Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Posts Tagged ‘pencils’

Release – Archival Zip Pouches

September 25th, 2012



We love using these simple zip pouches to corral our accessories, pens and pencils, or small essentials within a larger bag. It creates order and keep things neat.

The small size is great as a pencil pouch or for your lighters and knives when camping.
The medium size is perfect for securing a small device with chargers and cords.
And the largest pouch fits an iPad perfectly, though it’s also great for keeping a notepad out of harm’s way when hiking or hunting.

Made of stout, water-resistant 18 ounce cotton duck, and a burly #5 Ideal zipper.
Inside seam is taped.

Available colors: Bottle Green (deadstock), Burgundy, Navy, Teal, Red

Archival Pencil Sharpeners

May 16th, 2012
Shopping from 1949

In our household, we still use pencils for annotating books and recipes, for list making and doodling. We love having a manual pencil sharpener that accommodates the various sized pencils in our collection – from the plumpish Ticonderoga Laddie to my sleek German graphite pencils. Our favorite is the Boston Champion – a model you might remember from youe elementary school days. While X-Acto (who now owns Boston) sells a model that can be vacuum mounted to a flat surface, we recommend purchasing the classic version, with an 8 hole dial, that can be permanently screwed to a table or inside of a cabinet. Ebay seems to be the best resource for a wide variety of vintage Boston sharpeners. As always, I enjoy the background detail revealed through amateur product photography. In this set, the fern fronds are my favorite.










If you are seeking a non mechanical option, here’s a fine example

Shopping from the movies: Shoot the Moon (Parker 1982)

June 24th, 2011

Some films are better watched on fast forward or reproduced as film stills. Shoot the Moon (Parker 1982) is just such a movie — playing out like an Ingmar Bergman domestic drama populated by Woody Allen characters. While we’re asked to focus on the dissolving marriage of Albert Finney and Diane Keaton, one’s eye cannot help but wander to the the family’s shared taste in classic clothing: wonderful cotton plaids, knits, woolens and jackets sourced (perhaps) from venerable brands like Barbour, Woolrich and Pendleton.

I’ve reproduced a few stills for reference:


Rugby stripes and heritage garb for kids

Knit cardigans

Plaids (and pencil sharpeners)

Barbour Solway Zipper jackets (and a fetching duffle)

Woolrich jac-shirts

Down vests
Pendleton blanket robes

Cotton knit caps

And a few a household accessories:

Rotary phones

Backyard tennis courts
Family station wagons

Shopping from the Movies: Pencil Sharpeners

November 7th, 2010
Outfitting the new office in The Good Fairy (Sturges 1932)


If you’re like us, you’ve given up purchasing new desk accessories. Current offerings at stores such as Staples are uninspired. We prefer to comb thrift store aisles for tape dispensers, pen holders, metal files and the occasional typewriter.

Movies are an excellent source for office supplies. We recommend shopping from films of the nineteen thirties. Desk accessories from this era were well made with an emphasis on scientific precision and good design.

Case and point is the pencil sharpening “instrument” purchased by Dr. Max Sporum in The Good Fairy (Sturgess 1932).

“Ah, there it is! You don’t know how much this means to me.”

“Have you ever wanted something all your life and then suddenly it arrives?”

“This was my great ambition.”

“So smooth. It must have ball bearings.”

“Glorious! Like a needle. Have you ever seen such a point?”
“It takes all sizes.”

“If you paid a little more attention to pencil sharpeners, you might not work in a stationery shop all your life.”

Were his sharpener to give out after a decade, here are some options for Dr. Sporum:

From the Montgomery Ward catalog (1947)

Archivally Analog

December 1st, 2009

As you’d probably guess, we’re devotees of everything analog . Clocks and watches are the most obvious examples, but I’ll confess to a serious obsession with analog stove and oven controls (I see no reason why home ovens can’t have the same interface as a commercial Blodgett). The latest and most impressive analog inspiration comes from flickr user hawkexpress. His PoIC project is an excellent exercise in self-documentation and brand loyalty, two characteristics that we endorse highly. We’re not sure precisely what goes on the cards – it’s apparently a “system to organize [hawkexpress’] life,” but we heartily complement the methods.


(part of my analog desk system)

Archival Office Supplies: Rhodia Notebooks

September 10th, 2009

Ed. Note: Friend Lynn M. and I love French-made Rhodia notebooks (in 1997, Rhodia was acquired by my other favorite stationary company, Clairefontaine). I maintain a large personal archive of used/unused Rhodia notebooks in oddball sizes. My personal favorite is Rhodia 8, a narrow, oblong pad with gridded paper. In this Archival Clothing guest post, Lynn documents her current preference for Rhodia N° 16. To follow along, or pick your own favorite, click this link to view the full Rhodia line (but strike the metallic collection from memory).

A Notebook Fit for the Archive


My daily notebook companion is a Rhodia. My current obsession is a black covered N° 16 lined pad.

Undersized at 6″ x 8 1/4″ it fits perfectly inside any of my daily errand bags.

The top stapled cover easily folds out of my way when I want unfettered notetaking.

I rely on my Rhodia for recording things I need from the store, what I should accomplish today and any observations made in transit.

The perforated tear sheets are handy when I’m the only one with a notebook, perfect when my daughter begs for a sheet of drawing paper.

I’ve been using Rhodia notebooks for more than a decade, the smaller ones for travel and disposable jots, the more substantive wire bound books to manage projects at work. I’ve even lately become a fan of the Rhodia weekly planner.

The design of Rhodia notebooks hasn’t changed since 1932 and they are made with the original quality standards. The notebooks are still manufactured in France, in the Alsace region, an area that I have actually visited. I am charmed by the idea that I have a mental image of countryside where they are produced.

Sure, there are other notebooks worth considering, but none are as distinctive as these orange and black beauties. Rhodia notebooks are one of the constants in my life, as comforting as coffee with an old friend.

Rhodia notebooks can be easily obtained online, but check first with your local stationary shop.

I’m lucky that in Boulder, McGuckins Hardware, Two Hands Paperie and Vickerey always have Rhodia notebooks in stock.


Archival addendum:

Satchel sized Rhodia 8

Archival checklist

Linden wood and lacquered Rhodia pencil

A notebook for every size bag