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Need A Pen or Pencil? Go To Central Pencilvania

October 31, 1991

SELINSGROVE, Pa. (AP) _ There’s pen-demonium in central Pencilvania, where a man has such a penchant for pens and pencils that he’s collected and catalogued 33,555 of them.

Retired purchasing officer Paul Bartman has pens from around the United States and 58 foreign countries. He knows where his first pen came from, his last one, and even his penultimate one.

″They must have advertising on them,″ Bartman said in his penthouse above horse stables just outside Selinsgrove. ″I want it from a certain place in a certain city and a certain state.″

Bartman worked for a desk-top manufacturer and was often given advertising pens by salesmen hoping to be remembered. It didn’t take an ink blot test to figure out his start.

″I had a cupful of pens on my desk and wondered how easy it would be to collect them,″ said Bartman, who started saving pens in 1983. His last 1,100 came in a collection he bought from a Lewisburg woman.

There’s a story for each of his novelty pens and pencils, which include the asparagus stalk, a spark plug pen, pacifier pen and chopstick pencils from a mock sushi bar tray. Another pen doubles as a radio, and he also likes floaters, with figurines floating through liquid to advertise exotic vacation spots.

Some of the pens are so old stores they advertised are no longer in business: The Hopkins Feed and Grain Co. in Sidney, Iowa, had two numbers listed: Day 268, Night 428.

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