Mildly Interesting: The Antique Pencil Sharpener

Chicago Automatic Pencil Sharpener

Before I tell the mildly interesting (boring?) story of how I found the antique Automatic Pencil Sharpener, I should explain something first. When we met the agent to have a look at the house we live in, we couldn’t help noticing that it was like a time machine back to the 50’s.  From the remaining pieces of furniture and antique appliances to the old paneling, tiles, and decor, the place was somewhat like a museum.

The little old lady who had previously lived here didn’t seem to change things very often. Even after moving in six years ago (it had been empty for some time), we still find old bits ‘n’ bobs left behind. I ran across owner’s manuals for some of the antique appliances that were in good condition (appliances AND the manuals), a very old bottle of dish washing detergent, old canning tools, an old painting by Grif Teller tossed in the insulation of the attic, etc.

Today I found an antique pencil sharpener in our house in a rarely used hallway in the basement where utilities are tucked away. I was looking for a place to run a microphone cable in my home studio. There was an old hat that I thought might be hanging on a hook. It was actually an old pencil sharpener. The sharpener was completely jammed with shavings. Knowing how the previous owner never seemed to update anything past the 50’s, I have no idea how long these shavings may have been in there. I decided to take a few photos of the sharpener before disposing of the shavings. It took awhile to scrape and pry them out.  After looking online for additional information, this particular sharpener seems to have been in production between 1915-1936. If anyone has any additional information, feel free to contact me. On to the photos.

  • APS_01

    Chicago Automatic Pencil Sharpener

  • APS_02

    Logo close-up

  • APS_03

    Case

  • APS_05

    Blades

  • APS_04

    Vintage shavings

  • APS_06

    Time to dump the shavings

  • APS_07

    Shavings in the trash

  • APS_08

    Empty case

  • APS_10
  • APS_09

    Still works quite well

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