Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


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Thanks to Michael Little of Phoenix, AZ, for supplying this catalog.

Used with permission of Autopoint, Inc.


The Autopoint company was founded around 1920 in Chicago. The founders pioneered using molded plastic to make mechanical pencils. In the mid1920s, the Bakelite Corporation took over ownership of Autopoint. Over the next 50 years Autopoint had several different corporate owners, but it continued to operate as a stand-alone company with its own officers, employees, manufacturing plant, sales force, etc.

By 1966 Autopoint had developed an extensive product line of pencils, ball-point pens, desk top accessories, and specialty advertising products like cigarette lighters and pocket knives. They got much of their business as a job shop manufacturing personalized pencils, pens, and the like advertising businesses. One interesting illustration of that sort of use is a pencil listing business-card type information about Sol Sulman, the president of Autopoint. (p. 46) The inside cover of this catalog shows the logos of numerous companies Autopoint had done business with. The catalog contains tables showing pricing information for various quantities of pencils ordered. Substantial discounts were offered for thousands of pencils ordered at once.

Since this is a loose-leaf catalog, pages could be easily added to it. One interesting addition is a page advertising pencils using ultra thin (“UTL”), 0.5mm, lead. These new pencils were obviously introduced in response to competition from Japanese companies selling the newly introduced 0.5mm lead. Elsewhere in the catalog, lead sizes are shown in fractions of an inch. “Standard” (0.45 inch) lead was the industry standard for mechanical pencils when Autopoint was founded. “Real Thin” (0.36mm) lead had been introduced in 1938. Also, Autopoint sold some marker type pencils with .076 inch (“Thick”) lead .

The catalog has been modified by pasting in pricing information on the previously printed pages. Many of the pages were changed that way.