October 08, 2015

The Button Filler Inventor


[Posted on L&P on Sept 25, 2005.]
        Over on Pentrace someone asked, “Parker invented the button filler, right?”, and then he promptly answered his own question, “Maybe not”.  He then showed a photo of a Walker Davison pen, a button filler with the patent date “Oct 3, 1899” on it, implying that this was the patent date for the button filler.  Well, John T. Davison had a patent for a button filler, but not till 1905, US patent no.
787,152, so that wasn’t it.  But Parker didn’t invent the button filler, either.  The Parker Pen Co. bought the rights to Davison’s patent and used it in their button-filling Lucky Curve and Duofold pens.  But if the date on that pen wasn’t Davison’s, whose was it?  Well, there is no button filler patent on that date, but it might be the date for Oliver R. Mitchell’s US patent no. 634,013.  It’s for the adaptation of the parallel, or cylindrical interior of a cap to allow it to hold a tapered or conical section securely.  There is, however, a button filler that precedes the Davison patent used by Parker.  It’s Oliver A. Morrow’s US patent no. 730,783 from June 9, 1903.  That’s the first one.  The button activates a series of hinged levers attached to a pressure bar, and as with all other button fillers to come after it, it’s just a variety of, or variation on a lever filler.

George Kovalenko.