Ladies' metal ringtops are a favorite of mine, I like their petite size and attractive designs. This is the first Waterman's ladies' ringtop I have had. It was produced early in Waterman's history, about 1922 or so, and is 3 & 3/4 inches, an average size for a ladies' ringtop. The tip is black celluloid while the barrel and cap are (probably) plated gold over brass.
Most have a bell-top or column-capital shape, but this Waterman's has a perfectly straight top as its cap--quite modern-looking. The pencil holds a fairly short lead of 1.1mm, in the nose-drive mechanism. There's no eraser inside, but there is room for spare leads.
WATERMAN'S is marked on the band below the cap, while MADE IN USA is on the lower band above the black tip.
The checked design alternates with plain vertical bands. It has an engraver's space, and is engraved "MARY" in caps with shadow lettering.
In about 1922, Mary was the most popular name for a girl or woman in the USA. Dorothy, Helen, and Edith were 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Would you take a guess about the popular men's/boys' names?
1. Robert, 2. John, 3. James, and 4. William. How times have changed! In the 2010s to be cutting edge, you should be named Sophia, Isabella, Olivia, and Emma; Aiden, Jacob, Jackson, and Ethan.
To place the Waterman's in context with other ringtops, here it is with more or less contemporary pencils, all meant to be worn on a ribbon, sautoir, or fob.
Above: Waterman, Ingersoll, Superite, Wahl Eversharp, Wahl Eversharp, Sheaffer, Artpoint.
I have searched in vain for a photo of a woman wearing her ringtop pencil. Brooches, watches, lockets--yes. Pencils--no. Maybe it simply was not the done thing to wear a pencil, or even a fountain pen, while having your photo taken.
|Mabel McGovern Ablett, my grandmother|