My Collection – Photos and Commentary



The Amazing La-Stil Pencil is round, yet doesn’t (easily) roll!  Novel, useful, and great for clever advertising slogans.  Only $0.0435 each, in bulk —

Its secret is a piece of lead, embedded off-center near the end —

You can make a real LEAD pencil out of it! —



Wooden golf pencils: for marking score cards, small enough for a shirt pocket, cheap, factory sharpened, and no eraser.  (Previously I showed some mechanical types.)

Let’s start with several from Hawaii, where I used to live —

And then some brand-name types —

The Dixon is obviously a truncated Ticonderoga.  But I haven’t seen a Ticonderoga of that design.  Probably it was never sold, and the existing stock made into golf pencils (similarly to the Student).

Comic Tips

The famous comic-strip characters Blondie, Dagwood, and Popeye were honored in a set of pencils made by Linton —

Their likenesses appear on special Ad-Tip ferrules, which were more commonly used for product advertising.  (I’ll show examples another time.)






     Watch out Dagwood, Popeye is eyeing your wife!

Red | Blue: Long

For the final installment of red and blue lead combination pencils, I present wooden ones that are 8 to 9 inches long:

As for the intended purpose of these pencils, I would say that the Romantic and Rainbow are novelty items.  Despacho from Johann Sindel indicates something to do with shipping.  And the Hardtmuth and St. Majewski pencils bear the medical caduceus symbol.  Why is it useful for medical pencils to be so long?  Maybe so that doctors don’t have to bend over quite as far to mark charts that are tied to patients’ beds.

Now for some statistics.  I have shown a total of 307 red/blue pencils, not including the mechanical ones.  77% have the red lead on the left, blue on right. — But for U.S.-made ones, only 60% are oriented this way, while 88% of non-U.S. ones are.  74% have left and right sides painted red and blue (or with colored marks left and right). — But for one of these, the leads don’t match the paint!  (Can you find it?)

Fat 6B

For art and drafting pencil brands that come in a wide range of grades, the softest leads have larger diameters than the others.  This is so that they make heavy lines and don’t wear down too fast.  The wood around these leads is quite thin.  Nowadays this is not a big problem for manufacturing, but in times past, 6B (and softer) pencils were made thicker than the rest —

Here are some examples:

These pencils are about 20-25% wider than normal.

The thicker pencils required larger boxes —

A very old example, with hexagonal leads:

Big Red

Large-diameter pencils.  Red ones, with erasers —

Most are also slightly longer than regular pencils.  They all have names suggesting bigness.

Things Inside Woods

A previous post featured advertising mechanical pencils containing agricultural, industrial, and other products.  Wooden pencils with visibly encapsulated things also exist —

The Moore Push Pin Co pencil, with pins and hooks inside, is my favorite.

A bullet pencil and a couple of other items —

Red | Blue: USA

I have added American pencil companies to the Red|Blue page.  Naturally enough, these include American Pencil Co. and United States Pencil Co., and many in between.  (Eberhard Faber is already elsewhere.)