Thursday, March 1, 2018

From Minneapolis

Rarely do mechanical pencils hail from Minneapolis, Minnesota.  My dad, from whom I apparently got my pencil gene, was from there, too.  I was interested to own one, just for that reason, but also I like these small metal ring tops.

This a lady's pencil, gold-filled, delicately chased, and elegantly shaped with six sides.  It was made by The Henber Company.  It is 4 & 1/4 inches long, uses 1.1mm lead, and has a unique rear-drive screw mechanism.  It is marked HENBER, Gold Filled, Pat. Pend.  There is an engraver's space, but no name or initials.  The Henber Company was headquartered in a brick multi-story building near the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis.  They appear to have been in business from about 1920 to 1925, but there is very little information about them available.  As far as I have been able to discover, they only made metal mechanical pencils, not pens.

Henber's gimmick was to run contests and give away prizes, for example, in this 1922 ad, $1,000 or a 1923 Buick.  A drawing was printed above the ad, and the contest was to find all objects in the picture whose name began with S.

Henber shows their sterling silver pencils in this ad, a ring top and a larger pencil with clip, with swag design tooled in the metal. In the ad they also mention their gold-filled pencils.  You could buy the sterling pencils two for $3, or a gold-filled pencil for $3.  The ad seems to imply that a gent's gold-filled pencil was also available.

As the ad says, you'll never win unless you try, but to qualify, you have to buy a pencil first.
No problem!

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