The Athanæum Blackwings: the rest of the story

The Boston Athenæum

Sean over at Blackwing Pages did a great job in getting a follow-up story, “The Blackwings of Boston“, to the Boston Globe article about the release of the Blackwings. In the Globe article, Alex Beam mentioned the Boston Athanæum, a members-only library that has many, many boxes of original Blackwings:

One of the library’s trustees, Lionel Spiro of Woburn’s Charrette Corp., “purchased the last run of these beloved pencils for their faithful users among the Athenaeum membership,’’ according to an official history by assistant controller Judy DiCristofaro.

I wrote a 2002 column about the run-up in Blackwing prices, which prompted the library to stop selling them at the front desk for 25 cents apiece. “When we heard that these pencils had a following of devotees and were selling for up to $20 a pencil, I must have said, ‘Isn’t that interesting?’ twice because the task of getting a pencil auction going fell to me,’’ DiCristofaro continues. “I set the Athenaeum up as an eBay seller in July 2004. On Aug. 4, 2004, we sold two dozen pencils for $540.’’ [Full Article]

25¢ for an original Blackwing? Oooh. If only I knew!

Sean posted a narrative from Judy DiCristofaro, the curator of Writing Instruments at the Boston Athanæum. This led me to think about three things in rapid succession:

  1. My new life goal is to be in a job where I can be the Curator of Writing Instruments.
  2. I thought having a Blackwing was exclusive enough, but now I want an Athanæum Blackwing!
  3. Good lord, this is a cool post!

Go over to Blackwing Pages and read it. It’s really cool. And kudos, Sean, on your journalistic wherewithal to find the rest of the story.

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