Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Only the Lonely

Here are some "singleton" (as single-birth puppies are called) pencils that have never had their moment in the sun because they are alone, the sole representatives of their type in my pencil collection.  They aren't really lonely, I keep them together in the Miscellaneous box, but they're like only children, or orphans, even.

I like the carmel color of this swirl-celluloid, but, oops, the clip is broken.  It is a 1.1 mm lead pencil with middle drive.  That might be an N on what's left of the clip, possibly for Netop.  It works well, and although brassed, bitten, and scratched, it carries on with its job.

Another 1.1 mm lead middle-drive pencil is this green Wearever.  The black and white striped top is its special feature, and the press clip is sturdy and untarnished.  It is a humble, unobtrusive worker-bee pencil.  I filled it with green lead, and enjoy doodling green leaves and vines with it.

Salz Brothers of New York made this cream lustre celluloid pencil, called a Stratford.  That sounds faintly Ivy League, but it's a workaday 1.1 mm lead, nose-drive pencil, with a press clip.  I like the pierced-design center band that these Salz pencils have, and this one's "brass" is in good condition.  It works smoothly, but has a light, insubstantial feel.

This one is really an orphan--no name at all.  A middle-drive, with 1.1 mm lead, it also has a press clip in the black celluloid top part, while the bottom is white marble.  The "brass" is sound, and the mechanism works well.  It has a somber look--a pencil in evening attire.

The flip side is this Ritepoint from St. Louis, Missouri, which is mostly white marble and just a little black Bakelite.  Ever since giving my dad the QEII pencil for Father's Day, I have been noticing Ritepoints.  (See my blog Getting There is Half the Fun! )  It has a washer clip, drive-tube twist mechanism, and the top comes off to reveal an eraser.  It uses 1.1 mm lead, and has an imprint in the Bakelite section.  It's a nice, solid pencil.

Finally, here is an Osborne pencil in yellow marble.   Its clip is part of the gold-tone top jewel, and is streamlined and modern.  The lead is the post-1938 0.9 mm, and to help you remember that, it has a 9 stamped on the center band.  Made in Clifton, New Jersey, this pencil has a fine, hefty feel, and a smooth middle-drive mechanism.  It lacks the black and white striped top (as seen on the green Wearever, above) that many Osbornes have.  With its cheerful color, I doubt it will remain lonely for long.

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