Heads nor Tales


I’m not quite sure what to make of this one. On the surface Castell Tales appears to be some sort of company newsletter, produced by the American branch of A.W. Faber-Castell, dated 1964, and it is the third volume of the twelfth edition. On page 2 it states that the publication is offered as “…an ambassador of good will to its many friends in the stationery and drawing supply fields.”


But instead of finding advertisements, product announcements, and company news inside there are just a handful of short essays and a few jokes, along with some writing that could  be charitably described as “sign-of-the-times.”

For example the first selection, “Fable for Pencil Buyers”, tells of a king’s search for a “Number One Queen”.  He is informed of the “unbelievable pulchritude and the love-making potentials of each candidate” (is this a Penthouse letter?). But it gets even better, and by ‘better’ I mean worse: We are told that those candidates were only 14 years old! But don’t worry, when the king learned that they had lied about their age they were no longer eligible; not because they were too young, but because “lying” isn’t “the patent of modern woman” (they seemed to have overlooked the fact that 14 isn’t even the age of a “modern woman”).

You can read more in the last paragraph in this photo:


I’ll share one more colorful passage, from an essay that enumerates all the ways in which “man is in constant rebellion against authority.” The last paragraph, as odd as it is, ironically sounds like something you might hear from certain members of today’s congress:

“If you have big ambitions in politics, wave, shout, call names, defame character. Don’t be a coward. Take a sock at the man who lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Offend good taste. Contributions will pour into your campaign office. You may not get to the very top, but you’re a cinch to be elected Senator or Congressman.”

I don’t even know how or where to begin asking what any of this has to do with pencils or the company. Joe Kesslinger is listed as the editor, and reading this makes me wonder for how long he may have held that position. Of course, now I am extremely curious about the content of other editions.

There was at least one advertisement though, for StenoStik ball pens on the back.

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6 Responses to Heads nor Tales

  1. Adair says:

    How incredibly strange, Sean.


    • Sean says:

      Even if we could lump together all of the sexist writing and marginalize it as mid-1960s claptrap, it’s still difficult to understand how it (and the other topics) would have found their way into a publication of this type.


  2. Very odd. I wonder if he could be the Joe Kesslinger on this page. Take a look at the upper left, “Thoughts of an Ad Man who owns a Restaurant.” Sunday at this restaurant was Ladies Day, with a free bottle of cologne to every “adult female.”


  3. Adair says:

    It sure sounds like him. Weird!

    Both A.W. Faber-Castell and this restaurant were in New Jersey.


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