My Collection – Photos and Commentary


It’s Registered

Here’s an interesting pair of old pencils.  Although they are from different companies, their designs are too similar to be coincidental —

The Handy Pencil was made by American Pencil Co., while the Cock Pencil is from Staedtler.  They both start with BBB in the same style.
Following that, they both have appropriate logos — the Handy Pencil has a nice pair of hands, while the Cock Pencil sports a handsome
rooster.  If one is imitating the other, I’d say it is American’s Handy, which has “Register” (an error?) in place of the “Registered” printed on Staedtler’s Cock


Maroon is popular color for high-quality pencils from Japanese and Korean (Dong-A) companies —

Look how similar the Eye Ball Hi-new is to the Mitsu-Bishi Hi-uni.  Yes, Eye Ball is the name of a Japanese pencil company, also known as Janome.



The American Pencil Company came up with the unique green crackle finish for its drawing pencils, the story goes, by accident.  But it’s not so unique, and that is no accident, as these pencils demonstrate —

As usual, old Japanese manufacturers were the most industrious imitators, but we also have a couple of newer ones from Taiwan and India. 

It’s The Real Thing – Not

Coca-Cola advertising items have long been popular collectibles.  Here are pencils emblazoned with logos and slogans spanning a century —

Coke enthusiasm is an international phenomenon.  I found some relevant pencils from Japan —

Unofficial items, evidently.  Note “Cora-Cola,” “Coce-Cola,” and “Koke.”  Hopefully these tweaks were sufficient to avoid lawsuits from the big corporation.

Rhinoceros Preservation

Here’s a neat imitation pair –

I think the top Rhinoceros pencil itself is very interesting.  It’s an antique long-ferrule lefty with a nice logo and soft lead with the archaic BBBB designation.  Also, it is made in England by ALPCO, which stands for American Lead Pencil Company (more on that later). 

Then there’s a modern imitation from Taiwan.  Again a lefty – rare in modern pencils – and even keeping the BBBB!  I suspect the lead isn’t even that soft.  Very few people nowadays (besides me, and now you) would even be aware of what the new pencil is imitating (even if there were intermediate varieties), so it’s not really a case of stealing prestige from a famous brand (as with the Lumograph).  But the Rhinoceros style was and is pretty cool.


Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so they say.  Here we have Staedtler’s venerable Mars-Lumograph, with its iconic blue color and black tip with white band.  And then, many imitators.  (Or perhaps it’s “just a coincidence.”)

I like the Russian one at the bottom.  It looks like it might even say Mars, but it doesn’t (see comment).