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Bookmarks With Two Blades From One: Part 1

March 11, 2012

Last time we saw bookmarks on which a second blade was attached to a primary blade. This time we will see how a secondary and smaller blade is stamped out of the primary blade. This physical operation is possible for both metals and plastics. The process requires great pressure on a die the shape of the secondary blade into a mold of the appropriate shape. It is usual to place a small distorting bend  in the secondary blade so as to offset  it slightly from the primary blade. This assists in placing the formed page clip on the pages. This results in a bookmark that has two blades which would fit tightly together if there was not the distortion mentioned in the stamping process. These I refer to as Close Secondary Blades. They may be either Long or Short.

Here is an example of bookmarks with  Short, Close Secondary Blades.

Note the distortion at the upper portion of the secondary blade. Also note that the new formed blade is less than half the length of the original blade. This qualifies it as Short.  The first item is an example of those with a copper finish and is a souvenir of North Platte NE. The second piece has hammered, brass finish and is a souvenir of Rockefeller Center NY. The third finish is the most common and is brass with silver plate but is also common with a silver wash which is usually easily worn off. This one is a souvenir of The Pilgrim Monument in Plymouth Ma.

Here are some examples of bookmarks with Long, Close Secondary Blades.

These bookmarks are simply decorative. The first has inset stones that are common to the Southwest USA. There are no marks. The middle VIP bookmark has a full offset of the secondary blade and is marked “S. Kirk and Son Sterling”. The green jeweled example has no marking and like the first has drilled holes at the junction of the blades as well as a small offset.( One may question whether the VIP bookmark is long or short.)

Here are a couple more examples of Long, Close Secondary Blades.

These bookmarks were obviously from a set by one maker. They were found  individually over a wide area.  Note the modest offset.  The enamel painting in the stamped design is a very nice touch. The first two have lost much of their gold wash that is still evident on the third example. There are no identifying marks.

Here is a final examples of Long, Close Secondary Blades in Plastic.

These are all from the same maker and have stickers that read “Made in Czechoslovakia.” They were found in a defunct General Store on an Island on the Eastern shore of the  Chesapeake Bay.  The year was 1970 and I had just started my collection. These were my first plastic bookmarks so I only bought one of each. I regret that I didn’t buy the entire display card! The celluloid material and Czech. stickers date these bookmarks at least to the 1930s.

The next time Part 2 will display bookmarks that have the secondary blade either cast or cutout from the primary blade in the manufacturing process. These are termed Open Secondary Blades and my be either Long or Short.

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