1923 Eberhard Faber Catalog
Pencils with a piercing..
Who knew phone booths could be so luxurious?!
What I want to know is, who is supposed to do the sharpening? Did everyone carry a pocket knife in 1923? Did store owners have employees that made periodic sharpening runs? Are there telephone-pencil sharpeners, too?
We really only have half of the story… 🙂
One wonders about the theft rate, though this was a different time. I can imagine a kid nicking one, then his mother finding it in his pants pocket. It has “Telephone” written on it so she knows it’s not a pencil he’s supposed to have. “Where did you get this? Was it when you were playing hooky with that Tommy Sullivan boy? What have I told you about that lollygagger!”
Well, they were supposed to be chained to the phone, right? And the length suggests that they weren’t supposed to fit in any pockets that easily… But you have a point there about the sharpening. Maybe there was some sandpaper in the booth to do some quick rough sharpening? 😉
Thinking of the Sherlock Holmes stories it must have been common to have dip pens, inks, blotting sand, paper etc freely available in hotels and other places at the time – well I say at the time, the Sherlock Holmes stories take place 30 – 40 years earlier – but maybe at that time people respected ‘public’ goods more, so who knows, maybe the chains were for convenience, so that the pencil doesn’t fall to the floor. In that case, maybe there was a public sharpener?
Also, postcards where kind of like text messages today (see http://bleistift.memm.de/2014/01/sherlocks-pencil/ ) and people carried little pencils on chains with them (in some parts of the word at least), so maybe people really carried pocket knives all the time. I do in Germany, but I don’t in the UK, where the rules are very strict (I assume because there was a lot of knife crime in the past).
They are beautiful! I like pencils with a special purpose. – As far as I know the pencil sharpeners which were available in the 1920s were mostly huge devices (hand-held sharpeners came later), and many carried a penknife, so I assume the telephone pencil was sharpened with the latter.
I recall seeing some Staedtler telephone pencils.
Do you mean these?
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