Friday, November 07, 2008

Life-Long Junior Cubic Model 3122

Here’s a mint condition old pencil I picked up the other day. I guess it’s NIB NOS in eBay-speak, or something like that.It’s 12ct rolled gold 95mm long mini pencil with tassel attached. “Rolled Gold Life-Long” is engraved into the top piece, and the instruction sheet clearly identifies it as Junior Cubic Model 3122. Overall, it’s quite an attractive little thing, for a golden-oldie.
The barrel actually has a short telescoping section that you can extend out for a bit of extra length when writing.
Twist top screw mechanism with 1.18mm leads as one would expect. As usual, refilling the lead takes a tiny little bit of effort and mechanical aptitude. Engraved rather badly into the body is the word “CANBERRA”. At first I thought this suggested it was probably a souvenir from the capital city of Australia, but I would have expected it to say Canberra Australia or something rather than just Canberra. When I took the photo of the engraving and enlarged it I realised that the bad engraving was actually because it was engraving over the top of some existing engraving. Beneath the letters NBER you can see the original letters THAY. Suddenly a light bulb turned on. The SS Canberra was one of the well known P&O Line cruise ships that sailed the Australasian route in the 1960’s to 80’s. Another P&O vessel was the lesser known SS Cathay, which was sold by a P & O subsidiary in 1978. So, I vote that originally this was a souvenir pencil for sale in the gift shop on the SS Cathay, and when the Cathay was sold, the pencil was re-engraved Canberra over the top. At least the first two letters match and by blacking in Canberra they hoped the THAY underneath wouldn’t be too obvious.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Make my day!

Barrel Of A Pencil

Lp said...

Quirky.
They call it junior, then they give it a tassel? I like your detective work re the origin!

stephen said...

This is becoming a nice vintage mechanical pencil series. Keep going!

The refill instructions are right up there with Yard-O-Led!

You are reminding me to try and get my (new) old Ecridor going.

Germ said...

Maybe they could have buffed it b4 re-engraving? Might have made it look more presentable? Either way, cool story and excellent guesstimation/supposition!!! Alot of the history of these damn pencils just isn't available, and one need to use the hints and clues that are available.