Sunday, February 10, 2008

1948 Autopoint Catalogue - Part 3

Here’s a few goodies from the catalogue.

Naturally there are plenty of pencils, like this one, No. 48G –“Outstanding in popularity – the De Luxe, over-size “AUTOPOINT” pencil with the “diamond-cut” cap design. The tip, band, and handsome, streamlined clip are in yellow gold finish. For Standard lead; individually boxed. No. 148G – Model for “Real Thin” lead.
Retail list…$1.25
Quantity price $0.70 Includes one line of uniform imprinting.

Normal lead sizes back in those days were
Standard = .046” or 1.18mm
Real Thin = .036” or 0.9mm
Thick = .076” or 2mm

Autopoint always made a lot of noise about their “Grip-Tite-Tip” feature. Basically the lead holding tip is a split tube, slightly undersize compared to the lead so the lead is always held firm under pressure from the sprung-apart tube. But it’s a one-way trip for the lead, you can advance lead out through the tip but it can’t go back in. From the catalogue, “Notice these ‘end views’ of the AUTOPOINT pencil’s writing tip. As the lead is propelled forward, the tip expands, grips the lead all around! The lead is thus gripped at the point of greatest writing pressure – cannot wobble, twist, or fall out. AUTOPOINT pencil’s trouble-free, smooth writing performance assures the utmost customer goodwill!”

Cool. The popular telephone dialer pencil. The rotatable ball top fits the finger holes in telephone dialing rings.Now as well as pencils, there are quite a few other desktop items, like the Autopoint Calendaire – perpetual calendar, precision made thermometer and himidity indicator.The Calendar Letter Opener, including a magnifying blade.


BrianL said...

The company still exists and sells the same pencils. Surprisingly the price has incresed but not at the same rate as most others. The lead holder design is still one of the best of any with no lead movement whatsoever. The only other pencils that are as good are the drafting lead holders. I still use them at the office more than any other.

Claire in Springfield said...

A revelation to me is that Autopoint made these telephone dial-top pencils. The mechanism is different, not the little flat oval for finger-twisting the plunger inside which I remember from schooldays but a wire that hooks around the top and catches in a spiral groove. I have a small hoard. Most say Bell System but a couple say Mark Sense. Five are dark green, three are red, and three black. Also I have six non-dialtop pencils that say Autopoint and some have the wire & spiral drive, others the small flat oval atop the wire which can be twisted manually, which is the one I remember from 1948-1954 (grades 7-12). Three of the Autoponts have thicker barrels. Of the thicker ones, one has a medium green barrel with black finger grip; the other two have a matching black plastic faceted eraser-cover that slips off (one of these has gold-accents including a sawtooth design at the point). Found 'em all on eBay.

Jonathan said...

Just to add, years after this was written: you can retract the lead. You just need to turn the barrel counterclockwise instead of clockwise, and then push the lead against a hard surface.