Redipoint, Set, Go!

Brown & Bigelow of St. Paul, MN knows promotional products. In 1896 they came out with some of the first advertising calendars and eventually created many iconic ones like the Norman Rockwell Boy Scouts of America series. They did more than just that, though. The “Redipoint” pencil was a B&B product usually sporting the name or logo of a business on the barrel. You’ll be happy to know they still are in the same line of business today.

In 1922 William H. Ingersoll, the marketing maven for the Ingersoll Watch Company (“The Watch That Made the Dollar Famous”) left that industry after a takeover of the eponymous company. He went to the Redipoint Company which reorganized as Ingersoll Redipoint. Still distributed by B&B the products of this company continued to rely heavily on promotional writing instruments. Besides pencils they also had a line of plastic and metal fountain pens one of which is the topic of this post.


Redipoint pen and paraphernalia. (click for larger image)

The fountain pen shown here is a very nice insurance promotional item. The top has an enameled company name and you can find identical pens with variety of companies and cities in this spot. The Redipoint pen itself has a gold-filled metal barrel and cap covered with a fleurs-de-lis design. It’s similar to a Wahl metal pen of the same era in looks and the lever filling system. The nib is a semi-flex medium which really can put down a good amount of ink. Overall it’s quite nice for a piece of insurance advertising.

Pictured here is a near mint example with all the original paperwork. Sometime in 1924 Mrs. G. E. Sanford got this pen at Christmas but didn’t use it very much. I have no idea where it lived for the many intervening years until the pen found itself on the other side of the world with my friend in Metro Manila. It did come back to this hemisphere and stayed a little while with me before I gave it this past weekend as a graduation present to a good friend.  So the legacy of Mrs. Sanford of Bunker Hill, IL lives on in an odd way.


  1. Kim
    May 27, 2009, 8:10 am

    What a lovely and interesting gift to give! Of course, it makes sense that I would think that.

  2. Crystal
    May 27, 2009, 8:40 am

    That’s my pen!! I love it and will use it often, though soon you’ll have to show me how to fill it with my Dragon’s Napalm Ink!!

  3. TAO
    May 27, 2009, 5:43 pm

    Kim: I would like to think you like this gift because of your exquisite taste and find sensibilities. However, I know you’re a pen nut (but I’m not saying the rest isn’t true.)
    Crystal: Did I give this to you? Maybe I was drinking? Anyway, glad you like it and I’ll show you how to fill it with your namesake ink. Now start being mean to me again…I hate gratitude.

  4. David Horton
    November 4, 2009, 6:12 pm

    I have a IngersolL- Redipoint- rolled Gold pencel
    how can I find out what it’s worth?

  5. TAO
    November 4, 2009, 6:42 pm

    David: I’m afraid pencils usually are worth a lot less than pens. Best place to get a feel for what people are paying is on Ebay. Do a search of current and completed auctions and that will give you some information.