Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Chapter and Verse

At https://leadheadpencils.blogspot.com/2018/02/settles-issue-in-my-mind.html, I was decisive in attributing a low-quality, unmarked pencil to Carter’s Ink Company, based on the distinctive Pearltex celluloid which was unique to the company.

I heard no complaints that my conclusion was too speculative, but I did admit that I would like to see  chapter and verse.” I don’t quite have it, but I have something close:

Advertisements like this one appeared in several newspapers in late 1933 and early 1934 (this is from the Asbury Park (New Jersey) Press on December 22, 1933.  The artwork is crude, but you can make out the high-placed joint on the pencil, and a shorter tip.   Yet that box appears to be just an ordinary cardboard box, not what I would hope to see – something like these:

I’ve always admired the celluloid boxes which accompanied Carter pens and pencils, and at the Raleigh pen show I finally had the opportunity to pick up two.  From what I recall, the square one came from Deb Kinney, while the one with more rounded corners was on Nikola Pang’s table.  Nikola gets a kick out of this blog - in fact, he put his penmanship skills to good work in DC, creating a slogan for my lead company I’ll never use during a late-night, slightly alcohol-influenced calligraphy session:

Yeah.  That would look great on a T-shirt, huh?  Anyway...

The more squared-off box contains a flattop set, fully marked, while the box with a more oval profile contains an unmarked set nearly identical to the blue pencil from that last article:

Note that both have the longer tip I’d normally associate with a Carter’s, providing a smooth evolutionary transition between the two:

And while the set is unmarked, the box itself has something you don’t see on those earlier, squared-off ones:

“Carter’s,” on the inside of the lid.

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