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Manufactured by Autopoint in Chicago Ill., this advertising letter opener packs a lot of history into its
9 1/2” length.
Imprinted on the handle in green it says:
Hayes Auto Body Repair
1521 Brandywine St.
LO 7 – 7134
The address is in Philadelphia, PA. And Hayes was just a few blocks from my late husbands family owned business, also on Brnadywine St., It is where they would take the company trucks for service. I would think this was given to them as a thank you for being good customers.
The tapered blade measures 5 6/8” long and is secured into the 3 3/8” long handle by a metal fastener. This fastener is marked on the back of the opener with the words (in a circle) “AUTOPOINT CHICAGO”, in the center of this circle are the words “MADE IN U.S.A.”. The last bit of length unaccounted for is the tip of the magnifier that protrudes from the end of the handle just enough so you can easily pull it out. Extended the magnifier is 2 1/2” long.
I have dated this as being manufactured by Autopoint in Chicago Illinois as being from sometime in the early part of the 50's to as late as 1961 for the following reasons.
I found out through research that Autopoint was a jobber shop, preparing advertising pencils for many different companies. In the 1950s and 1960s, their product line also included a number of other plastic desk top accessories. They had many kinds of pocket knives, letter openers, note pads and more. However when they were bought out by Hershey Chocolate Co. (known as Hersco today) things changed. The company was bought and sold several times until there wasn't much left that resembled the original Autopoint, that is until it was sold to a buyer in Wisconsin, which is where it is doing business today. Back to their original format of little other than pencils,the company is doing well today.
Also the phone number is an indication of when this was made. From 1947 to 1951 phone numbers in the United States were changed from two letters and two numbers to Two letters and 5 Numbers.
The letters were the local calling code. In this case, the LO was the LOgan Square phone exchange, and when calling you would dial L(which was 5 on the rotary phone) O (which is 6) then dial the numbers 7-7134. Why it was done as such is slightly complicated and would take too much room to state here, but it had to do with technology moving from Operator assisted dialing to machines doing it for us. If you were calling form an exchange that didn't have auto-dial technology at the time you would drop the word “Square” and ask for Logan 7-7134
Phone numbers changed again in the early 60s to 3 Numbers-4 Numbers, much like we have today except without the area code.
Oh, and one last piece of trivia. The Garage this came from is still a garage, however it has been redeveloped into a Performance Center, and aptly named...Performance Garage.
CONDITION: Would likely be graded as poor by an appraiser. The printing is intact and still very sharp, but it was a tool for an active office and it has some scratches on the blade. There are Canine tooth marks on the very tip of the magnifier and the top of the handle, (Thanks to Sir Dobsy, the family Jack Russel they had years ago. I did mention that it had a lot of history) I have shown all 4 sides of the handle in my pictures, please look at these if you are considering buying this. While they appear as huge in my closeup pictures, they are not as bad as they look here. I just feel it is your right to know what is wrong with anything seen in my shop. I have priced this at the lowest amount I am allowed to charge for an item in this category. It just needs a home, and as I have downsized to a small apartment recently I hope to find it one.
As always, I honor the No Questions Asked return policy Ruby Lane adheres to, but please do read my Shop Return Policy under “Terms”.
Securely packaged and wrapped to insure your treasure arrives safely.
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1950s/60s Autopoint Chicago, Advertising Letter Opener / Magnifier
$5 USD SALE PENDING
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