Combination Retractable Pen and Pencil
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- This 3-3/4" ornate square silver handle has two slides. One extends a round holder in which a pencil lead appears to be inserted. (Similar instruments sometimes had pricking points for use in creating and duplicating engineering drawings.) The other slide extends a pen point.
- The top of the handle unscrews so that the user can adjust a ring collar marked with the first letters of the days of the week (in French): L, M, M, J, V, S, D. The ring sits atop 7 columns of 4–5 numbers (1, 8, 15, 22, 29; 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; 3, 10, 17, 24, 31; and so on). By adjusting the ring, one can use these numbers as the calendar for any month. The dates of objects purchased with this writing instrument and the increasing availability of metal nibs suggest it was made in the late 18th century.
- References: Howard Dawes, Instruments of the Imagination: A History of Drawing Instruments in Britain, 1600–1850 (n.p.: The Dawes Trust Ltd., 2009), 5.
- Sotheby & Company, Catalogue of a Collection of Scientific Instruments, the Property of the Late Henry Russel Wray, London, 1959 (a copy of the catalogue is in the accession file).
- Currently not on view
- late 18th century
- ID Number
- accession number
- catalog number
- Object Name
- Physical Description
- silver (overall material)
- overall: 1 cm x 1 cm x 9.5 cm; 13/32 in x 13/32 in x 3 3/4 in
- place made
- See more items in
- Medicine and Science: Mathematics
- Pens and Pencils
- Science & Mathematics
- National Museum of American History
- Drawing Instruments
- Record ID
- Metadata Usage (text)
- GUID (Link to Original Record)
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