The bowling pin pencil for Silver City Recreation is a perfect realization of a promotional specialty item. It told you immediately what the name didn't — that you could bowl there. And it had real utility, since score sheets were filled in by pencil. Finally, the shape of the pin fit the hand in a usable, but memorable way.
The baseball bat pencil takes a different tack. It promotes General Electric home laundry equipment. What possible connection does that have with baseball, you ask? "It's a Hit." This promo was clearly aimed at retailers or distributors, not the consumer. Perhaps the campaign also included baseball tickets for top sellers.
Norha's "The Friendly Corner" on East Lake Street in Minneapolis is certainly willing to sell you a beer. Should you feel the need for reservati0ns, you can call ahead. But otherwise, the concept could as well have been rendered in Bakelite or as a clear plastic floater.
Three more examples, including variations on the bat theme. The darker pencil promotes a Boston envelope company. What's significant here is the early example of sports marketing — using an association with a sports brand to sell an unrelated product. The pencil has the familiar tradmark and statement, "Genuine Louisville Slugger."
The thinner bat places the pencil on the barrel end. Unlike the others, it promotes an actual sport shop, though with a flying goose logo and National Dairy Cattle Congress trademark, it's likely this Waterloo, Iowa, shop sold more shotgun shells and fishing tackle than baseball equipment.
The Funk's "G" pencil features a 360-degree imprint of Uncle Sam, with the letter V followed by its Morse Code rendering of ...–, suggesting this was produced during World War Two, when V for Victory was widely used.
Douglas Ritchie of the BBC European Service, suggested an audible V using the Morse code rhythm — three dots and a dash. This is the rhythm of the opening bars of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony (fifth can of course also be written as Vth), and it was used as the call-sign by the BBC in its foreign language programmes to occupied Europe for the rest of the war.