Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Hicks Variation

Here’s another one that turned up while I was reorganizing the museum:

The pencil extends to its full length as it is drawn from the case:

I’ve written about a nearly identical pencil made by Edward Todd (see and  Here they are next to each other:

The Edward Todd version was patented by James B. Smith on August 9, 1892, as number 480,479:

The Hicks, version, however, says something else:

“Hicks Pat. July 13, 97.”  In American Writing Instrument Patents 1799-1910, you’ll find this date corresponds to patent number 586,495, issued to Edward D. Hicks:

The only difference between the two is where the case grips the pencil; on the Todd version, the pencils tip is seated into the gripping area.  In the Hicks variation, it’s the second stage of the pencil which is secured inside the case, so the Hicks variation does two things at once as the pencil is drawn out: at the front end, the friction advances a magic pencil.  At the other end, it telescopes the other sections into position.

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