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Pencil in Original Case
1948-1967
Original Owner:Originally owned by Beatrice Fox , American, 1887 - 1968
Pencil (.a): 14 karat gold, plastic(?). Case (.b): Leather or embossed fabric, satin, cardboard and metal hinge
Primary Dimensions (length of pencil): 5 3/4in. (14.6cm) Other (width x depth x length): 1 1/2 x 7/8 x 7 1/4in. (3.8 x 2.2 x 18.4cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Richard Koopman
Description: 14 karat gold retractable, mechanical pencil (.a) in original case (.b). Pencil has a removable cap with an eraser beneath and four colors of lead (red, black, blue and green) indicated by small pieces of plastic in various colors. Pencil is marked "U.S. Patent 1,889,550." The hard-sided case is covered in green leather or in a fabric embossed to look like leather. The lid is lined with peach velvet with "The NORMA Pencil" printed in black ink. The case is lined with black velvet and trimmed with gold braid and is custom-fitted to hold the gold pencil.
History Note: Norma was in business in 1939, and perhaps earlier. At that time it was known as Norma Multicolor, Inc., New York, NY. In the 1950's, the address was: Norma Pencil Corporation, Norma Building, 137 West 14th Street, New York 11, N.Y. They went out of business in 1967. They made 4-color and 3-color pencils. There was also a combination model with three different leads and a ball point pen. Several Norma advertisements were found in the National Geographic magazine from 1949-1951 and Fortune magazine Oct. 1951. The name Norma also appeared on several German 4-color pencils called Fend Super Norma. The Fend Company was founded in Pforzheim, Germany in 1889. Fend was the largest maker of gold and silver overlay works in the 1920's and 1930's. All Montblanc overlays during that period were done by Fend. Fend also produced a few fountain pens and rolled gold overlay pencils. This information came from the book Fountain Pens of the World by Andreas Lambrou, page 214. Maker Note: Pencil is marked: "U.S. Patent 1,889,550"; this patent was issued to Albert Hirth of Heiden, Rosenberg, Switzerland on November 29, 1932 for a multiple lead carrier pencil having a return coil spring for each carrier.
Inscription: Monogrammed "BFA" in black letters vertically down the pencil. Printed in black lettering on the interior of the lid of the case is, "The NORMA Pencil".
Object Number: 1986.214.7a,b
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