Waterman’s Ideal No. 7 
Conklin’s Crescent-Filler 
Sheaffer’s Jade Flat-Top Lifetime 
Wahl-Eversharp Skyline 
Depression-era No-Name 
Esterbrook Dollar Pen and Model J 
Parker Jack-Knife 
Moore Fingertip 
Sheaffer’s Balance 
Moore’s Non-Leakable Safety Pen 
Parker Vacumatic 
Parker 51 
Sheaffer’s PFM 
Sheaffer’s Desk Set 
Vintage Pens, Page   1   2   3   4 
A Beloved Antique
I inherited this late-1920s red and black rippled Ebonite Waterman’s Ideal No. 7 from my grandfather (signature below). It has a “Blue” (Improved Stub) nib, and it writes wonderfully. After the sac disintegrated in the 1980s, I put the pen away until early 2000, when I sent it to John Mottishaw (aka the Nibster). John returned it to working condition, polished it, and sent it on to Rick Horne (aka the Southern Scribe), who replated the clip and filler lever. This pen is 55/8” capped, 71/8” with the cap posted.
The First Successful Self-Filler
Conklin’s Crescent-Filler has fascinated me ever since my son-in-law described the concept to me. (These pens were made in Toledo, Ohio, just a stone’s throw from where he grew up.) I now own this Conklin’s Crescent-Filler No. 30. As best I can determine, it was made around 1923. It writes beautifully with its flexible No. 3 nib. It’s 53/8” capped, 63/4” with the cap posted. Conklin seems to have had problems keeping a given model number assigned to one particular kind of pen — any other No. 30 might differ from this one by having a clip or other trim, or even in size.
Plastic Hits the Scene
Introduced in 1924, the flat-top Sheaffer’s Lifetime, with its distinctive White Dot and “jade” color, was the first successful plastic pen. The green pyroxylin plastic, which Sheaffer called Radite, has a great tendency to turn brown with age, and I consider myself very fortunate to have found this oversize flat-top, with its spectacularly good color. 51/4” capped and 65/8” with the cap posted, it’s a great fit.
The ’40s: Streamlined
During the late 1930s and early 1940s, futuristic streamlining was all the rage. In the pen world, that school of design is exemplified by the Wahl-Eversharp Skyline. Designed by Henry Dreyfuss (who also designed the streamlined steam locomotives that pulled the New York Central’s famed 20th Century Limited), the Skyline was the most successful of all the Eversharps, and an excellent pen. It was manufactured from 1941 to 1948 in several materials, including all-plastic, metal-capped, and solid precious metals. My Skyline has a blue plastic barrel and a ribbed 14K gold-filled cap. It measures 51/4” capped, 513/16” with the cap posted; and it writes like a dream. I also have the matching “machine gun” pencil.
Vintage Pens, Page   1   2   3   4