Friday, October 21, 2016

Moore Mastercraft

From about 1938 (when the "thin" 0.9 mm lead was introduced) comes this addition to my Moore family of pencils, a lady-like size "Mastercraft."  A sweet little masterpiece.

It was a transitional time.  The Depression was about over, WWII not yet begun, and many new products and innovations were making their way into the market, like the obsessively-played mastermind board game, introduced by Parker Brothers in 1935, with this box design from 1937-38.

JRR Tolkien's "The Hobbit," with his own illustration on the jacket had come to America.  He was already writing his master work, "The Lord of the Rings."

At my dad's alma mater, Drake University, the young radio sportscaster known as the voice of the Drake Relays, had just departed for Hollywood to begin a dizzying career that would spin him from B-movies to a charismatic mastery of the highest office in the land.

FDR was the hero of the age, having masterminded a fix for the Depression, and baseball was the favored sport of the nation.  The term "World Series" hadn't caught on yet.  Here is FDR throwing out the first ball.

Into this dynamic scene, Moore marketed their "Mastercraft" line.  It was a better quality pencil than they had made in the Depression, with a new clip design and pretty celluloid, like this.

This one is a 4 & 1/4 inch middle-twist pencil with the new thin lead, eraser under the cap, and gold-tone clip, top jewel, and band. The only marking is "Moore" on the clip.

The Mastercraft helped Moore survive WWII, and with the introduction of the "Fingertip" pen and pencil, they were able to continue until 1956.

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