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Coca-Cola floating bottle mechanical pencil question

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Pencils89 of 99Amethyst Gold Mechanical Pencil PendantScrew top mechanical pencil/advertising pencil holder
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Posted 6 years ago


(81 items)

I have had this Coca-Cola floating bottle mechanical pencil for many years. It was made ca. 1948-55 by the Camel Pen Co. of Union, NJ and has a metal shaft. What I don't know is if it is a recognized CC collectible or something made by the manufacturer as a 'spec' item in hopes of getting an order from Coke management and thus be considered a fantasy item. I have watched ebay auctions for a dozen years and seen many newer versions of CC floater pencils with plastic barrels made by other manufacturers offered, but have never seen another one exactly like this one come up for bid. I know at least one other one exists, since the person I obtained it from had a second example. There is nothing on the lower metal barrel of the pencil other than the impressed name of the manufacturer.

I have (and have seen offered on ebay) several examples of identical pencils with a Pepsi bottle floating inside. Those have the Pepsi 'button' logo impressed on the barrel and have sold for upwards of $150.00. Those pencils were marked as made by Secretary Pen Co. ~ actually the same company as Camel, just a name change the company made later.

This manufacturer was the company that first patented the concept of this kind of advertising pencil (even before the Danish company Ekesen that makes the ones you see today) and was also a lower-rank manufacturer of fountain pens. They produced literally hundreds (if not thousands ~ no one knows for sure) of different pencils advertising everything from cruise ships to autos to the Howdy Doody Show with the products floating inside.

I'm hoping some of the knowledgable soda collectors here will venture their opinion as to whether this would be considered to be a fantasy piece or a 'legitimate' Coca-Cola advertising item.

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  1. earlycoke earlycoke, 6 years ago
    I have about 250 different ones, and this one is one I haven't seen. I have some with a floating bottle, but not this variation. With the crudely formed bottle, it looks like a it was probably created as a salesman sample ---- a pencil that the manufacturing company would create and take around to the different bottlers and see if there was any interest.
  2. Pencil-necked-geek Pencil-necked-geek, 6 years ago
    I was leaning toward that thought too, earlycoke, but it still leaves unanswered my original question ~ to wit: is it most properly referred to as a "fantasy piece" by serious collectors? I am hoping that someone with an identical pencil engraved with the name of a Coke bottler or whatever will turn up. And if they do, would it remove the stigma such a term represents? I'm trying to understand the difference.
  3. earlycoke earlycoke, 6 years ago
    A fantasy piece is something produced to fool the public. Something that never existed originally. Like a Betty pocket mirror. A pencil like this is probably a sample, not a fantasy item, since it most likely was produced in a low quantity to sell to bottlers. It differs in the respect that it was actually produced to market coke product, not simply to rip off the uneducated coke collector.
  4. Pencil-necked-geek Pencil-necked-geek, 6 years ago
    Thanks, earlycoke. That's the explaination I was looking for.
  5. shar, 6 years ago
    I have the same type of pencil as this but it has a box of aspirin the bayer logo is not on the box but below it and in the liquid the pills fall into and out of the box. marked secretary pen co. I've never found any info on it can anyone help out. you have the first one I've seen that is similar.
  6. Pencil-necked-geek Pencil-necked-geek, 6 years ago
    That is a nice example of a floater pencil, shar. I have one in my collection. I can tell you that it dates from the late 40s to the mid 50s, but precise dating is impossible except for the occasional pencil that includes a date ~ which few include. If you do a web search for "secretary pen they live in oil" you will find (eventually) a web site with other examples of these unique advertising pencils.
  7. shar, 6 years ago
    Thank you so much for your advice and help.

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