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 
Inexpensive No-Name
I found this little pen when I was digging through a beer stein full of “junk” in my kitchen. I’ve found only one other like it, an auction item on eBay. It measures 41/2” capped, 53/4” with the cap posted. The sac is not glued to the section, as in most quality pens; rather, it is compressed by a ring on the inside of the barrel. This method is less reliable, but it is also less costly to produce. The nib is two-tone in color, with an imprint reading Iridium Tipped. There are no other identifying marks. I turned to the experts at Fountain Pen Hospital, who told me this:
Your pen is a true “no-name” (ie. we do not know the manufacturer), made during the Depression and probably sold for $1, or less, when new. A number of better pen companies made very inexpensive pens during the Depression to survive but did not want their reputation tainted by adding their name to the new product which did not meet the higher standards of their mainstream product line. Yours is a lesser quality pen with a steel nib that is an interesting artifact but of no significant value ($10-$25 at most).
Okay, that’s cool. On the other hand, if you know something about this pen, I’d appreciate any leads you might be able to offer. (Click the thumbnails for larger images of the nib and clip.)
User-Changeable Nibs
Scorned by some collectors as “poor man’s” pens, Esterbrook fountain pens today are sought after by serious writers. These inexpensive but well-made pens, such as the 1940 “Dollar Pen” and the classic 1950s Model J here, were designed with a user-interchangeable screw-in “Renew-Point” nib assembly. Renew-Points came in a broad array of sizes and types; the customer could choose pen and nib separately for a truly personalized writing instrument. The inexpensive steel nibs are frequently a little lacking in smoothness. My Dollar Pen has a No. 2968 firm broad nib. It’s 413/16” capped and 61/4” with the cap posted. My Model J has a No. 1551 “school” nib; it’s 51/16” capped and 63/16” with the cap posted.
No More Stained Pockets
Early fountain pens were all too likely to leak in the user’s pocket; caps were just a slip-fit onto the section, feeds were leaky, and sacs could burst. The G. S. Parker company’s solution was the button-filled Parker Jack-Knife Safety Pen (introduced in 1912), the predecessor of the famous Duofold. Its Lucky Curve feed (1894) relies on capillary action to drain excess ink, its barrel has no filler-lever slot, and its cap screws securely onto the barrel. Like many other pens of the time, the Jack-Knife was sold in several sizes. My chased No. 231/2 Jack-Knife was made about 1918. 55/16” capped and 61/2” with the cap posted, it’s oversize, but not the largest model. Its flexible italic nib lends a strong character to its writing.
Smooth as a Fingertip
The Moore Pen Company was founded in 1899 as the American Fountain Pen Company, marketing a “safety” pen designed by Morris W. Moore. In 1917, the company was renamed, and it gradually began making high-quality but otherwise ordinary lever-filler pens. In 1946, it introduced the Moore Fingertip Pen, an innovative pen designed to compete with the streamlined Parker 51. The Fingertip was an excellent, smooth pen — I really like the way mine writes, with its fine/medium nib — but it was also a sales disaster, possibly because it was too different from regular pens. After only five years, Moore retired the Fingertip and began making mediocre aerometric-filling pens. In 1956, the company went out of business. My Fingertip is 5” capped and 63/16” with the cap posted. (Click the thumbnail for a larger image of the famous Fingertip nib/section assembly.)
Vintage Pens, Page   1   2   3   4