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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.


  1. Make my day!

    Barrel Of A Pencil

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.