Eberhard Faber…Humidor‽

These two advertisements from 1915 are a reminder that the Eberhard Faber Co. once had a dizzying panoply of accessories for their products. Of all the odd pencil-related things I have come across though, this “Humidor Assortment” is in a class by itself:

Some gems from the copy:

  • “A stationery set that a man can call his own.”
  • “What better gift could be imagined for the smoker?”
  • “It is in every way substantial…”
  • “This, by the way, is the real thing.”

The second item is a little more practical—just one of the many combinations of clips and caps that were available:

Pencils notwithstanding, it amazes me how much care and concern also went into the design of their product displays (concern enough that the company patented them, too). I imagine that this one would have been positioned on a front counter somewhere, mixed-in with the other impulse items. And don’t forget—this is from 1915.

I’m not so sure about that humidor, but you could’ve put me down for a couple protoclips.

NB: It’s called an interrobang.

When it comes to displays, in for a penny, in for a pound:

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7 Responses to Eberhard Faber…Humidor‽

  1. Adair says:

    I want them both, the humidor and the Protoclip…I wonder if any have survived. I’ve never come across any. Sean, I am always amazed by the variety of Eberhard Faber products, and by the rich material culture of early and middle 20th Century life in America as a whole. Those counters at stationery stores and even drug stores must have been full of astonishing items. Say, whatever happened to your plan for that time machine?


    • Sean says:

      Adair, I scrapped the idea when I realized that if I were to travel back in time, I’d have no way to keep up with the Kardashians 🙂

      (My only regret in making that joke is that there might be the slightest possibility that someone searching their name might somehow end up here.)


  2. Elaine says:

    Oh a humidor would solve the problems of erasers drying out, wouldn’t it! Perhaps our friends at Levenger will take this idea (I’m sure they read your blog) and make something like this. A useful design idea would be to have a hinged little door on the side where you could insert a square of moistened sponge (which you would have to moisten every few days in dry weather) into a little plastic cage, kind of like the things you put in stringed instrument cases.

    If only I had woodworking skills!


  3. Matthias says:

    Thanks for this amazing post. Where do you always find these gems..

    So you buy the humidor with stationery, but then throw the stationery out to use the humidor for cigars etc?
    “What better gift could be imagined for the smoker” makes it sound as if these humidors were not intended for stationery but they just try to sell more by filling the humidors with something not intended to be in there. But nevertheless: that humidor would look so good on my desk.
    The inflation calculator says $2 then is $45 now, but of course you wouldn’t get such a nice one for this price these days. If even looks as if the humidor has finger joints.


  4. jacques says:

    No offense to militant, short-armed, one-armed disputants, but the Protoclip Pocket Pencil display is a comedy of truculence. I expect they’ll calm down some after Tuesday.


  5. Pingback: Capable. | Contrapuntalism

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