Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Machine Gun of Pencils?

Here’s an old pamphlet, copyright 1928, Royal Pencil Corp. Unfolded it is a bit bigger than A5 size, at about 23cm high x 20cm wide (9 x 7 ¾ inches). It’s very bright and colourful. The gold printing ink still has a metallic lustre. The front page is advertising the Lodge-I-Cal Pencil. Turning to the inside of the pamphlet, this becomes a little clearer. It’s the “Salrite” pencil, and it can “…be furnished with the emblem of all Secret, Civic and Fraternal societies.” I imagine Fred Flintstone and his brothers down at the Water Buffalo Lodge used this pencil.
Extolling the virtues of the Salrite pencil, we learn from this pamphlet that it is “…not a metal pencil, but is the fountain pen of pencils, being made of hard rubber.” Furthermore it is “…scientifically balanced to prevent fatigue and writers cramp, it has a “…safety magazine at the business end where it belongs. There is a separate compartment for each of the six extra leads, eliminating jamming and breakage” and also “…the clutch point is constructed of special metal, which permits it to contract and expand, keeping lead tight.”

Awesome stuff. All this from Royal Pencil Corporation, The Machine Gun of Commerce”. Yes indeed, I’m sure that opposition salesmen cowered in the corner when they saw another rep armed with their Salrite, and what customer would dare to not write out a purchase order when threatened with such a weapon. Was this a WBD – “Weapon of Business Destruction”?

On the back of the pamphlet we learn about Salrite leads, the ammunition with which sales reps will win the battle. As well as tubes of a dozen leads for ordinary patrol and skirmish missions, Salrite leads also came one gross (144) in bulk for when there was an all out major attack. For another view on Royal, if you troll around a few "ink" sites, you will sometimes find Royal on the “cheap and nasty, not worth collecting” sort of list. But hey, either way, it’s a great pamphlet.