Saturday, September 1, 2018

Never Dull--A Small Eclipse Ringtop

Marx Finstone's Eclipse Fountain Pen and Pencil Company was in its teen-age years when this 4" ringtop was made in about 1920.  The inscription says, "ECLIPSE, NEVER DULL, 14K GOLD FILLED."  It's now known that the "Never Dull" Eclipse pencils were made by the Rex company of Rhode Island.  You can read about it in Jon Veeley's blog about these early Eclipse pencils.  The Rex Manufacturing Company of Providence, who held an assortment of mechanical pencil patents in the early 1920s, was the starting point for a surprising number of pencil brands.

The ringtop uses 1.1 mm lead and uses a rear drive mechanism that is still operating perfectly after nearly 100 years.  The checkerboard pattern is one of several used for Eclipse's Never Dull metal pencils. 

Would that we could all boast of being "never dull" for a century!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Red-Banded Moore Ringtop

In another 4 years, this Moore ringtop will be an authentic 100 year old antique.  This rear-drive, hard rubber and gold-filled pencil dates from the earliest Moore patent issued on August 15th, 1922.  It is the same age as the Moore double banded ringtop in an earlier blog, Moore for Me, Please!  Jon Veley discovered that the single band pencils came from a design line called "Luxor," while the double band pencils were listed as the "Colonial" line.

It is a 4.25 inch pencil with the Moore inscription, but that is all, and at that, the bottoms of the letters are nearly covered by the hard rubber.  The color was originally black, but now it appears to be an olive green/brown.   I suspect that the hard rubber and decorative bands are a sleeve that was fitted over a plain-barrel metal pencil.  It has a classic look, almost modern.

It uses 1.1mm lead, and the pencil is working well at age 96.  Here is the 1922 red-banded Moore ringtop with the other 1922 patented pencil and the 1925 marble pencil, also featured in the earlier blog.

Since the first two, I did find more Moores, thank you.

See also:

Pencil Sketch--Sabot

See the real sabot in my earlier blog:

Thursday, June 28, 2018

In the Red

My obsession with Waterman Lady Thorobred pencils continues with the acquisition of this red striated example, which has thin green veins.  What Watermans called this color I have yet to discover, but I call it wonderful.

 This nose-drive pencil has chrome trim and a black tip, and measures 4 & 3/8 inches.  It is just slightly shorter than all my other smaller-size Thorobreds, or, if you prefer, 92 Vs.  It uses 1.1 mm lead, and  dates from the 1930s.  Besides being shorter, it has another anomaly, the incised mark, which reads:  Waterman's, United States of America.  All the others I have featured on the blog have the mark:  Waterman's, Reg. US Pat. Off.  Hmmm.  Made before the patent had been granted?

See my most recent blog on His and Hers Throrbreds.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Full of Lead and Ready to Go

After meeting a few interesting Eclipse pencils, I have kept my eye out for the name.  It was impossible to resist this bell-top Eclipse with the 1923 patented clip.  It is a slightly later clip with capital letters instead of the script lettering of my fat blue Eclipse.

This red-veined gold marble pencil is 4 & 3/4 inches, with gold-tone trim, and a black cap.  The band at the top has a nice design and is decorative only, since the mechanism is nose-driven.  Inside the cap is the stub of an eraser worn totally flat.  Inside the barrel--my goodness, out poured a handful of leads!

They are the 1.1 mm leads of the time.  On the clip is the patent date 9-18-23.  But for me the attraction is this pretty marble.

It looks amazingly like the real thing.  Well done, Eclipse!

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Never Too Thin

What was that old saying?  "You can never be too rich or too thin."  It seems to have been around since the 1960s.  These Thin Model Sheaffer pencils are even earlier.  They have the lifetime (for original owner, of course) guarantee shown by the "white dot" and were made to accompany the pens of the time.  These belonged to my mother and father.

Dad's Snorkel "Admiral" fountain pen

 This wide band with incised lines belonged to the Statesman model, as far as I can tell.  Some of the other models at the time were Valiant, Triumph, Admiral, Ambassador, and Craftsman.

Like many post-war Sheaffers, they were made of injection-molded plastic, and had the dual layer tip.
They are 5 inches long and only 1/4 inch wide.  An ad from the time shows how the tip was the latest selling feature of the late 40s and 1950s.  Thin lead was also used, 0.9 mm, which, amazingly, is the thick lead of today!

The family desk drawer also had an all-metal version with smaller band--for use on Sundays?

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Marble Mini Moore

When you think about what modern pencils look like, celluloid "marble" was a wonderful material. 

Well-rated Alvin mechanical pencils in a range of lead sizes.

This 4" Moore from the 1930s isn't that great engineering-wise, or particularly outstanding design-wise, but that marble!

It's a nose drive pencil with the larger 1.1 mm lead, and an eraser under the cap.  The pressed-on clip is pretty standard for the time, but not as handsome as Moore's Mastercraft clips.  

But they didn't stint on the marble!
Here is the green pencil with its older relative, the 1925 patent Moore.

For a previous blog about the 1923 and 1925 Moore pencils:

For more about Moore pens:

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Fat Blue Eclipse

Twenty years after the founding of the Eclipse Fountain Pen and Pencil Company, this chunky 5" pencil was introduced with the brand new 1923 patented clip, and gold-filled trimmings.  It has a check pattern; a space for personalization has been left pattern-free on the barrel.  You can date the pencil by the script "Eclipse" on the clip, they were the earliest of the new clips after the patent was issued on September 18, 1923.  After a while they changed the clip inscription to a couple of different styles of capital letters.

The gold-filled cap pulls off--there might have been an eraser, but not now.  The pencil uses the standard 1.1 mm lead and is a nose drive mechanism.  The blue body is celluloid.  It's a fun pencil to use--it feels substantial and is still in perfect working condition.

Besides the American Eclipse company, there was also a thriving Canadian branch.  If you would like to know more about it, a website has been created by the Tully family to explain their involvement and the history of Eclipse in Canada.  Eclipse Fountain Pen and Pencil Company--History

These are my other Eclipse examples from previous blogs--links below the photos.