Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Fairchild figural pencil: Winchester 1890


This figural magic pencil I hadn't seen before. It's a Fairchild in the shape of a rimfire round, gold filled with a silver "bullet".


Between its proportions and the prominent "WINCHESTER" visible once the pencil is extended, it is clear that the round represented is a .22 Winchester Rim Fire (WRF). This pencil was likely made as a promotional item at the time the round was introduced in 1890. Its dimensions are about half again as large as an actual round, however, with the "bullet" around 0.3 inches in diameter.


Opposite the "WINCHESTER" imprint is the Fairchild mark, along with a patent date of September 23, 1879. Several Fairchild patents were issued on that date, all design patents for different novelty pencils, but none for a pencil like this. Perhaps premarked components originally made for different figural pencils were utilized for this special-order design. Another possibility is that the date refers to  a Winchester patent for a method of manufacturing hollow-point bullets, US219840, though this seems less likely.

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