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sábado, 24 de dezembro de 2011


This was a Pentrace message board Sunday post on the  18th of December of 2011

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I love pens no matter the price , the fashion, the material , the filling sistem the nibs etc. etc etc. etc. and I love to learn about the stories about the companies and inclusive sometimes about the previous owners.... it's a whole world to discover and it's for me one of the funs of the hobby !!!!
This time I'd like to present to you a wonderful modest eyedropper pen in mottled red hard rubber with an hexagonal shape ( only my third one with this shape ) wich has a mysterious barrel's imprint: THE SOUTH BEND .
To acomplish with Paul's request to not re-plow old ground ( and I usually try to do it ) I did choose this pen . The pen came inside an Eclipse very old box and there are some questions to answer:

1 - Was SOUTH BEND a pen manufacturer OR a CUSTOMER who ordered these pens ( inside the Eclipse box was another similar pen with a distorted cap ).

2 - If some company made these pens to a customer could be ECLIPSE ? The pen is a good quality one at a level of a Parker or a Wirt ( and I add a photo of my two other hexagonal pens in order you can compare them.

3 - IF John Roede was right in the articles he wrote about ECLIPSE, Marx Finstone the founder and first president of the company arrived in USA in the year of 1906 and found the company in 1910 . These pens were for sure made between 1895 and 1905 !!!!
So here they are , the questions I'd like to be answered by at least one of you!

Now the pen and the box:

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Looks like some digging has turned up a possible answer:

The Rupert name on the pen box is that of a prosperous (originally German) farm family located in South Bend PA from the 18th century until the present day. The pen - an octagonal, overfeed eyedropper - was made by Wirt - in a style known to be his, and of a quality consistent with Luiz' pen - working in that part of the world at that time.

Some careful collector put the box and the pen together at some point and just confused things, it appears.

Junior G-Man badge was just awarded an Oak Leaf Cluster.

sábado, 17 de dezembro de 2011

#55 red hard rubber Waterman's pen " Byrd Antarctic expediction "

This is a normal #55 red hard rubber WATERMAN'S pen with a special barrel's  imprint  allusive to  one of BYRD'S Antarctic expedictions. They are very hard to find in perfect condition and if you think that you can do the imprint in a common #55 pen let me tell you that this imprint have some particularities that only a well known collector can distinguish !

More about this in:


quarta-feira, 30 de novembro de 2011

BLUE AND BRONZE ( or brown and blue or blue and gold ...whatever ) FOUNTAIN PENS............

PHOTOS WORKED ON BY João Pavão Martins.

 AMBASSADOR PEN ( J. HARRIS made NY CITY ) , NO NAME COMBO,  E. FABER PEN, PARKER THRIFT TIME,  STYLECRAFT PEN SET,     BLCKBIRD CLIPLESS MODEL and finally an advertising British pen probably made by MENTMORE ( and belonging to the private collection of my friend João Pavão Martins )

 WHALTAM, MARATHON , MONROE ladies size ring top , MONROE ladies size with clip and AMBASSADOR  ( J. HARRIS made, NY CITY  )

 CARTER'S ladies size, WATERMAN'S 92 V , WATERMAN'S PATRICIAN  PEN SET ladies size


 FRANK, WEAREVER ( David Khan ) and PIONEER PEN SET ( David Khan top of the line )

JOHN BULL PEN and box ( British made pen related with Conway Stewart )


 STEPHENS #56  ( British manufacturer )



domingo, 16 de outubro de 2011

J. HARRIS pen and sub brands . Third tier pens ? YES they are!!! But have a look please!

  • The photos of the plastic pens were worked on  as usual by my friend João Pavão Martins to whom I wish to thank.

J. Harris a NY City pen manufacturer , I would say a less known pen manufacturer is considered by the old fountain pen collectors community as a third tier pen maker. Anyway they made interesting pens in black chased hard rubber  with different filling mechanisms: Eyedropper, matchstick filler and lever filler .
In his article published in PEN WORLD MAGAZINE from June 2011, Richard Binder wrote: J. HARRIS & SON was located in New York City. The company got its start during the era of slip caps and hard rubber , and survived  into the late 1940s , renaming itself somewhere along the way to become  the MAJESTIC Pen Company. Early examples of Harris's work include the cone cap lever filler and the screw cap matchstick filler shown above . By the end of the 1930s MAJESTIC was cranking out a wide variety of very atractive pens that were decently made but still suffered from thin metal parts with thinner gold plating . Most had untipped steel nibs , but top line MAJESTIC pens still carried gold nibs as in the old days. HARRIS sold pens under the AMBASSADOR , UNIVERSITY and CONGRESS brands as well as under its own name. ( Richard Binder in Pen World Magazine , June 2011, pages 68 and 69 ).
I would like to add to this information the following: HARRIS also made pens under PRESIDENT brand .
Some MAJESTIC pens has no gold nibs but gold plated with its own imprint.( see photos ).
Any further information  to lleite@netcabo.pt  about this pen manufacturer will be welcomed and published in this blog.

 PEN WORLD MAGAZINE ,  June 2011 .  Text by Richard Binder

 Three black hard rubber matchstick filler  pens with same size and shape: from top to bottom, a BAIRD & NORTH, a J. HARRIS ( printed on the magazine and finally an AIKIN LAMBERT .
BAIRD & NORTH was a silversmith and if they made some nice overlays ( for Crocker as an example ) they did not make pens! So some pen manufacturer  made this one. AIKIN LAMBERT AND J. HARRIS , both are now recognized as fountain pen manufacturers but... the same size and shape are too much coincidence !!!

Detail of the nibs ( no detail of the J.HARRIS nib printed in the magazine )

Detail of the sections ( compare again with the section of the J. HARRIS pen printed in the magazine )

And finally details of both matchstick fillers mechanisms


 More MAJESTIC fountain pens

 More MAJESTIC fountain pens ( ladies size )

Another Majestic ladies size, made with a nice and unusual plastic!

More MAJESTIC fountain pens ( first three from left ) , two ALL AMERICAN Conklins , a SWAN SWALLOW made with the same plastic........and finally a small WEIDLICH !!!!


From the  left to the right: an UNIVERSITY, two CONGRESS and two PRESIDENT pens

Details of two MAJESTIC gold nibs in diferent sizes

Detail of a MAJESTIC gold plated nib ( gold plated completely lost )

Detail of the poor quality of gold plating in these nice pens

Detail of a very nice MAJESTIC  clip. You can find traces ( or inspiration )  based on  this clip in some very expensive modern pens ( David Oscarson pens for example )

terça-feira, 16 de agosto de 2011

Seven flamingo " red blood" Wahl Eversharp pens

A ring top ladies size, a Wahl Oxford , A " Deco Band", a gold seal standard size, a purse pen long version, an Equipoised and finally another purse pen in short version.

http://www.blurb.com/books/2704945   AND YOU CAN ORDER THE BOOK ON THIS LINK .


I received the followig comment from Paul Bloch wich I thought it would be interesting to post for diferent reasons you easily understand.

Luiz -
In researching about everything I could find about the Equi-Poised pen, I have come across a couple of interesting facts:
1. The name "Equi-Poised" means equally balanced. Considering that it copied Sheaffer's balance, I guess it's kind of an inside joke.
2. People have, apparently, not decided what to call a couple of the colors. Besides the variants for black and black and white, I have seen one called either green and gold or green and bronze. The other has been called blood red and black, oxblood, flamingo, tunis and tunis pearl. Extremely confusing - and unnecessary, I think.

Also, I have been having an interesting discussion, via e-mail, with Phil Munson. We were talking about people in the collecting community who share their knowledge. As with me, he always found Michael Fultz helpful.

 There are people around who do share, often quietly, like Joao and yourself and Tsachi and Lih-Tah Wong and Tony Fischier and Brian Anderson, but, too often, it seems we are overwhelmed by those looking to make money from their collecting activities. As Phil correctly points out, that money may be important, but it does not excuse some of the behaviors we have witnessed. I wish I could change some of that. I wish, too, that people like you and Rob Astyk and Len Provisor, when you see somebody either not having enough knowledge of a subject or reaching a wrong conclusion, would jump in and point out a clearer direction.

As a result of our brief friendship, I have not only acquired valuable resources for my research, but have had the opportunity to learn a great deal about some not-very-well-known pen makers, like Eclipse and Penol. It's like when I put up a question about trench pens, and several folks were able to help, or with combinations, or with depression pens. We know far too little, I think, about English or French or German pens (to say nothing of Danish); Japanese pens are left to a few specialists. Chinese pens are so common today that collectors turn a blind eye to their efforts - there must, certainly, be honest manufacturers who produce quality products there.

Valeria Mazza, I found out, is a Belgian company, which is trying to muscle in on the other European quality makers. Some of their pens are absolutely beautiful. I never held or written with one, but they appear well-made.



 I found on my stuff , abandoned in my stuff would be the correct word , a small plastic bag with a pen set and a pencil and other Items wich I bought ( for a couple of dollars ) several years ago at an auction during one of the Chicago Pen Shows I attended ( when our friend Mike Fulz was still alive and with the two legs ) . When I picked up the small plastic bag I thought that those Items belonged to , probably a couple ( because inside the bag was another pencil with the name Lydia Anders as a gift from 5 to 10 years loyal service )and what they represented to both of them ! At least the result of hours and hours of hard work inside a factory !!! ( have a look on the barrel's imprint on the pen and pencil of Herbert Anders - 10 to 20 years of loyal service ! ) And that gift , a really small gift, is a remembrance of a work's life !!! Why their family ( if they had a family ) did not respect this couple's work when they passed away and sold that ?????
We, avid fountain pen collectors should think about this !!!!!
May be I'm to sentimental today.Anyway here is the invitation to think when you take an old pen in your hands what that pen could represented to someone before you ( so take it with respect ) and also what is going to happen when it comes our time to pass away !!!!
I wish a nice Sunday to all Pentracers.

PS As usualy this photo was worked by my co conspirator ( as Paul says ) , João Pavão Martins who made this fantastic composition .

After this post I received the following reply from my friend Len Provisor :

The story of the Herb Anders Wahl Eversharp


A most unusual Wahl prototype made by Herb Anders with extra bands on the barrel.

  Lydia Anders was Herb Anders sister. She also worked at Wahl Eversharp for at least 10 years. Herb Anders was living with his sister when he passed away around 2000. At this time her family was moving her to a nursing home and in the process of cleaning out hte house and the garage, all this material from Herb's collections from Wahl was purchased by an antique dealer...who I very fortunately happened to meet at a flea market one day very early in the morning.

Below you will also see his Union books. I recall that union wages at that time were about .75 per hour for women, and me were paid about $1.00 to $1.50 per hour.

The Great Wahl Eversharp flea market haul

Spring ‘94, Grayslake, IL County Fair grounds, the monthly antiques flea market.

I’m one of 50-some early buyers who need to get a life at 6am. My pen pals are behind me because no matter what I’m in line at 5:30 and first out of the gate. The gate opens exactly at 6am and like frenzied sheep we stream in. I go left, they go right. It’s Flea Market 101 science, we spread out and keep a sharp eye to avoid one another.

What amazed me the most about this find is that when the seller saw me strolling down the aisle in the outdoor field, he recognized me from one year ago when he sold me a single pen…and he actually called me by my name “Hey Len, I’ve got some pen stuff for you.” A very good reason to hand out your pen collecting card to sellers!

When I walked over to his stall with tables of totally uninteresting artifacts I saw he was pulling open the side door of his van which was parked directly behind the stall. I thought to myself “Oh, goody, maybe my other pen pals have not seen this yet and he has a good pen!”

I did not see him pull a pen from a box, rather he says “This whole truck load could be yours, it’s fresh from an estate…a Mr. Herb Anders worked at Eversharp Pen Co.” In his later years he lived with his sister Lydia on the northwest side of Chicago not too far from the Wahl factory, Lydia also worked at Wahl Eversharp for many years. Herb Anders passed away and his sister, now very elderly, was finally moving to a nursing home and selling the contents of her house and garage where his artifacts from his work was finally discovered and sold to an antique dealer.

The antique dealer’s truck wasn’t full, it was only half full – but who’s complaining! He opens the first box which is about two feet square and is loaded to the brim with a total messy assortment of pen parts, caps, barrels and a few pens in clear top display boxes which included various Personal Point caps and barrels. He tells me he wants to make it a short day so if I am interested I can have the truck load for $500.

To make a long story fit in a short column, he tells me to come over to his house tonight as he has a lot more stuff from this estate. I make the purchase and load the boxes in my car and carry one small box with me to show my friends when we meet for breakfast on the Fair grounds at 8am, just to compare notes, moan and complain “there is nothing here anymore and I’m not ever coming back!” That’s called friendly psychological warfare, which basically means, “I’ll be back and I hope you won’t!” I can still see their faces when I opened the one box and said I was going back tonite for more.

The night visit gave me a few more boxes of parts, books, company magazines from 1921, literature, shop machine tools and parts, union contract books, his employee ID cards, pins, badges, shop aprons, embroidered Eversharp patches, a complete telephone directory from 1940’s plus several bundles of rods from 12” to about 36” and amazingly I immediately recognized the patterns as used by Parker, Waterman, Wahl, LeBeouf and a few others. A few bundles of rods were solid black, dark navy and grey which I later concluded were for Skyline or Fifth Avenue pens.

After a few weeks of sorting and studying the many boxes of parts, rods, samples and records it became clear that besides some red hard rubber Greek Key pattern pens, pencils, Skylines and Fifth Avenues, lots of c1920’s parts, some were early 1940’s and 1950's tool shop prototypes. These were likely fashioned by the deceased tool maker Herbert Anders who was experimenting on the next generation of Wahl pens. The hand made prototypes and experimental parts found included a Fifth Avenue style piston-operated snorkel, a Parker 61-style self filler, ink cartridge fountain pens, experimental ballpoint refills that were coiled, folded, etc., and a hand made Lifetime conical style 14K nib which is now in John Mottishaw’s collection.
 Notice the bicycle sprockets and parts on display.

Eventually in the 1920’s Herbert Anders was employed at Eversharp and eventually became a shop tool maker.

Photos are scans of black and white photocopies as I did not have a scanner in 1994.

Herbert Anders as a young boy (second from right) in Chicago employed by the Rambler Bicycle Co. located at Lake & Wacker Streets near downtown Chicago where nearly 60 bicycle manufacturers were located within a one mile stretch on Lake St. This company was formerly the Gormley & Jeffrey Co. and Chicago bike makers produced about one half of the 1.2 million bicycles made in 1899. Rambler Bicycle eventually became the Rambler Motor Co. making the Nash Rambler....anyone remember those cute little Rambler Ambassadors from the early 60's?

Notice the bicycle sprockets and parts on display.

Eventually in the 1920’s Herbert Anders was employed at Eversharp and eventually became a shop tool maker.

Photos are scans of black and white photocopies as I did not have a scanner in 1994.

Herbert Anders (on right) with his fellow company volunteer firemen -notice the Auxiliary Fireman Eversharp, Inc. badges.

I concluded that most of these parts were a snapshot of many parts used by Eversharp’s experimental efforts from the mid-1940’s to the early 1950’s. This was a time when Eversharp was struggling to present new pen products and enter the ballpoint market to compete with Sheaffer’s Stratowriter and Reynold’s Rocket ballpoints. The Sheaffer’s Touchdown snorkel filler was introduced in September, 1952 and Parker’s 61 was introduced in September, 1956.

The Eversharp “61” and Fifth Avenue prototypes

now here's the brick to the forehead.....

You see the many acrylic and Pyralin rods from the DuPont Viscoloid Co. Arlington, NJ in various lengths from 12" to 36" and they were EXACTLY the same material rods as used by Parker for Depression pens, various black and pearl used by several pen companies, LeBeouf granite materials, Waterman Patrician Onyx cream and bronze.

The remnant parts I had in my hands were prototype filling designs very similar to the Touchdown and the Parker 61 capillary filler. Eversharp’s version of a snorkel may have been an improvement which combined the extension and retraction of the filler tube below the nib with a piston mechanism which evacuated the ink chamber and allowed air pressure to force ink into the pen barrel. The Eversharp “61” versions included a closed barrel with supposedly ink aspiration from the nib end, very similar to an early Parker 61 prototype. This tells me they somehow got their hands on one, not unusual as pen companies often bought competitive products for study and were trying to retro-engineer the mechanism. Another prototype, shown below, was the nib, feed and a capillary ink collector tube very similar to the 61 design.
The image below shows the top two models as the 61 version. The next two images show the piston-driven snorkel model. The filling tube (snorkel) is extended when the barrel is rotated. A knob on the end of the barrel moves the piston. When the knob is counter-rotated, the piston travels back up the barrel drawing ink into the pen. The barrel must be counter-rotated to withdraw the snorkel tube back under the nib and into the feed. This test model is made in clear Lucite, it appeared solid and comfortable but was never produced or marketed.

Can you just imagine what kind of pens were made from these sample rods?

I placed the rods into about 6 groupings and sold them at a NJ Pen Show the next year. have no idea if they are still sitting in a flower vase or someone proceeded to make some pens from them as late as today, like this one. .

I had one pen made for me only. The rod stock is Wahl Flamingo Pearl, made for me by Brad Torelli, the pen has matching end jewels in same material, the cap is from solid sterling rod and hand hammered.

What this means....if you really find an old pen in the wild that looks like a Parker, smells like a Wahl, barks like a Waterman or quacks like a Sheaffer ...you will NEVER really know who may have made it or what you really have.

© 2008 Len Provisor