April 07, 2016

The Word ‘Pensmith’

  , publisher’s devices, and dingbats, and writing devices.

[Posted on L&P on July 18, 2010.]
        The word “pensmith” is a word I cobbled together out of the words “penman”+“wordsmith” in 1992, before I discovered the word being used elsewhere.  It made its first appearance as a surname in the Baltimore region around the late 1840s, but here are the more recent trademarks and designs that I used as the basis for my printer’s devices and dingbats.  First, you take the Kurta Corp. trademark
1,431,849 for the word “Pensmith”, used since 1986 for a “Computer Program In The Form Of Magnetic Discs”, a totally different type of “softwear” used to run the “Penmouse” graphic tablet in trademark 1,387,314, used since 1985 for a computer tablet that utilized a pen stylus instead of a mouse.  And then take Ormiston & Glass’s trademark 41,380 for “Steel Pens”, used since 1901, an image of a nib with double wings like those of a dragonfly, or firefly, and trademark 41,381 for the word “Firefly” to be used in conjunction with the previous trademark.  The O&GL image in trademark 41,380 looks almost like an illustration of the “flying pen” in US patent no. X2,972, Lewis M. De Spraugh, “Tachygraphy, Or The Flying Pen”, June 29, 1818, a system of shorthand, but it sounds more like an illustration of the words “Pensmith Fugit”.  Now, put all of these ideas together, with those words printed beneath it, and you have my publisher’s emblem on the last page of the first volume of the patent book.  And the second volume makes use of the penmaker “hammer and pen” device, with the words “Pensmith Fecit” printed beneath it.

George Kovalenko.


 Addendum, Sept 18, 1996, Feb 16, 2018.
        If a pensmith is someone who has good penmanship and is a wordsmith, someone who writes a lot for a living, a hired pen, but also someone who fixes, and fine-tunes, and even makes pens,
        and if a pen pusher is someone who uses and collects pens, but also deals in pens, sells pens, and is an evangelist, a proselytizer who tries to get others addicted to collecting and using pens,
        and if a pen paladin is an outstanding protagonist of pen collecting, someone prominent in the pen collecting community who has lots of pens and will travel distances to buy and sell them,
        then anyone who is a well-rounded pensmith, and a pen pusher, and a pen paladin, is
also someone who can say, “Have Pen, Will Travel”, and is also someone who is, “Licensed to Quill”.