chatelaine, pencil


A mechanical pencil/holder made of sterling silver. The holder has two holes in the top into which two narrow tubes or lead holders are inserted. The tubes have a red and blue glass(est.) stone mounted on the end. The holder is engraved in calligraphy letters "Harry Hayward" and has U-shaped hanging ring with integrated hole with smaller hanging ring. The pencil lead holder with the blue glass is stamped "STERLING".

In a world before copying machines and computers, every letter, memo, and report had to be typed many times. If you made one mistake, you typed it again. Secretaries drafted, corrected, and retyped in an almost endless loop. Offices had typing pools (dozens of women) making enough perfect copies for everyone. There was no backspace key!

Pens and pencils were symbols of secretarial work and given as gifts to “office girls.”

Location: Currently on loan

See more items in: Work and Industry: Mechanisms


Exhibition Location:

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: ME.200122.1415Catalog Number: 200122.1415Accession Number: 200122

Object Name: chatelaine, pencil

Physical Description: sterling silver, glass (overall material)Measurements: overall: 3 3/8 in x 1/2 in; x 8.5725 cm x 1.27 cm


Record Id: nmah_1425974

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