From the Collection of The
Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia
Yes. All of the quirky objects in this
exhibition are pencil sharpeners. But they are not your average, non-descript
pencil sharpener. This selection of miniature, figural, hand-held pencil
sharpeners represents a small part of the entire collection that numbers more
than 900. Donated by a private collector to Philadelphia’s Please Touch Museum
in 2000, these whimsical pencil sharpeners are functional objects produced as
souvenirs and for pure enjoyment.
Mostly constructed of plastic, except
for the metal blades of the interior mechanism, these toy-like pencil
sharpeners resemble innumerable objects and some have moving parts. There are
miniature animals, airplanes, trains, boats, sports equipment, and food such as
a hamburger, croissant, an ice cream cone, and sushi. There are household items
like fans, trash cans, telephones, and -- even more unusual – a toilet. Similarly
unexpected is the human nose and lips sharpeners.
So, next time you reach for an ordinary
pencil sharpener, remember, there are countless creative alternatives.
Founded in 1976, Philadelphia’s Please
Touch Museum is the City’s children’s museum – a hands-on environment where
“learning is child’s play.” The Museum is internationally recognized as a
leader in instituting what is referred to as “purposeful play” or learning
through fun activities and interactive exhibits. Through purposeful play,
children develop their problem-solving skills, imaginations, and creativity.
The Please Museum is the appropriate
home for this unique collection of pencil sharpeners offering so many children
and adults the continual enjoyment of these highly imaginative objects.