I’ve mentioned the Eberhard Faber double-clamp eraser a few times, though they were models that were manufactured and sold in Germany. This is the original 1085, from 1921:



The erasers here aren’t original—they are from a Faber-Castell 7041-20 natural rubber eraser that I cut and sanded to fit. Since it’s two-sided I think I’ll try fitting one end with a different type, perhaps vinyl or foam. At least in the beginning, there was a dedicated Van Dyke eraser available as a refill:


The 1085 is similar in width to the BT1 and 2095 from Germany:


But they differ greatly in terms of thickness:


The 1085 is nearly three times thicker than the BT1, making it much more substantial in terms of weight, too.

It’s likely that there were many models of the double-clamp eraser. In fact I’ve seen one that has an eraser on only one end—the other is closed off, capped in metal—and another with a vinyl brush at one end. Perhaps then the German versions were akin to a “slim” series, similar to their round erasers, made for typists or some other specific consumer.

The size and shape of the 1085 make it very handy, especially for music and writing; you can get into some pretty tight areas. And it’s not too difficult to shape your own choice of eraser to fit—too bad something like this (Slendy notwithstanding) isn’t still being made today.

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7 Responses to 1085

  1. Matthias says:

    They look nice. I like he fact that a bigger percentage of the eraser can be used like this, unlike modern erasers where the cardboard sleeve doesn’t really help in using up the last bits of an eraser (I guess GvFC’s metal sleeved eraser or the Seed Super Gold High Class (which you sent me, thank you) must be some of the last erasers with a sturdy sleeve).

    Where did all the sandwich erasers go, like the one on the photo. I think they were even still common in the early 80s, but now you hardly ever see them…


    • Sean says:

      The Seed Gold works very nicely, though it’s a bit harsh. The GvF-C circular natural rubber eraser works really well, too. I guess it all depends on what paper you’re using.

      Actually, the sandwich eraser in the other photo is another custom job—I cut and sanded an old A.W. Faber eraser wheel because the width was already very close. But I can say that one of the original erasers from these clamps was the sandwich type. Maybe it has to do with the disappearance of typewriters (or even the emergence of better correction methods on typewriters themselves); a lot of those eraser combinations were designed for typists. I’d really like to hunt-down some of the original Van Dyke replacement erasers, even if they are just petrified Chiclets.


  2. Patrick says:

    These are gorgeous. There’s a utilitarian beauty and permanence to these that isn’t often seen today. The “Slendy” and a few other retractable erasers on the market are nice and all, but nothing really has the aesthetic quality these do.


  3. Dan says:

    Just found the same model number (1085) with a patent date of Oct 13, 1891. Very different design: one metal piece folded over with a sliding “loop” of metal squeezing the open end of the folded piece against the slab of eraser in the fold…


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