I own a few rare mechanical pencils thanks to my many years as customer service convict and warehouse worker in two office supply companies, which gave me a firsthand appreciation of the movie “Office Space.” The top photo shows four uni-ball mechanical pencils, called the uni-point, made to match the uni-ball roller pen that Faber-Castell released in the early 1980s. The pencils were made sometime in the 1990s. One here has its cap removed, revealing the eraser. F-C led to Eberhard Faber, then to Sanford, which now markets Uni-Balls. I don’t know the history of one company to another, only that Uni-Balls were first made by F-C, later by E-F, and finally by Sanford.This shows the ends of two pencils and their lead diameter indicators and, at right, the end of the pen cap, indicating the ink color and the point. A micro point, shown, has a mostly rectangular color indicator, and the fine point has a round color indicator. The micro has more slots at the top of the cap than does the fine.This is a uni-point in a card pack, and beside it are eraser and lead refills.
These are Pentel Quicker Clicker barrel-advance pencils. If I remember correctly, Pentel introduced these pencils in the early 1980s, first in solid colors and then in transparent colors. The stock number for 0.5 mm is PD345, which came in four solid colors and four transparent colors; PD345A is the black barrel, PD345B is red, PD345C blue, and PD345D green, and PD345T followed by the color letter is the transparent pencil. The stock number for 0.7 mm is PD347C, which comes in blue only; and for 0.9 mm is PD349B, which comes in red and at one time also came in brown and cream. The top pencil is the newer style, which came along in the late 1990s or early 2000s, with a wide barrel near the tip and a soft grip for people who grip too tightly, although a relaxed grip is much more effective in preventing pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. The remaining pencils are the older style, with straight barrels, and are unavailable new. Of those, the two with medium blue barrels and the pencil with the transparent blue barrel are 0.5 mm. The sky blue pencil is 0.7 mm and is a very rare color. I bought the sky blue pencil in 1983 at an office store and never saw it stocked at the office supply businesses where I worked. It originally had a sky blue tip, but I gave the tip to a fellow orchestra member whose pencil was missing its tip, and I replaced it with a dark blue tip from work. Now I wish I had the original tip. That pencil has resided in my violin case for 26 years, going to orchestra rehearsals, causing orchestra people to ask in alarm if I was marking my music with a pen. You would think they had never seen mechanical pencils. The dark blue pencils, one transparent and one solid blue, are 0.7 mm., and the red pencil is 0.9 mm. That sky blue pencil is an example of how I hang on to things. I received a PaperMate pen and pencil set from my grandfather for Christmas 1969 and used it throughout junior high school. I still have the pen and pencil, having kept track of them at an age when most kids lose pens five minutes after borrowing them, and they both work. I no longer take them out of the house. This is a PD347C in a card pack. At top is a pack of PDE-1 erasers for the Quicker Clicker, and beneath it are four tubes of colored leads.
Next is the Pilot H-115, made to match the Better Ballpoint Pen, shown in sales booklets from the 1990s. I’m not sure of the year of the pencils. The Zebra matching BP F-301 pen and M-301 mechanical pencils are shown. The pencils have the thin metal sleeve projecting from the tip and the lead diameter marked on the barrel. I think they are from the 1990s. I didn’t record years when I began saving pencils and pens. These are two PaperMate retractable pens, one with a marble-like barrel and one with a chrome barrel, and a mechanical pencil that matches the chrome pen. They are from the late 1990s or so.