There is a lot of collateral discovery that occurs when you research stationery-related items. In a recent post I mentioned a round wooden pencil holder from A.W. Faber called Scholars Favorite. I didn’t think twice about the name—it sounded about right for a pencil case—but it turns out that this name and even the shape are rather common. From approximately the mid-19th century onward, a case such as this was just one of a multitude of “scholar’s companions.”
For the most part you could expect to find something like a slate pencil, a wood-cased pencil, a dip pen, and a ruler inside your companion, such as this one offered by the Viking Pencil Company of Denmark:
But the box on the right—whose form and many variations were used for products made by just about all of the major pencil manufacturers—is also considered a scholar’s companion. This 1884 patent by Mary Spencer is for a companion made from a cloth-like material that can be rolled-up:
That would make this pouch—also from a recent post—a scholar’s companion as well:
It has been interesting to learn that the designs for the companions were often created and patented by teachers themselves; they were perhaps in the best position to know what materials students needed most for class. Many of them would later sell or re-assign their patent(s) to one of the countless stationery manufacturers of the day.