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The Autopoint Company was founded in Chicago around 1920 and grew dramatically in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. It pioneered use of Bakelite and other plastics to create mechanical pencils. It specialized in production of advertising pencils. By the 1960s, Autopoint had a sales force spread across the country, a large array of products, a factory in Chicago, and a corporate apparatus. It produced tens of thousands of pens a year.
Although Autopoint had had a number of corporate owners, it had operated as a free-standing company until the 1960s. In the late 1960s, new corporate owners dismantled the corporate organization, sold off the factory, laid off the staff, greatly reduced the product line, and tried to integrate Autopoint production into the Papermate pencil company. Papermate redesigned many of the Autopoint pencils so that different products had interchangeable parts. That greatly simplified manufacture of the various prncils.
Around 1980, Papermate decided to sell off the Autopoint brand and the manaufacturing equipment. Businessmen in Janesville, WI, bought Autopoint and established Autopoint Janesville as a small business with a few employees and a small scale manufacturing and sales operation. Autopoint Janesville operated on a much more modest scale than the Autopoint of the 1950s and 60s.