Friday, March 23, 2018

Three of a Kind . . . and Maybe Four

Here are three more of the pencils I picked up from Ed Fingerman at the DC show last August:


The top one in that first picture I had to keep just fort the size of it - large magic pencils are a commanding sight, and they don’t come around all that often.  The imprint on the extender did my heart good to see, too:


That F in a shield signifieds Fairchild & Co., and I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for all things Fairchild due in part to the fact that my friend David Nishimura wrote a substantial piece of Fairchild which appeared in the last issue of the Pennant I edited (“Leroy W. Fairchild: The Little-Known History of a Well-Known Company,” Winter, 2016).

In the article, David indicates that after the shuttering of Leroy W. Fairchild’s operations in 1896 and subsequent takeover of the firm’s assets by a firm established by his son, Leroy C. Fairchild, another of Fairchild’s sons, Harry P. Fairchild, established a firm with Ephraim S. Johnson, Jr. (The son of another famous New York maker, Ephraim Johnson) in October, 1898.  The firm, Fairchild & Johnson, used a hallmark of a F and a J inside a shield separated by a diagonal line.

The center pencil from that first picture has the Fairchild & Johnson mark:


After Ephraim apparently got bored with the enterprise and left to pursue other interests in 1905, the company name was changed to Fairchild & Co., and the J was deleted from the shield.

The lower pencil is unusual since it’s hexagonal - and like the first pencil, it has the Fairchild & Co. hallmark:


Then there was this other pencil in Fingerman’s stash, one that I just couldn’t bear to let slip away:


Such an interesting shape certainly calls to mind Fairchild & Johnson.  Unfortunately, the hallmark isn’t very clear:


It looks like it might be the top of an F stamped on there, but without any shield around it.   Or maybe it’s something else . . .

1 comment:

David Nishimura said...

I don't think the twist-pattern pencil is Fairchild. The sterling imprint with serifs isn't typical for later Fairchild items, more for Aikin Lambert, Mabie Todd, and others. I do believe that I've seen this particular design clearly marked as ALC.