Patent 1373062 or, Lothar Faber Was a Genius
March 31, 2012 5 Comments
A pencil, barely alive. We can rebuild him…
Blackwing stubs are often cared for with the same reverence as cryogenically-frozen heads, because deep-down they share the same dream: that one day, some future scientist will find a cure for them and they’ll be brought back to life. Pencil extenders such as those by Staedtler, Derwent, Cretacolor, etc. are beautiful and well-made, but the pencil has to be removed in order to be sharpened, or at least pulled forward a bit, and having to do so again and again—especially with a soft pencil—becomes too disruptive. The best solution I have found is an old one:
We have the technology…
This Faber eraser/extender/cap dates back to the 1920s. It’s patent number, 1373062, refers to several iterations of the extended ferrule and clip eraser design. It adds just enough weight and length to the stub, and the pencil is easily positioned inside. It’s kind of like a prosthetic barrel, or dare I say, a bionic pencil:
To make him better than he was before…
The Blackwing 602 fits snugly inside but the sliding clip adds a little extra pressure. What’s nice is that even though you have to remove the Blackwing’s ferrule, the extender has one very similar to it. The cutout arrow is reminiscent of the ferrules found on early Van Dyke pencils, and the color of the
petrified Chiclet eraser is a bright red like those found on the older pencils. The gilt finish is all but rubbed off, revealing its natural brass color and “E. Faber U.S.A.” is stamped on the side.
Better. Faster. Stronger. [cue music]
This is by far the most effective lengthener I’ve seen for pencils, and it’s some 90 years old. While I am a fan of those made by Graf von Faber Castell, they for the most part do not accommodate hexagonal pencils.
If not Lothar, shouldn’t some Faber get his own United States postage stamp?