And until recently, I agreed with all of the sources who reported that the Pacemaker came in these five colors. In my experience, out of these five, brown and green are the easiest to find, and red is the hardest.
Out of these five, that is . . . and I no longer believe there were just five colors –
And now that I know there’s these six colors of Pacemakers, I’m suspecting that there may be eight, and perhaps nine:
These are Eversharp Varsity pencils, made around the same time as the Pacemaker. They were a real departure from what Eversharp was making at the time, since the company had almost entirely abandoned twist-action pencils in favor of repeating pencils. Back in 2014, I ran an article here about the Varsity (The Leadhead’s Pencil Blog Volume 3, page 156), in which I bemoaned the fact that I had purchased several red examples of the Varsity trying to complete the set, when it was the red one I had and the green one that I was missing . . . in the years since, I’m ashamed to admit that I have bought two more red examples, and it wasn’t until just a couple months ago that I picked up the green one.
If that doesn’t make me sound enough like an old, forgetful geezer, get this: I couldn’t remember for the life of me how I knew this model was called the Varsity, or why I thought it came in three colors: black, red and green. I was just sure I had seen a catalog, but I went back through all my notes and I . . . just . . . couldn’t . . . remember. I don’t know why I have such a blind spot with respect to the Varsity.
But then Joe Nemecek reminded me about Syd Saperstein (“Wahlnut”) and his discussion of the model on the old Fountain Pen Network. Matt McColm then sent me straight to the right comment: Syd said the model appeared in Eversharp’s 1937-8 “Airliner” catalog.
Note that the plastic used on the Eversharp Varsity is the same pattern found on that weird Pacemaker. And that catalog also reminded me that there was one other color, in addition to black, red and green:
This explains my weird Pacemaker. It was made, whether deliberately or by mistake, using a piece of Varsity plastic:
So, now that we know there are six known colors of the Pacemaker, that means there could actually be eight, if the company also made them in the other known Varsity colors of red and green.
Or nine, as Brian McQueen noted while we discussed these, since it wouldn’t be hard to extrapolate the existence of a similar Varsity-like plastic in blue.
Hold my beer, I said, shifting over to the Eagle section of the Museum and opening a drawer of later model examples:
Yes. I can see that.