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sábado, 11 de outubro de 2014


Common people who nowadays use a cartridge filler pen - actually the most widely used filler system - can't imagine the long run since the distant year of 1890 when Eagle Pen Co. created the first pen with a glass cartridge ! The pen was not a commercial success probably due to several factors being the more important the fragility of the cartridge and the consequent broken and leakage . The idea was put in practice again during the 1920s by another pen company called Pollock Pen Co. which made the John Hancock pen, but this time with a copper cartridge ; once again and besides the beauty look of some models the pen didn't receive the public acceptance. In 1936 it was the time for Waterman's to try it's luck with a glass cartridge, once again, ( but this time more thick than the one tried by Eagle ) . And once again no acceptance by the public. Only in 1953 Waterman's won finally the public acceptance with the CF model with a plastic cartridge ! The CF ( cartridge filler) model was a streamlined model and the beauty and great variety of pens made them a very collectible with some very sought  after models by fountain pen collectors. Besides the cartridge there was also a convertor with a similar shape. These converters are nowadays very difficult to find.

To those interested in history and to be honest we should add that this futuristic looking pen ( thin lines, hooded nib and an opened clip with excellent design ) was possible thanks to the genius of Harley Earl .


The John Hancock pen made by  the Pollock Pen Co. Two ladies size pens. Included are an unsual cartridge case holder made with the same material of the pen.As previously said these pens were made on the 1920s and the cartridges were in copper and painted with black ink.

Another attempt was made by Waterman's in 1936 and once again with a glass cartridge but more thick than the inicial ones made by EAGLE.

And finally in 1953 , Waterman's ( once again ) reached the public acceptance with a cartridge filler ( with a plastic cartridge )  with the model CF. " The times were different and,with the rise of the ballpoint, the public was receptive to a new filling mechanism that was similar to refilling a ballpoint. The technology also made possible the construction of plastic cartridges without the associated fragility of the glass." - In " The Chronicle of the Fountain Pen- stories within a story " by João Pavão Martins, Luiz Leite and António Gagean.
The CF model had no great success in USA , despite it's quality and design probably as a consequence of the bad reputation that Waterman's had built in this country . In Europe though, the pen was an enormous success! ( despite that in this same year the Italian Marcel Bich marketed the first disposable ballpoint pen BIC. This was another milestone that changed forever the world of the writing instruments).
The CF model were made in USA, Canada and France ( in this last country until 1970 ).

The CF model it's a stremlined one but very elegant and with a special design which made it very actual even in our days. 

Aspect of some plastic cartridges  ( not the first ones ) and on the following photo the converters to those who opted for that solution. Obviously that nowadays it's very dificcult to  find theses converters in a good condition due to the fact that the rubber its prone to detriorate along the years. It's a problem that would be solved by any private company ( I hope ) because these  are nice pens and it will be a pleasure to anyone to use them to write. 

A demonstrator CF pen with the first plastic cartridge

The first CF pens were fited with steel nibs and  the typical Waterman's globe on the caps top includedd on the clip top 

The long section was in a diferent colour of the barrel's colour . Later on the CF was made with two lateral section bands ( chrome, silver or gold plated and fitted with 14 K nibs ( USA ) or 18 K nibs ( France ) .

Some USA models in  colorful plastics , in and outside the boxes.

The French Waterman's department made the more nice and luxurious CF models which are nowadays very sought after by some collectors who are focused only in this model! 
On the next photo you can see some lacquer pens.

Some gold filled pens

Some sterling pens; the sixth from the left it's called the crocodile pattern and it was made for the well known Cartier house!

And finally my unique CF set in 18 K solid gold over a crocodile cigar case holder with silver trim  ( British Hallmarks from 1891, yes, 123 years old !  ) .

domingo, 3 de agosto de 2014

The STERLING pen Co., an article by Silviu Pincu

This entire article was witten by Siviu Pincu to whom I wish to thank the permission to post it in this blog.
With the exception of the last photo ( with Sterling pens from my ownn collection) all the other photos belong to him.

 A black and red mottled hard rubber middle joint Sterling pen and a black hard rubber sleeve filler one.

segunda-feira, 2 de junho de 2014

BALANCE PENS....An interesting article by DANIEL KIRCHHEIMER

All the article are from Daniel Kirchhmeier and the pens rproduced in the article are NOT MINE

The following  JADE GREEN BALANCE PENS are from my own collection

domingo, 11 de maio de 2014

Marbled blue and black lever filling Sheaffer's pens

Pull lever( or the true lever ) with three main variations : without box ( the more commun) ,with box ( ex: LE Waterman's , Eclipse etc. ) and splitting lever ( ex: the Swan split lever or the Lotz lever we find in the Kraker pens: Pencraft, Monogram, Drew , Belmont and so
on ). Besides these variations some manufacturers attached the lever in a reversed position oposite to the usual one like for instance the British Macauley or the American Eisenstadt .
The invention of the lever filler it is attributed until today to Walter Sheaffer ( or at least the patent it is registered in its own name in the year of 1912 ) ;anyway we know today that this filler system was invented by a man called Barnes in the year of 1903 .
The potential and eficacy of this filling mechanism was such that other pen makers followed very quikly with slightly different patents including the well known L E Waterman's pen maker and the less well known Eclipse Pen Co of New York who had introduced a self filler with a lever filler mechanism based on a patent registered in US by Marx Finstone the Eclipse' founder and owner ( anyway it is known through the articles writen bythe late John Roede,( Eclipse expert and collector)in some magazines that almost all the Eclipse patents registered in Marx Finstone name were in fact invented by his brother in law David Klein! ) . As a curiosity we can add that Eclipse patent for its lever was registered in August 28 , 1917 with No. 1,238657). Eclipse was founded in 1903 in S. Francisco by Marx Finstone with an export department in New York City by the mid twenties and with another factory in Toronto ( under the management of Joseph Tully ) and they supplied the Conway Stewart ( from UK ) lever filler mechanisms without bearing any identifying marks ( other than perhaps the US patent date inscribed in the lever ) from 1916 till 1920 ( until at least Conway Stewart could produce their own levers during late 1919/1920 ) .
The lever filler is indeed one of the most widely used filling mechanisms and it is also very interesting for its simplicity and eficacy - as a matter of fact you only have to pull a small bar from the pen barrel wich is going to depress a rubber sac and when you release the lever bar and push it to the original position the rubber sac fills itself with ink with the vacuum created when it was depressed ! this lever was with time the place of a lot of modifications with the objective to " run out the patent infringe" but also to improve its eficacy and security ( we should remember the problems around the fixation of some levers to the barrel and its partial drop out from the barrel or even some broken barrels due to much pression from the lever! ) .
If technically the evolution of the the lever filler it is very interesting ( and in our opinion one of the more important adition was the lever box ) , we can not forget the other
functions of the levers : decorativo , or as one more place in the pen to imprint anything like the brand name or just a letter related with the brand name ( S for Supremacy or Spencerian , E for Eisenstadt and so on ) or even the patent number ( like in some All American Conklin models ) !
And when we put toghether function with beauty we have what ? You right : we have Design ! And we can talk without favour not only about design of a pen but also about design of a so small pen device like the lever filler ! So what did begin as an important part of a pen besides keeping its function did adquire another important function : decorative !
We can easily remember for instance the nice engraved lever of the diferent Waterman's models from the " VINE " sterling overlays .
And we see levers with diferent forms : completely straight , with diferent ends ( circular, elliptical , triangular or with other geometrical forms ) imprinted with the brand names or models and so on. But the top of this beautiful levers was reached during the Art Deco period in particular with the more important French manufacturers !
After this introduction about this filling system enjoy these woderful Sheaffer's pens .

sábado, 10 de maio de 2014

Five unusual Parker more from the Chicago Pen Show last week

From the left we can see an unusual pattern... at least it was the first time I saw it....like the following Parker the first one I saw in 14kt solid green gold .... so nice. The third one it's a short #14 with Heath sterling silver filigree but in the eyedropper version. And finally two sterling silver hand engraved small Parkers .

Another Parker Vacuum Filler

The VACUUM FILLER Parker pen. Note that the celluloid requested by Kenneth Parker to DUPONT althought the laminated lines were already paralel they were curved and not straight yet like it would be later on!

 The original Vacuum Filler shagreen like card box

domingo, 16 de março de 2014

Solid colors VACUMATIC prototypes.

The VACUMATIC  are in my humble opinion a big group of pens or a big type of pens , each one  of them with its own caractheristics ( size , color, shape, cap bands, nib, clip, pattern and so on )  and  for that reason each one  of them with a special  charme! During the VACUMATIC era, a lot of celluloid  plastics were offered  by DuPont to Kenneth Parker who had to evaluate and discuss ( together with his staff ) which colours and patterns had the chance to be a commercial success. The solid colours were not an option but as usual some prototypes were made. It´s interesting to  think that too many years after, this option was taken to produce some British, French and Danish Duofolds!
Along the years I had the oportunity to buy some of these so rare pens or even mockups ( without nib or feeder ).
So you have now the chance to have a look at some of these beauties.

PS once again I would like to thank to my friend João Pavão Martins who worked on this photo; the colours you see are the real ones!