Autopoint was one of the most prolific manufacturers of mechanical pencils in the United States, headquartered (along with Eversharp, one of the other largest manufacturers) in Chicago, Illinois.  The original Autopoint Pencil Company was founded in 1920 by, among others, Charles Keeran, the inventor of the Eversharp pencil who had recently been ousted by Wahl Eversharp.  Keeran also was one of the founders of a second Chicago based company, Realite, in 1921.  In 1923, Realite bought Autopoint, the name for the combined company was changed to Autopoint Products Company, and Charles Keeran became its President.

Like Eversharp, Autopoint was a pencil company that happened to make just a few pens rather than the other way around.  However, while Eversharp later became a significant manufacturer of fountain pens, Autopoint remains to this day primarily a pencil company.

Entire collections numbering into the thousands have been built just around the Autopoint.  My father is a fanatical collector of Autopoints, so since I don't want to compete against him, I have only a few examples, more representative than comprehensive.  If my dad ever gets around to posting pictures, I'll link his page to this one.

Bob Bolin has a nice page with all sorts of Autopoint research.  Click here to visit Bob's page. I am also indebted to Jim Stauffer for his research regarding the origins of Autopoint and Realite.  Click here the view Jim's page.

(click on pictures to enlarge)

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Early Autopoints, 1920-1923.

The first Autopoint pencils were not the familiar removable-nose pencils, but were rear drive metal and wood pencils.  Here are gold filled and sterling examples.

The clip is identical to that seen on the Ritewell, although the mechanisms on the two are completely different.  Whether there is a connection between the brands is a subject of continuing research.

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Although these early metal pieces were rear drive pencils, their construction isn't entirely foreign.  A familiar looking push rod is mounted in the top section, as shown here.

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A selection of earlier style bell top pencils.  The earlier ones had the all gold filled tip sections.  Later, the company transitioned to the plastic tip section.

The large example, third from right, is stamped Autopoint on the top section but has a clip marked Realite.

autopoint2 Later examples.  From left, an unusual metal top, a nice translucent red barrel example, a neat thin model that looks more than a little like an Eversharp, and three marbled examples.
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Some other examples of Autopoints that I thought unusual.  Love that fish on number 3!

 

NOTE:  the pencil at far right in this photo is unmarked.   Although I had previously attributed this one to Autopoint, I do agree now that this one was probably made by Dur-O-Lite.

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Realite Pencils into the 1940s.

These pencils, produced long after Realite bought Autopoint, indicate that the Realite name remained in use for decades after the merger.  Many of these examples are advertising pieces.

I believe the faceted cap on the red one is from an Autopoint that someone stuck on there.  A better salesman would call it a "rare variant."

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Realpoint

I had previously suggested that I believed Realpoint was an Autopoint brand, and fellow collector James Stauffer's theory is that the name, a blend of "Realite" and "Autopoint," was used by the company to try out new materials and a propel-repel mechanism not used on Autopoints.

Realpoints are easy to spot in a junk box by the slight dome humped up from an otherwise flat top.

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