chatelaine, pencil

chatelaine, pencil

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Description (Brief)
The mechanical pencil is constructed of a non ferrous gilt faceted outer tube with a smaller tapered inner tube that slides in and out. A small ridged band moves the inner tube. The end of the pencil has a decorative end cap inset with a pale purple faceted stone or glass.
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
chatelaine, pencil
Physical Description
gilt non-ferrous metal, glass or stone (overall material)
overall: 3 1/4 in x 1/4 in; x 8.255 cm x.635 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession 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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