Granate 1892–1895

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 auf Seite 116 des Kata­logs Nr. 57 von Mont­go­mery Ward & Co. (1895) zutage:

Granate 1892–1895

Die Ähn­lich­keit des „Peer­less“ zur „Gra­nate“ ist natür­lich nicht zu über­se­hen. – Dem „Hand­buch für Papier und Büro­be­darf“ von 1949 zufolge kam die „Gra­nate“ 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, gibt es 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.

10 Kommentare zu „Granate 1892–1895“

  1. 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: . 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: . 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. 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 from 1893 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 can’t resist to show the patent dra­wing here:

    Patent US492669 von J.R. Foster (1893, Ausschnitt)

    There is so much to discover!

  3. > There is so much to discover

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

    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. 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:

    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:

  5. 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.

  6. These are exci­ting dis­co­veries, Jens! I am sure that not all is spe­cu­la­tion, and it looks like the impro­ved „Gre­nade“ is the one shown in US492669. By the way, here the blade is not screwed directly onto the sharpener’s body but hold bet­ween two metal pla­tes, and as far as I under­stand 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).

  7. 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?

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