The writing-instrument company we know today as Wahl-Eversharp began as the Wahl Adding Machine Company in 1905. Wahl got into the mechanical-pencil business in the fall of 1915 when it agreed to manufacture a pencil called the Eversharp for inventor Charles R. Keeran, who had already made a name for himself and his creation earlier in the year via sales at the Pan Pacific Exposition in San Francisco.
In fact, Keeran got Wahl started in the fountain-pen business, too. In 1917, he helped the company purchase the Boston Fountain Pen Company, whose products were soon marketed as the Tempoint. Unfortunately for Keeran, his inventiveness and efforts on behalf of Wahl were repaid that same year when the company sent him packing. By the early 1920s, thanks in no small part to the foundation Keeran had laid, Wahl was able to transition from a manufacturer of office machines and parts to become a producer of profitable office supplies.
Although Tempoint pens were popular at the time, and remain collectible today, their sales paled in comparison to Eversharp pencils. In the early ’20s, Wahl-Eversharp began making its mark on the pen market when it produced a line of metal-barrel pens on a large scale. For a short period of time, Wahl-Eversharp was the pen industry’s innovation leader, but the company was late to the party. Simultaneously, the popularity of the Eversharp pencil died down. Soon, companies such as Parker had passed Wahl-Eversharp in market share.
In 1928, Wahl-Eversharp fought back with the release of Art Deco celluloid pens and pencils in five colors: coral, black-and-pearl, lapis lazuli blue, rosewood, and jade green. Although Wahl-Eversharp was not the first company to produce celluloid writing instruments, these new pens and pencils were extremely popular. Today, early Wahl-Eversharp celluloid pens, if found in good condition, are highly sought after.
A year later, Wahl-Eversharp added jet (black), and then green-and-bronze two years after that. This color combo is without a doubt considered the most collectible of the early Wahl-Eversharp plastic pens.
Between the end of the 1920s and 1940, sales slumped for Wahl-Eversharp, though it did release two new pen models, the Doric and the Coronet. The Doric was a 12-sided pen that, after 1932, featured a point that adjusted to nine different positions.
In 1940, Wahl-Eversharp was king of the hill again after releasing its most successful pen, the Skyline, the brainchild of famed industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss. The Skyline h...
Wahl-Eversharp’s time at top of the pen world was short-lived. After World War II, the ballpoint pen took the United States by storm. Wahl-Eversharp assumed it would control that market but ended up being scooped by a new company: Reynolds International Pen Co. Wahl-Eversharp tread water for a few years before selling its writing-utensils division, Eversharp, to Parker in 1957.
For the next four years, pens such as a triangular ballpoint were produced with both the Parker and Eversharp brands attached to them. By 1961, however, operations were ceased until 1995, when Emmanuel Caltagirone reformed Wahl-Eversharp. Caltagirone decided to reintroduce the Skyline pen exactly as it had been when first introduced, which subsequently increased the desirability of original Skylines from the early ’40s among collectors.