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Hooded Nibs


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#1 sztainbok

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 16:24

One of Parker 51's claims to fame, was that it was the first pen to come to market with a hooded nib. I have a Stylomine 303D fountain pen with a hooded nib and I recently realized that the instruction sheet shows that it was patented in 1938. I believe this predates the Parker 51, which was marketed in the early 40's.

Which was then the first hooded nib fountain pen to appear in the market? Was it Stylomine or were there others earlier? I appreciate contributions to answer the question. I include a picture of the Stylomine instruction sheet.

Stylomine 303D 1938 s.jpg

#2 simp

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 16:58

The earlier patent I have for the Parker 51 is the US 2223541, applied in january 1939, granted in 1940. In a quick search could not find a 1938 patent for Stylomine but patent dates are not equivalent to market entry. There are many examples of patents that never reached the market or reached it many year later. Having patent priority is not enough to establish a priority on the market entry.
From what I know Parker 51 was completed in 1939, and selled for test in some sudamerican markets before its launch in the USA. But there are many people here having better knowledge than me in this field.

I'll try to find the Stylomine patent with a more deep search this evening, if I'll found something I'll let you know.

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#3 sztainbok

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 18:12

Thank you Simone.

I am not sure what characteristic of the pen the 1938 patent would be for. It could not be the accordion filling system because it pre-dates this model, that is why I am inclined to think it is very likely that it would be for the hooded nib.
Victor.

#4 Sasha Royale

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 19:16

Remember the term "Patent Pending"? An item carrying a new innovation could be
on the market before the patent date. I think it would be unlikely that a company
would patent the "concept" of a hooded nib, rather it would patent the hooded section
and the nib and feed that are within.

No, I don't know which patent came first, or whether the STYLOMINE design worked.
We do know, however, that the Parker 51 design worked (works).

We have a photo of Dad, holding his newborn son, in 1950. His Parker 51 shows in
the shirt pocket. I had it resac-ed in 2002. Six squeeze of the filler, and it
will write for a month.

(Any of you guys out there have one of the Stylomines?)

I will be returning to read more of this fascinating topic. Thanks.

#5 simp

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 20:08

Found!

It's number FR 850525, applied 1938-08-23 and granted 1939-12-19. Title "Gaine pour pointe à écrire". I just added it to my patent database so you can find it here:

http://www.fountainp...t-FR-850525.pdf

But it's just a quite generic description of the concept of a sheath for the nib and its advantages, without any sketch or drawing. Much more datailed, but also much later, FR 929775. Nowhere near the detail of the Parker one. Anyway it was asked before the Parker one, and that's a nice find.

Regards
Simone

PS can I use your scan in my wiki? I have just a little information about Stylomine and I find this brand quite interesting for their inventions (like the accordion filler).
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#6 sztainbok

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 22:07

Thank you very much Simone!

It is clear from your finding that Stylomine applied for the patent earlier than Parker. From my reading of the patent, it seems the description of a hooded nib for the purpose of avoiding drying of the nib. It even talks about the option of having a spongy material inside the cap where the nib would rest to maintain it wet. I will check the iside of the cap of my pen to see if they actually used the sponge of if they just included it in the patent as an option.
Simone and everybody, please feel free to use this scan as you wish. I am going to include a scan of the back below
Sasha, I will post a picture of the pen when I get a chance. It does have the accordeon sac.

Victor.Stylomine 303D 1938 002s.jpg

#7 sztainbok

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 18:39

I am uploading pictures of the pen and the interior of the cap. In the inside of the cap there is a white material at the end. I was unable to properly illuminate it for the picture, but you can see an edge of it. I poked it with a small pick and it does not feel spongy. This cap does not have an inner cap, but just above the white material there is a ridge that is part of the molding of the cap on the iside, which could serve the purpose of sealing the nib.

Regards, Victor.

Attached Images

  • Stylomine 303D FP.jpg
  • Stylomine 303D cap.jpg


#8 Vintagepens

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 02:06

Interesting discussion here!
Note that the idea of a small nib with just the tip visible, inserted into a shell, was patented back in 1898 by David W. Beaumel. And the quirky designs made by Held in the early 20th century included a hooded-nib pen in hard rubber, whose front end looks an awful lot like a Parker 21 without the underfeed (I own one, but don't have photos handy at the moment).

I wonder when Parker started seriously working on their hooded nib. The Parker patent referenced above was applied for in January of 1939, but it's not just for the hooded nib -- it's for the many (maybe a dozen or more) different innovations that made the 51 unique. Work must have begun on some of these innovations before others; I'll have to check my references on what we know about the 51's design chronology. I don't want to be dismissive of the Stylomine patent, but it is very cursory indeed, and we should consider the possibility that Parker was already working on hooded nibs a year or two before the 51 patent application was submitted, word of it got out, and Stylomine quickly filed a patent application to get a foot in the door.

#9 sztainbok

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 03:14

Thank you David. Interesting to find out about the 1898 patent. I'm curious to see the application of a hooded nib with a hard rubber sheath. It is clear to me that the Parker 51 had many innovations that make it unique. But is it not just possible that Stylomine worked on the Hooded nib earlier than or simultaneously with Parker? All we know for sure are the patent application dates.
It is interesting that the Stylomine patent was granted, since it doesn't seem to add significantly to the previous Beaumel patent.


Victor.

Edited by sztainbok, 11 October 2012 - 10:30.


#10 bphollin

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 08:29

Simone and everybody, please feel free to use this scan as you wish. I am going to include a scan of the back below

I don't have anything to add to the conversation, but I want to say thank you for the scanned images of the instruction sheets. I especially like the illustration of the ink bottle!

Edited by bphollin, 11 October 2012 - 08:29.


#11 simp

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 20:41

But is it not just possible that Stylomine worked on the Hooded nib earlier than or simultaneously with Parker? All we know for sure are the patent application dates.

In my opinion that's the most probable hypothesis.

I cannot see an easy way by which in 1938 a French company could get some words about what an American company was planning in the other side of the ocean. Yes, it's possible that somehow they could get the information, value it and rush to patent office, but when making hypothesis I prefer to apply the Occam Razor, and an independent invention do not require any additional one.

It is interesting that the Stylomine patent was granted, since it doesn't seem to add significantly to the previous Beaumel patent.

Still today a lot of patents are granted that have significant prior art. People at patent offices are not so full of knowledge about any topic.

And that one is an American patent. I don't know the status of international laws at that time, but it could also be that at that time that patent never had a value in France.

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#12 sztainbok

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 20:58

Thanks for the insight Simone.

Victor.

Edited by sztainbok, 12 October 2012 - 10:15.


#13 collado

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 00:03

The filling system looks pretty cool

#14 Fernan

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 04:02

I've always wondered about this issue of dates and chronology, but never bothered to search deeper into it to satisfy my curiosity.

The only thing that mattered to me was performance. My Stylomine 303 works really well, as well as my Parker 51s.


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#15 psfred

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 15:37

Neither Parker nor Sheaffer had valid patents on the large finned enclosed feed, nor in Parker's case, the hooded nib (although much of the rest was patented). Both companies paid royalties to the holder of the earlier patent on an enclosed "collector" (don't remember who it was, but it's posted somewhere on FPN).

None of this was a new idea, just good applications of the deep finned feed and covered nib. The hood was required on the "51" to fix the problem with "51" ink (for which the pen was actually designed, the in preceded the pen), namely that it contained a large percentage of isopropyl alcohol and would dry out and clog in normal nibs.

Turned out that the pen design was vastly better than the ink, as the ink caused lots of clogging problems anyway, contained large amounts of toxic metal base dyes, and corroded the sterling silver breather in the Aerometric pens. Superchrome, the "improved" version of "51" ink, was the first of the highly saturated inks, many of them lovely colors, but who needs corrosive ink? I've gotten any number of Parker 21's in the early versions where the nib is mostly missing, eaten away by Superchrome ink.

Peter

#16 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 13:43

never had a stylomine but the fragility of the accordeon filler, is what stopped me to buy one
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time
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#17 sztainbok

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 20:49

never had a stylomine but the fragility of the accordeon filler, is what stopped me to buy one

I have a couple of Stylomines with the accordion sac, and it is quite robust and flexible at the same time. I've seen some pens in the market where they were replaced with tubular sacs.
Victor



#18 DreamsInInk

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 20:59

The history of hooded nibs is interesting. Thank you for posting this thread and to all who contributed to it.

 

Now, if I may ask a question or two?

 

Could someone tell the purpose of hooded nibs? Why should I buy a fountain pen with a hooded nib?

 

Thank you for your time and opinion,

 

D.i.I.



#19 Vintagepens

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 02:08

There are the aesthetics of a hooded nib: streamlined, minimalist, modern.

There are the functional aspects: slower to dry out, superior resistance to flooding if the hood encloses a proper capillary reservoir (not always the case), lack of flex if the nib is fully supported.

 

Many pens with hooded nibs are classics for other reasons as well, such as the Parker 51 and 61, and the Aurora 88.

 

While we are returning to an old thread, I should make one quick observation regarding Simone's doubts about French penmakers having any idea what was going on in Janesville, Wisconsin back in 1938. Back then, American penmakers such as Parker and Wahl-Eversharp were the international style-setters in their field. Just as fashion designers in America closely followed what was going on in Paris, penmakers in Europe were watching the USA -- and you can bet that they were going after any inside information they could get. Pilot sent a bunch of spies to the USA right around this era, who posed as tourists in order to get tours of American pen factories.

 

David



#20 sumgaikid

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 13:40

Interesting conversation,this.

 

I can certainly see the aesthetic aspect of a hooded nib,but one of the

reasons I dislike hooded nibs is the reason that was mentioned,namely,

the lack of flex.

 

Another point, David--was Sheaffer internationally known as much as Parker

and Wahl-Eversharp? Usually it's the rivalry between Parker and Sheaffer

that one hears about.

 

Finally,has there ever been a book written about the pen espionage that

went on at that time? For us pen and history nerds that might make for

some interesting reading.

 

 

 

John


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#21 christof

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 20:08

Unfortunately I can not ad any information or fact to this very interesting thread. I only can say, I have a weak spot for hooded nibs and the history of desing of these....and of course I can ad a picture of mines:
7495055702_b35a59a8a5_b.jpg

Maybe, the hooded nib is the most copyied pen design feature of the years after WWII. This is remarkeable I think.
...and maybe I have to think about adding a Stylomine!

Edited by christof, 01 October 2013 - 20:11.

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. . . click here . . .

. . . my current S A L E S . . .

#22 kpyeoman

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 15:10

^ Very cool pictures -- thanks for sharing!  Uh oh...my collecting gremlin is staring to murmur...



#23 welch

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 23:40

Great set, Christof...especially the P51 and Aurora 88. All-time best looking pen design. 


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#24 sanyalsoumitra

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 17:15

Thanks for this informative thread. These are the most copied design in the later Chinese pens. The chronological photo was wonderful.

 

There is another variant of hooded nib, some Chinese manufacturers advertise those pens calling them " Cayman mouth". Which original manufacturer started that design?



#25 simp

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 17:04

I found a previous Stylomine patent, FR 750689 (you can find it here: http://www.fountainp...t-FR-750689.pdf) from 1932, for a "plume pointe", that still having it covered by a "gaine". I have no knowledge of this model being produced, and it's quite different from 303D, but at least it can show that Stylomine did not need to search outside for the idea of an hooded nib.

 

Regards

Simone


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#26 darkizz_89

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 18:39

Awesome work, it touches deeply that sweet spot for uncommon and hooded nibs!
The really interesting thing, I think, is the long evolutive way of an idea, from patent to patent to a product that still works after decades, and this research shows it well.
Good job!

Regards,

Iacopo


#27 sztainbok

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 02:36

I found a previous Stylomine patent, FR 750689 (you can find it here: http://www.fountainp...t-FR-750689.pdf) from 1932, for a "plume pointe", that still having it covered by a "gaine". I have no knowledge of this model being produced, and it's quite different from 303D, but at least it can show that Stylomine did not need to search outside for the idea of an hooded nib.

 

Regards

Simone

Great find. Thank you Simone.

Regards,

Victor.



#28 rwilsonedn

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 19:09

...

 

While we are returning to an old thread, I should make one quick observation regarding Simone's doubts about French penmakers having any idea what was going on in Janesville, Wisconsin back in 1938. Back then, American penmakers such as Parker and Wahl-Eversharp were the international style-setters in their field. Just as fashion designers in America closely followed what was going on in Paris, penmakers in Europe were watching the USA -- and you can bet that they were going after any inside information they could get. Pilot sent a bunch of spies to the USA right around this era, who posed as tourists in order to get tours of American pen factories.

 

David

 

What a wonderful image. A little neighborhood bar in a small Wisconsin city--rough-planked wooden floor, uncovered tables, many with initials carved in them, an ancient, once-ornate bar dominating one dark end of the room. The babble of conversation is tinged with odd accents, coming from the handful of out-of-towners who always seem to be there, not quite sounding, or dressing, like locals, but waiting the opportunity to buy another round for any guy who looks like he might be a machinist, looks like he might have had one too many already. Once in a long while, a huddled conversation over a tiny, beer-stained table--pencils come out, and in the dim light sketches go onto scrap paper, which always disappears into a pocket. Innovation in action!

And what an irony: you score big, hurry back to New York by train, catch a liner to Paris, only to discover that the idea you uncovered was stolen from your own company a decade ago. Such is life out in the cold.

ron