Writing an article on Esterbrook is going to get me in trouble, because there are a number of collectors who specialize in Esterbrooks who would rightly accuse me of oversimplifying the make. The examples I have are generally more common and representative of the manufacturer; I'd love to learn more if anyone wants to educate me.
Esterbrook made its name making steel dip pen nibs in the nineteenth century. By the 1930s or so, the company was making steel nib fountain pens, and pencils to match.
(click on pictures to enlarge)
|These are the earlier "Open-V" clip pencils. All are cap actuated repeater pencils, and all except the marbled yellow example and the small grey example are readily available.|
Later, the company switched to a straight clip with "Esterbrook" stamped on it. The collored celluloid models were made up through the 1950s. Towards the end, the company also produced metal-capped examples shown on the right.
I find that the metal cap examples , even though they are less attractive, are actually harder to find.
The company also made pencils in a wide range of pastel colors, which also command a premium.
The black example shown is an advertiser, which is also kind of unusual.
Esterbrook Visumaster (Pushmaster)
These are much more difficult to find. Note the marbly color, metal top jewel (rather than black plastic) and the absence of any name on the clip. These were the "Pushmaster" pencils, much harder to find pencils which accompanied Esterbrook's "Visumaster" line (the sections were partially transparent).