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A short mechanical pencil made of gilt non-ferrous metal tube which is tapered at one end and has a round ball with integrated hanging ring at the opposite end. The tube is sheathed in ivory with gold colored pins along the length.
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.”
Object Name
mechanical pencil
Physical Description
ivory, metal (overall material)
overall: 1 7/8 in x 1/4 in; x 4.7625 cm x.635 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mechanisms
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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