The Blackwing 602’s most notable feature might just be its flat ferrule, which is topped with an extendable eraser. This was known by Eberhard Faber as a “clamp” eraser. It was heralded as quite the technological advance at the time of its release, and had over a 70 year history at the company.
The clamp eraser was first released in 1921 on the Van Dyke family of pencils.
This pencil-topping eraser design was preceded by Faber’s “Clasp Eraser” which was a handheld eraser which used a similar clamp design. This was essentially shrunk and simplified before being mounted on top of a pencil. The Clasp Eraser No. 1085 was first advertised in 1891, about 20 years ahead of it being found on a pencil!
Pencils With A Flat Eraser
If you are looking for vintage pencils with a Blackwing-style eraser than there aren’t many too choose from. They include:
- Van Dyke 601
- Blackwing 602
- Microtomic 603
This style eraser was also used on the Mongol #38 mechanical pencil, which was sold by Eberhard Faber in the 1920s. Refill packs were sold for the pencil in the Mongol Clamp Eraser 2238, which included 3 erasers and a single black metal clamp.
Some colored pencils used the flat ferrule as well, the Colorbrite series in particular. With these the clamp eraser was called the “Adjustable Eraser Tip” which is much more descriptive but less distinct than the other names used for this ferrule type.
Today, thanks fo the rarity of the above pencils, people sometime harvest the ferrule (the metal part that holds the eraser) from a used Blackwing, Van Dyke, or Microtomic, and mount it on another pencil. This is known as a “Hackwing” and it gets you the extendable eraser on nearly any wooden pencil.
The challenge then becomes finding more erasers and metal clips (the part that holds the eraser in the ferrule), but those can be harvested from modern Palomino Blackwing pencils!