Friday, August 17, 2007

Fixpencil Stamp

I know I’ve seen something on this before on some websites or blogs, but no law says I can’t repeat things.

A generous reader recently sent me this little strip of 2 self-adhesive stamps from Switzerland. Now, the object on the stamps is of course the Caran d’Ache Fixpencil, celebrating it as a design classic or “Design-Klassiker Schweiz”, “Classiques Du Design Suisse”, “I Classici Del Design Svizzero” according to the printing on the back. Even I can roughly translate those ones into English! I believe this is the first and only mechanical pencil to feature on a postage stamp.
I quite like the imagery, it reminds me of one of those military parades – the Fixpencil is the air force fly-over as the rows of erasers (tanks) motor by the presidential stand. Can’t say it’s something I associate with Switzerland. I’m aware of how seriously the Swiss take military preparedness, compulsory military service, etc but I’ve never seen or heard of big military parades. Seems odd now I’ve actually written that. But anyway, those of you who live in or know something about Switzerland – are the Swiss big on military parades?


Anonymous said...

The erasers are meant to be Pelikan BR 40 rubber erasers - the best lead eraser, in my opinion.

Care for a stamp exchange? :-)

kiwi-d said...

Well thats interesting to know. Might I ask if you are surmising the identity of the eraser, or has Swiss Post stated thats what it is?

Guess I'll have to get one of these Pelikan BR40 erasers and do a review!

I'm not a stamp collector so I can't really participate in a stamp exchange.

kiwi-d said...

I guess these erasers are also the first erasers to appear on a postage stamp?

Roi said...

Well, unfortunately the Swiss Post website provides no information regarding the identity of the eraser. However, the color and design are widely known, so unless the Swiss Post used a fake, it must be BR40.

If you wish, I can send you an eraser in exchange for a stamp :-)

kiwi-d said...

Well I feel compeled to post something about this eraser, so email me direct at the the address in my blog header.

Wilson said...

I haven't seen a Pelikan BR40 in a very long time. However, Lyra has an eraser in their current production that is a dead ringer for the BR40 (Lyra model number 3443/40).

Hard to say which one Swiss Post had in mind when they did that stamp since Pelikan and Lyra are both German and not Swiss like Caran d'Ache. If either had been Swiss then the choice would have been obvious.

CCKen said...

When I was in the US Air Force as an aircraft mechanic we were issued a mechanical pencil that had red lead on one end and black lead on the other. We used to call them "Crew Chief Pencils". Is anyone familiar with these pencils. I'm wondering where I can buy one, and I am curious who made them.


kiwi-d said...

Hi CCKen
Well not being a USAF guy I can't really say, except I would suspect Autopoint / Skilcraft. I guess this is the pencil you mean, or at least something similar?
The Autopoint Twin Point.