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sexta-feira, 3 de junho de 2011

THE ECLIPSE PENS , Beginning a long post ( to the memory of Robert Alexander a nice pen friend , expert and collector of ECLIPSE pens ) , please be patient

These John Roede's articles about ECLIPSE pens and their sub brands are the more complete until today about this less known brand who despite that , made some very good and very nice pens as you will see.
These articles were  published in Pen World Magazine Volume 19, No. 6 , July 2006 and Volume 19, No. 7 , September 2006 .

Another article about Eclipse pens history, by Stephen Overbury.

 An unusual pen set in dark blue with gold filled overlay ; Curiously an identical pen set was used in a 1929 CADILLAC advert

   Five gold filled overlay pens in diferent colours: olive green, red, light green , yellow and black.

Three silver overlay pens. These pens are dificult to find in good condition.

An ECLIPSE blue and bronze oversize pen set with the original box .

A nice jade green pen set with its original box. In my opinion these pens were very good quality , very nice an less expensive than for example the more well known and advertised  similar  Duofold  Parkers . Take a look at this Eclipse big gold nib and compare it with the Duofold Parker nib !!!!

Another jade green Eclipse pen but in a streamlined variation

Detail of the cap and the Klein clip

 Diferent ladies models ; Note that the last two pens from the left are loosing the black paint ! They are not made in mottled hard rubber !

 Five orange Eclipses . The last one from the left is also made in celluloid but with a similar chasing of the red hard rubber Whal .

Details of the diferent Klein clips.

A jade green Eclipse desk base and pen

Eclipses in honour of ladies.

Seven streamlined plastic Eclipse pens. The two first pen from left are again painted pens over red plastic and not mottled hard rubber. Note the fading of the black paint on the third pen from the left. The last pen from the left is a rare Eclipse in cherry red colour.

Five Ever-Ready plastic pens ( the blue and bronze pen pencil combination exactly like the Eclipse one ) . Not the last pen from the left in black plastic with the same shape and "art deco "cap band of Monroe pens

Four steamlined Ever-Ready pens

An Ever-Ready oversized orange plastic flat top pen set with the same engraved seen on the similar red hard rubber Whal pens!!!! See the next photo.

A Wahl set in red hard rubber just to compare the chased on cap and barrel.

From left: a plastic red Eclipse combo and two more Eclipses but in  RHR wich is very unusual: a combo and a ladies size ring top pen

The  RHR combo barrel's imprint

The RHR Eclipse ladies size barrel's imprint

The RHR  Eclipse ladies csize lever

The RHR Eclipse combo lever

The RHR combo  Eclipse gold nib 

An Ever -ready ladies size pen set in blue plastic inside it´s original box
A Safety pen in painted plastic, a yellow Wardwrite ( the lower line pen of  Montgomery Ward ) a Lakeside  ( the top line Montgomery Ward house brand according to John Roede )  and two Eclipses.

One of the earliest jade green Parker Duofold ( on the left ) , a similar Eclipse pen, another Eclipse pen and pencil set , an oversized Dunn Camel pen and finally a #6 Wahl  in mottled hard rubber ( both of these pens were listed on the 1924 Montgomery Ward catalogue , togheter with Parker Duofold  ).

Three oversized flat top unusual Eclipses and three variations of pen pencil combinations made with the same marbled ceam and black plastic

Four diferent Gold Bond pens , a black plastic Eclipse wiyh unsual red bands and two gold filled Eclipses , one with a Z-clip and the last one with a Klein clip

Two Diamond Medal  Diplomat pens ( sold by Sears Roebuck according to John Roede ), an Eclipse pen set in blue and bronze and two Good Service pens ( also sold by Sears Roebuck )

Eight diferent  Eclipse pens ,  the first two from left are SUPER SENIOR models

Two more SUPER SENIOR Eclipse pens and other Art Deco models. The sixth pen from the left is a ring top Canadian ladies size model with a very nice cap band. See details on the next two photos.

The third  pen from the left ( with the cap out ) is fitted with this two colour  nice gold nib

Six Marxton pens  ( the name Marxton tooks it's origin from founder's company name: Marx Finstone )

Two Safety pens ( Eclipse made ) . One gold filled  and the other one in painted plastic !! It's not mottled hard rubber. Both pens are fitted with Z-clips

Another oversized MONROE in a scarce color and pattern

Two MONROE pen pencil combination. If  MONROE  pens are hard to find these kind of combos are really rare. The two models have some diferences : diferent clips ( one more streamlined than the other ), the place of the lever on the barrel and also the size of the pens.

Eight Monroe pens in standard size

Seven ladies size Monroe pens. Note that there are pens with and without the cap and barrel's gold filled bands.

Seven Park Row pens. Note the variations of the yellow and green ones with and without cap bands. Anyway the most important fact in this photo is that the blue and bronze last photo from the left, shows a Park Row pen with a Klein clip !!! If you read the John Roede's article he says that Park Row pens were always fitted with a Z-clip and not with the classical Eclipse Klein clip ! Here you have one and I will post more Park Row pens with Klein clip .
An oversize flat top cherry red Park Row pen set inside it's original card box

A JACKWIN oversized plastic grey pen ,( one of the Eclipse sub brands) another JACKWIN in orange plastic and a curious green Eclipse pen in painted plastic ??? loosing it's colour ?

A curious ECLIPSE pen with an unusual clip , made in Canada

 Details of the clip

The Eclipse steel nib

One EVER-READY pen pencil combination in blue and bronze plastic and two  ECLIPSE in the same style. Note the quality of these pens !

A MARXTON pen with chrome plated trim and an ECLIPSE pen with gold filled trim, both in gold and cream nice plastic and perfect condition. Compare the quality of these two pens with a Parker or with a Monroe with the same plastic pattern ! 

An ACCURATE oversized flat top green plastic pen also Eclipse made

A very hard to find DE LUXE ECLIPSE pen  in dark blue plastic with one wide central cap band and two other more thin bands. As far as I know this model was made only in this colour and fitted with a nice gold Eclipse nib. Any further  information about this Eclipse model will be welcomed to my E-mail adress  lleite@netcabo.pt


Some PARKSTON pens believed to be another ECLIPSE sub brand.

Six oversize Eclipse flat tops: from left to right , a dark blue, chased plastic ( NOT hard rubber as some people think and write on Ebay and other sites ! ) , an olive green plastic chased , a kind of burgundy ( very unusual plastic ) , a mandarin yellow, a green and black marbled set ( compare with Sheaffer and other brands ! ) and finally a nice green plastic one.

The third pen from the left with a gold filled wide cap band it is a ECLIPSE sub brand: SAFETY.Note that it is exactly like the  ECLIPSE pen on the next pic .

Five different oversize black plastic Eclipse pens. From left to right: two bandless models, the first one in chased plastic and the second one in smooth plastic, a one band and a two bands cap , both in chased black plastic and finaly an unusual model in chased black plastic with a wide gold filled cap band and also decorated with three white painted lines on top of cap and barrel's end.

Four different "painted" oversized flat top Eclipse pens ( they are not mottled red hard rubber ). The first one from the left is an american model ( see the next first photo ) with a gold NY  Eclipse nib, and a raised cap band similar to those find on Parker Duofolds ! , and without the lever box we can see on later models . The following two pens look similar and they are, but with a small diference wich is, that they are fitted with different gold Eclipse Canadian nibs ( look on the next photos ). The last one is again an american model fitted with an warranted gold nib.

A transitional Eclipse Pen?

Even though they made some very good and beautiful pens, nowadays the Eclipse brand still remains the kind of poor relative (in the pen family) when compared with several other brands like Wahl, Sheaffer, Parker, Waterman , Conklin and so on. Eclipse pens remain a world to be researched by pen collectors who enjoy learning the more they can about the pens they collect. Of course that if It can be good to own a pen, it is also important to know the most you can about that same pen and the respective history of the brand: the founder (s) , the evolution, diferent models and so on. And the Eclipse brand gives the Pen collectors the chance to do a research in diferent aspects ( don't forget the two Eclipse branches - USA and Canada) with a great variety of models and variations on the same models! They made very unexpensive pens ( sold on the Montgomery Wards ) but also more expensive and sophisticated models ( remember Monroe pens ) wich had potencial to compete with the "Big four", but that didn't workout very well, due to the lack of a good commercial strategy and also a lack of " view " from those who were on the helm of the company after the death of Mark Finstone, the founder! Mark Finstone was replaced by his brother in law David Klein who was a great inventor and very innovative in a lot of Eclipse models. In fact, in Canada, all the responsability was given to Joseph Tully .

When we talk about transition, some things must be explained for those who are not familiarized with this brand. So what is this transition about? Where from and where to? In fact, the initial celluloid Eclipse were "flat top", with a very cheap construction that was basically thermo-forming a thin ,previously cured celluloid sheet on a mandrel and acid bonding the seam that was later sealed on the top with plugs in the same material or in different materials. Therefore, the sewing we can observe (see photos).Finstone stuck mainly to solid colors rather than the nice patterns celluloid offered ( tought sometimes these solid colors cilinders were over painted simulating mottled red and black hard rubber for instance ), possibly because it is much more difficult to detect the seem on solid colors than on patterns. Only later on, the flat top pens evolved to the streamlined models, already with other manufacturing techniques! See photo

Different aspects of the tops with the more or less visible plugs and a pic without the plug on the cap top.

The plug.


Three streamlined Eclipse pens with the flat top one ( maybe, the last generation of flat top Eclipse pens )

The pen

The pen side by side with other Eclipse flat top models in order to see its shorter size

The reasons that make me think that this could be a transitional Eclipse Pen:

1 - Firstly, as a flat top, this pen is a little bit shorter than the other flat top Eclipse pens or its sub brands . On the other side this pen is in mint condition which in a certain way can exclude the hypothesis that the pen barrel was shortened to repair a crack on the end of the barrel or even on the barrel threads . See photo..

2 - Secondly, the " Art Deco" style triple cap band with the middle one engraved with some sort of waves is the same that we find in the more sophisticated Eclipse streamlined pens which appeared after the flat top models . Perhaps due to economical difficulties and in order to save any money, they abandoned later on the two "extra" bands keeping only the engraved one (or probably it has nothing to do with this and it's simply another model variation ! ) See photo....

3 - Finally, the lever detail! All the Eclipse flat top models are fitted with a lever with a laurel wreath in the end and this pen is fitted with the usual lever filler we find in the streamlined models ( though some of them also used a lever with an elliptical end engraved "Eclipse" instead of the classical laurel wreath end of the flat top lever fillers). See photo ... The two last lever models coexisted tought the straight model was mainly used on the Canadian models

Aspect of the different levers

Some variations on  oversized flat top Park Row Eclipse pens with the classical Z-clip , three in yellow and three in green

Five variants on oversized Eclipse green pens . The third one with cristalization on caps top !!!! It's very difficult to find these pens in good condition!

An oversized streamlined green and black marbled Eclipse pen set , in and outside the box.

Detail of the clip

Detail of the original wavy line cap band

Two more streamlined models

Eight very nice "Art Deco" Eclipse pens
 Detail of the barrel's imprint

The four leaf clover ( SHAMROCK )  wich is imprinted on the last Canadian Eclipse pens . Why ? What is the meaning ? We know that the four leaf clover is the National Ireland symbol. Joseph Tully's parents were Irish catholic farmers ! According to the opinion of my friend João Pavão Martins that could be the reason of a such an imprint! It makes sense !

Detail of the Eclipse Canadian steel nib

More Art Deco Eclipse pens

More MARXTON pens , Art Deco style

The Streamlined line togheter with pens from other brands but made with similar plastic.
Unnecessary description of the represented pens !

More ECLIPSE pens from the Streamlined line.

This is not an ECLIPSE PEN PHOTO. Anyway it is a nice photo and the last pen from left to right is a very nice ART DECO ECLIPSE. Beginning from left we have a National Pen Products pen set, a Chilton Chiltonian, three Wearever a Wirt and finally the ECLIPSE



Some more Eclipses to my Eclipse collection and an Eclipse Art Deco box offered to me by Jim Baer ( thanks again Jim ; my Eclipse pens also thanks to you ! ) .
Frome left: An oversized Eclipse , a coral red Monroe ( the Eclipse top of the line ) very unusual because it has two bands ( usualy they have a Deco band or only one cap band and gold filled bands on the steped ends - this one has not those bands and...never had ) , a jade green Park Row pen pencil combination (another Eclipse sub brand ), and two more flat top Eclipses; the first one is the rare large band wich I'd think that it was only made in dark blue and I found this one in black and the last one a red one with painted bands.

4 comentários:

Unknown disse...

This was an excellent article. It has some valuable content on this topic. Thank you for compiling it into an easy to read and well written post.imprinted pens

Unknown disse...

Thank you very much Patricia for your comment. My apologies for my late reply but only now I read it!!!! I didn't receive any note related with your post. Believe me that I'm not an unpolite person. Best regards. Luiz

Nicholas disse...

This is the final evidence I need to prove my theory... I believe I have found the prototype pen for Finstones patent on the lever fill pen done in August of 1917. It is a Safety model pen, I think, with a herring bone pattern engraved into the gold filled portions. It has what looks like a hand-carved ~4mm diameter feed made of wood, without the ribbing that was described in the article, but no nib, but when I look close enough, I can see the area inside the section that the nib sat in. It has no clip; it has broken off (Yes, broken. There is still a sharpish bit of gold sticking out of where the clip was mounted) long ago. The fill lever itself has the stamping on it "PAT. AUG. 28-1917", and has a small round edged square as a pull tab on the lever itself. You can see images of pens that look like the one I found on pages 14 and 59. If I am correct, then there aren't very many things this size that are still around to day, and as of t5oday, it is roughly 7 and a half months away from being 102 years old. With the state it is in, I don't think it can get any worse than where it is at now unless if I try to damage it.

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