Sunday, April 29, 2012

Eversharp Dollar Mechanical Pencil Review

Eversharp Dollar Mechanical Pencil Review

Many years ago I did a silly thing. I visited the “Website That Must Not Be Mentioned”… I didn’t have adult supervision… I was quickly ensnared. When I finally escaped I had gained a very nice mechanical pencil, but I soon regretted "the arm and a leg” it had cost me. Years have now passed, my arm has regenerated, and so now I can write a little review of the pencil in question.
It's all in the eye of the beholder

It’s a very nice pencil. It was sold to me as an “Eversharp Model 4112TC Jade Green mechanical pencil, from the 1932 catalogue”. In Jonathan Valeys recently published “The Catalogue of American Mechanical Pencils” it appears on page 64 in sub-section 12 "Eversharp 'Dollar Pencils' 1927-1935" and according to the text it would have been produced in the early 1930’s and was described in the Eversharp catalogues as a “popular priced” line, hence the Dollar Pencils terminology.

Dollar Pencil, well let’s just say I paid a lot more than a dollar. In fact I paid a lot more than the $10-20 price guide stated in the “The Catalogue of American Mechanical Pencils”.

Despite being a “popular priced” dollar pencil, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it’s still something of a beauty, especially considering it’s age.

The jade green marbled plastic body is still in bright glossy condition, and the gold fittings are in great condition. If you look hard you can see some marks from use, but there’s no brassing on the gold fittings and they are pretty close to original condition.

The colour of the green marble body is nice, but the lustre and depth of colour do not match that of pencils like the Conway Stewart Nippy No 3, although that’s perhaps not a fair comparison given the difference in time and price between the two.

The pocket clip is very sturdy and strong. Proudly embossed with the Eversharp name, and “Made in USA”. The gold plating still seems as good as new to me.

The full length, normal diameter body and tapering tip section mean this is a good writing pencil for everyday use. Typical of its time, this is a screw mechanism pencil. You twist the tip section around to advance the 1.18mm lead. The lead is advanced by a simple push rod so it is not grasped and help. That means the lead doesn’t retract unless you reverse twist the mechanism and then manually push the lead back in. Also the lead not being grasped means it will always twist and orientate so you are writing with the chisel edge formed on the tip of the lead. A fairly blunt writing experience by todays standards. Well anyway, that’s how mine operates. It is possible other examples maybe different.

There is an eraser under the top end cap. Although somewhat hardened with age, the eraser in mine is in far too good a condition to be original and must be a replacement from a more recent decade. There appears to be the usual lead storage under the eraser.

I’m not a mega-millionaire so of course price has some part in the equation, but collecting is my hobby, it’s not a commercial activity for me. Like anyone I would rather get a bargain than get ripped off, but I paid what I paid in an open market auction. I received exactly what I bid for. Eighty years on from its date of manufacture, I am very happy to be the owner of this Eversharp mechanical pencil.
If anyone out there actually has an old Eversharp catalogue that shows this pencil I would really appreciate confirmation of the actual model number 4112TC.

Dimensions – Length 143mm, diameter 10mm


Okami said...

Hi - I'm a member of Pen Collectors of America. After reading your post I went to the online library and found the 1932 Eversharp Catalog. That pencil and number appears to be correct: 4112TC Jade Green

Kiwi-d said...

Thanks Julie.
I went and had a look at the PCOA library holdings list - it's quite extensive. I might have to give some thought to joining ;-)

2nd_astronaut said...

Of course the catalogue price is somewhat ... desillusioning, but every serious collector should have an Eversharp in Jade green (so do I, but fortunately I don't know the catalogue price for my different pencil model ;-) )

Is this Arnie on the last Photo?

Kiwi-d said...

Yes, I believe that last photo is indeed The Governator himself.

Jon Veley said...

Outstanding find, Dave! Glad the book was of some assistance -

+1 on the PCA website. They've got a vast online library of catalogs that's a must for any vintage pencil resarcher.

Ovidiu said...

David, just a couple of words : welcome back! :)

Vittorio Villani said...

Hi all.
I am making my own blog about drafting and mechanical pencil and I'll be glad to receive any critique and suggestion.
This is the link:
And this is my first review:
Let me know what you think about it!