1957: Pencil sharpeners

In March 1957 a memorandum was sent to all Chief Postmasters, Engineers, Superintendents of Radio Stations, Stores Manager Wellington, Workshops Manager Wellington, Divisions and Branches of the General Post Office regarding the supply of Mechanical Pencil Sharpeners.

District Controlling Officers were requested to ascertain requirements for offices under their control that qualified for sharpeners.

Relevant factors were:

  • the number of staff who used pencils
  • convenience of access to the machine

The following correspondence to the Director General, Stores Division, General Post Office, Wellington, ensued.

20 March 1957
From the Superintendent, Auckland Radio

In reference to your above-described memorandum, it is considered that under the varied policy the supply of one mechanical pencil sharpener is warranted.

All members of the staff use pencils regularly in the course of their duties and the appliance can be mounted conveniently on a spare table in the operating room.

27 May 1957
From the Acting Superintendent, Auckland Radio

Would you kindly advised if it is intended that one mechanical pencil sharpener be supplied for use at this office? All members of the staff use pencils regularly in the course or their duties and the present sharpener, obtained in 1940, has through wear become uneconomical in use.

And then, two years later:

14 May 1959
From the Superintendent, Auckland Radio

With reference to your above-described memorandum: I have to advise that a mechanical pencil sharpener has not yet been received at this station.

The number of staff units who use pencils regularly in the course of their duties is twelve. The staff units are Supervisors and Telegraphists whose duties are the handling of telegraphic traffic to and from mobile marine craft.

The mechanical pencil sharpener would reduce the waste which at present occurs through having to sharpen pencils using razor blades. There was an occasion some time back when a cleaner suffered a lacerated hand caused by a razor blade while dusting.

The mechanical pencil sharpener could be conveniently mounted on a spare table in the operating room.

Requisition form Stores 101E is attached.

From the February 2011 newsletter of the Suburban Amateur Radio Club (now the Musick Point Radio Group)