Wallace Pencil Company Motif Pencil Box


This oblong green, blue, and gold metal pencil box holds no pencils. The top is marked: WALLACE (/) Motif A FINE (/) 5¢ PENCIL (/) WALLACE PENCIL CO. (/) Saint Louis, U.S.A. It is also marked: W (/) THE SEAL (/) OF QUALITY. It is also marked: LARSEN. One end of the box is marked: WALLACE Motif. The other end is marked: GRADE — 2 2/4. The bottom of the box is marked: WALLACE Motif (/) IN THE FOLLOWING FIVE DEGREES 1–2–2 2/4–3–4 (/) The Wallace Motif is the finest 5¢ pencil for general use that can be bought. Like all pencils (/) in the famous Wallace line, it is made exclusively in the big modern factory that has become famous (/) for quality manufacture.

The Wallace Pencil Company began manufacturing wooden pencils in St. Louis in 1915. By 1979 it sold 120 million pencils per year. Before the 1950s, the firm packaged some of these pencils, such as its Motif line, in metal tins. Dixon Ticonderoga acquired the firm in the 1980s.

William J. Ellenberger (1908–2008) donated this object, which he presumably acquired secondhand from P. M. Larsen. See also 1981.0933.14. Ellenberger studied electrical and mechanical engineering at The George Washington University between 1925 and 1934. He then worked for the Potomac Electric Power Company and the National Bureau of Standards. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. He was a civilian construction management engineer for the army from 1954 to 1968, when he became a private consultant.

References: K. J. H. Cochran, "Wallace Native to Missouri: The Romance of a Yellow No. 2 Pencil," Bulletin Journal, Cape Girardeau, Mo., June 12, 1979; "The GW Engineering Hall of Fame 2006 Inductees," http://www.weas.gwu.edu/ifaf/hall_of_fame_inductees_2006.php.

Date Made: 1915-1950

Maker: Wallace Pencil Co.

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Missouri, St. Louis

Subject: Mathematicswriting implements


See more items in: Medicine and Science: Mathematics, Pens and Pencils, Science & Mathematics


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of William J. Ellenberger

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1981.0933.28Accession Number: 1981.0933Catalog Number: 1981.0933.28

Object Name: pencil box

Physical Description: aluminum (overall material)Measurements: overall: 19.7 cm x 5.2 cm x 1.7 cm; 7 3/4 in x 2 1/16 in x 21/32 in

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a7-5e2a-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_904300

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