The Boston was appreciated and respected. People wanted them and most schools used them. The first Boston was made in 1899 and the first successful patents granted in 1901 and 1910. Those first machines were called the Boston Ball Bearing No 1. Much later models were made for over 100 years and are still being made, now in China, but no longer considered of the quality when they were made in the USA.
Boston Pencil sharpeners were probably the most prolific and most recognized desk top sharpeners ever made. Unfortunately, since they were that popular, so many were made that today they generally are not considered very collectible. Collectors want the unusual and more rare specimens rather than the common place and readily available ones. That first one, Boston Ball Bearing No 1, is somewhat rare and not that easily found so it has become a must addition for any serious antique pencil sharpener collection. In about 30 years of dealing and collecting antique pencil sharpeners this is only the second Boston Ball Bearing No 1 that I have acquired. That first one sold immediately after I collected it about 15 years ago.
This particular Boston Ball Bearing No 1 bears patents and dates of 1901 and 1910. The frame is mostly cast early aluminum with a very distinctive pearlized plastic housing and a handle with wooden knob. It is larger and heavier than most later Boston models. This machine was likely made between 1910 and 1913 and at that time sold for about $6.00. It is approximately 5 inches high, 6 inches wide and 3 inches deep. It is in working order and we would estimate its condition rating at 2-,2.
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