January 07, 2015

The Snorkel Vanishing Point

, and the Parker 51 and 61 snorkel fillers, and some other obscure pens.

Part 1
[Posted on L&P on Jan 22, 2006.]
        The Snorkel pen is about as close as Sheaffer got to producing a vanishing point, or did it?  Maybe it got closer than that.  Did you ever wonder whether you could write with the snorkel part of a Sheaffer Snorkel pen?  Now, come on, admit it.  Okay then, you don’t have to speak up, but how about this?  Did you ever actually try writing with the snorkel?  No?  Well, I did, once. It didn’t work very well.  Very scratchy, and very blobby.  Well, there is a Sheaffer patent for a fountain pen with a vanishing nib, and that’s about as close as you’ll ever get to writing with the snorkel itself.  It’s US patent no. 2,949,887, and it’s a shame it was never put into production.  Has anyone ever seen one?  The nib is tubular, sort of like a Parker 51 nib, and the snorkel is a concentric tube that fits snuggly inside the nib, just barely sliding within this outer shell, and it acts like the feed for the nib.  Both tubes slide out of the shroud together just enough to expose the nib for writing, but not for filling the pen.  The snorkel slides out further separately for filling.  The images for this patent are gorgeous and highly detailed.  This one’s especially for all the Sheaffer collectors and the vanishing point enthusiasts out there.

        Who would have thunk it?  A Capless Sheaffer Snorkel Vanishing Point!  It’s about as crazy as the Parker 51 frankenpen with a snorkel filler that’s illustrated in US patent no. 2,799,247.  It’s actually demonstrated being filled from a Sheaffer “Top Well” ink bottle!  I can’t claim finding this one.  Tim Barker found it and pointed it out quite a few years ago, on Apr 8, 2003, to be precise, on the Zoss List.  This one’s especially for all the Parker and Sheaffer collectors out there.
        And here’s another hybrid pen, a Parker-Sheaffer pen that was never put into production, a capillary filler with a snorkel, or a snorkel filler that fills by capillary action, US patent no. 2,784,699.  You would have dipped the snorkel and waited for it to fill itself.  It’s a Parker “61” and Sheaffer “Snorkel” frankenpen!  Also check out US patent no. 2,774,332 for a Parker “61” capillary filler, but with the capillary material extending right under the nib to become the feed.  It was meant to be filled at the nib end, although it could be filled at the rear end as well, but only “after the sections of the body have been separated and the rear section removed”.  These are for all the Parker and Sheaffer hybrid collectors out there.
George Kovalenko.