Autopoint Company

Autopoint Company

The Autopoint Company was a manufacturer of pencils and desk top accessories in Chicago for about 50 years from the 1920s to around 1970. During that period Autopoint sold millions of pencils advertising companies large and small all over the country.

Autopoint was founded by Frank C. Deli, Michael M. Kaufmann, and John P. Lynn around 1920. They used the name "Realite Pencil Company." They worked with Lawrence V. Redman of the Redmanol Company to develop techniques for molding plastic bodies for pencils. They took out several patents on plastic molds. The company continued to do business with Redmanol, and later with Bakelite Corporation after Redmanol had been merged into it.

In the early 1920s, they made a business alliance with Charles Keeran, who had been the founder of the Eversharp Pencil Company. Keeran had previously registered the trademark "Autopoint." Eventually, the company took the name Autopoint. The company continued to used the brand name "Realite" for its line of less expensive pencils until World War II.

Around 1925, the Bakelite Corporation gained a controlling interest in the Autopoint Company. Apparently, Bakelite bought out founders Kaufmann and Lynn, and appointed a president who reported to Bakelite. Deli remained an officer of the Autopoint Company until his death in 1946. Bakelite did not integrate Autopoint into its organization but operated Autopoint as a separate company.

The Autopoint trademark (No. 125,149) was registered by Keeran on April 15, 1919. The trademark was used by the Autopoint Company in Chicago from the 1920s to the 1970s. It is now used by Autopoint, Inc., in Janesville, Wisconsin.

In 1951, the Cory Corporation, a Chicago company, bought Autopoint from Union Carbide which had acquired Bakelite in 1939. Cory operated Autopoint as a division appointing the president. In the 1950s, Julius Lederer served as president of Autopoint.

Autopoint was a job shop preparing advertising pencils for many different companies. In the 1950s and 1960s, their product line also included a number of other desk top accessories.

In the 1967, the Hershey Chocolate Corporation bought the Cory Corporation. A few years later, Hershey sold Autopoint to Gillette which merged it with its Papermate division. Gillette dismantled the Autopoint sales organization, sold the Autopoint plant in Chicago, and sold or discontinued much of its product line. The pencils that Gillette continued to produce were reengineered to allow more interchangeability of parts between the different types of pencils.

Around 1980, Gillette sold the Autopoint name and remainder of the product line to a group of business men from Janesville, Wisconsin. They founded Autopoint Inc. which continues to manufacture and sell pencils and other products under the Autopoint brand.

ee Related

* ""Auto"-graphs", an in-house newsletter published from 1960-1967.


The Autopoint Company in Chicago offered a "Lifetime Guarantee" for its pencils. "That company no longer exists." Autopoint Inc. is an entirely different company which cannot be expected to honor the promises of the old Autopoint Company.

Autopoint Inc. cannot repair old Autopoint pencils because the entire product line was reengineered during the period that Autopoint was owned by Gillette. Parts from the old pencils are not interchangeable with parts from pencils manufactured today.

External links

* [ Web Resources Concerning the Mechanical Pencil Industry in Chicago]

* [ Autopoint, Inc. in Janewville, WI]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dur-O-Lite Pencil Company — The Dur O Lite Pencil Company was a Chicago, Illinois, United States company that manufactured mechanical pencils from the 1920s into the 1990s. The company registered the Dur O Lite trademark in 1927. John P. Lynn was a founder of the company… …   Wikipedia

  • Charles Rood Keeran — circa 1910 1920 Charles Rood Keeran (16 April 1883 June 9, 1948) was an Illinois inventor and businessman. Contents 1 Biography …   Wikipedia

  • Charles R. Keeran — was an Illinois inventor and businessman. Keeran was originally from Bloomington, Illinois. Around 1914, Keeran invented the basic mechanism for the Eversharp mechanical pencil, thought up the Eversharp trademark, and set up a company to make and …   Wikipedia

  • Frank C. Deli — Frank Deli (October 10 1886 – 1946) was a Chicago businessman. Deli was born in the Austro Hungarian Empire and emigrated to the United States in 1903. In the early 1920s, Deli helped found the Autopoint Company. He helped pioneer the use of… …   Wikipedia

  • John P. Lynn — was a Chicago businessman. After serving in France during World War I, Lynn returned to Chicago. Around 1920, he was one of the founders of the Autopoint Company. He helped pioneer the use of plastics to make mecnanical pencils. Around 1925, Lynn …   Wikipedia

  • Mark sense — Main article: Unit record equipment Electrographic is a term used for punched card and page scanning technology that allowed cards or pages marked with a pencil to be processed or converted into punched cards. That technology was sold by IBM, its …   Wikipedia

  • Michael M. Kaufmann — Michael Kaufmann (May 26, 1891 – June 3, 1949) was a Chicago businessman. In the early 1920s, Kaufmann helped found the Autopoint Company. He helped pioneer the use of plastics to make mechanical pencils. Around 1925, Kaufmann sold his holdings… …   Wikipedia

  • Julius Lederer — Jules Lederer was an American business executive and innovator. In the 1950s, Lederer was president of the Autopoint Company in Chicago; later he became a co founder of Budget Rent a Car, now a unit of Cendant.Lederer was married to Ann Landers,… …   Wikipedia

  • Cory Corporation — Harvey Cory patented his glass filter rod design (No. 114097), for which the patent was granted in 1939.[1] In 1951, the Cory Corporation, a Chicago company, bought Autopoint from Union Carbide. Cory operated Autopoint as a division appointing… …   Wikipedia

  • Charley Jones' Laugh Book Magazine — Al Wiseman s cover for the March 1953 issue. Charley Jone …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”