Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Catalog Data

Frederick Post Co.  Search this
Physical Description:
wood (overall material)
sandpaper (overall material)
overall: 18 cm x 3.5 cm x 1 cm; 7 3/32 in x 1 3/8 in x 13/32 in
Object Name:
pencil pointer
pencil sharpener
Place made:
United States: Illinois, Chicago
Date made:
ca 1940
This pencil sharpener consists of a flat wooden handle glued to a rectangular pad of sandpaper. The end of the handle has a hole for hanging. The back of the handle has a yellow label marked in black: POST'S (/) CHICAGO (/) No. 3000 (/) PENCIL POINTERS. The Frederick W. Post Co. sold this model of pencil pointer with 12 sheets of flint paper for 9¢ in the 1930s. By 1949, the flint paper was replaced with sandpaper.
William J. Ellenberger (1908–2008), who owned this object, studied electrical and mechanical engineering at The George Washington University between 1925 and 1934. He then worked for the Potomac Electric Power Company and the National Bureau of Standards. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. He was a civilian construction management engineer for the army from 1954 to 1968, when he became a private consultant.
References: <i>Posts Catalog of Dependable Drawing Materials</i>, 18th ed. (Chicago, 1936), 295; Frederick W. Post Co., <i>Drafting Materials for Engineering, Architecture, and Art</i>, 19th ed. (Chicago, 1949–1950), 96; "The GW Engineering Hall of Fame 2006 Inductees,"
Currently not on view
Mathematics  Search this
writing implements  Search this
Drawing Instruments  Search this
Credit Line:
Gift of William J. Ellenberger
ID Number:
Accession number:
Catalog number:
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Pens and Pencils
Science & Mathematics
Data Source:
National Museum of American History