Thursday, October 18, 2012

A wooden Waterman for President Taft

Waterman willingly accepted special orders, and a few examples are shown in the company's catalogs. Some of the most intriguing designs, however, are those described in the trade press, including the one shown here.
The pictures come from The American Stationer of August 28, 1909. The article explains:
The L. E. Waterman Company have recently had occasion to manufacture a notably historical pen. They were presented by John B. Hardy, Industrial Expert of New York, with a small block of wood saved from the last of thirteen trees planted by Alexander Hamilton on his estate in New York City. It will be remembered that each tree represented one of the original thirteen States.

From the block the Waterman Company manufactured a beautifully turned wood pen lined with rubber. The cap and barrel were very handsomely mounted with gold, the pattern of which was designed by Carolyn Mihr Hardy, and engraved as follows: On the three gold bands on the barrel -- "Protection - Progress - Patriotism," and on the two name plates on each side of the cap: "Presented to the Hon. Wm. H. Taft" and, on the reverse side: "Made from the last of thirteen trees planted by Alexander Hamilton on his estate."

The box in which the pen was presented, and which is above illustrated, was also made from the remaining portion of the block of the Hamilton tree. The exterior of the box was in the rough finish of the wood, very handsomely finished on the inside and finely lined with velvet and satin, the hinges and catch being made from gold.

The pen was presented to President Taft by Congressmen Pujo, Estopinal and Broussard of Louisiana and Frank Clark of Florida, all ardent Southern Protectionists and admirers of Mr. Taft.
Where is this pen now? 


Brandon said...

Is it possible for the Waterman HQ to have it in archives?

David said...

A few companies, such as Cartier and Dunhill, have sought in recent years to assemble collections of their own past products. Waterman has not done so, at least not in a systematic or sustained manner.
If the Taft pen survives, it likely ended up with one of his descendants.

Brandon said...

Thanks David,

Very sad to hear that such companies aren't keeping pens from the past like Pelikan. Very sad..