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Uni Watch Show & Tell: Vintage Salesman Sample Catalogs

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In case you hadn’t noticed, the whole world is stressed out at the moment. So today I thought I’d go off-uni and do a bit of show-and-tell.

As most of you know, I’m a big fan of salesman sample catalogs, so today we’re going to look at some of the latest additions to my collection, beginning with a 1961 catalog for Everglide ballpoint pens. It’s not a true sample catalog, because it features only illustrations, not physical samples, but the illos and the overall design are so good that I couldn’t resist purchasing it, and I think you’ll like it as much as I do.

The cover is shown above. I love the name “Everglide,” I love the colors running down the left side of the cover, and I particularly love the script “E” logo. Perfection! Also dig that “for Quality and Service” script at the bottom, which looks like it should be stamped in metal affixed to the door of an old fridge or the back of an old car.

Let’s open the cover and look at the first spread:

So much to like here, beginning with the bold colors. As you can imagine, I’m particularly fond of the green/gold model. Also note that you can get an accessory that “will attach like magic to any telephone dial,” so you can use the pen to dial a number. Also-also, the pens are available with either “clip action” or “top action.” And speaking of pen lingo, it turns out that the body of the pen is called the “barrel” — nice!

Now check out the gorgeous layout on this next spread:

Mmmm, tasty. So simple, but so good!


Love that headline on the right-hand page — “Streamlined Beauties in All Metal.” Also, look at the next-to-last pen near the bottom of the left-hand page — white and red with gold stripes. Gorgeous!

Very nice composition on this next spread:

Check out the “Mailmaster,” at lower right — it’s “a desk pen, a penholder, letter opener, and a paperweight”! Never seen a pen with a built-in letter-opening blade like that.

Next up is what we might call the “sin page”:

Ah, the classic bikini pen — hold it right side up and the woman is wearing a dress, but “just turn it upside down and watch these lovelies change.” An unfortunate relic of a thankfully bygone era. I’ve seen plenty of those before, but I’ve never seen cigarette pens before — wow.

And don’t overlook the gravity-driven pens on the right-hand page!

Next up we have a handsome array of mechanical pencils:

Have you noticed that just about every spread includes a pretty strong splash of green? Maybe that’s why I like this catalog so much.

Next up are gift packing options and ordering info:

Love that “Color Information” banner on the left-hand page. And don’t overlook that high-larious “Gag-Pak.”

And here’s the back cover:

Is that great? I don’t even care about fancy pens, but I love this catalog! Cost me only $5, too.

The only disappointment is that there’s no mention of where Everglide was headquartered. As it turns out, vintage Everglide pens are all over eBay and other collectors’ sites, and this one indicates that Everglide was owned by the Burnham Products Corp. of Long Island City, N.Y. — that’s in Queens, just a short drive from Uni Watch HQ. The company, alas, is no longer with us.


Our next item is this Brady Self-Sticking Identification Catalog from 1970:

This catalog features all sorts of stickers, placards, signs, rolls of tape, and so on, mostly for safety identification in manufacturing settings. Going through every page would be too much, but here are a few representative spreads to give you an idea:

That last one, with all those sign designs, is a real doozy!

I was particularly intrigued a listing for something called the Brady Aisle Markermatic™, a device that applies Brady All-Vinyl Aisle Markers™ to the floor:

How cool is that? It turns out there’s one of these listed on eBay — and don’t think I’m not tempted!

Much like the Everglide catalog, this one mostly features illustrations, not genuine samples — although it does have a pocket at the end with a few sample items:

If you want to see the entire catalog from start to finish, you can look here or click through this slideshow (hover over the first image to see the directional arrows):

Brady Self-Sticking Identification Catalog

W. H. Brady is now known simply as the Brady Corporation and is still headquartered in Milwaukee.


Up next for our consideration is a 1957 catalog from a now-defunct New York company called National Creative Sales. It features cheesy designs for sales fliers:

The catalog has well over 100 of these. I’ll just show you some of the sports-related ones:

You can see a few dozen additional pages here, or in this slideshow:

National Creative Sales Catalog


And finally, we have a Hammermill paper catalog. No date on this one, but it feels like it’s in the late-’60s/early-’70s range:

See those rainbow-striped salt and pepper shakers? Look what happens when you open the cover:

Pretty groovy, right? I thought a video would be better for this one, so you can fully appreciate how awesome it is. Dig:

Each of the paper samples features an illustration or embossed graphic. One of them is sports-related:

You can see the whole thing here, or in this slideshow:

Hammermill Paper Catalog

I’m happy to report that Hammermill is still with us.

Thanks for looking/listening. We’ll get back to more standard uni-related content tomorrow. Stay safe.

Click to enlarge

Too good for the Ticker: Longtime reader Alan Tompas recently sent me the item shown above, which he says was posted on the Baseball Fever discussion forum.

As a lifelong Mets fan, I’ve never seen this ad or heard of the Met Cats (as in hepcats — get it, Daddy-O?), described as “the official combo group for the New York Mets.” I ran it past a few Mets acolytes, and of course also consulted Google — nothing.

I’m pretty sure the Met Cats never existed except in this ad, but it’s amusing to see that they claimed to have played in front of “55,000 people” — i.e., the capacity of Shea Stadium (perhaps hoping people would mistake them for those lovable moptops from Liverpool who really did play at Shea). Such dubious claims notwithstanding, they sure looked great cramped together in a trailer pulled by a convertible in an otherwise empty Shea parking lot. Talk about hitting the big time!

If anyone knows more about the Met Cats, do tell. Thanks.

Update!: It turns out that the Met Cats really did exist! @QuirkyResearch turned up these two items from The New York Daily News — one from 1966 and one from ’67 (click to slightly enlarge):

I apologize for doubting the authenticity of the very real Met Cats! Now we just have to find a member of the band and get the full story.

(Big thanks to Alan Tompas for this one.)

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Pin Club reminder/update: As of this morning, there were 91 pins remaining for the Uni Watch Pin Club’s June design (featuring an elbow bump because fist bumps and high-fives will likely be banished from the sports landscape for the foreseeable future, with green/purple and white/black symbolzing uni-ty). In other words, we’ve sold through more than two-thirds of the numbered edition of 300 in two days — amazing.

If you haven’t yet gotten in on this one, the pin is available here. If you need to get caught up, we still have some of the May pins left, along with the March, February, and January pins. (Sorry, April is sold out.)

Speaking of which: If you order multiple pins and find yourself getting hit with multiple shipping charges on the one order, go ahead and place the order and then email me with your order number — I can arrange for the extra shipping charges to be refunded.

And remember that you can save a 15% on all of the pins, and on everything else in the Uni Watch Shop and the Naming Wrongs Shop, by using the checkout code COMMUNITY.

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Hypothetically speaking: As you can see, there’s a new addition to the hypothetical menu. Wouldn’t it be fun, just theoretically, if that design actually existed? Let me know what you think.

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LAST CALL for the Vintage Brand raffle: Today is the final day to enter the latest raffle from our longtime advertiser Vintage Brand. The lucky winner will get to choose any item from the Vintage Brand website (including the Packers T-shirt shown above).

This raffle is open only to people with American shipping addresses. To enter, send an email to the raffle address by 8pm Eastern tonight (which should be easy, because you’re probably under curfew anyway). One entry per person. Again, USA shipping addresses only. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow.

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The Ticker
By Lloyd Alaban

Baseball News: MLB is considering adding more virtual ads to ballparks during telecasts — including the possibility of ads in foul territory and on the back of the pitcher’s mound (from Mike Chamernik). … Reader Joe Helligenstein was sent a photo of a Cardinals/Twins backpack mishap. … Reader Phillip Tutor found this video of the Rangers’ equipment manager explaining the team’s gear from 1974.

NFL News: Vikings LB Eric Kendricks used a modified version of the NFL logo to demand substantive action on equal rights from the league. Teammate Anthony Barr tweeted the same text but without the modified logo.

Soccer News: New shirt for Motherwell (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … New logo for the Bermuda national team (from Texas Trevor). … The remaining soccer items are from Josh Hinton: Alajuelense F Jonathan McDonald changed his NOB to “Burger King” in a recent match. … The new Germany second kit has leaked.

Grab Bag: Continuing social distancing regulations may lead to more single-rider golf carts (from Mike Chamernik). … Belgian cycling team Deceuninck-Quickstep has its fair share of national champions, which means they have special country-themed jerseys (from Jeremy Bearimy). … New logo for the town of Massena, N.Y. (from Timmy Donahue). … Fashion brand Comme des Garcons is selling its own championship rings (from @cash4title).

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What Paul did last night: We had some gummy bears with us on the porch yesterday evening. On a whim, I dropped a few in my beer, thinking they would float, but instead they sank to the bottom of the glass (you can see a hint of them in the photo).

That was disappointing. But when I finished the beer and sampled one of the gummies from the now-empty glass, I found that it had absorbed some of the beer, leading to a nicely boozy/gummy experience. Recommended!

The branch is still there.

As always, you can see the full set of Pandemic Porch Cocktails™ photos here.

Comments (43)

    Liked the sample catalogs. But on a similar note and I think you covered it … due to some business my father was in got hold of a Champion sporting goods (when they were in Rochester, NY, USA) catalog in the mid-1970s. That was bliss. Later haunted the Champion outlet stores in upstate NY for seconds of reverse-weave apparel.

    The gummy in the beer reminds me of something I saw in an airport once. There were a large group of people who all had a single olive in their beer. Turns out its a thing I had never seen before.


    The olive floats around like the raisin in the champagne.

    The raisin doesn’t just float in the champagne — it sinks, then floats, then sinks, then floats, like a perpetual motion machine!

    Yeah, I didn’t describe that very well. The olive oscillates as well. It’s fascinating to see.

    I never thought that a pen catalog could be so interesting to look at!
    Never saw that Seahawks green car outside before, love seeing vivid colored cars.
    Paul, while I know you aren’t particularly into craft beer, I’ve had some beers that used gummy bears in a randall for infusion, definitely a nice twist. Highly recommend.

    The Seahawk green car is a borough cab. They are allowed to make street pickups in the outer boroughs (except Kennedy and LaGuardia airports) and upper Manhattan.

    I find virtual ads on tv broadcasts really disgusting, ESPECIALLY the one’s that tries to blend in as real objects like the ones on the hockey glass during games. Isn’t the real ads enough? (I know the answer to corpoations is always no sadly)
    This upsets me even more than the ads on nba uniforms.

    Agreed. I was watching a rerun of the 1987 Stanley Cup Final Game 7, and it was refreshing to see no ads on the boards or ice, or superimposed over the glass behind the nets. No tickers or score bugs either, but I would be OK without them if it meant everything was ad-free and info-free.

    I don’t know about the Met Cats but I did see the Beatles at Shea; they didn’t have that much more amplification than is shown in the Met Cats picture above (ok maybe a little). I was sitting 3 rows from first base. I didn’t hear anything above the screaming of the crowd except 2 words from a song which I couldn’t ID. I did hear Ed Sullivan’s introduction, so I suppose it’s possible the Met Cats could have been heard by 55k. My 2¢.

    In the immortal words of comedian Steven Wright:“If you put in your 2 cents, and it’s a penny for your thoughts, then someone is making off with a penny.”

    When the Beatles played at stadiums like Shea Stadium, Dodger Stadium, and Candlestick Park, their music went through the stadium PA speakers of the stadium. This is given as one of the main reasons why the Beatles stopped touring. Like your experience, the only thing people could hear were screaming fans.

    I like that they’re all supposedly plugged into the same groaning amplifier.

    I’m a Teisco collector but with an interest in Hagstrom guitars/basses, too. It’s nice to learn who their American distributor was.

    I wonder if the astronaut pen Jack Klompas gave Jerry for his dad’s Cadillac was a gravity-defying Everglide…

    You know, there are a few different blogs/news sites which I go to most mornings, but there is no question that Uni Watch has been the best for my mental health over the last week. Thank you for the normalcy, Paul.

    Thank YOU for the kind words. The rhythm and routine of Uni Watch have been good for *my* mental health as well. Like I’ve been saying for months now: We’re all in this together!

    I wonder how long Everglide kept making those models. I think my Dad’s business had their logo on #225C from the page 3 back in the 1980s.

    I’ve never seen a striptease PENCIL before!

    Also, never seen a pen designed to fit the phone dial. I know many people used a pen to dial the phone (as to now mess up their nails, etc.), but have never seen such specialty.

    Haha, while in college at USC in the early 80s, a favorite place to go for late night burgers was Tommy’s. The guy taking orders was Frenchy, and I remember him showing me his striptease pen. His was a little more risque’.

    The Met-Cats AND more of the Shea confetti panels! This is going to be a good day.

    Interesting that one article refers to them as the “Met Cats” while the other spells it “Met-Cats.”

    With the ‘beginning’ of College World Series coming up soon, I’m wanting to create a graphic of baseball-specific logos for college teams. Is there a database or forum that covers college baseball caps? Not able to find one.

    I love the pen specifically modified to dial the phone (as also mentioned by another commenter above). I had an immediate visual image of a beehive-coiffed secretary (think Mad Men) making the motion.

    I haven’t seen a clip-action pen in a long time. Only top-action, twist-action, and take-off-the-cap action.

    “looks like it should be stamped in metal affixed to the door of an old fridge or the back of an old car.”

    When I was a kid my dad took the metal brand name off the fridge and replaced it with one from a car, and I swear it was that exact same font. Whenever he was asked about it he would say “the holes lined up perfectly!” I’m waiting for confirmation from my siblings about the exact car brand.

    General Motors did own Frigidaire for many decades, so I would not be surprised that the font (and mounting holes) were a good match…assuming the appliance and car were those makes.

    Nash Motors merged with Kelvinator, an appliance manufacturer, in 1936. They were part of American Motors until 1968.

    The backpack mishap would actually be great for people like me with dual citizenship between two teams. Had that been a Twins/Cleveland backpack, I’d’ve been all over it!

    I seem to remember reading on Helmet Hut once that the Brady Corporation was at one time involved with football helmet logos (even if it was just for some prototypes), so if that’s really true, then the Brady catalog is somewhat uni-relevant.

    My hypothesis: Used to be pretty common for about half the adult population to have a cigarette pack on their person at all times, so a pen that fit into an item they already had on hand might have been seen to be convenient?

    Me, I’d have been afraid that I would throw out the pen with the pack once the smokes were all gone.

    Is it just me or do the two fellows in front of Paul’s stoop look like they are starting to engage in a dance-off?!?!?!

    I love the rotary phone on the pen page. I would have never thought that people needed an extra attachment for their pens to help dial their phone. That is pretty cool.

    This whole time I’ve been searching for a grown-up version of a Jell-O shot. I think I’ve found it!

    You mean Jell-O shots aren’t for grown-ups?!

    I used to put gummy worms in my bottle of Mountain Dew. When you got down to the bottom, the worm would be squishy and full of Dew goodness.

    likingthe 6 feet apart sign. are the looters/rioters/protestors also social distancing.

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