Olivetti's Brain Gear Pencil Sharpener

Designer: Staubitz Design

If J. Todd Althoff has his way, no properly equipped kid will go back to school next fall without a battery-operated Brain Gear pencil sharpener. Althoff's company, the Royal Consumer Products Div. of Olivetti Office USA in Bridgewater, N.J., is one of a growing number of companies that are applying to inexpensive consumer products the kind of good design that once went exclusively into high-end goods usually made in Europe.

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