Western Fluorescent Light Co., est. 1950

Museum Artifacts: Chelsea Hotel “Fire Escape” Lighted Sign and Lighted “Exit” Sign, c. 1950s

Made By: Western Fluorescent Light Co., 3242-4 W. Roosevelt Rd., Chicago, IL

Research is underway on this one and a full write-up will be coming soon.

The Gem Pencil Sharpener by APSCO, 1920s

Automatic Pencil Sharpener Co., 58 E. Washington St., Chicago, IL

“The Gem” was another model of 1920s hand-crank wonders from Chicago’s Automatic Pencil Sharpener Company, aka APSCO. It’s bit lighter and smaller than the “Chicago” brand or the “Giant” (both of which we also have in the museum), but the essential function and design is pretty darn identical.

We do have a full history of the Automatic Pencil Sharpener Co.

Vail MFG Co., est. 1926

Museum Artifact: Victor Stapler, c. 1940s

Made By: Vail Manufacturing Co., 900 E. 96th St., Chicago, IL

Research is underway on this one and a full write-up will be coming soon.

Chicago Hand Crank Pencil Sharpener (Green) by APSCO, c. 1920s

Automatic Pencil Sharpener Co., 58 E. Washington St., Chicago, IL

This was the pencil sharpener of your youth . . . if your school was like mine and failed to pay for the widely available electric alternative.

The classic “Chicago” hand-crank sharpener is actually one of five Automatic Pencil Sharpener Co. (aka, APSCO) pieces in our museum collection, all dating from the 1920s or earlier.