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Du-Well

(Early model with knurled retainer nut)

(Du-Well company), Coloma, Michigan, USA

lead size
mechanism
composition
variations
production date
origin
2 mm (or smaller)
desktop turret with abrasive cylindrical insert
cast iron base with die-cast turret
none
circa 1950
USA
 
see also US Patent 2,540,320 "Pencil Pointer," 1949
Defiance Sales Corp. catalog, 1955, p 261
Alfred Mossner Co. Catalog, 1959, p 59

This is the classic American lead pointer. The original patent application for the Tru-Point mechanism was filed by Edward L. Cayo in 1949 and granted in 1950.  Mr. Cayo also invented the mechanism used in the variable taper Tru-Point before he died around 1956.  The rights to the Tru-Point were acquired by Virgil Dorstewitz around this time.  Mr. Dorstewitz was himself a gifted engineer and invented the sophisticated mechinism of the Trupoint Automatic leadholder.

All Tru-Points were manufactured by the Tru-Point company in Coloma, Michigan, which, I’m told, is now run by Mr. Dorstewitz’s son. According to the Trupoint website, the founder, closed upon the death of the proprieter in December of 2007, who’s name I will have to lookup.  (Update 2010:  Apparently the son of the founder is running the business although I can't seem to oder from the Trupoint website.)  Through the years they have produced variously colored and packaged versions for any company that desired it.  Consequently there are dozens, maybe hundreds, of distinct examples, some of which are:

Bruning Tru-Point
Keuffel & Esser Tru-Point
Dietzgen Tru-Point
Frederick Post Tru-Point


There have been six primary types of Tru-Points made:

1
2
3
4
5
6
  fixed taper with metal cup
variable taper with metal cup
fixed taper with quick-change cup (Model D)
variable taper with quick-change cup (Model D)
fixed taper with plastic body
variable taper with plastic body
  1949 to early 1960s
1956 to early 1960s
early 1960s to late 1970s
early 1960s to late 1970s
late 1970s to present
late 1970s to present

Prior to the introduction of the “Quick-Change” plastic cups of the Model D, the process of changing the abrasive was a messy job. The old graphite smeared abrasive sleeve had to be peeled off the inner metal cup and a new one adhered to it.

Originally, Tru-Points were constructed of a heavy cast iron base with a die-cast metal spinning turret.  Currently produced models have a plastic body with a heavy steel disk in the base which provides the necessary weight to keep it still while being used.  Tru-Points do not clamp to drawing boards, they rely on their wide base and substantial weight to stay put while in use.

The old metal Tru-Point lead pointers produced from the 1950s through the 1970s (not the newer plastic ones) are responsible for disfiguring countless leadholders.  The leadholder guide was integrated with the die-cast metal turret and would wear the leadholder’s barrel or grip where it contacted the guide.  It is quite common to see the grip of older Koh-I-Noor 5611 lead holders with evidence of this (though I’ve replaced my old ones with good ones).


Tru-Point Model D Variable Taper

Tru-Point, Coloma, Michigan, USA

lead size
mechanism
composition
variations
production date
origin
2 mm (or smaller)
desktop turret with abrasive cylindrical insert and variable taper adjustment
cast iron base with die-cast turret
none
circa 1956 to 1970s
USA
 
see also US Patent 3,042,003 "Pencil Pointer," 1956
Alvin Company catalog, 1971, p 82
Keuffel & Esser Tru-Point Variable Taper Model D
Post Tru-Point Variable Taper Model D

Tru-Point Model D-3760

Tru-Point, Coloma, Michigan, USA

lead size
mechanism
composition
variations
production date
origin
2 mm (or smaller)
desktop turret with abrasive disposable cup
plastic with steel weight in base
none
late 1970s to 2007
USA
 
see also Keuffel & Esser Tru-Point Lead Pointer
Teledyne Post Tru-Point Lead Pointer
This is the version still being produced today.

Tru-Point “Quick-Change” Replacement Cups

Tru-Point, Coloma, Michigan, USA

composition
production date
origin
plastic cup with abrasive coating
(1960s) to 2007
USA
see also Alvin Company catalog, 1971, p 82
Eugene Dietzgen Corp. catalog, 1981, p 19

Tru-Point Conversion Kit

Tru-Point, Coloma, Michigan, USA

production date
origin
1960s to 2007
USA
 
see also Alvin Company catalog, 1971, p 82
This kit is used to update the older style metal cup to the Quick-Change cups. The kit is still available today even though no old style Tru-Points have been manufactured for something like forty years!