Thursday, December 22, 2016

Two Points of View. . . uh. . .Lead

Recently I ran across a nice Autopoint "Twinpoint" pencil in its original box with leaflet in never-even-used condition.  It got me to wondering about double-ended pencils, so I looked for more of them and only found one other company who made a double-point mechanical pencil. It is on the other end of the alphabet from Autopoint:  the Zaner-Bloser company of Columbus, Ohio.  There are quite a few pen/pencil double-ended writing tools, but only these two pencils, as far as I know.
The Autopoint is the adult version, while the Zaner-Bloser is more the kids' version.  They both have a red and a blue lead.  Naturally, they are nose-drive pencils.

Zaner-Bloser pencil

Autopoint pencil
The Autopoint company has a long and complex history, having been owned by Bakelite, Union Carbide, Cory, the Hershey Chocolate company, Gillette, and Papermate. At the time this double-ended pencil was made, Autopoint was a division of the Cory Corporation.  To me, Cory is best known for its glass coffee maker, shown here in an ad from the Ladies Home Journal of 1948.  Its founder invented the glass filter used in the all-glass pot--kind of reminds me of something in chemistry lab!

1801 Foster Avenue, the Autopoint factory in Chicago, is now a brewery with taproom.  Autopoint is now an independently owned company located in Janesville, Wisconsin, from whom you can buy lead in several colors and sizes, and other Autopoint creations, including the Twinpoint and two other styles of mechanical pencils.  Here is a link to the current Autopoint Catalog 

Leaflet in the original box

This is the riveted clip used by Autopoint for decades.  
Now the Twinpoint pencil has an "accommodation clip" which can be reversed or even removed.

Twinpoint pencil's original box

Isn't that a stylish logo?
And here are the two points.

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