The Magnificent Seven - Part 4
Tropen Mechanical Pencilby Pencil Paul
Despite the ravages and destruction of war, the German pen industry of the early 1950's still boasted many many pen makers both large and small, and among them was a company called 'Tropen'. They produced an huge selection of items from fountain pens and stylographs, to the humble mechanical pencil. The post 1930s offerings all seem to share a common Art Deco design theme, which is what attracted me initially to this company. I have a couple of the 1.2mm lead pencils, they are loaded by unscrewing the barrel halves and filling the bottom half with short leads, advancing the lead is achieved by rotating the nose. Finish is a plain colour usually gloss black with gold plated/washed trim, the nose being brass. Top of the line fountain pens had GF trim, plus excellent solid gold nibs. The grey pencil shown is inscribed 'Made in Germany' suggesting that it is of pre-war manufacture. As with most things German and mechanical they have an innate sense of quality about them and work simply and flawlessly, that aspect along with the sharp deco looks offer a very affordable and usable collectable. A large number of vintage Tropen items are still available on certain websites today. The Tropen company along with many other German manufacturers disappeared in the mid 1950s victims of changing times and taste, and the rise of that ultra modern invention the ballpoint pen.
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