Other Resources

Links to other collectors, writing equipment experts, online resources, and a variety of other reference material . Use the Table of Contents below to move quickly between sections.

Reference Links

  • Excellent resource site; pens, pencils, & writing equipment for sale
  • David Nishimura’s Blog
  • Jonathan Veley – amazing wealth of info on American pencils and makers
  • Jonathan Veley – source for leads
  • George Kavalenko’s blog containing extensive pen information
  • Jim Marshall’s website.
  • A fascinating exploration of the history of the steel pen in America by Andrew Midkiff
  • The Ken Bull Collection of Pencils book provides a detailed history of the mechanical pencil. It also serves as a catalog, showing the collection at its finest. Ken’s collection was auctioned off in 2019 and a few items from his collection found their way into this collection.
  • Jim Mamoulides’ extensive fountain pen website
  • links to 100’s of other pen, pencil, and writing equipment sites
  • Joe Nemecek – You can also view pictures of Joe’s collection here
  • UK blog on wide range of writing & writing equipment related topics
  • Makers of my favourite fountain pen
  • Informative website and links for bottle collectors by Ed Hayes
  • Inkwells and Ink Bottles page containing extensive information on American bottles
  • When I first began collecting early writing equipment, one of the key resources I relied on was John Loring’s amazing collection, which we all could access via his website. Thankfully the contents of the website have been preserved and can be downloaded here. Once you download and open the zip file, just click on the “pencollection.htm” file to get it started and from there you can wander through John’s incredible collections.
  • Mordan Maker's Marks
    Chronological list of maker’s marks used by Sampson Mordan & Co. Reproduced from page

Table of Contents

Documents

A chronological list of hallmarks (maker’s marks) used by S. Mordan & Co., as provided on page 203 of The KB Collection of Pencils (the link to a viewable version of the complete book can be found in first section above). Note that there is at least one Mordan mark missing from this list  that we know of – “S. MORDAN & CO. PATENTEES”. Based upon the design and construction of existing examples, it seems likely that these date roughly around 1839-1842.

A list of lead sizes used by S. Mordan & Co. pencils, as provided on page 203 of The KB Collection of Pencils (the link to a viewable version of the complete book can be found in first section above).

Pens, Inks, & Inkstands by Francis Mordan - 1858

Published in 1858 & available via Google Books. Book also contained the 1858 F. Mordan catalog which I’ve reproduced separately here.

Francis Mordan Catalog - 1858

Published in 1858 as part of “Pens, Inks, & Inkstands”. 

The Engineers and Mechanics Encyclopaedia - 1836

Descriptions of the status of development of “Pens” and “Pencils” in the UK as of 1836.

The History of the Black-Lead Pencil - 1838

Descriptions of the status of development of “Pens” and “Pencils” in the UK as of 1836.An extract from The Saturday Magazine – 1838

Perry & Co's. 1884 Illustrated Catalog

This is a brief extract from the full catalog, showing a few pages containing some of the interesting writing related items available from Perry at the time. The full catalog is available on Google Books, and can be accessed using the link below. The catalog offers a very interesting glimpse into the 1884 world of stationery.

Use the link below to access the full catalog.

William Riddle letter published in "The Builder" - 1861

This letter was written by William Riddle and published in the August 3, 1861 edition of “The Builder”. It is interesting in that it provides additional detail/context of the Sampson Mordan/Gabriel Riddle relationship as well as some insight into William Brockedon’s efforts to use compression of waste material from the Cumberland graphite mines to create new “leads”.

Patents

UK Patents for Inventions Abridgments of Specifications Related to Writing Instruments and Materials - A.D. 1635-1866

Published 1869 & available thanks to Google Books

Sampson Mordan & John Isaac Hawkins 1822 Pencil Patent

Extracted from the “Repertory of Patent Inventions:, 1826 – Google Books

Josiah Longmore Patent

(May 4, 1843) – Patent #9719

Longmore's Patent Drawings for the Elongated Pencil

as printed in The Mechanics’ Magazine – December, 1846

Jacob Lownds Patent (1836)

as printed in the Journal of the Franklin Institute – 1837

Advertisements

The Gordon ("Khartoum") Pencil - 1899

1899 USA News Item
1899 Ad

John Sheldon Ads

1835 Ad
1847 Ad
1842 Ad

S. Mordan & Co. Ads


G. Riddle Ads

Other Reference Material

My Wish List

Rare is the collector whose collection is ever “complete”!  I’m always keeping an eye out for items of interest and the following is a list of some of the items that I am keenly on the lookout for … Let me know if you have items that you wish to part with or are aware of someone that might…

Pencils

  • Mordan
    1824 & earlier Mordan Riddle pencils, as well as1832,33,34,36.
  • Commemoratives
    Pencils commemorating Victoria and Alberts Wedding, Wellington, or events such as Exhibitions, deaths of major figures, etc.
  • War Related
    I have several war related pencils (Khartoum, South African, First World War, and I’m interested in mechanical pencils made from battlefield relics (bullets) and trench art in the form of inkells, etc.
  • World War Two Escape Pencil
    An original World War Two escape pencil with silk map would be amazing. However, I have yet to come across one in the wild.
  • Figural Pencils
    19th century figural or novely pencils are of interest
  • Stanhope Pencils
    Most of the stanhopes that I have are late 19th century souvenirs and pertain to views of towns/villages in the U.K. I’d like to find a 19th century “peeper” or stanhopes with subject matter other than buildings or religious sayings.
  • Hard Rubber Pencils & Dip Pens (Non-Black)
    The Goodyear and A.G. Days hard rubber compounds were used by many different American makers. The majority of those that have survived are black hard rubber, although I do have a couple in “red” and I’ve seen am image of one in blue.
  • Multi-Function Pencils
    Early Makers such as Sheldon and Dawson made clever combination items in the mid-1800’s. Acquiring a Sheldon Escritoir would be a highlight.
  • Early American Makers
    e.g. Hague, Addison, Lownds
  • Early British
    Pemberton, Wilmore, etc,

Inkwells & Miscellaneous

  • Mordan (Sampson) Inkwells
    of any sort
  • Mordan (Francis) Inkwells, Ink bottles, or writing implements
  • Travel Inkwells
    Figural or unique in some fashion
  • Snail Inkwells
    or Encrier Escargot; double or triple; or rare design / patterns
  • Pen Nib Boxes
    Interesting boxes that still contain at least some of the original contents