Pencils in MANH(A)TTAN

“MANH(A)TTAN” is a series from WGN America about the race to build the first atomic bomb. Set in 1943 it follows the lives of mostly fictional characters, though they are based on people who actually worked at Los Alamos.

There are many scenes set in laboratories so there are all kinds of pencils to be seen (so far, the Ticonderoga is the most recognizable). In the middle of the season you get a glimpse at the competition: the laboratory of Werner Heisenberg in Germany, which has a conspicuously placed box:

manhattanWGN America

What I’d like to know is, would a 1940s Staedtler pencil box—found in a lab in Nazi Germany—have English writing on its side? Perhaps it would. Or perhaps it’s because one can’t know the position of the box and its momentum simultaneously. (Something also tells me that the laboratory desk of a German physicist probably wouldn’t have been so disorganized.) Either way it was an impressive example of set-dressing detail.

(Since I’m not very knowledgable of Staedtler and their history I will leave it to others to tell us if they are Noris or Tradition pencils, or something else altogether.)

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3 Responses to Pencils in MANH(A)TTAN

  1. Matthias says:

    That’s a great find!
    Oh, there’s also a stiller Beobachter with a big smile to the left of the pencils.


  2. Gunther says:

    Great find, Sean! Matthias: Of course he’s smiling because of the pencils he’s looking at 🙂


  3. Rick says:

    So… was there really a product called an “Observer?” or is this just eine kleine Spass?


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