrongly as “Tempoint style,” since they were made to more closely match the new plastic Tempoint pens the company began turning out in 1927:

This next drawer features Tempoint-style pencils with Equipoised mechanisms, transitioning to the Equipoised line.  There’s 11 of the colors in the purse/pocket series:

I wished I had enough room in that drawer to include the larger sized clasp pencils alongside their smaller counterparts.  Alas, they made their way into this next drawer, followed by smaller dollar pencils, alongside some weird Equipoised stuff, short dollar pencils, Chicago Worlds Fair Eversharps and Bantams.  The Bantams are the only series I’ve actively tried to match pens to my pencils:

Then come the Dorics.  Here’s Doric I and II:

And the Doric IIIs and IVs:

The next drawer has a handful of weird Dorics and a pen and pencil set on the left.  The short pencils on the upper left are English-made short Coronet repeaters, and the lower left features later English Eversharps.  On the right are Coronets and “half Coronets.”

Then come the Pacemakers, Airlites and Varsity line at upper left, Airlite/half Coronet hybrids, and a selection of aluminum repeating pencils.  At lower right are six variations of the Eversharp “Victory”:

Next I put all of my Square 4 pencils, including the original “Red Spot” series, the Square 4, W Square, Olympian and Square 4 derivatives in one drawer.  I’ve got an article in the hopper to tell you more about these:

Skylines are up next.  Here are Skyline Standard I and Skyline Standard II, Presentation.  Note that the Standard II and the Presentation both come in both matching colored and gold filled derbies; I’ve played around with calling them Standard III and Presentation II:

Then the Presentation Vertical, Presentation Dart, Command Performance, and Stainless models on the left, with Solid 1 and Solid II on the right:

I wanted to keep all my Moires together ... because they look soooo nice together... so the next drawer has the Solid III followed by moires in Solid I, II and III.  On the right of this picture are the streamliners (including an ultra rare clear demonstrator) at the top, and the Press Clip I series on the bottom:

The next drawer starts with a Press Clip I oddity – some of these come with ribbing on the lower barrels, all in the larger size.  Then there’s the Press Clip II with a narrow center band (I don’t draw a distinction between those which are all solid verses the ones on the lower left with the marbled top sections).  The Press Clip III has that single wide band (it’s a little out of order, in the upper right area), the Press Clip IV has no trim whatsoever (these also came with both ribbed and smooth barrels), and the Press Clip V with no upper band and a thin middle band.  At far upper right is that really odd one that I wrote about here some time ago.  The lower right row is Lovejoy patent Skylines and those really, really bad idea repeaters:

Fifth Avenues, Symphony pencils, and leather covered pencils fill the next drawer:

Venturas and some odd misfits occupy the left side of this one, with Wahl Oxfords on the right:

Other Eversharps and Wahl Oxfords in various colors:

And last, some of those late Symphony or Reporter pencils and some Parker-Eversharps from 1957-1960, including the “10,000" series and the Big Es.  On the right are miscellaneous sets from the late Eversharp and Parker eras.

Add to what you’ve seen here the black Doric desk set on . . . well, my desk, of course, and two boxed Eversharps that I’ve got sitting proudly out where I can see them, and the grand total of items in the Eversharp display amounts to . .. drum roll . . . 1,388.  That doesn’t include pens and ballpoints I haven’t gone through yet.

Or the three that are in the mail from Michael McNeil.  We’ll call it 1,391 and counting –


Martha said...

Wow! WOW!

Vance said...

What she said!

lairddouglas said...

woW ... sends shivers down my back. I have not seen that many pencils since my adventure with Susan Wirth buying the archive from Autopoint, what a memory ... swore off pencils for a while :)

Michael Little said...

What happened to all those Autopoint Archives? Tell me about them.