There have been some interesting posts about red & blue pencils lately, such as these posts from Pencils and Other Things, as well as these two posts from Lexikaliker. I don’t have very many examples to share, but here are a few that I find interesting.
Many of them come in the form of “checking” pencils, which can either be half red and half blue, or just red or blue:
The brand names can vary, such as the Referee pencils above. The Eberhard Faber Company also had a line of Okay pencils:
1923 Eberhard Faber Company Catalog
It was a popular line, which was expanded to include the colors white, yellow, and green:
Here are two that you don’t see very often. First, a Van Dyke thin red & blue pencil:
Second is this Mongol red and blue, complete with gold cursive stamping:
The sample book that holds these pencils was originally in poor condition. The elastic material was so old and desiccated that it crumbled at the lightest touch.
So I removed all of it and went looking for a suitable replacement. I glued the tips of the new elastic in between the outer cardboard and the inner lining, then threaded them through each of the staples.
Since sample books are hard to come by I wanted to try and restore it (and its identical partner, not pictured). Once the elastic was in I did few more passes with a soft eraser to clean the interior, and now it’s ready to hold pencils for another fifty years.
Here are a few more I’ve placed in this folder, including a Van Dyke Star and a Mongol Stenographic:
Wow! This is stunning – the pencils, your photos, the restored sample book, the historical details, everything. Thank you for showing these treasures!
Lovely restoration job on the sample books. Are those staples holding down the elastic? Did you reuse teh originals, or put in fresh ones?
I see a vintage Sanford No-Blot in there. I have some of the last batch of them if you’d like one for your collection?
Thanks, and sure, I’d be up for some Noblots. Perhaps we can arrange a swap?
Drop me a line by email.
Yes, the staples are holding the elastic but they sit slightly proud of the surface (there’s a small gap underneath). There must have been special machines to make these.
Older books that I have use a piece of elastic string, whose loops are held by another thread on either side. I’ll try and take some photos.
I’ll email you about the pencils.
A beautiful restoration! Thank you for sharing these great photos.
Wow!! It’s a feast for the eyes 😀 Thank you for showing us, it’s a real labor of love!
You’re welcome Sola; I was inspired by your posts!
Pingback: Pencil Sample Books | Contrapuntalism
The little man “okay” is a bit creepy. Though count me jealous of the copywriter who got to write a pencil rhyme for that ad!
It could be worse: you could have the Mongol “Goopus” staring you down from across your desk:
It’s hard to see, but the pencil goes through his left hand. I would like to have been at the board meeting when this item was proposed.
I have a set of the presentation pencils (24 count) in the green notebook folder you have pictured. I was wandering if you could give me some idea of a value. All pencils are intact, most have never been used. I would appreciate any information you could provide as to the value, if any, or should I just let my granddaughter use them. Thanks, Charlotte