My Collection – Photos and Commentary

Company

National

National Pencil Company was one of a cluster of manufacturers based in Shelbyville, Tennessee, “The Pencil City” (after starting in Atlanta).

Brands:

National Pencil Co graphite

Colored brands:

National colored

National Copying varieties:

National Copying

Here are pairs of pencils that are the same or nearly so, but with one painted and the other having clear varnish:

Painted and natural

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Wallace

Wallace Pencil Company, Missouri, USA (acquired by Dixon in 1982) —

Graphite and copying brands:

Wallace, Graphite and Copying

Colored:

Wallace, Colored


Sussner Nopitsch Glocken Bell

From Georg Büttner’s site about German pencil companies in the Nuremberg area, here’s what I gather (imperfectly — I don’t speak German) about the relationship between these companies:

G.W. Sussner founded a pencil company in 1846. Moritz Nopitsch founded a company in 1861, which was passed on to his son Gebrüder Nopitsch.  Nopitsch and Sussner were joined in 1900. In 1925, the company was named Glocken (in English, Bell); the name was acquired from another company named Glocken.  (Was that whole company acquired?)

Sussner:

??????????

M. Nopitsch:

??????????

M. Nopitsch and Sussner:

??????????

Gebrüder Nopitsch:

??????????

Glocken:

??????????

Bell:

Bell

Some of the older hexagonal pencils have what appears to be factory sharpening in the form of six facets —

Facet Sharpened


Staedtler USA

J.S. Staedtler is another (see Swan) German pencil company that had a manufacturing subsidiary in the United States.  Hackensack and Monteville, New Jersey, are locations mentioned on the pencils. 

Brands:

Staedtler USA

Some of the brands have German counterparts, while many (Competitive, Deadline, Pinstripe, and others) are only American, as far as I know.


Mallard

Mallard Pencil Company, Georgetown, Kentucky.

Brands:

Mallard Pencil Co.


Pencils Advertising Advertising Pencils

Some advertising pencils advertise themselves as models of ad pencils available from suppliers.  They often have a brand name and product number, but collectors don’t consider them to be “brand-name” pencils. —

Ad Pencil Models

Here are wood-toned types:

Natural Wood Tone

These show some companies that produced ad pencils:

Ad Pencil Companies

Indiana Pencil Co and Union Pencil Co also made brand-name pencils, as shown in my Obscure U.S. Pencil Companies post.  Pencil Specialty Company was a division of American Pencil Co.  It is often ambiguous whether or not specific pencil suppliers did more than the printing, but its pencil confirms that Wilkerson-Akers did manufacture pencils.  Note that Cincinnati Pencil Company was located in Nitro, West Virginia.


Clark’s Indelible Pencil

I’m back!

One of the first wooden pencils I ever spent a chunk of money on was a very old and unusual one that I had never seen before, from the Clark Indelible Pencil Company of Northampton, Massachusetts.  I obtained several varieties since then.

These specialized pencils were made for writing permanently on cloth and other materials.

The active part of the pencil is integrated with a protective tube:

Clark's Tubes

Clark's Pencils

A patent from 1866 (http://todayinsci.com/Events/Patent/IndeliblePencilPatent56180.htm) describes in detail how the pencil was made.  The indelible ingredient in the lead is silver nitrate.  I remember this substance from my high school Chemistry class because it gave us permanent (until the skin wore off) stains on our hands.

At first I thought that the leads were square.  But the patent describes how round leads were made from paste pressed into a mold, then placed into sawed grooves and enclosed with a strip of wood (clearly visible in the fourth pencil insert).  Hence, it’s a round lead (with cementing material) in a square hole.

Some of the pencils have second insert, a soft chalky substance in a paper tube.  I think this is probably gypsum.  The patent talks about gypsum as an ingredient of the lead, where it forms a compound that prevents softening due to atmospheric moisture.  Instructions on the label seem to describe the substance being rubbed on a dampened area of the cloth prior to writing.  Maybe it is gypsum helping to stabilize the mark. —

Clark's InstructionsClark's InstructionsClark's Instructions

A box with French labels, showing that Clark’s pencils were sold by A.W. Faber in Paris:

Clark's French LabelsClark's French Labels

The sixth pencil in the first photo is one of the newer ones.  The label suggests some new uses, including marking toothbrushes (no more disgusting mix-ups!) and umbrellas.  It came with this price list:

Clarks Price List


United States Pencil Co.

United States Pencil Co., an American pencil company —

US Pencil Co Brands

USCO 486 varieties:

USCO 486

USCO Electro 486, a “transitional species” between USCO Grafine Lead 486 and USCO Electro 100:

USCO Transition

USCO Electro 100:USCO 100

Three different expressions for 2-1/2:

USCO 2.5

The only other place I’ve seen 2-5/10 is on Ticonderogas.

Nearly identical Evergreen copying pencils made in Czechoslovakia and in USA:

Czechoslovakia and US

An older ad showing that the Czech versions were actually made by L & C Hardtmuth:

Evegreen Copying Ad

I have seen an ad indicating that Our Drummer is also from U.S. Pencil Co. —

Drummer