Boring
Welcome | What’s New?
Site Map | Usage Note

Become a Contributor
Really Boring
What is a Leadholder?
Leadholder History
Leadholder Mechanics
Leadholder Database
Yawn
References
Contributors
Leadholder Links
Contact D. B. Smith


L. & C. Hardtmuth, U.S.A. / Koh-I-Noor, U.S.A.

Koh-I-Noor model 5611

The 5611 was the acme of readily available drawing instruments when I first began manually scratching on paper. Very common, almost invisible because of its ubiquity. Judging by the great numbers of well worn examples floating about, It’s fair to say that this has been a favorite for generations. Innumerable variations exist. Even today, a sickly plastic stick wearing the 5611 badge is available widely. [Update 2008: No it’s not.]

The 5611 was introduced in 1956 as a “lightweight all-metal” economy lead holder. I’m perplexed by Koh-I-Noor’s marketing of this holder as an economy model in contrast to their 5616 and 5617 which were apparently the non-economy models. Their quality and construction are identical, the only difference being a lack of tacky gold plating and the slightly smaller size of the 5611 and consequently its inability to accept the thick 2.5 mm soft sketching leads.

imprint reads:
“made in U.S.A.—L. & C. Hardtmuth (Inc.)—“KOH-I-NOOR” Versatil ■ 5611”
courtesy Allan Macdonald collection

Koh-I-Noor Versatil 5611

L. & C. Hardtmuth, Inc., Bloomsbury, New Jersey, USA

lead diameter
mechanism
composition
variations
production date
origin
~2 mm
pushbutton spring clutch
all metal
unknown
circa late 1940s or early 1950s
U.S.A.
   
see also L. & C. Hardtmuth (Czech) Koh-I-Noor Versatil 5611
L. & C. Hardtmuth (Czech) Versatil page
This is a mysterious creature.  It carries the “Versatil” name used by the Czech L. & C. Hardtmuth, but is U.S.-made.  Even mysteriouser is the existence of a Czech-made “Versatil” 5611 of very similar design.
Koh-I-Noor 5611 “2B thru 6H

Koh-I-Noor 5611 “2B thru 6H”

(“Italy * G3 * pat. pend.” imprint on end of pushbutton)

L. & C. Hardtmuth, Inc., Bloomsbury, New Jersey, USA

lead diameter
mechanism
composition
variations
production date
origin
~2 mm
pushbutton spring clutch
all metal
unknown
1955
Italy
 
Innumerable clones of the 5611 have been produced by Koh-I-Noor.
A few are listed below:
Dietzgen 3162   Dietzgen 3162
Eberhard Faber 617   Eberhard Faber 617
Post 2811   Frederick Post 2811
A&B Smith 5611   A&B Smith 5611
Fullerton Acutron 1030   Fullerton Acutron 1030
Dixon Designer 170   Dixon Designer 170
Keuffel & Esser   Keuffel & Esser
Venus 043   Venus
see also US Patent 2,801,613 “Lead Gripping Means,” 1955
Fredrix Artists Materials, 1964, p 133
Koh-I-Noor 5611 - silver button
Koh-I-Noor 5611 - blue button
Koh-I-Noor 5611 - brown button

Koh-I-Noor 5611 “2B thru 6H”

L. & C. Hardtmuth, Inc., Bloomsbury, New Jersey, USA

lead diameter
mechanism
composition
variations

production date
origin
~2 mm
pushbutton spring clutch
all metal
pocket clip: with, without
6 pushbutton colors: black, blue, brown, green, red, silver
1956–circa 1960
Italy
 
see also US Patent 2,801,613 "Lead Gripping Means," 1955
Fredrix Artists Materials, 1964, p 133

The examples above are early Italian made 5611s with “2B thru 6H” imprinted on the barrel.

Koh-I-Noor 5611 “2B thru 6H”

Koh-I-Noor Inc., Bloomsbury, New Jersey, USA

lead diameter
mechanism
composition
variations

production date
origin
~2 mm
pushbutton spring clutch
all metal
unknown, probably with and without clip and
6 pushbutton colors: black, blue, brown, green, red, silver
(mid- to late-1950s)
Italy
   
special features lead pointer in removable pushbutton
Koh-I-Noor Adapto 5611 - brown button
Koh-I-Noor Adapto 5611 - blue button
Koh-I-Noor Adapto 5611 - red button
Koh-I-Noor Adapto 5611 - silver button
Koh-I-Noor Adapto 5611 - black button
Koh-I-Noor Adapto 5611 - green button

Koh-I-Noor Adapto 5611

Koh-I-Noor Inc., Bloomsbury, New Jersey, USA

lead diameter
mechanism
composition
variations

production date
origin
~2 mm
pushbutton spring clutch
all metal with anodized pushbutton
pocket clip: with, without
6 pushbutton colors: black, blue, brown, green, red, silver
1960s
Italy
   
Koh-I-Noor 3 in one Drafting Assortment 5611BK Case of 24 5611 Adaptos
5611BK “Drafting Assortment” (half scale).
see also: Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph catalog, 1980, p 31
Box of 24 Koh-I-Noor Adapto 5611s.
courtesy Laurie Schmidtke collection
Koh-I-Noor 5611 Adapto (Made in U.S.A.)

Koh-I-Noor Adapto 5611

(Made in U.S.A.)

Koh-I-Noor Inc., Bloomsbury, New Jersey, USA

lead diameter
mechanism
composition
variations

production date
origin
~2 mm
pushbutton spring clutch
all metal with anodized pushbutton
pocket clip: with, without
6 pushbutton colors: black, blue, brown, green, red, silver
1960s
Italy
   
Koh-I-Noor / Keuffel & Esser 5611-K
Koh-I-Noor / Keuffel & Esser 5611-K
reverse courtesy Laurie Schmidtke collection

Koh-I-Noor / Keuffel & Esser Adapto 5611-K

lead diameter
mechanism
composition
variations
production date
origin
~2 mm
pushbutton spring clutch
all metal with anodized pushbutton
unknown
1960s
Italy
   
see also Keuffel & Esser leadholder
Koh-I-Noor Technigraph 5611 - red button
Koh-I-Noor Technigraph 5611 - blue button

Koh-I-Noor Technigraph 5611

Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph, Bloomsbury, New Jersey, USA

lead diameter
mechanism
composition
variations
production date
origin
~2 mm
pushbutton spring clutch
all metal with anodized pushbutton
6 pushbutton colors: black, blue, brown, green, red, silver
(1970s) to 1992)
Italy
   
special features  
see also Koh-I-Noor dealer brochure, circa 1974
Art Brown catalog, 1978, p 100
Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph catalog, 1980, p 30
Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph magazine ad, circa 1984
Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph catalog, 1985, p B-2
The 5611 Adapto was later renamed the “Technigraph.”
Koh-I-Noor 5611 C

Koh-I-Noor “Technigraph” 5611 C

Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph, Bloomsbury, New Jersey, USA

lead diameter
mechanism
composition
variations
production date
origin
~2 mm
pushbutton spring clutch
all metal with anodized pushbutton
6 pushbutton colors: black, blue, brown, green, red, silver
(1970s) to 1992)
Italy
 
Koh-I-Noor Technigraph 5611 (white)
courtesy Laurie Schmidtke collection

Koh-I-Noor Technigraph 5611

Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph, Bloomsbury, New Jersey, USA

lead diameter
mechanism
composition
variations
production date
origin
~2 mm
pushbutton spring clutch
all metal with anodized pushbutton
unknown, probably 6 pushbutton colors: black, blue, brown, green, red, silver
somewhere between (the 1970s) and 1992
Italy
 
special features it’s friggin’ white!
see also 2001 A Space Odyssey (the movie)
Koh-I-Noor Technigraph 5611 - green button
Koh-I-Noor Technigraph 5611 - red button
Koh-I-Noor Technigraph 5611 - brown button

Koh-I-Noor Technigraph 5611

with plastic tipped pushbutton

Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph, Bloomsbury, New Jersey, USA

lead diameter
mechanism
composition
variations
production date
origin
~2 mm
pushbutton spring clutch
all metal with plastic tipped pushbutton
6 pushbutton colors: black, blue, brown, green, red, white
1993 to 1994
Italy
 
This, the final incarnation of the metal barreled 5611, had a plastic tipped pushbutton.
Note:  The red color on this model really is slightly darker than the red used on previous 5611s.

Koh-I-Noor 5611

8-sided metal barrel

(Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph, Bloomsbury, New Jersey, USA)

lead diameter
mechanism
composition
variations
production date
origin
~2 mm
pushbutton spring clutch
aluminum barrel and grip, nickel plated brass fittings
unknown
1994 or 1995
Italy
   
see also Koh-I-Noor 5616 circa 1995
Koh-I-Noor Technigraph 5611
Koh-I-Noor Technigraph 5611
Koh-I-Noor Technigraph 5611
Koh-I-Noor Technigraph 5611
Koh-I-Noor Technigraph 5611

Koh-I-Noor Tecnigraph 5611

plastic barrel

Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph, Bloomsbury, New Jersey, USA

lead diameter
mechanism
composition
variations
production date
origin
2 mm
pushbutton spring clutch
plastic barrel, aluminum grip, nickel plated brass fittings
6 pushbutton colors: black, blue, brown, green, red, white
1995 to ~2000
Italy
 
see also Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph poster 1 c 1995
Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph poster 2 c 1995

Well, that’s that. The 5611 has faded away with the absorbtion of rotring and Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph Inc. of Bloomsbury, New Jersey into the Sanford company on January 6, 1999.* It appears that Sanford was interested only in rotring and sold the rights to the Rapidograph technical pens and Koh-I-Noor products to Chartpak. Chartpak does not list any Koh-I-Noor thick lead drafting pencils on their website, but they still offer the Rapidomatic. [Update June, 2008] The Chartpak website now links to the Czech Koh-I-Noor website and has no information about the Rapidomatic mechanical pencil or Rapidograph pens.

Also worth mentioning is the apparent typo on barrel of this model. The model appears as Tecnigraph rather than Technigraph as it had been for decades. One might assume Koh-I-Noor was intentionally dropping the H to be cool, but below we see the 5611 C (with pocket clip) retains the traditional spelling.

* Thanks to Hector Feria for this information.

Koh-I-Noor 5611 C
Koh-I-Noor 5611 C

Koh-I-Noor Technigraph 5611 C

plastic barrel

Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph, Bloomsbury, New Jersey, USA

lead diameter
mechanism
composition
variations
production date
origin
2 mm
pushbutton spring clutch
plastic barrel, aluminum grip, nickel plated brass fittings
6 pushbutton colors: black, blue, brown, green, red, white
1995 to ~2000
Italy
 
see also Tacro 4434 and 4435
Alvin Tech Da De-Lux