And this is what the cap on my RHR Namiki should have looked like.
[Posted on L&P on Aug 13, 2010.]
Actually, red hard rubber pens weren’t red in the first place. They were more of an orange-red. First of all, they were burnt orange, maybe even a pompeian orange, then they were bright orange. But they were never red. Modern red hard rubber was a bright orange hard rubber. Here are some of the patents for the coloring agents in vintage RHR to prove my point.
UK patent no. 11,616 from Mar 10, 1847 is for “An Improved Mode Of Preparing And Obtaining Certain Colors”, including “Orange Red sulphuret of antimony”. US Patent no. 51,846 from Jan 2, 1866 is for an “Improvement In Colored India-Rubber”, the addition of vermillion and “sulphuret of zinc” to vulcanite to make red hard rubber. US patent no. 51,849 from Jan 2, 1866 is for an “Improvement In The Manufacture Of Colored India-Rubber”, adding vermillion again, and the use of red and golden antimony. Also see US patent nos. 51,847 and 51,848. US patent no. 53,643 from Apr 3, 1866 is for an “Improvement In The Manufacture Of Hard Rubber”, a method of incorporating waste hard rubber, which included such ingredients as litharge, or red lead, and white lead, and magnesia, and lamp black. US patent no. 99,885 from Feb 15, 1870 is for “Coloring Matter To Be Used In Vulcanized Rubber”, the use of red antimony and golden antimony. US patent no. 99,956 from Feb 15, 1870, and assigned to the India Rubber Comb Co., is for an “Improvement In Coloring Vulcanite Or Hard Rubber” with antimony. US patent no. 255,970 from Apr 4, 1882 is for an “Apparatus For The Manufacture Of Red Lead”, or minium, or litharge. US patent no. 278,816 from June 5, 1883 is for a “Method Of Producing Golden Sulphuret Of Antimony” from gray sulphide of antimony known as “antimony glance”. UK patent no. 11,666 from 1889 is for “Orange-red coloring matter”. US patent no. 431,026 from July 1, 1890 is also for a “Process Of Manufacturing Red Lead”, or minium, or litharge. US patent no. 556,793 from Mar 24, 1896 is for “Reducing Lead Scum Or Litharge”, or red lead, or minium. US patent no. 588,883 from Aug 24, 1897 is for a “Process Of Making Litharge Or Protoxid Of Lead”. US patent no. 639,209 from Dec 19, 1899 is for the “Manufacture Of Lead Oxid”, or litharge, or minium. US patent no. 674,031 from May 14, 1901 is for a “Process Of Making Lead Oxid”, or red lead. US patent no. 920,335 from May 4, 1909, and assigned to Picher Lead Co., is for a “Method Of Manufacturing Litharge”, or red lead.
And here are the trademarks for some red hard rubber pens. US trademark no. 66,269, Joseph F. Kearney & Co., “Stylographic Fountain-Pens”, Nov 19, 1907, used since October 1904, is for the “Red Dwarf”, a red hard rubber stylo. US trademark no. 69,444, James W. Laughlin, “Stylographic Pens”, June 16, 1908, used since Jan 13, 1908, is for the “Red Gem”, another red hard rubber stylo. US trademark no. 71,543, John Blair, “Stylographic And Fountain Pens”, Dec 1, 1908, used by Blair’s Fountain Pen Co. since Nov 9, 1907, is for the “Red Robin” red hard rubber stylo with an image of a robin. US trademark no. 71,551, Parker Pen Co., “Fountain-Pens”, Dec 1, 1908, used since Jan 1, 1908, is for the “Red Giant”, a large red hard rubber pen, as opposed to the “Black Giant”, the later large black hard rubber pen. US patent no. 907,722, Claes W. Boman, “Fountain-Pen”, Dec 29, 1908, assigned to the Eagle Pencil Co., the cheap “Rex” eyedropper pen made of an unfinished hard rubber reservoir covered with a japanned metal case and cap “finished to match the finish [and color] of the tip”, or section, which is specified to be “made of hard rubber–preferably of russet color–and is polished and finished”. Also see his US design no. 20,156 for this pen. It’s almost a Pompeian Brown. Even though it was not the first red hard rubber pen, it was the first pen in the US patents specifically said to be made of red hard rubber. I’ll save the trademarks for the red hard rubber Duofolds for another thread, but next, watch out for the Montblanc splat.