October 02, 2015

The Waterman’s Globe section-cleaner

  , and red rubber.

[Posted on L&P on July 11, 2007, and May 10, 2014.]
        Here’s a squeeze-bulb device, US patent no.
768,637 from 1904, that attaches to a fountain pen section to “wash and clean” out any ink clogging up the feed.  An earlier squeeze-bulb device, US patent no. 668,150 from 1901, was a “means” for filling a proprietary pen with ink, or cleaning it out with water, but it may have influenced the later device.
        Waterman’s must have seen the opportunity to slap their Ideal globe logo on the squeeze bulb, and they grabbed it.  They probably licensed the 1904 patent for the cleaner, although an article from Geyer’s Stationer,
June 28, 1906, p.10, doesn’t mention that factoid.  The article also calls it a “Joint Opener”, and talks about that function of the device exclusively, even though it isn’t called an opener in the picture of the countertop-display “easel card” that accompanies the article, and where it is illustrated being used exclusively as a section-cleaner.  In any case, it did double duty.  It was a “section-cleaner” that doubled as a “joint-opener”.
        And by the way, did you notice that the article said it was made of “red rubber”?  Although it is made of soft, pliable rubber, it does precede Waterman’s red hard rubber by almost eight months, so they must have been thinking about it.

George Kovalenko.