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Swan Mabie Todd Question


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#1 Scrawler

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 15:16

I have noticed that Swan Mabie Todd pens are designated with numbers like 205/60, 205/63, 645/60 etc.
Does anyone know what these numbers mean. Is there a directory of the meaning of these numbers anywhere? I have tried to find such a listing but cannot.

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#2 Ernst Bitterman

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 15:46

I don't have an answer, but I sure want to reinforce the question. I've got a post-war 3230, and I have a suspicion as to the meaning behind the number, but I sure would like to see it laid bare.

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#3 Scrawler

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 16:00

I wonder if it has anything to do with the size and flex of nib. Ernst, is your nib a size 3? If no one knows the answer to this, I am going to try to deduce it. My first hypothesis is that the first digit refers to the nib size.

#4 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 16:59

Nib size must be there somewhere.
I just read Lambrou' fountain pen book '89 edition on Swan pens and nothing on the numbers, perhaps in a newer edition.
The @ 1895, first models a 3 and a 5 were nib size and a pen to match the nib size.
Nothing on the numbers in the 18 pages of repairing a Swan in "The Repair Book'.

There is some info somewhere. I have seen it....I once chased Swans for six weeks....slow enough not to catch any...which happens when one is cheap enough.

I don't have a link. I have seen posts talking about it...try the advanced search "Swan numbers" perhaps that will give you something.

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#5 Malcy

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 18:41

I can give some information on post war swan numbering.

They have four digit numbers usually stamped around the end of the barrel e.g. 4660

first numeral is the filler type. 3 = lever filler, 4 = leverless - a twist filler
second numeral is nib size between 1 and 6, pen bodies get larger with the nib size. There are anomalies, I have seen 32xx marked pens with size 3 nibs several times.
The third numeral ranges from 2 to 6 but I have not seen a relationship yet, it may be nib type or finish but it doesnt make sense.
Numeral four is usually 0 but can be 1. Again I cannot work out what it represents perhaph celluloid or bhr as both were used post war.

So a 4450 is a leverless pen with a size four nib.

I hope that this helps.

Posted from sunny Austria by Android phone - please excuse any typos!
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#6 Parkette

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 18:46

Nice job Malcy - and enjoy Austria, Vienna is Number 1 on my list of places to see.

The numbering worked for a Twist filler of mine but not a MB Blackbird which was GG 61!

Different numbering system for Blackbirds perhaps?

Edited by Parkette, 26 August 2011 - 18:48.

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#7 Malcy

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 18:48

I forgot something.

The M,T&Co headquarters and factory in London along with paperwork, records etc was destroyed by bombing during WWII. So little detail on pre war production exists as I understand.
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#8 Ernst Bitterman

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 19:56

That squares with mine, at least-- 3230 is a lever-filler, #2 point (or... should be; a little Frankensteinish at the moment), and perhaps the last two digits can be made to mean a grey celluloid body.

But that doesn't address the apparent lunacy of the pre-war XXX/YY codes.

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#9 Malcy

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 20:36

No, the pre-war codes are very different. I have been concentrating on post-war Swans but I know that there are a lot of different pre-war codes.

I can say that the prefix SM stands for Swan Minor.
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#10 Scrawler

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 21:50

That squares with mine, at least-- 3230 is a lever-filler, #2 point (or... should be; a little Frankensteinish at the moment), and perhaps the last two digits can be made to mean a grey celluloid body.

But that doesn't address the apparent lunacy of the pre-war XXX/YY codes.

No, indeed. I am very curious about those, because there really seems to be an excess of digits for the information that needs to be conveyed. I do not suppose any part of that could be a date. I have a 205/60 which has a #2 nib. It is a slightly flexible stub. But as one can with reasonable ease change the point, having a code that refers to the point on the pen body makes not sense.

#11 Scrawler

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 22:08

OK so after much reading this is what I think so far:

abb/cc

a=nib designation
bb=pen body style (shape and type 05 = Self filler)
cc=color or pattern (59 = italian marble, 60 = BCHR, 63 = russet and jade, 84 = Jade Snake Skin celluloid 86 = B&W snakeskin)

Edited by Scrawler, 26 August 2011 - 22:14.


#12 Ernst Bitterman

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 00:04

Reading... WHERE? Hungry brains want to know!

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#13 Scrawler

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 00:15

Reading... WHERE? Hungry brains want to know!

Google is my friend. I did all sorts of searches on Swan pens. For instance "SWAN SM205". I found items for sale and compared images and descriptions.

#14 jor412

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 05:22

OK so after much reading this is what I think so far:

abb/cc

a=nib designation
bb=pen body style (shape and type 05 = Self filler)
cc=color or pattern (59 = italian marble, 60 = BCHR, 63 = russet and jade, 84 = Jade Snake Skin celluloid 86 = B&W snakeskin)



This is great. I have an SM 100/60, w/ a #1 nib It's a lever-fill in BCHR. Perhaps if we pool our different models, we might come up with a tentative list while also accounting for frankenswans.
Regards,
Issy

#15 Scrawler

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 12:46

jor412, this is a good idea. As we collect more info from others we should keep updating this list. Photo examples of body colour/pattern/type might be a good idea.

#16 Azuniga

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 16:53

Malcy,
thanks for the information very useful !!

Jor412
Great idea, i will take some shots and post them

Best, Ariel

#17 jor412

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 17:03

Here's a previous thread on the Swan. Another FPN member had needed help figuring out the date and I have the same model so I posted a pic. Posted Image

EDIT: I also included everything imprinted on the barrel, nib, & section; plus a quote from the papers that came with it.

Edited by jor412, 27 August 2011 - 17:07.

Regards,
Issy

#18 markiv

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 00:48

Here is what I gather via a quick look over eBay
Posted Image

Edited by markiv, 28 August 2011 - 00:48.

Posted Image

#19 Azuniga

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 01:18

Here is what I gather via a quick look over eBay
Posted Image


Great !! Thank you...

#20 jor412

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 03:19

Here is what I gather via a quick look over eBay
Posted Image


Great !! Thank you...


Wow excellent. I have another Swan w/o a number and double checked that against the ebay pics of black ones with #2 nibs that you have listed here. It isn't the same pen. Here's a pic.

Posted Image
Regards,
Issy



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