Pencil sharpeners

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charliechops
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Pencil sharpeners

Post by charliechops » Tue Aug 09, 2005 9:59 pm

I wonder if they still have those super duper pencil sharpeners in schools. All the kids wanted to use it all the time. And for fear of them getting nicked they'd be bolted to the corner of the teacher's desk.

Remember 'em? A kind of powder blue colour, metal thing with a see through plastic base. You'd push your pencil tip into the little hole and turn the handle a few times and it would come out pin sharp. No common or garden plastic/metal hand sharpener would come close.

You would see the sharpenings fall into the base so there was no mess. No sharpening your pencil into your pencil case and then emptying it at the end of term. And wasn't there some kind of safety device, a kind of slotted round cover over the hole to stop little kids sharpening their fingers?
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Post by dave mc » Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:40 am

Yeah!.. and after you had sharpened everyones pencil, you'd break the sharp lead bit off.. and do it all again.

Hours of fun, only interrupted by the casual slap on the back of the head by the teacher who had sneakily walked back into the class without you knowing.

Being made the class monitor in charge of sharpening pencils was everyones dream job!
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Post by pandammonium » Wed Aug 10, 2005 1:51 pm

In first year juniors', we had An Electric Pencil Sharpener! Everyone used to love using it, but then in second year, we had to go back to sharpening pencils into the ink well. Well, in my day, Mr Biro had invented the erm, biro, which, incidentally, doesn't require a capital letter anymore), so we had no other use for the ink well.
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Post by charliechops » Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:01 pm

It's all coming back to me now. Wasn't there a lever or switch or something that you had to move across which would open the hole up before you inserted your pencil. Then you'd put it in and release the lever and the teeth around the edge of the hole would grip the pencil while you sharpened it.

This would allow you to sharpen pencils of varying thicknesses. What a great invention they were. We weren't allowed to use biros at school Panda. Fountain pens only. Any pupils caught using a biro would be taken aside and thrashed to within an inch of their lives.
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Post by Xetal » Wed Aug 10, 2005 10:19 pm

I remember when my Latin master tried (in 1961, if I remember rightly) to get us to switch from biros back to fountain pens. He took one look at my first fountain-penned homework and told me I had to switch back again to biro forthwith.....I was the only one thus singled out, too.

Must have been because I tried to pen Marion Richarson twiddly bits at my usual biro writing pace - or perhaps because the chisel nib was the only one that survived from last time I'd used a fountain pen at junior school..... :twisted:

We've got a Japanese electric pencil sharpener at home. The wife brought it with her to London as a student 33 years ago and it still works well - occasionally. I did have to replace the step-down transformer it needs a few years ago, though.
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Post by pandammonium » Fri Aug 12, 2005 2:23 pm

Ooh, Xetal's getting all technical now!

We used cartridge pens sometimes, but they always leaked. My writing is "slapdash" and "untidy" whatever I write with. A secondary school English teacher told me I should write my assignments in blue, not my preferred black, because my writing was so bad. And after all the efforts my junior school went to to get me to write in double, my secondary school Spanish teacher told me my writing was so bad, I should print everything. *sigh* Typing's so much better!

To get back to pencil sharpeners, I think, CharlieChops, that you're right about the grippy teethy things, but I don't remember a lever, but that doesn't mean there wasn't one.
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Post by Kool » Fri Aug 12, 2005 4:22 pm

charliechops wrote: Wasn't there a lever or switch or something that you had to move across which would open the hole up before you inserted your pencil. Then you'd put it in and release the lever and the teeth around the edge of the hole would grip the pencil while you sharpened it.

This would allow you to sharpen pencils of varying thicknesses.
I seem to recall a kind of pincer-movement pair of levers at the top that you squeezed together, and the hole opened up more and more the tighter you squeezed them, then you popped the pencil in and let go of the levers, so the teeth fitted exactly around your pencil.
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Post by dave mc » Tue Aug 16, 2005 7:30 am

That's the one I remember...

I think that's what Charliechops meant too, but he doesn't have your descriptive powers, Kool.
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Post by pandammonium » Tue Aug 16, 2005 8:30 am

Dave's turning into Kool's no.1 fan! Watch out, Kool! :lol: :twisted:
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Post by Kool » Tue Aug 16, 2005 8:09 pm

Please ... form an orderly queue! Yellow_Flash_Colorz_PDT_10

(And if you only knew the number of changes I made to that description! The more I tried to keep it clean, the more it sounded like Julian Clary was describing it!)
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Post by dave mc » Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:22 am

pandammonium wrote:Dave's turning into Kool's no.1 fan! Watch out, Kool! :lol: :twisted:
Just being nice :wink:

You'll always be my No.1, Panda
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Post by pandammonium » Wed Aug 17, 2005 10:31 am

\:D/
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Post by dave mc » Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:13 am

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Post by Bluebottle » Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:29 pm

At junior school, the first pens we used were the Berol handwriting pens. A bit like felt tips, but different...
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Post by charliechops » Sat Oct 08, 2005 1:31 pm

Yes, the berol handwriting pen paved the way for me and fellow pupils at school to get away with not using a fountain pen. I remember when we first discovered them.

Our school had a strict fountain pens only rule, but kids and fountain pens don't mix. Not only were they messy to write with and re-load, but you had to have a regular supply of blotting paper to dry the ink on your page or clean up ink spillages.

Ink related disasters included, exercise and text books wrecked due to ink bottle leakage in bag, school shirts getting ruined with ink especially on the sleeves where you'd lean on an ink droplet on table, hyperactive kids sqeezing cartridges until the little ball bearing shoots out of the end spraying ink all over the shop. Some kids had a habit of wiggling their pens or tapping them on the table so when they took the lid off to write a gallon of ink would come out of the lid all over the desk.

The teachers couldn't tell the difference between something written in ink or with a berol pen and in the end, they'd turn a blind eye if they caught you using one. They even started selling them in the school shop even though they were banned. The only problem was with the italic version which was no good to man nor beast. The tip was too big and it looked like you'd done your homework with a magic marker.

The rotring fine tipped roller ball pens were even better, but quite expensive, and were great for drawing and shading with. Fountain pens should be for adults only. Giving them to kids is like getting a chimpanzee to decorate your living room.
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