Born in Birmingham in the first decade of the 19th century, John Sheldon was a very inventive, and creative, toymaker, pencil maker, and silversmith. His writing related items included his "Unique Pocket Companion" which provided the traveller with pen, pencil, postal balance, toothpick, & coin gauge. Also the Telescopic Pocket Balance graduated for world wide postal rates. In all, John Sheldon registered eleven different designs for writing equipment between 1842 and 1853. Sheldon died in 1863.