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Sheaffer Inkbottles Through Time


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54 replies to this topic

#1 laureat

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 20:06

Dear FPFriends,

I recently bought a 2oz bottle of sheaffer blue ink in a glass bottle with inkwell. It has a gold colored screwcap with a white dot. It is obviously NOS. Not in need of blue ink... :embarrassed_smile: but curious for the bottle I've bought it.
The latest Sheaffers inkbottles have a totally different look and no inkwell. :crybaby:

I still have some older Sheaffer bottles with inkwells with the dark blue/black metal screwcap. I guess my oldest bottles are from 1981.

My question is: how have the Sheaffer ink bottles changed/ evolved /degenerated over the years. Is there a site or info about the bottles and the changes? I'm just curious.
Can any of my friends help me with photo's and dates of change?
Thank you in advance.
" Go with the inkflow, my friend "

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#2 mrcharlie

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 23:57

Is the packaging/label a dark red? If so, that is from the very late 80s or the 90s; I don't have the exact year packaging changed from blue and yellow to red.

There are some good pictures of boxes and labels through the years in these threads (and I'm sure others are around too):

When Was A 2-Oz Bottle Skrip Cost 29 Cents?!

Dark red label bottle and box

#3 whych

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 20:38

Dear FPFriends,

I recently bought a 2oz bottle of sheaffer blue ink in a glass bottle with inkwell. It has a gold colored screwcap with a white dot. It is obviously NOS. Not in need of blue ink... :embarrassed_smile: but curious for the bottle I've bought it.

These bottles were around in the mid to late sixties.
The blue ink in them should be permanent and not the washable type you get now.
I think Parker were the only ones that had a washable blue ink at the time.

#4 hbquikcomjamesl

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 00:10

Actually, the gold cap with the white dot and an elliptical label (and a broader overall shape than the classic Skrip bottle, and an elliptical label) was the last version before they went to the present cone bottle, and I'd date it as recently as the 1990s, maybe even the 1st decade of 21st century.
Back in January of 2011, I posted these pictures, as a guide to identification.

Posted Image
Posted Image

I would, though, say that I made a typo in labeling the middle bottle of the top picture: surely I meant to say it was a 1980s label, and the red label, the final "classic" well bottle, is 1990s. Notice that the oldest "classic" bottles (1970s and earlier) have domed black caps, while the ones from the 1980s on have flat ones.

Oh, and Sheaffer always offered a washable blue, at least as far back as the 1970s, from my personal experience, and probably all the way back to the beginnings of the Skrip ink line (when they offered a lot more colors than they do now).

Edited by hbquikcomjamesl, 19 February 2013 - 00:12.

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Posted Image was once a bottle of ink
Inky, Dinky, Thinky, Inky,
Blacky minky, Bottle of ink!
-- Edward Lear

#5 KennethMoyle

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 00:14

I didn't know that the well bottles were no longer being made. It's handy not to have to reach down deep for the ink when filling.

I will be sure to keep mine once I finish off the last of the Sheaffer black I bought back in the mid-90s.
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#6 whych

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 00:34

Sorry I was confused - I only ever saw the first bottle in the picture until recently when I bought a new bottle of Sheaffer ink. Sheaffer don't seem to push their inks and pens that much in UK, so you don't see them in the shops here.

Oh, and Sheaffer always offered a washable blue, at least as far back as the 1970s, from my personal experience, and probably all the way back to the beginnings of the Skrip ink line (when they offered a lot more colors than they do now).

If they did, it would have been prominently advertised I think. Look at your first bottle it's permanent blue. I seem to remember most of their inks had the permanent on the label, or the ones we got in the mid to late 60's in South Africa did.
Because I was young, the washable meant a lot because boys are boys and you would mess ink on your clothes: so at least it would wash out.
I think it's only as you get older and more careful, that you want the return of the permanent colours again.
I think we all miss the old days when everyone did a good range of colours instead of the standard blue or black plus one or two more... but I suppose the cheap felt tip pens and ballpoints killed that.

The well bottles, like the old swan neck Pelikan bottles were great in that you could not only get to use most of the ink in the bottle when it ran low, but also didn't have to guess whether the pen was deep enough into the ink to fill the pen.

Edited by whych, 19 February 2013 - 00:41.


#7 hbquikcomjamesl

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:31

If they did [offer a washable blue], it would have been prominently advertised I think. Look at your first bottle it's permanent blue.


Actually, if you zoom in on the bottle in the picture, you can just make out "HABLE BLUE" to the left of the catalog number 42, and "OF WASHABLE FABRICS" on the second line, to the right of the 42. Inspecting the actual bottle, I read "WASHABLE BLUE 42 SOAP WILL WASH IT OUT OF WASHABLE FABRICS"

Another picture of a boxed bottle of the same vintage confirms that #42 is washable blue , while other pictures of packaging from that era give #82 as washable purple, #02 as permanent red, #32 as permanent black, #12 as washable brown, #112 as washable peacock blue, #22 as permanent blue black, #52/54 as permanent royal blue (2 different sizes?), #44 as (maybe a larger size of) washable blue, #62 as washable black, #102 is washable "Persian Rose," and tell us that, at the time, they offered "9 colors" including "4 permanent" and "5 washable":

Posted Image

(while another bottle picture, and the label on the first bottle in my own top picture, says that they offer 12 colors, 8 of which were washable.)

Another picture on FPN, on this thread shows a 1924 bottle of washable blue:
Posted Image

Edited by hbquikcomjamesl, 19 February 2013 - 02:21.

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Posted Image was once a bottle of ink
Inky, Dinky, Thinky, Inky,
Blacky minky, Bottle of ink!
-- Edward Lear

#8 mrcharlie

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:34

These were the Skrip colors no later than the late 1940s:

Color codes:
0 Permanent Red
1 Washable Brown
2 Permanent Blue Black
3 Permanent Jet Black
4 Washable Blue
5 Permanent Royal Blue
6 Washable Black
7 Washable Emerald Green
8 Washable Purple
9 Washable Melon Red
10 Washable Persian Rose
11 Washable Peacock Blue

The "Washable Purple" picture above that says "9 Colors" on the label is probably from the early 1940's; it advertises the Triumph pen on the inner top flaps. The colors listed on the bottom of that box are colors 0 through 8 in the list above, except that it says "Green" instead of "Emerald Green".

I think that the current "Blue", starting in the 1980s, is neither Washable Blue nor Permanent Royal Blue, but I'm not 100% sure of that. It doesn't look like either one of those when used, but perhaps my vintage Washable Blue and Permanent Royal Blue inks don't behave the same as they did when new, due to some sort of degradation over time. However, I have more than one bottle source of each of the vintage Blues, and both of each look/act the same.

It may be possible that the 1980's blue through now is the same as the older Washable Blue, but more saturated. I have yet to find a definitive write up of what Sheaffer did with the colors in the 1980s, when they switched labels to the one above with the huge font size "ink" on the label. They ditched Washable Black and Melon Red, keeping Jet Black and Red. They seem to have ditched both blues for "Blue", but as I said I'm not 100% sure that "Blue" in unrelated to one of the old blues. They stopped using the words Permanent and Washable at this time. Previously, they had used "Deluxe" instead of "Washable" for a short time.

Edited by mrcharlie, 19 February 2013 - 03:35.


#9 paolino_paperino

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:34

Actually, the gold cap with the white dot and an elliptical label [...]
Posted Image
Posted Image


Informative thread, I'll keep it pinned.

I have a bottle of blue-black that is apparently identical to the top right one, but without the internal well. Bought NOS in Italy.

Edited by paolino_paperino, 19 February 2013 - 06:35.


#10 laureat

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:50

Thank you hbquikcomjamesf! :notworthy1:
Your pictures are very informative.
The NOS bottle I mentioned is the first one on the left on the second row. From what I have read on FPF this bottle is discontinued in 2006 or 2009. And this was the end of the inkwell-bottles, and of the 60ml! (it is now 50ml)
I still have the older Skrip bottles of the '80 and '90.

I hope somebody here will know the exact yeardates of the discontinuity of the different type of bottles and labels.
" Go with the inkflow, my friend "

#11 harlequin-RIH

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 04:40

I too want to add my thanks for this thread and the info everyone has contributed! I have been looking for some examples of the various bottles for a while now!

#12 whych

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:47

Thank you hbquikcomjamesf

..and mrcharlie.
Living in the 'colonies' in South Africa, we never got to see all the colours.

From the old pens I have bought, the remnants of the in left in the pen are unmistakeably Sheaffer blue. I think Sheaffer is one of the few big manufacturers that has kept the colours true to the originals when they changed supplier and or formula.
Parker's black is nowhere near the same black they made 20 years ago!

#13 DougS

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 16:56

Here is a 1937 bottle

Posted Image

#14 mrcharlie

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 23:38

Here is a 1937 bottle


Cool. I've seen newer and older bottles/labels/boxes, but I'd not seen that one. Thanks.

#15 harlequin-RIH

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 07:24

I think that may be the biggest problem I have with the "normal" vintage Skrip bottle- the label colors. I just don't think the yellow and blue is a very attractive combination- I much prefer the labels with the darker red/maroon and gold.

#16 welch

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 01:17

The great folks at Pendemonium have a statment by Sheaffer on the new ("Slovenian") Skrip. I can't link directly to the statement, but you'll find it under inks->Sheaffer. Dated 2002. Incidentally, I used Sheaffer Washable Black all through junior high and high school. Pendemonium's web-site is at http://www.pendemonium.com/...and "everyone" subscribes to Sam's email updates.

One question: what was in RC-35?


SHEAFFER PEN COMPANY - July 24, 2002



FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ABOUT OUR FOUNTAIN PEN ACCESSORY LINE



Sheaffer Inks, Bottles and Cartridges



Sheaffer, known for the highest quality and performance standards in fine writing instruments for nearly a century, has made some changes to the ink and accessory

offerings.



We appreciate the inquiries and comments from our loyal Sheaffer customers regarding recent changes in our accessory line – particularly fountain pen inks, bottles

and cartridges. In response, please find attached common questions and answers.



Are the new Sheaffer Skrip® Inks the same Quality as the Old Sheaffer Inks?



Our new inks were put through rigorous quality and performance tests to ensure we deliver the great writing quality Sheaffer is known for, but now with improved

performance. Our new inks deliver significantly improved writing on several important measures, including less strike-through (bleed) on standard writing paper and

less “feathering” around alpha and numeric characters. The new ink formulation, coupled with our design expertise in pens, delivers a better performing writing system for fountain pen users.



In addition, the new Sheaffer Skrip® inks have been certified by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association (WIMA) Certification Program, recognized worldwide by major writing instrument companies.



Do the new Sheaffer Skrip® Inks still have preservatives to prevent mold and bacterial growth?



Yes, our new inks still have the special preservatives that do protect our inks from mold and bacteria growth.



Are the ink colors the same?



While the ink formulation has changed to bring improved performance, we have worked very hard to deliver a color match on the inks. We have made some colors brighter

and have eliminated some less popular ones.



We will continue to challenge ourselves and our partner, to meet the highest standards of quality. We are currently working with our supplier to re-evaluate the visual appearance of our Jet Black ink color.

A detailed list of our color offerings is attached in the Fact Sheet.



Why did the bottle design change?



We have redesigned the Sheaffer Skrip® ink bottle to deliver some functional improvements and modernize the look. The ink well feature on our old bottles required

them to be capped very tightly to prevent leakage. As a result, many of our consumers told us they could not open the bottles! In addition, the inkwell feature did not accommodate the varied designs of today’s fountain pens.



The new ink bottle cap is easy to remove, but still maintains a secure seal to prevent leakage. To ensure this critical feature, the new caps were subjected to

rigorous reliability testing, including turning the bottles upside down and shaking them on a special transportation and vibration machine. We have also implemented new labeling on the bottles so that the ink color can be more easily identified.



Will there be boxes for the Individual Ink Bottles?



The new bottled inks are available in 6-pack trays. Based on customer feedback and the important need to maximize shelf space, we are taking immediate steps to provide an outer box for individual bottles for easier stacking and shipment. This is a priority for our

marketing and manufacturing teams and we are working today to make these boxes available as soon possible this summer.



Why did the Cartridges change?



Our ink cartridges were redesigned to better identify the color of the inks inside. Our old cartridges had the ink color name printed on them, which wasn’t always legible. Now our cartridges are the same color as the ink, making it easier to identify the color of ink in

the cartridge. We are currently working to make the new cartridges more transparent so it is easier to identify ink level. For Blue-Black, Blue and Jet-Black we have launched a clear cartridge, but have added a corresponding color “end-cap” so again, the color of ink

inside the cartridge is easier to identify.



Also, the new Sheaffer Skrip® Ink cartridges are now more transportable with less chance of leakage. The cartridges can only be pierced on one end so consumers

can easily store an un-pierced cartridge in the fountain pen chamber (by putting it in the pen upside down). This “portability” feature is especially great for air travel as the un-pierced cartridge reduces the potential of leakage due to changes in pressure – a common concern among fountain pen aficionados.



At Sheaffer, we continue to bring you products with a heritage of quality and exceptional value and will keep you updated via our website and other communications. We always welcome your feedback and comments.




Washington Nationals 2019: the fight for .500; "stay in the fight"; WON the fight

#17 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 21:06

Actually, the gold cap with the white dot and an elliptical label [...]
Posted Image
Posted Image


Informative thread, I'll keep it pinned.

I have a bottle of blue-black that is apparently identical to the top right one, but without the internal well. Bought NOS in Italy.


I may actually have examples of all bottles....the oldest version found at a garage sale. Free. Still in dog-eared box.

#18 harlequin-RIH

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 00:14

dude, too kewl.

#19 harlequin-RIH

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 06:40

Just saw these two Sheaffer bottle auctions on ebay and thought I'd post them here, just in case anyone is interested. The first one is for two bottles- blue/black and blue, with the red and gold label (1st bottle in the second row in the pic of 6 bottles above):

http://www.ebay.com/...s-/261179705198

Curiously, you'll notice that they have two different style caps.

The second auction is for the REALLY old bottles, from the 1920s:

http://www.ebay.com/...s-/261179705198

Unfortunately, those two bottles don't have the labels or the stoppers.

I wouldn't have even noticed those two auctions before I read this thread. It's actually the first time I've seen some other style bottles up for auction (not counting the smaller 12 ml kind I've mentioned in previous posts). Just thought I'd share those here, in case someone was looking for those kinds of bottles!



#20 pengoddess

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 03:22

These are quickie phone pics of my Skrip bottles. At last count I had 75 different ones and these are just pre-1960s. I haven't been keeping examples of post-1960s but suppose I should start one of these days. The Skrip bottles didn't start out to be a focused collection, they just sort of accumulated over the years. I'm a better collector than I am a cleaner and these need to be dusted. If you're a gentle cleaner-collector feel free to stop by and I'll put you to work :)

Sam

skrip_1.jpg

skrip_2.jpg
Pendemonium
email: sam@pendemonium.com
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