mechanical pencil


A black and gold mechanical pencil made of black colored plastic (est.) with bands of non ferrous gilt metal. The plastic has incised chevron pattern. One end is open and the other end has a round knob on the end of an inner gilt non ferrous tube which telescopes out and has chevron incised lines. "Todd&Co NY Dec5 71" is stamped on the plastic sleeve.

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: 2013.0020.028Catalog Number: 2013.0020.028Accession Number: 2013.0020

Object Name: mechanical pencil

Physical Description: plastic, non ferrous metal, gilt (overall material)Measurements: overall: 3 1/8 in x 1/2 in; 7.9375 cm x 1.27 cm


Record Id: nmah_1436866

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