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Monday, August 15, 2011

The REAL 1892 Pencil Box of E.R. Rushmore

It was a weekend like any other. The rush to get my wife to work. The scribbled list of "honey-do's," half of which I attempt and succeed, the other half moved to next Saturday's list. Eventually, my daughter and I exit the house with PB & J, water, fruit, and enough napkins and wipes to erase any spills. This can be anywhere between 10:30am and 1:30pm. We never actually know what the day will hold for us because of this random approach.  It is possible that if we actually had an itinerary, a map, and a strategy, we might have found gold by now...but it wouldn't have been any fun.

The only strategy we employ is to look for what might be the best estate sale of the day (if there is an estate sale that day) and aim for that. What ever other sales cross our path along the way is what constitutes the bulk of our weekly treasure hunt.  I have determined from years of experience in this bizarre form of alchemy that the Periodic Table of Elements is missing an essential element - Treasure - whose symbol is Tr. It is formed by this compound of other unlisted essential elements in this way:  Ka + Ki + Lu = Tr.  That is: Karma + Kismet + Luck = Treasure. 

This particular Saturday was one without a ad "pointer" sale. Instead we combined some errands with a few regular haunts to see if any signs were posted. We had little luck and saw only a few sales, most of which were very small yard sales with items that were not old enough or rare enough to be interesting.  It was the final sale of the day that we almost didn't find that saved the day.  The last place you expect to find a descent sale is in a condo complex. Nothing against the prefab "nesters" of the world, but condos rarely contain good digs. Danbury CT, however has a few that are upscale enough to have separate homes among the "hives."  The sale this day, though almost impossible to find turned out to have a few gems.  Ladies and Gentlemen. I give you the pencil box of E.R. Rushmore:
O.K. This is actually the reverse. I have already displayed the pine box with the sliding top at the beginning of this post. Nothing I can find for the "Lovetts" brand and the American News Company has only a limited history courtesy of Wikipedia here. Mainly magazine and comic book distributors from the 1860's I have to believe they were in the stationery supply business that was typical to see sold at news stands. How do I know this belonged to ER Rushmore in 1892? He "told" me.
Nice of him to do that, but who was he? What school? What grade?  That's a pretty steady hand for a pen dipped in an ink well. This is a standard pencil box (or so I believe) that contained a pen, pencil, inkwell, blotter, sharpener and ruler. The inkwell is gone but the other items are there. 
Looking at the way the eraser is attached to the top of the pencil...that's got to be one old writing implement! So, I may not have gotten to all the "chores" on the honey-do list, but at least I think I found some "Tr."

Coming next time: Still wondering who ER Rushmore is, but now I need to know who these guys are!!

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