Pens (2) and pencil, metal / plastic, various makers, United States of America / England, used by Don Harkness, Australia, 1920-1945
Donald James Harkness (1890-1972) was well known as a racing car driver and engineer. He was born in Leichhardt, New South Wales, Australia and began his career as a teenager by repairing the Gnome engine fitted to W E Hart's plane. Just before WW1, Harkness joined J C Hillier, a motor engineer, in Sydney and by 1921 was a full partner. Harkness & Hillier was formed and for the next 40 years, the firm built a variety of stationary and marine engines, timber jinkers, gas producers and automotive components. The firm also made parts for the Australian Six and in 1924 took over that enterprise. Don Harkness also designed and built the four-cylinder Hornet aero engine which was claimed to be the first locally built unit to pass the Commonwealth Government Airworthy test, large scale production however never eventuated.
Don Harkness's major contribution to the motoring scene was as a driver-designer in racing, record breaking and other forms of motor sport. Driving a hotted-up 1924 Overland known as Whitey he became one of Australia's best known drivers, winning numerous events at the Penrith circuit and Maroubra Speedway during the 1920s. On 17 October 1925, on Seven Mile Beach, Gerringong, New South Wales, he drove over a measured mile at 107 mph (173 km/h) in a heavily modified Minerva chassis. Harkness designed and built two more record breaking cars that were driven by Norman 'Wizard' Smith, they were the Anzac and Fred H Stewart Enterprise. The Anzac established a new world ten mile record with a speed of 149.75 mph (242.6 km/h) and the Enterprise broke that same record at 164 mph (265.7 km/h). Harkness continued to drive competitively until 1935 when he was involved in a serious accident.
The fountain pen was made by Eversharp in the United States of America, 1930-1945, and the pencil by Villiers and Jackson in Birmingham, England, c. 1938. The ballpoint pen was made 1920-1945, maker and place unknown.