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Monthly Archives: November 2017

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“Something ubiquitous hides a surprise” or “Happy Friday!”


Mystery Item.  This was found in a collection of early & mid 20th century fountain pens.  But it is not a pen.  This mod purple and red item is a mechanical pencil.  The only mark says ‘Germany’.  Do you think it could it be Bakelite? I do. The best part? It still works, and writes like a dream.  Or is that the best part?

As I was writing I heard a soft rattle, so I thought there must be a way to replace the lead inside. And there is if you unscrew the middle.  Then on an odd impulse, I tried unscrewing the top.  It was on tight, but it opened too.

Imagine my surprise to find what was rattling.CAM00580

Tiny little dice!  Why? What for?

But if you thought these might be the smallest pair of dice in the world, think again.

Here’s a very small old envelope, and it’s teeny tiny contents.CAM00542

I was using the dime for scale,  I see now the price was ten cents.  Cosmic.



In the many eras of American history, was there a time and place when tiny dice were necessary?

I was lucky to find them so maybe these diminutive dice will bring enormous luck.  Perhaps a trip to Las Vegas or Monte Carlo is in order? Or could they employed in a contemporary  backgammon match, game of cribbage or Monopoly? So many intriguing options. Whatever the future roll of the dice may be, I think I’ll need to bring my glasses. Go double sixes!