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Wearever Pens


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21 replies to this topic

#1

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 15:18

Hey everyone,

I have been looking at Wearever pens lately. I have been hasitant about buying some. For one I do not know much about their history and second I have heard a few bad things bout them, but they have been from very "specialized" brand collectors. Lastly, I have read that the cartridges are not available for the non-lever fill. Anyone have a good comment or two on them or would they relate their experiences with them, please?

Regards,

Angelo

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#2 Keith with a capital K

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 15:28

Wearever was at one time, the largest mass producer of pens on earth and focused on providing low cost pens to the masses...

For this reason, many Wearever models aren't of the highest quality albeit many of them can be good to even excellent writers.

You will most often find that in older Wearevers the celluloids and plastics used are extremely attractive and quite robust but the trim only lightly plated and prone to brassing.

Some better examples would be the Deluxe 100, Pacemaker, and Zenith models that were made in the early 40's. These were Wearevers top pens and are actually very nice when you compare them to their competitors of the time.

One should not expect to pay much for even the nicest of Wearever models and if you are lucky, you may even find one of the few (about 10%) that were fitted with 14k nibs.
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#3 wimg

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 17:24

Hi Angelo,

I just would like to add that Dennis Lively is the big expert on Wearevers, so you may want to contact him. He isn't around here alot anymore, but you can find him on Rambling Snail or PenTrace, or on his website. Search for the Pen Den and you should find him.

HTH, kind regards, Wim

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#4 Mike

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 18:41

While I'm nowhere near Dennis Lively's level of collecting, I do have quite a number of Wearevers, both good and bad.

Wearevers run the gamut from great writers to cheapo near-disposables, from beautiful to ugly, from well-made to mass-produced injection-molded horrors.

The pens that Keith recommended are, for the most part, Wearever's higher-end pens, and are more-or-less better. The Deluxe 100 is my favorite; well-made, button-fill, visulated section, and came with any variety of steel, plated steel, and 14K nibs from fine to broad, some verging on semiflex. Pacemakers are usually lever-fillers, and larger. I'm not a fan of the Zenith - they feel flimsy to me, and the design of the few I've seen always leaves me scratching my head (hunter-green barrel and cap, gp trip, ruby red jewels on each end?). The 14K nibs in these pens are one of the greatest arguments that making a nib out of gold doesn't make it a great nib. :)

In my purely idiosyncratic opinon, from a purely utilitarian standpoint, the best bang for the buck among Wearevers as writing tools is the Pennant. The unpreposessing nibs in these things - generously-tipped steel ball-points in fine, flexible fine, medium, broad, or steno (manifold?) - are consistently the smoothest writers I've encountered, bar none. I have three of these pens, soon to be five, one with a custom-ground cursive italic nib.

The most common Wearever, unfortunately, is the Pioneer, which is justly well-avoided. The nibs are nothing special, the bodies are plain injection-molded plastic with a tendency to shrink, warp, and discolor; the lever-filling mechanisms were poorly made, and the cartridges for the cart-fillers aren't available anymore and can't readily be replaced with modern ones.

So that's my $0.02, anyway. Wearevers aren't terribly expensive or collectible, but they can be teriffic writers, and a lot of the older pens were quite attractive...

#5 Maja

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 00:24

I have a photo of my small Wearever collection in the "Losers that should be winners" FPN thread (link to page here)

Re: the Pioneer model
I had a red Pioneer fountain pen and pencil set in their original box that I traded with Dennis L. a while back ( Dennis actually has a photo of the set on his website :)) The set was in great shape and looked like it was new old stock so the nib had lots of tipping left on it, and was a great writer, surprisingly enough.

FPNer Jim "Penhero" M. has a series of excellent articles (with some lovely photos) on his Penhero.com site (link to Penhero's Wearever index page here).

FPNer mr_inky is a Wearever fan so I hope he chimes in with his thoughts on this under-appreciated brand...
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#6 mr_inky

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 11:01

<snip>

FPNer mr_inky is a Wearever fan so I hope he chimes in with his thoughts on this under-appreciated brand...

OK, I'll bite! :rolleyes:

As others have said, some Wearevers are just best avoided. Others, like the Pacemaker (button filled) and deluxe 100's (lever filled) are really sweet pens and can hold their own against some of the better makes. I have a deluxe 100 that I got off of ebay that I put a 14k (nos) nib from a pacemaker (clear feed) into and it is just plain great.

Here is the link to Dennis's site: Pen Den

Here is a pic of my delux 100:

Posted Image
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#7 wimg

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 16:55

Hi Inky,

That looks definitely stunning! Thanks for sharing!

Warm regards, Wim

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#8 mr_inky

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 23:17

Hi Inky,

That looks definitely stunning! Thanks for sharing!

Warm regards, Wim

The pic on ebay wasn't very clear & when I opened the package...Ohhhh!!!
It had hardly been used but the factory nib looked too small, so I took a 14k nib from a Pacemaker and fit it on. That's the nib it should have come with! Bigger and looks great. Sometimes you get lucky on ebay (like a Sheaffer military clip 1000 with the white feed!).
Optimists are always disapointed when things don't work out. Pesimists never are since they expected it. That's why pesimists are happier.

#9 Mike

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Posted 23 April 2005 - 22:11

Last week I got a Wearever Pennant back from Pendemonium, who turned (or were supposed to turn) its medium nib into a cursive italic. The product of their labor was fine-medium, and extremely smooth... but ink-flow was almost nil. I made a few adjustments to the nib and overfeed, which quickly resolved this issue. However, that problem out of the way, the pen was kind of disappointing - it wrote a "crisper" line than a round nib, but there was no line variation to speak of.

Since I'd just taken the plunge and successfully ground my first cursive-italic on another pen, I used some extremely fine mylar to touch-up the Pendemonium nib, making it a little sharper. Voila! Line variation - right about 2:1, and still mighty smooth. Yay me!

What really blew me away, though, after a few days of using this pen... is that despite being a steel nib with a steel overfeed, and everyone generally describing these things as nails... it's semiflexible! With a moderate amount of pressure this baby does 4:1, almost 5:1 variation... I'll try to post a picture at some point, but I'm in love with this $20 (with modification) wonder.

I'm also tempted to see if I can reproduce this on another 8363 medium nib, or if this is some sort of fluke. Either way, I'm happy! :D

#10 custar

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 04:30

Echo all said above (Wearevers can be good, not great, or disposable).

When shopping a Wearever, carefully check the section. An unusually large number have cracks which are bears to repair. I have tried epoxy, superglue, etc., all with generally unsatisifactory results. Also check the sac. Many sections seem hardwelded in; I just can't remove the section without literally drilling it out. If the sac is bad and the section has a deathgrip on the barrel, plan on having it professionally repaired for probably more than the pen cost. Interestingly, I have found several white rubber sacs inside Wearevers, and ALL were good. Plating is an obvious item to check since Wearever was not a top end pen. Check for cracks in the celluloid around the section , cap ring and, below the clip ring, especially along the longitudinal lines of the celluloid.

Have fun collecting.

custar

#11 antoniosz

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 05:19

What really blew me away, though, after a few days of using this pen... is that despite being a steel nib with a steel overfeed, and everyone generally describing these things as nails... it's semiflexible!

Actually Wearever made "flex" nibs in the 50s and 60s.
The picture below is from a Lady Fair Wearever (a copy of the Sheaffer Lady Skripsert - see this article for info on these pens).
Note the inscription (it is of course semiflex at best - like 9048 of Esterbook), as well as the transparent feed.
Posted Image

Edited by antoniosz, 25 April 2005 - 05:21.


#12 Mike

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 07:03

Actually Wearever made "flex" nibs in the 50s and 60s...
Note the inscription (it is of course semiflex at best - like 9048 of Esterbook), as well as the transparent feed.

Indeed, I'm aware of their flex nibs. I thought I had one, but am now not so sure. Dennis Lively sold me an "8361 Extfine" nib which he claimed was the same thing as the flex nib, but being, one, not even slightly semiflex, and two, having an overfeed, unlike the one shown, I have more than a few doubts. He hasn't replied to my email, so who knows...

I was just impressed by how much semiflex the nominally non-flex medium nib in question has. Makes me even more curious to try a Wearever flex nib, just to see the difference. Ah, well...

#13 antoniosz

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 13:33

Mike,
Do not hold high hopes for flex in the Wearevers at least of the later days. There may be flex in the early Wearevers - I do not know, but the post 40s Wearevers including the FLEXFIN that I posted are nothing to write home about...

#14 Mardi13

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 00:16

Can anyone tell me anything about this little Wearever? Found in an old desk drawer. It has no innards (sac) but otherwise seems in pretty good shape. The clip does not match any in the other photos I have seen. I assume I could send it in to have its sac replaced? I am just beginning to enter the world of fountain pens. Thank you!


#15 rwilsonedn

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 19:39

That is a really nice pen! I can't give you a name or date, but I'd guess it is mid- to late 1930s celluloid, with a gold-washed steel nib. It is in marvellous condition--it looks unused. And the cap doesn't appear to have shrunk away from the cap rings, so the pen must have been kept under quite good conditions all these years.

The two cap rings strike me as unusually high-end for a Wearever--so it may have been one of their nicer pens at the time. I think if you have the sac replaced and the nib checked, you will find that this pen is not only great-looking, but delightful to write with.

Congratulations!

ron



#16 Mardi13

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 22:20

Thank you so much for the information! I got lucky I guess. I was nervous when I read so many disparaging things about these pens. The nib is gold-plated. I did soak it and some ink did come off, but the second soak was clear so there was hardly any ink there. I gently polished the pen a bit with silver paste polish and that brightened up the gold and even shined the celluloid a little. I'll send or take it to the Fountain Pen Hospital to get it into writing shape.

Edited by Mardi13, 25 April 2014 - 22:23.


#17 amk

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 13:50

Wearever seems to me very like Platignum; it made some quite charming pens in colourful celluloids early on, but the quality deterioriated badly during the 1940s and its 1950s pens were just horrible. I have picked up both Wearevers and Platignums from the earlier period and while they're not top tier, they're sturdy enough, attractive little pens.


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#18 Gloucesterman

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 01:42

Had very good experiences with selective buying of the Wearever.

 

They are still pretty cheap to buy and if you are careful you can get lucky very easily.


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#19 WirsPlm

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 01:43

Wearever seems to me very like Platignum; it made some quite charming pens in colourful celluloids early on, but the quality deterioriated badly during the 1940s and its 1950s pens were just horrible. I have picked up both Wearevers and Platignums from the earlier period and while they're not top tier, they're sturdy enough, attractive little pens.


I actually quite like their later translucent cartridge school pens (seem to be nicer and higher quality than the similar Sheaffer pen I have), the only downside is that you have to eyedropper them because the cartridges aren't produced anymore but they do that very well.

#20 PDW

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 16:57

I have a fair number of Pennants, but some are languishing due to broken J-bars. Seems to be a weakness.

 

What do people do - buy a new J-bar that will cost as much as the pen did, or make their own? And if you do make one, how do you do it?








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