February 27, 2015
, in the ads and patents.
[Posted on L&P on May 25, 2012 and Mar 8, 2013.]
Most trench pens are associated with World War I, and that’s when they were the most popular, but the idea of a pen that writes with dry ink tablets or powder originates well before that period. Ink tablets and ink powder were used more often with dip pens and inkwells, and the use of ink tablets in fountain pens was the exception, not the norm, but in distinguishing between what was usual and what was exceptional, you also have to ask where and to whom. How extensively ink tablets and ink powders were used was a matter of where the user lived and the time of the year. They were marketed to travelers and soldiers, but also to the rural market, and to schools. If we’re talking about the early 1900s, then their actual use depends upon whether the user lived in a house with central heating. In winter on a farm, or in a small town, or in rural schools without central heating, liquid ink could freeze and spoil over night. The pigments would precipitate and the sediment would settle out, leaving a watery, wishy-washy, gray ink. Most of the year, they would still use bottled ink, but in the cold months in northern climates, powdered inks and tablets would become the norm. One ink maker in Canada was Reliance Ink Mfg. Co. in Winnipeg, Manitoba, formerly Manitoba Ink Mfg. Co., and their pillbox-sized tins of ink tablets and packets of powdered ink were advertized extensively in stationery and school supply catalogues that targeted the rural, small-town, and school markets. I have quite a few different types of their containers and packets in my collection. Ink tablets sold under the brand names of prominent fountain pen companies, however, are a different matter and are a little more scarce and uncommon, so let’s look at the advertizing and patent records.
First, the patent and trademark record. In the UK between the years 1688 and 1900, there were around 35 patents for ink powder, solid ink sticks, dry ink, and ink tablets, and also for fountain pens and steel nibs that used ink tablets and solid ink. In the US between the years 1869 and 1950, there were around 81 similar patents and trademarks.
Here are some highlights from the UK. Patent no. 258 was issued on Feb 7, 1688 to Charles Holman for “Powder For Making Black [Iron-Gall] Writing Ink”, so the tradition of making dry ink goes back a long time. All you had to do was mix it with “faire water”, or with “beer, ale, or wine”. The sugar content of the alcoholic beverages improves the saturation of the pigments. This is something that we now know chemically, but back then it was something that was “haply” discovered by chance. Patent no. 906 was issued on Nov 25, 1768 to John Dring for “Manufacture Of Ink Into A Solid Body, Called Cake Ink”. And then there’s UK patent no. 9,220 in 1894, issued to Domingo Arriaza for “Fountain Pens” that utilized ink tablets. The pellets of concentrated ink, or “ink pills” as they are called in the specifications, are stored in a separate “storage-receptacle or magazine” in the barrel end.
Here are some highlights from the US. Patent no. 90,417 was issued to John Zengeler on May 25, 1869 for “Improved Ink Powder And Dye From Aniline Colors”. William A. Bonney, a maker of liquid ink, received patent no. 170,513 for “Improvement In Ink Powders” on Nov 30, 1875. Patent no. 523,863 was issued to Ernest Nienstaedt on July 31, 1894 for an “Ink” powder called “Magic Ink Crystals” made by the Clean & Ready Co. John Blair held three patents, 587,032, 620,216, and 740,618, from 1897, 1899, and 1903 respectively, for fountain pens with solid ink or ink powder in their barrels. Patent no. 751,554 was issued on Feb 9, 1904 to William C. Pope for “Effervescent-Ink-Tablets”. Patent no. 984,710 was issued on Feb 21, 1911 to James H. Shunk, Jr., for a jointless “Fountain-Pen” that was to be used with ink powder or tablets. A barrel-end water reservoir used to thin down the thickened ink is connected to the front ink chamber by a spring-loaded valve. Trademark no. 120,603 for the word “Military” and no. 122,278 for the word “Trench” were issued to Mabie, Todd & Co., the former on Feb 19, 1918, used since Aug 20, 1917, and the latter on July 16, 1918, used since Mar 12, 1918. The Parker trench pen is missing in action in the patents, but patent no. 1,109,033 issued on Sept 1, 1914 to Edward K. Bixby is for a “Fountain-Pen” with an ink-tablet magazine under an extended barrel-end blind cap. It almost looks like Parker’s trench pen, and it’s illustrated with a feed that looks like it has a “Lucky Curve” hook on its end, so it may have been used by Parker. There’s also patent no. 1,255,671 issued on Feb 5, 1918 to Francis W. Vaughn and Henry J. Upton was for a “Fountain Pen Cap” with a compartment for ink tablets. Maurice Alland received two earlier patents for leverfiller fountain pens with ink-tablet-holding feeds, but his patent no. 1,668,621 from May 8, 1928 was for a multicolor ink-tablet fountain pen & pencil combo that held two reversible ink tablets in a “mutli-holder”, an ink-tablet cartridge or carrier. These are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
And now, the advertizing record. The first advertisement in The American Stationer is the ad on Feb 15, 1894, p.313, for “Magic Ink Crystals” when the patent was still pending. On Oct 11, 1894, p.653, there is an article mentioning two ink powder makers in Colorado, so you can imagine how many more there were throughout the country. “Premo Pen Pellets” were mentioned and illustrated in articles on Feb 18, 1911, p.14, and Feb 25, 1911, p.27. But that’s it until the US entered the First World War.
Then the patents for the ink tablets and the ink-tablet pens that used them really started flowing and proliferating. “Simplex” ink tablets appear in an ad in the Oct 25, 1917 issue, on p.13, and an article on p.110. Salz advertized its cartridge-shaped “Army And Navy” fountain pen and the ink tablets for them on June 16, 1917, p.24, Nov 10, 1917, p.39, Nov 24, 1917, p.39, Dec 8, 1917, p.39, and June 15, 1919, p.26. Ads on June 23, 1917, p.28, Oct 13, 1917, p.12, and Oct 27, 1917, p.42, feature the J. Ullrich Co. “Independent” cartridge-shaped stylograph and the “Vulcan” ink tablets for their pens. Mabie, Todd & Co. advertized their trademarked “Military” ink-tablet fountain pen in full page ads on Aug 25, 1917, p.17, Oct 27, 1917, p.85, Mar 23, 1918, p.23, Apr 13, 1918, p.25, and Apr 27, 1918, p.47. The pens were advertized as “Pat. applied for”, but the patent wasn’t issued until 1919. It’s also very similar to the Arriaza 1894 UK patent above. And an article on Nov 24, 1917, p.8, titled “Soldiers Want Fountain Pens” is really about advertizing the Swan “Military” pen. It treats them as a fad, saying that, “The ink tablet novelty has made a great hit with the soldiers”. Byers & Hayes cartridge-shaped fountain pens are advertized on Oct 27, 1917, p.151, and Nov 24, 1917, p.27. “Christy’s” Ink Tablets were advertized on Oct 6, 1917, p.12, Dec 1, 1917, p.3, and Dec 15, 1917, p.33. The General Eclipse “Inklet” ink tablets were advertized on Oct 6, 1917, p.20, and Oct 27, 1917, p.145. “Economite” ink tablets are advertized on Nov 24, 1917, p.31. “Prest-O-Ink” ink tablets are advertized on Apr 13, 1918, p.27, saying that they produced 15 million tablets per week. There is a “Stationers’ Information Bureau” question-and-answer about ink tablet makers on Dec 29, 1917, p.16, with a list of nine makers, and three on the list are prominent fountain pen companies. See the pic below. Parker and Waterman are conspicuous by their absence, but even though Parker had its own “trench pen”, they weren’t advertizing in Am. Stat. at the time, so they were excluded. Who knows, maybe they didn’t come out with the ink tablets for their trench pen till 1918. The Waterman’s WWI-themed ads appeared comparatively quite late. They have an ad on Sept 21, 1918, p.1, with the soldiers wearing the Mountie-style hats with their characteristic “Montana crease”, which should actually be called a “Mountie crease”, and an ad on Nov 9, 1918, p.21, for their “Service Pen”, with its fasces overlay. But that’s it till after the war.
There is a very late Waterman’s ad on May 17, 1919, p.1, a full-page ink ad that peripherally mentions and illustrates their “Army And Navy Ink Pellets”, but now they are being touted for “Vacation And Travel Use”. The article “General Use of Ink Tablets” on Feb 22, 1919, p.28, appears to be about “general use”, but it’s really about desperately trying to sell Salz ink tablets to the general public after the war. But the death knell for the wartime ink tablet was sounded by the article on Dec 6, 1919, p.20, “War Department Will Sell Ink Tablets”. They were selling 61,000 cans of ink tablets located at an army facility in Atlanta, Georgia, where liquid ink didn’t stand much chance of freezing in winter. I guess the fad wore off. But up here, north of the 49th parallel where it’s colder in winter, the use of ink powder and ink tablets persisted well into the 1960s, especially in some remote rural schools.
Here’s one of the Mabie, Todd & Co. “Military” fount-pen pen ads, the one from Aug 25, 1917, p.17 , to compare to the 1894 Arriaza UK patent. And here’s another ad from Oct 27, 1917, p.85 , with a clearer picture of the pen, and a picture of one of the Mountie-style hats. There’s also the Parker trench pen from the 1918 Parker catalogue mentioned in the earlier trench pens blog post.
With ink tablets, the first consideration was always the weather, then the convenience, and then the application in battlefield situations. The US had not yet entered the war in 1914, so in the article “Buy These Items Now”, Oct 17, 1914, p.14, retail stationers are told that they should stock up their winter supply of inks and mucilage. In the L. E. Waterman Co. ad on Nov 7, 1914, p.1, the ad copy tells the stationers to “Order Your Winter Supply Now”. On Nov 21, 1914, p.20, there is another article, “Inks And Cold Weather”, urging “wholesale and retail readers” to buy their supply of ink before the freeze up. And finally, on Dec 26, 1914, p.8, by which time it was already too late, the article “Ink Makers And The Weather” warns that shipments of ink cannot be made when “the temperature falls to 33 degrees”. Then all the trench pen ads started appearing in 1917 after the US finally entered the war. And as soon as the war was over, it was back to peace time applications, as the article cited above, the one from Feb 22, 1919, p.28, makes clear. And the article from Dec 6, 1919, p.20, tells us that the War Department anticipated that the war would go longer than it did and had purchased an excess of ink tablets, and they were dumping their overstock. The temporary craze was over.
February 25, 2015
[Posted on L&P on Feb 10, 2006 and Feb 21, 2006.]
Parker’s “Trench Pen” is an eyedropper pen that fills, as most do, at the section-end of the barrel. The blind-cap-end is not drilled out and is not able to receive a button-filling mechanism, and the blind cap is especially long because it is meant to hold a few solid ink tablets. That’s another feature that Parker promotes to the boys in battle, and is advertized in the ads in another up-coming post in this blog about button fillers, twist fillers, and the duo-fold filler. This ink-tablet pen had nothing to do with converting a button filler as an eyedropper, but was marketed in parallel with the duo-filler conversion feature. The “Trench Pen” does, however, have some features in common with the early Duofold, so here are a couple of pictures to illustrate these features. This picture of a BHR Giant “Trench Pen” demonstrates the early “Lucky Curve” threads that the first Duofolds also had. These threads are not compatible with the later Duofolds. But the picture of the RHR version of the pen is the really interesting one. This pen sold on Ebay in 2003, and the image is very low resolution. The pen had a broken cap, so a very proficient pensmith made a replacement cap from a RHR Duofold Jr. The RHR material in the Duofold was a much brighter orange color, so that’s why there is a color difference between the cap and barrel. This pen is a perfect example of the difference in color between the earlier, darker RHR that Parker used in the Lucky Curve era, and the later, brighter orange color they used in the Duofold era. In fact, that darker shade is probably the color of the Pompeian Brown Duofold. It’s not as brown as one would expect from the name, so maybe it’s time that we started calling it Pompeian Burnt Orange.
Rob Astyk said that at a pen show two years earlier he saw a Parker trench pen owned by Stephen Overbury that was the negative image of the “Pompeian Orange” model with a black barrel and cap and RHR Jack-Knife Safety inner cap and ink pellet container. He went on to say that it is worth noting that, “The Trench pens were made on the same machines that turned the Parker button fillers of the era. The only differences being the longer blind cap on the barrel end, and the fact that the barrel is not bored through between the ink chamber and the blind cap”.
At about the same time, Parker also had a Nurse’s Pen that had a BHR cap and barrel, but with RHR tips, or ends. An example of the pen from the Parker Archives was on display at the visit to the Parker Archives and factory in 1991. I might also add that the RHR ends on this Nurse’s Pen are probably some further examples of this Pompeian Orange color.
And John Danza wrote, “First, I must say sorry for the long post, but that this is a favorite subject of mine. This pen is not just a button filler with the hole not bored through. The diameter of the threaded portion on the barrel that the blind cap meets up with is considerably larger than that same piece on the button fill Jack Knife Safety #20 pens. The blind cap of the trench pen goes right over the top of the regular button fillers without coming close to engaging the threads. What I’ve been able to learn from Mike Fultz and from various Parker publications is that the Trench pen was made between mid-1916 and 1918. The 1918 catalog is the last time that it appears. While it’s cataloged specifically as “The Trench Pen”, none were ever marked as such, and instead have the normal Jack Knife Safety markings. There was also an information page that was printed in Pen World, July-August 1996, p.60, with a picture of an actual Black Giant Trench pen. Talk about large! This thing probably required a whole container of tablets to fill it. This picture came from Fultz, but I don’t know whose collection the pen came from. This is one of those unique combinations in collecting, a rarity layered upon a rarity. There are so few Trench pens of any style known that to lump one in with a Giant is pretty exciting. All that’s left is to find a Red Giant Trench! Okay, I’ll stop dreaming now. According to Fultz there are no known versions of this pen with a RHR blind cap. All the known RHR trench pens have BHR blind caps. If that pen Rob saw did have one, it would be a first”. You call that a long post? You should see some of the other posts around here. Fultz also had an article about Trench pens on Penbid, which is now archived in the Wayback Machine. And here’s a picture of one of his Parker BHR Giant Trench pens.
Rob said that he saw the pen for only a few minutes, but he believed that what he saw was a Trench Pen in BHR with RHR ends. Then he added, “As an aside, I always wondered why Parker didn’t produce a BHR Duofold with RHR ends as a standard model, simply reversing the standard Duofold pattern instead of the all-black, it’s-only-a-Duofold-because-it’s-in-the-imprint variety.
I figure that it has something to do with the relative weakness of RHR parts and the strength required for the end pieces, but that’s only a guess”.
I thanked John for posting the extra info and pictures because I noticed that the pen illustrated in the 1918 catalogue had a different type of ink-tablet compartment. Instead of a blind-cap compartment, the compartment was inside the end of the barrel. And the blind cap is reduced to a barrel-end plug that screws into the internal barrel-end threads, instead of onto the external threads of a button-filler remnant. So there are two different styles of the Parker Trench Pen, and many different sizes to find. It all makes for a very interesting sub-collection. David Nishimura said he had never seen a Trench pen with the alternative end plug arrangement, and wondered whether any were known. John also said that he thought it was unlikely that this variation of the storage style was ever produced.
However, after I reread the Fultz article on Penbid cited above it looked like Rob’s memory might not have been deceiving him after all. Fultz writes, “Parker’s advertising indicated that he had given a large quantity of these Trench Pens to the American troops sent to France. The ads said that those pens were black but had the blind caps holding the ink tablets made of red hard rubber. It is unclear whether Parker ever got his pen gifts to the troops, or if so, whether they actually had red blind caps. Parker Trench Pens are quite rare today, and none of the existing pens seen by the author has a red blind cap. In fact, the Trench Pen in the factory archives is made of red hard rubber but has a black blind cap”. So the Trench Pen in black with red ends should exist after all. Now, can anybody find some of those ads? In the meantime, here’s a modern BHR Giant Trench pen with RHR ends recreated by Chris Thompson. And for good measure, here are two pictures of a RMHR version, picture 1, and picture 2.
February 23, 2015
, making your own limited edition frankenpen.
[Posted on L&P on June 28, and July 6, 2005, and on PenCraftsmen on Oct 17, 2007.]
A few years ago, I bought two Parker Centennial Duofold pens in the orange color with black ends, and I had them converted by Paul Rossi into all-orange pens. Because they resemble the Swan Eternal, I sometimes call them my “Rossi Duofold Eternals”, or my “Parker Centennial Eternals”, but they could just as well be called “Canadian Orange Heat Waves”. Paul also converted an orange vintage hard rubber Duofold into an all-orange pen for me. The above picture shows them side by side. I have a vintage bandless RHR Parker Duofold Sr., and I sometimes also place that cap-tube on this pen. Then I took all the parts leftover from all my Centennial Duofolds and started to play with them.
The Parker Centennial Duofold was originally released in 1988 in the colors maroon, blue,
and black, and soon after I bought one of the black pens. The original release of the pen came in
a rather plain box, not at all like the wooden boxes of the later Limited Edition pens, but it also included a very interesting brochure that was exclusive to this early run of pens. This warrantee booklet contained the blueprints of the fountain pen with a cartridge, a nib-and-section unit with a convertor, and the first-version ballpoint, and it was from those images that I figured out how the pen could be taken apart. Here’s one of the blueprints, the most crucial one because it shows the three major parts, that is, cap, barrel, and nib-section.
So when the new orange version of the pen finally came along a few years later, I showed the blueprints to Paul Rossi at the 1994 LA pen show, and commissioned him to remake the pen for me in all-orange, no black tips, or gold rings. At the time the pen was not selling well for Parker because they had saturated the market with the pen. I was fortunate enough to have found two pens at $150 each, and I had both of them converted by Paul. Soon after that, Parker recalled 1,945 pens, engraved them with MacArthur’s signature, stuck them into fancy limited edition boxes, and started to sell them for about $850. After that, the price for the plain pen started to climb as well.
As a consequence of the conversion of my two pens, I had some leftover parts, some red rings, and some gold-plated rings. I took my black pen apart as well, and started playing around with exchanging those parts with the orange ones. I showed the pen around at an LA pen show, and by the time of the next Chicago pen show a couple of months later, other people were already selling their versions of the pens with mismatched and mixed-up parts. Some of these pens had one part each from the maroon, blue, green, orange, and black pens, and these tasteless pens were being called “factory prototypes” by the shady sellers. I couldn’t believe it.
In any case, this is how all these pens came about. I started with a first-version black pen
with flat bands on the cap and barrel, but with the second-version clip. I placed the original first-version clip on one of my orange Rossi converts because I liked it better. This is what my black pen looks like now, with second-version clip and rounded cap and barrel bands. I call it my “Reverse Hemingway”, or my “Anti-Rossi Centennial Duofold”, since it is the opposite of the Montblanc Hemingway color scheme, and none of the parts are made by Paul. It could also be called an all-Parker frankenpen, since all the parts are made by Parker. This is what my Anti- Rossi convert looks like with the first-version flat bands and the second-version clip. And this is what the whole conversion kit looks like. The original black pen did not come with the Centennial Duofold emblem on the cap end, so that adds another possibility to the conversion. And here’s one of the boxes in which the original orange pens came, an American Cherrywood box.
So this is how I made my own three Limited Edition pens. They’re not standard issue pens, so they’re also frankenpens, for they do bear the mark of pens customized by a ninja pensmith.
So get out there and start customizing your pens, and start making your own Limited Edition frankenpens as well, but make them tasteful.
Addendum, May 31, 2015.
Looks like the Parker Pen Co. has finally taken a hint and produced a Parker Centennial Duofold “Big Red” in all-red. Here’s John Mottishaw’s article ad for the pen, and some more pictures.
Addendum, June 7, 2015.
Glenn Craig recently posted a picture of his black & pearl Centennial Duofold with a shortened cap on Pentrace. And by the way, Parker has never retooled the length of the Parker Centennial Duofold cap since 1988, when the pen was first introduced, and has never shortened it. The cap bands, no matter what their size, shape, or configuration, have always come to a total of exactly 5mm. You have to remove bands to make the cap shorter, as Glenn did, but the cap lip will allow for the removal of only one narrow band. This is what my black Parker Centennial Duofold looks like at present. I actually lengthened my cap with the addition of two narrow bands, so the band portion is now 7mm. This is the dreaded Montblanc triple-cap-band configuration trademark, one wide band flanked by two narrows. Now, it’s really a “Reverse Hemingway”.
February 21, 2015
[Posted on FPN on Mar 21, 2005, and on PenCraftsmen on Oct 25, 2007.]
Okay boys and girls, don’t laugh too hard, and don’t make too much fun of it. Here’s a Limited Edition pen that I made up for myself a few years ago when the Cigar LE Pens were coming out. I thought that those cigar pens were ugly, and it inspired me to make my own Cigar LE Pen. I had a New Old Stock noname eyedropper pen that I bought from the remains of an old stationery shop, but it was missing its cap and nib, so I installed a “Sterling” nib and decided to use the pen as the basis for my LE pen. Sterling Picard could probably tell you all about the nib. He collects Sterling pens, and has written a history of the company for The Pennant.
Local wildlife artist, Dave Kemp, carved most of his small sculptures from deer antlers, so I had him make me a cap from a deer antler point. He did the carving, and I installed the turquoise glass-bead eyes, and fined-tuned the fit of the cap to the pen. I had an old, near-mint-condition “White Owl” cigar box kicking around, and I inserted a tray from a Parker Centennial Duofold pen box, and surrounded it with matte board covered with slub silk, and there it was, my Cigar LE Pen. I call it “The White Owl Pen”, a limited edition of one pen! The antler material is quite light, and the pen is surprisingly well-balanced when the cap is posted for writing. And the nib is a super flexy #3. Here’s a photo of the pen capped. Here are a couple of scans of the inside and outside of the cigar box lid. And here’s a picture of the pen sitting in its box.
When I got the cap from the artist, it was already roughly hollowed out, probably with a drill and a Dremel tool. I used my eye and some cylindrical files and tapered circular files to fine-tune the fit. I indexed the cap and barrel with two pointed tabs of masking tape to keep the owl’s beak in line with the slit in the nib. I then dusted the section of the pen with a white powder, and inserted it into the cap, always with the two indexing arrows matched up. The high spots inside the cap showed up when they rubbed the powder off the section. I found the corresponding spots inside the cap and attacked them with the files. I repeated this process until the powder was removed or disturbed evenly around the section, and until the cap felt right and didn’t wobble. I did the same for the barrel end until it posted well, and until I found a good compromise between the two ends. No high-tech lathe required, but it could have been done that way as well. The cap is a friction fit. It took forever to get it just right, so it wouldn’t wobble on either end, and so that it would look good capped and posted. It was all done by hand, and it’s still not perfect, but you have to stop somewhere. I don’t dare store it filled with ink, though, especially not lying down flat. I might end up with a common black owl, or a red owl, or that rare spotted blue owl.
And here’s a vintage cigar ad that would serve equally well for my “White Owl” LE pen.
February 19, 2015
. . . the Waterman’s Autograph Album.
[Posted variously on L&P, Pentrace, and FPN on and around Jan 22, 2007, and Dec 7, 2012.]
I really miss Frank Dubiel. He was one of the few people at the pen shows that I could talk to about obscure fountain pen arcana, and he was as gentle as a pussy cat, once you got to know him. This post is in memory of all of Frank’s posts on Penlovers and alt.collecting.pens-pencils and all the other pen message boards on which he participated.
Some of my favorite pen-show memories are from the two times I attended the Houston pen show. The first time I attended, in 1995, I was flying on a free Air-Miles ticket, and the airline forced me to stay one day longer, until Tuesday, so I asked Stan Pfeiffer whether I could come over to his place to see his collection on Monday. He responded with an unhesitating and enthusiastic “yes”. I was stuck in the hotel the next day, and while I was waiting in the lobby, I bumped into Frank and Susan Wirth, and when they found out what I was doing, they asked whether they could come along. I phoned Stan, and he said “sure”, so Frank, and Susan, and a few others piled into Susan’s car, and we had a great time getting the tour of his house and of his great collection. He prepared a lunch of donuts and coffee for us, and we sat in his large kitchen and ate and talked before we headed out for a pen show dinner.
Now, unbeknown to me, this Houston after-pen-show-lunch-and-get-together at Stan’s became an institution. Year after year, the lunch developed into a major pen meeting, by invitation only. Frank was always invited, and the lunch was even named in his honor by that time. Stan would prepare a major feast with a Texas barbeque in his back yard, and afterwards people would pass around some rare and unusual pens for discussion. The attendees would bring special items from their collections, items that wouldn’t normally see the light of day often. Well, by 1999 I had enough Air Miles for another free ticket, so again I chose Houston. I heard about the lunch and finagled an invitation out of Stan. This time there were collectors and researchers like Frank Dubiel, Michael Fultz, David Nishimura, and about 8-10 others in attendance, and this time we ate Texas barbeque, either slow-roasted, or smoked beef that was tender and juicy, and other Southern and Mexican foods. And then we sat in a circle and passed around trays of pens that Fultz brought from his archive in his Parker Pen Co. safe, all for our delectation and discussion. What a great end to the weekend. I stayed late at the meeting, but someone else in attendance rushed me over to the airport in his car in time for my flight up to Canada, almost straight north of Houston. Now, that’s Texas hospitality!
This was one of the first pen shows to be held in conjunction with the inkwell collector’s society, and earlier that weekend I visited with an inkwell collecting couple, Scott & Dixie Rodkey, and viewed their collection and had another nice meal. The inkwell-show people had their own auction of inkwells and ink bottles, and there was a beautiful 16 oz. Parker “Duofold” master ink that both Stan and I wanted. Well, we were both stubborn, and the bidding went into the hundreds of dollars, but in the end Stan won out. When he walked past me after the auction, and during the rest of the show, we would both smile at one another, and he would call me “Ink Dog”.
One of the items on my sales table was the “Waterman’s Autograph Album”, which are highly prized only when they contain some famous autographs. Well, mine was almost empty and had no one famous, and I was getting sick and tired of people picking it up and throwing it down when they discovered that there weren’t any famous people in it. One time when someone threw it down, I looked away in disgust, and who should I see a few booths down from mine but Frank Dubiel. And it was at that moment at the 1999 show that I decided to fill up my album with the autographs of famous pen collectors and researchers. I picked up that forlorn, castaway album and walked over to Frank, and had him sign it first of all, and I placed the album prominently on my table at that pen show and at every other show I attended since then until it was filled up, but that album was no longer for sale. When Stan signed the album for me, he inscribed it with the honorific “To the ink dog”. You can see Stan’s autograph on this page. Over on Pentrace on Jan 23, 2007, Antonios Zavaliangos called this little album a piece of “meta-ephemera”, an excellent neologism to describe the album. It’s “ephemera-about-ephemera”. Thanks for the cool, new word, Antonios.
On Aug 25, 2012, Fern Padilla wrote, “Thanks for posting that autograph book. I see a lot of folks on those pages who . . . are the gold standard of pen collecting. I am going to miss Stan most for his wit. Ink dog is a cool nickname, and I think the after-pen-show party at Stan’s place was about the coolest thing ever. I cannot thank you enough for posting this thread and reminding me. You da man!”. I blush.
“I really miss Frank, he was just hilarious. The time Suzy drove us to the dinner in her Fiero, the back brake was sticking. The rear passenger seat where Frank was sitting started getting appreciably hot, and Suzy just waved it off with, “Oh dearie, the brake is sticking, it’s no big deal”. Frank started saying over and over, “We’re gonna die, Suzy, your car is gonna blow up! I don’t want to die in a Fiero!”. I laugh every time I remember it because they just bantered back and forth to the point where I was laughing hysterically. Total high point of that pen show for me. Hanging out with friends always is. I look forward to seeing you sometime.”
I seem to recall Frank and Suzy also bickering back and forth about her driving when she drove us to Stan’s place. They were hilarious, almost like Laurel and Hardy. I won’t say which one was which because neither of them fitted the Stan Laurel profile.
I remember Fern and his father Fernando Padilla from the second Houston pen show I attended. His father signed the autograph album with this quote from Don Quijote, “Te dire Sancho, que un hombre no es mes que otro, si no hace mes que otro”. The reason I didn’t scan that page and place it here was that there was a note just beneath his that was a bit risqué. A Texan woman with long, wavy, golden hair borrowed my RHR Waterman’s #56 to sign the book. She loved the flexy nib and the way it wrote, and she added the note, “Who do I have to kill or sleep with to get this pen? I passionately desire it”. All of these people I met, all of these autographs I got, started with the one I got from Frank. Fernando also told me a funny story in Houston, I think, or maybe at the LA pen show earlier that year. He congratulated me on my recent contribution to The Pennant, Fall 1998, p.17, item 228 in this list of PCA library items. It’s an article about the correct French word for “fountain pen”. He said he found it informative but also hilarious. When he first read it he was in the basement of his house, and he was laughing so loud that his wife, who was on the second floor, heard him and came down and asked him why he was laughing. When Frank saw how much fun I was having writing those articles for various pen collecting magazines, he started to write articles of his own as well. I wish he had lived longer and written up more of that obscure fountain pen knowledge that was in his head.
Roger Wooten replied on Dec 10, 2012, “Time waits for no man, and with many of our veteran collectors, there isn’t time to wait to talk with them, I suppose. There is also the required reconciling between anecdotal-type stories that you get from the old timers and diligent research. Sometimes they are totally at odds, but often times there is great value in merging the two. I need to be less of a researcher and get to be a bit more of a talker. I wish I had known Frank better”.
Around Feb 27, 2013, Ginger Welch, Stan Pfeiffer’s partner in his last years, ran across this thread when it was on L&P, and she sent me this photo backchannel. Seeing as it’s a picture of the “4th Annual Honorary Frank Dubiel Party”, that would place it in 1998. I don’t recognize everyone in this picture, but I’ll try to list the ones I recognize. If you know any of the ones I have left out, please send me an email, and I’ll add their names. L. to R., ?, ?, ?, ?, a kid?, Patrick Irby, Judy Barnett, ?, Cyndi Schlagel, Dan Reppert, Frank, ?, Rick Horne, Susan Wirth, Mike Cassidy, Stan & his wife Laura, and Cullen Rankin.
There were originally only 18 blank pages available in the album, and sadly the first two pages were already used up by the previous owner. But notice all those names on the other pages! Frank’s name appears first in the list of pen collectors. Here are some more pages from the album. See whether you can recognize any of the names on this page, this page, and this page.
On Jan 13, 2007, Kate Gladstone wrote on Zoss, “Why do so many folks prefer to sign their names illegibly, anyway?”. In all honesty, I also share Kate’s “preference for legible, plain writing of names, and signatures, or anything else, rather than the lightning strikes” that some people pretentiously affect. And sad to say, I can no longer read some of the illegible, lightning-strike autographs in my little album.
February 17, 2015
The illustration accompanying the article in Am. Stat., Nov 19, 1921, p.26, is upside down. Here it is right-side up.
[Posted on L&P on Jan 7, 2012.]
You should’ve realized by now how important The American Stationer is for all its great ads and articles, but it is even greater at documenting the momentous changes in a pen company’s history. A few of the ads and articles I have posted here already have proved that point, but the ones dealing with the Parker Pen Co. are especially important because of their scarcity.
Various smaller companies advertised in Am. Stat. more often and more consistently than Parker did. For instance, there isn’t a single ad for Parker between 1912 and 1920, and then all of a sudden, out of the blue, major full-page Parker ads start showing up in 1921, one every month from February till September. Curiously, all the pens in those ads are big #24, #25, and #26-size pens that look exactly like Duofolds, except they are all-black. And then what do we have in November? An ad introducing the Duofold! It appears on Nov 26, 1921, and it’s also another ad I have never seen before. It’s as if those preceding Parker ads were preparing the stationers and the buying public by showing pens that were the same size as and had the same appearance of the Duofold. Some of those preceding ads also feature the button-filling system, most with nice cut-away demonstrator illustrations. A couple more Duofold ads show up at the beginning of 1922, and then the Parker ads just simply disappear.
And here’s another one. There’s a great article in Am. Stat. introducing Parker’s first mechanical pencil. It appears on Nov 19, 1921, p.26, the same day as the first Duofold ad in the Chicago Tribune cited in the footnotes in my Pompeian Brown Duofold blog spot, and it features the “Lucky Lock” pencil, which “Parker is on the point of putting on the market”, the article says. And this was just one week before the Duofold ad in Am. Stat.! There’s an illustration of the pencil taken apart and all in pieces. Jonathan A. Veley’s mechanical pencil book, The Catalogue Of American Mechanical Pencils (2011), p.111, also deals with this pencil, and lists all the relevant patents. What’s curious this time, and Jon even calls it Parker’s “Dirty Little Secret”, is that some of the first Parker pencils were actually made using two Charles Keeran patents because Parker didn’t have any pencil patents of their own, yet. The date for those patents appears on the Parker boxes for the pencil. Soon after, they received the patent for the “Big Bro” pencil, and the Keeran patent date disappears from the boxes. The patent numbers and pictures of the box can be found in Jon’s pencil book. I don’t want to steal the book’s thunder, but the information is also available on his “Mechanical Pencil Museum” website, sections 1 and 2a.
Marta Michnej wondered why Jon hadn’t responded to the thread, and “whether these Lucky Locks ever reached even one shop, or whether it was only marketing, to show to the market that the company was about to start making Parker pencils”. Unfortunately Jon found out about L&P too late, so he couldn’t respond on the board, but we talked about these things in backchannel emails. Here’s what he wrote.
You’re right about the article. It was only marketing by Parker, to show that the company was about to start making Parker pencils. Note that the patent application for the early Parker mechanism (used on both Lucky Locks and Duofolds) was filed on November 7, 12 days before the article was published. The Keeran patents are totally unrelated to the design of this pencil, as far as I can tell. I’m not sure the Am. Stat. article pushed the launch date of Dec 22 back any earlier, though. Words like “is on the point of putting on the market”, “will be known and advertised as”, and “will go hand in hand with”, certainly suggest that the pencil wasn’t on the market when the article ran.I wonder why Parker bothered to get a license for the Keeran patents. I agree the pencil wasn’t on the market when the article ran, but when Jon mentioned “the launch date of Dec 22”, I didn’t know whether he meant December 1921, or December 1922. I would agree with a December 1921 date. December 1922 might be right for the gold-filled Duette pen & pencil set, but the Duofold Duette was introduced much later, in April 1924, and the “Big Bro” pencil wasn’t introduced until December 1924. The article in Am. Stat. is from November 1921, so the introduction of the silver-plated “Lucky Lock” pencils probably dates from December 1921.
After David Nishimura posted links to some issues of Office Appliances on his blog, I discovered the rest of the volumes here, and here, in the Hathitrust Digital Library. I toured the site, but sadly, I found only three volumes in “Full view”. The nice thing is that those three cover the 1½-year period from the middle of 1921 to the end of 1922. Right away I started looking for any Parker ads for their Duofold, and I really hit pay dirt. There was a full-page Parker ad in every issue, that’s eighteen new ads all geared to the stationery and department-store trades.
The three ads from July, August, and September 1921 are for “Lucky Curves”, and are exactly the same as the ones mentioned above from Am. Stat. for those months, but the October “Lucky Curve” ad in Off. App. is totally new. There wasn’t a Parker ad in October in Am. Stat. The November ad is the same in both magazines, the ad mentioned above introducing the Duofold, but then a totally new Duofold ad appears in December. In November, the Duofold is said to be “red-brown”, but in December it is called “Pompeian brown”, and the “Patrician of Pens”. In January and February 1922, the Duofold is advertized as “red-brown” again, but in February it is said to be “the Cadillac, the Packard, the Pierce-Arrow of fountain pens”. In March, the pen is advertized as “Chinese Red”, and it is said that it “Resembles exquisite Chinese lacquer”. In the April and May ads, the Duofold is not advertized at all, but instead Parker advertized their “Lucky-Lock” metal pencils. In the June ad, the Duofold returns and is styled as “lacquer-red”, and “Rivals the beauty of the black-tipped redbird”, but the April, May, and June ads in Saturday Evening Post use the line, “Rivals the beauty of the black-tipped Tanager”. In July and August, the “Lucky-Lock” metal pencils return, and they are marketed in various sizes of assortments for the stationery and department-store trades. The October ad is a 2-page spread, a Christmas ad that features Santa Claus, and both a “Lucky Curve” and a Duofold pen, and the ads in September, November, and December are meta-ads, that is, ads that feature an ad-within-the-ad, or ads about the advertizing industry. The September and December ads featured pictures of one full-page Duofold ad from the mainstream magazine Saturday Evening Post, and the November ad had 5 of the Sat. Ev. Post Duofold ads. The September ad featured the August ad from Sat. Ev. Post, the one that first used the ad-line, “It rivals the beauty of the Scarlet Tanager”, but it only quotes the line, and doesn’t actually use the line itself. The December ad features the ad that appeared in Sat. Ev. Post on Dec 16, 1922, also a pen and pencil set and some mechanical pencils, and lots of dealer display items that collectors and researchers today would kill and die for. Go to Hathitrust, if you want to see the rest of the 18 ads.
February 15, 2015
, and the reservoir nib.
[Posted on L&P on Oct 1, 2006.]
Which came first, longhand, or shorthand? Technically speaking, longhand came first, but the word “longhand” actually came second.
Ron Dutcher asked about an 1827 book entitled The Traveler’s Oracle, written by William Kitchiner, a guide with tips and advice for early English travelers. One of the tips is about fountain pens. It states that, “A must have item is a gold nib, which is never corroded by ink, inserted into Lewis’s fountain pen, which is a convenient tool for the traveler”. Lewis may be the English pensmith James Henry Lewis, who received British patent no. 4,426 on Dec 20, 1819 for a fountain pen that he called the “Caligraphic” [sic] fountain pen with “the barrel of a quill” as a pliable reservoir, or cartridge. Claes Lindblad asked whether he was the same one who wrote a number of books on shorthand and stenography, or tachygraphy. Lewis’s writings on shorthand and penmaking include the following books, but a complete list of his twelve books can be found in the Library Of Congress’s National Union Catalog Pre-1956 Imprints.
The Art Of Writing With The Velocity Of Speech (1812),
The Ready Writer, Or, Ne Plus Ultra Of Shorthand (1812),
The Best Method Of Pen-Making (undated, ca. 1820), and
The Art Of Making A Good Pen (1825).
Most of Lewis’s shorthand books, as well as all the other shorthand books from the period, and there were many other competitors out there, contain a section on preparing a quill, or using steel nibs, or promoting the use of a fountain pen such as Lewis’s “Caligraphic”.
Francisco de Paula Marti was another early Spanish stenographer who was also a pensmith and a penmaker. In his book Taquigrafia Castellana, or in English, Spanish Tachygraphy; or, The Art of writing as fast as we speak, and as clearly as common writing (1st ed., 1803, 4th ed., 1824), in the chapter starting on p.74, there is a description of how to make a fountain pen to be used for writing shorthand, along with the above illustration of what looks like a basic, Bion-type fountain pen. This was pointed out to me by Rene Alvarez from Chile, who was also the self-styled and self-described “Dr. of Thinkology” on the Zoss List. Rene found the book in the Chilean National Library. We met through Zoss in late 2001 and corresponded backchannel about Marti, and Rene sent me the above picture of the Marti fountain pen.
David Nishimura changed the subject a little to a related topic when he wrote, “Not to beat the proverbial dead horse, but in early 19th-century England, was ‘fountain pen’ used to denote anything other than a reservoir pen? After the advent of the mass-produced steel dip pen, inventors patented all sorts of clip-on devices to retain a few extra drops of ink next to the nib with each dip, and the patents for those devices often do call them ‘fountain pens’. But does one see such devices, or such a confusion of terminology, prior to c. 1840?”. Well, I jump on every opportunity that presents itself to flog this particular dead hobbyhorse, a favorite of mine as well, so I thanked David for rattling my chain.
The first patents for metal nibs are Bryan Donkin’s 1808 British patent for a precious metal nib, and Peregrine Willliamson’s 1809 American patent for a steel nib. James Perry’s first British patent for giving flexibility to steel nibs doesn’t come along until 1830, and Joseph Gillott’s British patents for steel nibs date to 1831 and 1837. It’s quite conceivable that reservoir tips predate the steel nib, perhaps even by a few centuries. Monks and scribes in the middle ages may have figured out ways to insert metal strips, or wires, or absorbent materials into a quill tip to get it to hold a little more ink than just one ordinary dip would hold. The first mention of a reservoir device in the UK patents is UK patent no. 6,512 from 1833, is a patent by Stephen Perry, et al, for “Pens And Penholders”, including a reservoir nib, or reservoir penholder attachment called an “ink retainer”, and a hollow penholder outfitted as a piston-filler or finger-press-filler fountain pen. UK patent no. 7,071 from 1836, is Sampson Mordan’s patent for “Manufacturing Triple-Pointed Pens”, but it is not for the so-called “music nib” with two slits and three tynes, but a nib with an integral reservoir. And UK patent no. 7,535, John Edwards’s “Certain Improvements In Instruments Used In Writing”, is for a spiral coil of wire used as a reservoir attachment for nibs, and also a cylinder-piston-filler fountain pen, and a fountain inkstand. But the first mention of such a device in the US patents, however, dates to the 1840s, as David suggests, and then after that the floodgates for the misuse of the term “fountain pen” are opened. William Davison’s US patent no. 2,287 for the “Art Of Writing By A Construction Of Fountain-Pen” was issued on Oct 9, 1841. It’s basically for an implement used to teach the art of writing, but it includes what is called a “fountain-pen”, which is really just a penholder with a reservoir-tipped nib. And so, the confusion between the two began. Before this, “fountain pen” was used exclusively to denote Bion-type, funnel-filled pens, or piston-filled pens. It’s unfortunate that the first patent for a reservoir-tipped nib calls it a “Fountain-Pen”, but all these things were still so new, and they didn’t know what to call them. It took time for unique terms to be devised to distinguish between a fountain pen and a reservoir-tipped nib.
What is truly disappointing is that Samuel Johnson’s 1755 Dictionary of the English Language does not even mention the word “fountain pen”, thus showing that the instrument was still not widely known at the time, even by such a prolific wordsmith and lexicographer as Johnson. He did, however, own a silver quill pen, which had been presented to him as a gift, according to a note in the March 21, 1891 issue of Notes & Queries. Also try the O.E.D., and its predecessor, the N.E.D., and look up the words “fountain”, “neb”, “nib”, and “pen”. These dictionaries, the New English Dictionary On Historical Principles (1st ed., 1888-1928), ed. James A. H. Murray, and the Oxford English Dictionary (2nd ed., 1989), are both very strong in their etymological references.
So did you ever wonder where the term “longhand” came from? It was a retronym that was necessitated by the creation of the word “shorthand”. Before that, it was all just handwriting, or just a “hand”. The word “longhand” was first used about 1660-1670, following the introduction
of the word “shorthand”, which first appeared about 1630-1640, following the first books on stenography in the early 1600s, some of which used the phrase “short writing”, of which this blog is not an example. Well, I hope, at least, that it’s not “tacky graphy”.
February 13, 2015
, and more on Eberstein.
From the ad in The American Stationer, Nov 26, 1921, p.6.
[Posted on L&P on Aug 13, 2010.]
This is all about the Black Top, the Parker Duofold color scheme, red with black tips. Here are all the trademarks for the Red Hard Rubber Duofolds. Parker’s US trademark no. 155,044 from May 16, 1922, but used since Sept 1, 1921, is for the word “Duofold” used for “Fountain Pens”. It was registered by William Fink Palmer, at this time the treasurer of the Parker Pen Co., but at other times also secretary and president. There is no certificate on the USPTO website for trademark no. 163,481 from Jan 16, 1923, but said to be used since Aug 25, 1921, Parker’s trademark for the Duofold pen color scheme, which is a shame because it’s such a pretty image. I got a copy of the application file, and it shows a cross-hatched, black-and-white rendition of a red hard rubber pen body with black hard rubber ends. It was advertized with the phrase “Rivals the beauty of the Scarlet Tanager”. And here’s another usual reverse situation, a trademark issued after the fact. The word “Duofold” was trademarked again on Nov 4, 1924, but was said to be used since Sept 1, 1923, US trademark no. 191,306 for “Pens And Pencils”. This is not a typo for 1921, but rather a re-trademarking of the name after the inclusion of pencils in the Duofold line. The usual reverse situation is that a trademark is issued after, and sometimes well after, the fact of the commercial use of the name or mark. These trademarks were part of Parker’s unsuccessful attempt to stop all the Duofold look-alike pens in the 1920s, pens such as the red hard rubber Diamond Point Pen Co. “Tucolor Fill E-Z” pen with its black hard rubber cap and barrel tips. And last but not less red, US trademark no. 943,258 is for the Parker Pen Co. name “Big Red” for their Duofold-tribute felt-tip and ballpoint pen, issued on Sept 19, 1972, but used since Apr 10, 1970. See also the underwear, or “softwear”, in US trademark nos. 195,873, 784,484, and 857,073, and patent no. 709,734. The name “Dudfold” [sic] mentioned in the last trademark, but only in TESS in the USPTO website, is a misspelling, or optical-character-recognition problem, but a spelling that’s quite apropos for clothing. A Duofold-look-alike fountain pen was even used as the iconic image of a pen in Gerald Murphy's 1924 painting titled “Razor”. The image depicts a pen with a safety cap, but also a safety razor, and a box of safety matches. Do you get the picture?
But this is also about the Red Top, the reverse-Duofold type, the opposite color scheme of black with red tips, except that it preceded the Duofold. This type includes such pens as the German “Rouge et Noir”, which is actually and more correctly a “Noir et Rouge”. Eugen Hahn and August Eberstein’s UK patent no. 13,900 from June 15, 1907, is the patent for the solid-colored cap top of the “Rouge et Noir”, at first solid red, but later a solid white top. The colored top helped to mark the top end of a safety eyedropper pen so that the user could keep the nib-end up in a pocket, but it quickly evolved into a company emblem. The pens went on to become the “Montblanc” fountain pens of the Simplo Filler Pen Co. in Germany, and the emblem evolved first into a six-pointed, rounded-tipped, red star, but when Montblanc trademarked the emblem in Germany on Jan 14, 1913, it was a six-pointed, rounded-tipped, white star. US trademark no. 839,016 is the modern renewal of the trademark in the US. Pen collectors sometimes irreverently call it the “white bird splat”, or the “Montblanc splat”. That makes the “Rouge et Noir” emblem a “red splat”. US patent no. 766,560, Otto E. Weidlich, “Fountain-Pen”, Aug 2, 1904, is for a matchstick filler marketed as a “Simplo Filler” well before Montblanc used the name. US trademark no. 118,721, David T. Kaufmann, “Trade-Mark For Fountain-Pens”, Sept 25, 1917, is for the word “Star” and a six-pointed star, used by Weidlich-Simpson Pen Co. since Oct 30, 1914, but this time well after Montblanc used the splat, and perhaps another case of one company riding on the coattails of another, or being influenced by another.
And here’s the rest of the August Eberstein story. It turns out that Eberstein was related to Otto E. Weidlich. He was born in Germany as Carl August Henrich Weidlich, but when he came to the US, he took the surname Eberstein, from his mother’s side, in order to distinguish himself from the other Weidlichs already in the pen business in the US, specifically his brother Otto E. Weidlich. So perhaps Otto got the the star trademark from August, and August got the Simplo name from Otto. After Eberstein went to Germany in 1906-7, he worked with Eugen Hahn, and received a UK patent and a French patent in 1907 for a pen with a white cap top that was a precursor to the splat on the Montblanc cap. In 1908-10, he was the factory manager, engineer, and one of the founders of the Simplo Filler Pen Co., in Hamburg, Germany, the company that later became Montblanc. They made the “Rouge Et Noir” with its red splat. He secretly sold company equipment and materials to finance his lifestyle, and was taken to court, but he disappeared to the UK with his family, and worked with Ernest Macauley Wade, 13 Hope St., Liverpool, England, and received another UK patent in 1912. In 1914, while being registered in Britain as a German national at the beginning of WWI, he was fined when it was discovered that he was using two different surnames. He returned to the US in late 1914, or early 1915, but he went back to Europe in 1916, and switched back to using the surname Weidlich. He was in Switzerland for the duration of the war, then in Munich, Germany, in 1921, and in Dresden, Germany, 1936-39. He received three German patents, and stayed in the pen business till his death sometime in 1945. His son says he died during a WWII bombing, and if his last known location was Dresden, then that adds up to a horrific end to his life. He held six American patents, 1903-05, two British, 1907-11, one French, 1907, and three German, 1931-39.
The Parker “Nurse Pen”, a short #20 button filler with Jack Knife Safety cap and washer
clip, a BHR or BCHR cap and barrel, and RHR blind cap and cap top, would have been the exact opposite of the Duofold, if it would have had a RHR section. Some of the Ormiston & Glass stylographs in the series called “The Kennel Stylo Pens”, namely the “Terrier” and “Bulldog” stylos, were available in both red-with-black-tips and black-with-red-tips versions, although they were called “Black & Tan”. US trademark no. 129,695, Mar 9, 1920, is for the name “Red Top”, used by the Evans Dollar Pen Co. since July 1, 1917. Evans also had US trademark no. 129,696
for a white disk on the end of the cap, issued on Mar 9, 1920 and used since Aug 11, 1919, and US trademark no. 138,001 is for the name “White Top”, issued on Dec 14, 1920 and also used since Aug 11, 1919. Salz Bros. also made fountain pens called the “Red Top”, and their US trademark no. 155,280 is for the name “Black and White”, issued on May 23, 1922 and used since Sept 1, 1921. The Diamond Point Pen Co. also made a black hard rubber “Tucolor Fill E-Z” pen with red hard rubber cap and barrel tips, and there is also the black hard rubber Mabie Todd red-winged “Blackbird” with its red hard rubber lever.
John C. Wahl’s US trademark no. 125,547 is for “Leads For Mechanical Pencils” with their ends painted red, issued on May 20, 1919 and used by the Wahl Co. since Oct 29, 1918. US trademark no. 159,571, “Leads Suitable For Use In Mechanical Pencils”, issued on Sept 26, 1922 and used since Feb 2, 1920, is for an image of the imprints for the little metal boxes for the Wahl Co.’s “Red Top” Eversharp pencil leads, the boxes with the top or cover painted red to mimic the leads themselves. And US patent no. 1,428,195 issued to John C. Wahl and Peter G. Jacobson on Sept 5, 1922, and assigned to the Wahl Co., is for the familiar little “Red Top” metal box made with dovetail joints, a nice little example of joinery in metal.
US trademark no. 162,063, Richard Wightman’s “Trade-Mark For Fountain Pens” issued on Dec 5, 1922 is for an image of a pen that indicates that the end of the barrel is red. It was advertized as the pen with the “red-headed filling pump”, and was used by the Dunn Pen Co. since September 1920. Actually, it only has a red head if you don’t post the cap while writing. When you cap the pen and hold it upright, instead of a red head, it has a red bottom. It all depends upon whether the pen is capped, or the cap is posted during writing. There is also US trademark no. 165,927, Aniceto Visitacion, “Fountain Pens”, Mar 20, 1923, for the “Blue-Red Fountain Pen” symbol, used since Nov 4, 1920. And lastly, here are a few more wooden-pencil trademarks for partly-red pencils. And finally, US trademark no. 143,316, Harry Dailey, “Lead Pencils”, May 31, 1921, is for the name “Red & Black” on a red-and-black pencil, used by John Dixon Co. since 1905, probably a flat-octagonal framer’s pencil with alternating red and black facets.