Branford House Antiques
A Historic 1850s Farmhouse on a Scenic Vermont Dairy Farm

Eagle Pencil Sharpener, circa 1880 The 1st Sucessful Pencil Sharpener

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I have been doing this for almost 35 years now and this is the first such pencil sharpener I have had. I believe it to be the first successful pencil sharpener. While there were earlier patents, and some dating to the 1850s, most of those never were successfully and continually manufactured until years after this guy. It was made by the Eagle Pencil Company, the largest manufacturer of pencils during the 19th century and manufactured from 1880 to 1883.

Eagle didn't know whether or not one would purchase such a device just to sharpen their pencil. Everyone was using any available pocket knife at that time. So when Eagle first advertised it they added comments like "it is also ideal for cutting ones' cigar".

It operates by manually sliding the blade out when using it, locking the blade in place, and then sliding the blade back into the housing for storage and safe carrying in ones vest pocket or purse. It is approximately 4 inches long when closed and about 5.5 inches long with the blade fully exposed and locked in place. It does have a ring on one end for fastening to ones watch bob or key chain.

In 1883 Eagle discontinue this model and modified it a bit making it gravity fed and a bit smaller. The gravity fed model does show up much more often then the earlier slide model like this one. We have estimated the condition rating at 2,2.


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