Sonntag Herstellung eines Bleistiftspitzers 

Granate 1892–1933

Bemerkenswerte Details zur Geschichte des als „Granate” bekannten Handspitzers finden sich im Early Office Museum, wo er ihn in der Rubrik „Small Pencil Sharpeners” als „American Cartridge Pencil Sharpener” von Eberhard Faber aufgeführt wird. Es heißt dort, eine Anzei­ge von 1892 habe damit geworben, dass dieser Messingspitzer zuerst in Europa hergestellt worden wäre. Eberhard Faber habe ihn jedoch verbessert und ihn dann patentieren und in den USA fertigen lassen. Weitere Anzeigen für diesen Spitzer sollen 1905, 1911 und 1933 erschienen sein. Eine Abbildung zeigt den Spitzer mit der Prägung „E. Faber Pat. Appl'd.”1

Im selben Jahr, so das Early Office Museum, soll eine Besprechung des „Standard Pencil Sharpener”, hergestellt von der Connecticut Mfg. Co., Hartford, mit einer ähnlichen Dar­stellung veröffentlicht worden sein. Das Unternehmen habe angegeben, dass dieser Spit­zer, obwohl weitgehend identisch zu dem seit kurzer Zeit erhältlichen, besser gefertigt und in allen Belangen zufriedenstellender sei. Ein gleichartiges Modell soll 1894 als „Peerless Long Bevel Lead Pencil Sharpener” beworben worden sein.

Eine kurze Suche bei Google Books förderte diesen Eintrag aus dem Katalog von Mont­gomery Ward & Co. (1895) zutage:

Granate 1892–1933

Für mich sieht der „Peerless” wie eine Langkonus-Variante der Granate aus. – Dem „Hand­buch für Papier und Bürobedarf” von 1949 zufolge kam dieser Spitzer vor etwa 60 Jahren, also um 1889 in den Handel; die Angaben im Early Office Museum könnten dazu passen.

Nachtrag vom 9.5.17: Mehr zum „Peerless”, der vermutlich ein im Inland gefertigtes Kon­kurrenzprodukt zur importierten „Granate” war, unter „Granate 1893″.

  1. Ein direkter Link ist leider nicht möglich. – Ich habe das Early Office Museum nach weiteren Details zur Anzeige von 1892 gefragt, aber leider keine Antwort erhalten.

Stichwörter: Eberhard Faber, Granate, Spitzer

10 Kommentare zu „Granate 1892–1933”

  1. Wowter

    Nice to see new data on this interesting story. In the US many, many pencil sharpeners were patented in the past. For the time interval 1880:1910 Espacenet lists at least 270 US publications on the simplest of them. You can search them through this link: http://worldwide.espacenet.com.....mit=Search . Click on ‚Original document’ and it loads the first page with the drawings (US-publications from that era started with drawings), click on ‚Next’ to see the next publication and continue. There was one patent that drew my attention, US492669 by J.R. Foster published on 28 February 1893: worldwide.espacenet.com.....cale=en_EP . It shows a grenade-like sharpener. From a later date, there are a few from W.M. Moseley that show some resemblance with the grenades: US578577 and US574558. But be aware there were many inventions at that time. It is almost like doing archaeological research as many models and mechanisms are completely unknown to me. It feels like digging in the soil and finding long lost treasures.

  2. Lexikaliker

    Thank you for these details, Wowter! 270 patents between 1880 and 1910 are quite a few – I am suprised at that number. I will look closer at least at a few of them soon.

    US492669 by J.R. Foster is indeed very interesting because of the cylindrical shape, the four knurlings and the tapered end which are the typical design elements of the Grenade – I cannot resist to show the patent drawing here:

    US492669

    There is so much to discover!

  3. Jens

    > There is so much to discover

    Just for fun, check out the last line of this historic document

    https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12047-200685-11?cc=1325221

    It takes a while to load, and you need to zoom in a lot. Have a look at what Mr. Foster listed as his occupation. It took me a while to decipher the second part of the scribble, but then it is obvious :-) I hope he didn’t list it due to lack of a better alternative, but because he managed to make a genuine living from it.

  4. Wowter

    Thank you Jens. What a great find!

  5. Lexikaliker

    This is indeed a great find, Jens – thank you!

  6. Jens

    A bit more digging, but this is crossing the line into speculation. Actually, it is all speculation:

    On the patent J.R Foster is listed as living in Stoneham. A few years later, according to the census, he is living in Somerville, about 15 km south of Stoneham.

    However, lets stick with Stoneham for a moment. There is this historic building in Stoneham:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_K._Foster_House

    In the Wikipedia article W.K. Foster’s occupation is listed as

    > Walter K. Foster was an inventor and owner of a pencil
    > sharpener factory.

    Huch :-)

    Both Fosters lived at the same time, probably in the same town. Both deal with pencil sharpeners. But I couldn’t find a family relation or any other relation. :-(

    To throw another speculation around:

    1905, a J.R. Foster, this time from New York, applied for another patent: https://www.google.de/patents/US816086

  7. Wowter

    Again Jens: You did excellent investigation research! Thrilling to see the connection in the last document between Jonas R. Foster and Eberhard Faber (EF). It becomes most likely he was responsible for the improved grenade by EF. In US492669 there was no such connection evident yet.

  8. Lexikaliker

    These are exciting discoveries, Jens! I am sure that not all is speculation, and like Wowter I now think that the improved „Grenade” is the one documented in US492669. By the way, here the blade is not screwed directly onto the sharpener's body but hold between two metal pieces, and I wonder if this was the improvement. If we only had the patent document for the German „Gre­nade” …

    Regarding the patents of Walter Kittredge Foster, Stoneham, Massachusetts: He not only had a patent on a sharpener (US20262, 1858) but was later granted one for the way to produce these (US235626, 1880).

  9. Wowter

    Speculation again …: W.F. Foster filed in May 1858. J.R. Foster was born in May 1844 (so he was then 14 years), in 1900 (55 years). Could it be they are father and son? Or uncle and nephew?

  10. Lexikaliker

    Of course both could be possible!

    Some details about Walter Kittredge Foster and the Foster Manufacturing Co. in Stoneham, Mas­sachusetts, can be found at „Zur Geschichte der Bleistiftspitzer zwischen 1851 und 1860″ but unfortunately there are only very few sources listed (and there is nothing about an improved „Gre­nade” or a cooperation with Eberhard Faber).

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