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L. & C. Hardtmuth “Koh-I-Noor” 1511 Drafting/Drawing Leadholder

According to the Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph, Inc. catalog of 1976, the 1511 was introduced in 1895.  The earliest versions looked very similar to the A.W. Faber Artist’s Pencil which appeared in 1861. The 1976 Koh-I-Noor catalog further states that the 1511 was the “first drafting lead holder.”  Clearly, the form of such pencils long preceded the appearance of the 1511, but it is possible that the Koh-I-Noor 1511 was the first such pencil to be marketed specifically to draftsmen.  I think this scenario is unlikely, however, and continue to credit A. W. Faber with the creation of the first drafting leadholder.  The details of pencil history are poorly documented so claims such as the one in question here from manufacturer’s literature are often erroneous or misleading.

Another specious claim from a manufacturer regarding the historical significance of one of its products was that of Caran d’Ache and a claim found on their website that the Fixpencil of 1929 was the “world’s first mechanical pencil.”  This ridiculous claim was probably the fault of a copy editor’s truncating of this statement: “world’s first all metal mechanical clutch pencil,” which appeared in documentation sent to me by Caran d’Ache.  This claim, however, was also incorrect.  In fact, metal clutch pencils had been available since the late 19th century.  In follow-up correspondence with the company, the claim was revised to “world’s first all-metal hexagonal barreled mechanical clutch pencil,” which does seem to be the case.

Imprinting individual leadholders with a specific lead degree, just as a disposable wood-cased pencil would be, was standard practice among early leadholder makers. Although, generally, a very inefficient practice, there was some sense to it, as in the case of the “4B” leadholder below which has a thicker 2.5 mm diameter lead than the “6H” further below which accepts only the standard 2 mm diameter lead.

Koh-I-Noor 1511

L & C Hardtmuth “Koh-I-Noor” 1511

(for US market)

L & C Hardtmuth, Budweiss, Czechoslovakia

lead diameter
mechanism
composition
variations
production date
origin
2 mm; 2.5 mm for soft leads
twist lock clutch
wood barrel, metal clutch, and ivory endcap (missing)
17 degree imprints:  6B–B, HB, F, H–9H
circa 1910 to (1920)
Czechoslovakia
   
see also L&C Hardtmuth Everpointed Artists’ Pencils
Frost & Adams Co. catalog, 1905, page 178
Wadsworth Howland & Co. catalog, 1909, page 116
Eugene Dietzgen & Co. catalog, 1928, page 257
New York Blue Print Paper Co. catalog, 1921, page 256
Keuffel & Esser & Co. catalog, 1936, page 297
Eugene Dietzgen & Co. catalog, 1939, page 83

imprint reads:  L. & C. HARDTMUTH „KOH-I-NOOR”
Koh-I-Noor 1511
reverse imprint:  ALLERFEINSTER BLEISTIFT * № 1511 * 4B

L & C Hardtmuth “Koh-I-Noor” 1511

(for European market)

L & C Hardtmuth, Austria

lead diameter
mechanism
composition
variations
production date
origin
2 mm; 2.5 mm for soft leads
twist lock clutch
wood barrel, metal clutch, and ivory endcap (missing)
17 degree imprints: 6B–B, HB, F, H–9H
circa 1910 to (1930s)
Austria
   
Koh-I-Noor 1511
Koh-I-Noor 1511
Imprint reads: Czechoslovakia - L. & C. Hardtmuth “Koh-I-Noor” * 1511* 2H

Koh-I-Noor 1511

L & C Hardtmuth, Czechoslovakia

lead diameter
mechanism
composition
variations
production date
origin
2 mm; 2.5 mm for soft leads
twist lock clutch
wood barrel, metal clutch, and celluloid endcap
17 degree imprints:  6B–B, HB, F, H–9H
circa 1930s
Czechoslovakia
   
see also Charles Bruning Co. catalog, 1936, page 216
Koh-I-Noor Pencil Co. catalog, 1937, page 4
B.K. Elliot catalog, 1938, page 259
Koh-I-Noor 1511

Koh-I-Noor 1511

(U.S.A., normal twist-lock clutch, stainless steel nose)

L & C Hardtmuth, Bloomsbury, New Jersey, USA

lead diameter
mechanism
composition
variations
production date
origin
2 mm; 2.5 mm for soft leads
twist lock clutch
wood barrel, metal clutch, stainless-steel nose and grip, and plastic endcap
17 degree imprints:  6B–B, HB, F, H–9H
circa 1940s–1950s
USA
   
see also Keuffel & Esser Co. catalog, 1943, page 188
Gordon Draftsmen's Supply Co. catalog, 1948, page 51
Dietzgen Drafting Equipment and Supplies Catalog 22D, 1950, page 106
Charles Bruning General Catalog, 1952, page 225
Weil & Co. Catalog, 1953, page 213
Charles Bruning General Catalog, 1957, page 204
Alfred Mossner Co. Catalog, 1959, page 57
Koh-I-Noor 1511
imprint reads: Made in USA - L. & C. Hardtmuth * Koh-I-Noor * 1511

Koh-I-Noor 1511
(reverse) Imprint reads: Model No. 2 - 2B to 9H.

L & C Hardtmuth “Koh-I-Noor” 1511 Model No. 2

(U.S.A., reverse twist-lock clutch, metal cap)

L&C Hardtmuth, Bloomsbury, New Jersey, USA

lead diameter
mechanism
composition
variations
production date
origin
2 mm
reverse twist lock clutch
wood barrel, metal clutch, aluminum nose and grip, and metal cap
unknown
(1960s)
USA
   
see also Defiance Sales Corp. catalog, 1955, p 248

This newer style, USA-made model has a reverse threaded clamp similar to the Eagle Turquoise 3375. In a reverse twist lock clutch, when rotating the clamp sleeve to grip the lead, the sleeve moves forward (in the direction of the lead point). Refer to the patent 2,262,649, which is an Eagle Pencil Co. patent, for more detail about this type of clutch.

   Drafting Leadholder
Thumbnail Index
direct linkhttp://leadholder.com/lh-draft-kohinoor-1511.html#usa-reverse-gold_imprint  top
Koh-I-Noor 1511, U.S.A., reverse twistlock clutch, gold imprint

L & C Hardtmuth “Koh-I-Noor” 1511

(U.S.A., reverse twist-lock clutch, gold imprint)

L&C Hardtmuth, Bloomsbury, New Jersey, USA

lead diameter
mechanism
composition
variations
production date
origin
2 mm; 2.5 mm for soft leads
reverse twist lock clutch
wood barrel, metal clutch, nickel-plated brass nose and grip, and plastic cap
17 degree imprints:  6B–B, HB, F, H–9H
1960s
USA
   
Koh-I-Noor 1511, U.S.A., reverse twistlock clutch, gold imprint
   Drafting Leadholder Gallery Index direct linkhttp://leadholder.com/lh-draft-kohinoor-1511.html#usa-silver_imprint  top

L&C Hardtmuth “Koh-I-Noor” 1511

(U.S.A., reverse twist-lock clutch, silver imprint)

L & C Hardtmuth, Bloomsbury, New Jersey, USA

lead diameter
mechanism
composition
variations
production date
origin
2 mm; 2.5 mm for soft leads
reverse twist lock clutch
wood barrel, metal clutch, nickel-plated brass nose and grip, and plastic cap
17 degree imprints: 6B–B, HB, F, H–9H
1960s
USA
   

Packaging for 1/2 dozen of the 1950s vintage 1511s. One side of the box has “Artist Pencils” printed on it, the other “L. & C. Hardtmuth Inc., Bloomsbury, N.J. U.S.A.”
Koh-I-Noor Pocket Pencil, obverse
obverse imprint reads:  “Koh-I-Noor” * Made by L. & C. Hardtmuth, Austria

Koh-I-Noor Pocket Pencil, reverse
reverse imprint reads:  HB * British Graphite * Compressed Lead.

Koh-I-Noor Propelling Pocket Pencil

(5 in. model)

L&C Hardtmuth, Austria

purpose
lead diameter
mechanism
composition
variations
production date
origin
general use
2 mm
twist nose advance
wooden barrel, metal mechanism
barrel length:  3 1/2 in., 5 in.
circa 1900
Austria
   
see also Frost & Adams Co. catalog, 1905, page 175
Wadsworth, Howland & Co. catalog, 1909, page 116

Despite the implication of the availability of various degrees suggested by the HB imprint, the Pocket Pencil was available in only the one degree.