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Help Identifying Pilot Pen

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13 replies to this topic

#1 Wayne44

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 21:10

Hi, Picked up a Pilot pen this weekend while out of state, but have not idea what model or vintage it is. I would appreciate some help in identifying it. The nib is not gold and does not have Pilot on it, so it may not be the original. The nib says Highest WEGG 8 Iridium Pointed Diamond. The feed has a small chip on the back left corner. I assume it is a type of vacuum filler. The plunger works smoothly. If I hold my finger at the open end and press the plunger it becomes hard to push at the end of its stroke, but not vacuum is created to hold the pen to my finger, so I assume it would have to be rebuilt to function correctly. Thanks for everyones help in identifying this. Wayne

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  • Pilot 1 copy.jpg
  • Pilot 4 copy.jpg
  • Pilot 5.jpg


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#2 ehemem

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 23:12

Looks to me like you have a Pilot eyedropper from the 1950s. I don't know if there is anything like a model number per se. If it had its original nib, dating it would be easier. These are nice pens. Some are urushi coated. I cannot tell if your pen is plastic or black hard rubber.

 

You might want to check with water to see if the seals are still good. Screw the blind cap/"piston" down, fill the barrel from the other end with water and screw the reassembled section on, cap it and then wrap it with some paper toweling and set capped upright in a glass overnight to see if it leaks out the blind cap end or not.



#3 Wayne44

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 03:05

Thanks for your thoughts on the pen. I did not know Pilot made an eyedropper. I am a bit confused on the why of the piston if it is an eyedropper, what is its purpose? It seems if it is screwed down there is very little room for any ink. I will try testing it with water as you suggested though. I am not sure what material it is either. When I polished the clip the body did get a bit more shiny which I not sure hard rubber would do. It does seem a bit more black than my older rubber pens. Is there a simple way to determine this? Thank you for your help on this.



#4 zanio

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 07:20

Hi. The plunger is actually a safety valve: it shuts the ink flow to the feed, to avoid leaking. However, it looks like the base of the feed is broken.

I think your pen is a 53R model.

 

edit: I believe your pen is made of celluloid.


Edited by zanio, 17 June 2013 - 07:23.


#5 ehemem

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 07:36

Here is a link to some quick and dirty information on the history and function of Japanese eyedroppers:

 

http://www.ebay.com/...04757924/g.html

 

It seems to have been a very popular filling system in Japan up until the 1950s, manufactured by not only the major pen manufacturers but by smaller marques as well. While less common after the 50s, eyedroppers of this kind are still produced mostly as high-end urushi and maki-e pens. I like them and have amassed "a few." Most of them vintage, some urushi coated, some plastic.

 

BTW: A collector/seller of Japanese pens much more knowledgeable than me warned me that pulling the rod out all the way might cause the plug to damage the seal at the back of the pen.

 

You might want to do a FPN search for Japanese eyedroppers and see what you come up with.



#6 Wayne44

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 14:05

Thank you for all the information on eyedroppers, the ebay article was very interesting. You might say it has opened my eyes some, sorry bad pun. I can now see how the plunger acts as a stopper to the back of the section and feed. I see where the feed would have had a round opening at the back if the end was not chipped. I am now doing a leak test to see if the sealing is good at both ends. I also believe the pen to be made of celluloid after playing with it a bit more. Nicks and scratches seem to look a bit different on the two materials. I have been doing searches for 53R, but have found no matches so far. Would you have any information on this model I could read? Once again, thank you both for helping me find out more about this pen.



#7 ehemem

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 07:34

Sorry, I can't think of any web site or link for a complete listing of vintage Pilot pens. Maybe FPN member/moderator of this forum would know.

 

How did the water test go?



#8 Wayne44

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 00:19

Thanks for the suggestion. So far the water test seems okay. I have had it a day with the nib down and a day with it up, and not a drop yet. I am going to try it now with the plunger backed out slightly.



#9 Dillo

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 03:19

Hi,

 

I think eckiethump can restore those pens if I remember correctly. As mentioned earlier, it is a Pilot eyedropper pen. If I were you, I would get it restored to ensure that it doesn't leak since ink contains chemicals that allow it to flow in places where water often does not flow as easily. It's a very nice pen. I would use it every day once it is restored.

 

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#10 Pennata Penna

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 05:30

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Pardon the necropost. As you can see, I have one of these that needs a correct #3 nib in either gold or shiro. The Pelikan steel fits really well, but obviously I would be most grateful if anyone can help finding the right nib. I do use it as an everyday carry alongside my Pelikan 400s.

Tony
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"ON THE PLEASURE OF TAKING UP ONE'S PEN", Hilaire Belloc

#11 guyless

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:23

Hi to you both. I happen to love these pens-- which half a dozen years ago showed up fairly often (at modest prices in nice user condition) during a time when there were several very resourceful and knowledgable ex-pat American pen-sellers listing pens from Japan on eBay (and not) every week.

 

What both of you have is a typical war time pen-- reflecting a period of austerity when gold was forbidden, black plastic barrels became the norm, and Pilot's lustrous, urushi-coated pens and fanciful colored celluloids were no more. The shift of mood is dramatically evident in the two posters below dating from 1943 and 1944, showing two very similar pens, the first as a  lever filler (with still quite a fancy version of the clip) and another with an ink window and a plainer clip. The clip style is sometimes called a "sword," and though seen on a lot of Pilot's early 1950s pens, the design probably makes its first appearance in the mid-1930s (in Fountain Pens of the World, Lambrou dates one fancy filigree pen with this clip earlier, but I suspect he might in this instance be a few years too early).

 

As for wartime Japanese shiro nibs-- they have both their serious hardcore fans (and of course detractors and debunkers, too). As always who knows who's correct, or if there is a correct.   

 

Speaking purely from my own experience, my impression has been that at least those companies that were particularly well regarded for making great nibs before and after the war (Pilot and Sailor especially, along with some lesser known brands like SSS) also managed to do so during it. 

 

My own personal wartime favorite is Pilot's shiro #6 with a v-shaped heart hole-- which was probably introduced in 1943 (and can occasionally be seen on pens through the early to mid-1950s).

 

Maybe I've just had dumb luck with the couple the "v"-hole nibs I've owned, but the one I still have (which has a very old fashioned solid feed without combs) is pure pleasure to write with (and will flex very happily if you insist), while providing exactly the sort of pleasant, subtle feedback I like so much, and normally associate with early 1950s Montblancs, and nothing else.

 

s17-01.jpg s18-01.jpg

 

 

I will try to edit this post tomorrow to add a few photos of the pen with its original nib and feed. But in the meantime, here are the posters. And, well, good hunting. 


Edited by guyless, 12 September 2013 - 08:29.


#12 guyless

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 20:14

Ta Ta: (1) More "austere" and presumably later wartime "sword" clip; (2) shiro "v" nib (the inscription reads, "Best in the World"); and (3) feed, below.

Attached Images

  • clipSM.jpg
  • nib.JPG
  • feed.JPG

Edited by guyless, 12 September 2013 - 20:15.


#13 Pennata Penna

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 00:00

Wow. Great posts mate! Fantastic stuff. Thank you for the comprehensive info and wartime posters. Much appreciated and thoroughly enjoyed.

By the way, that is exactly the same ebonite feed that is on my pen, however it has a different nib :P and hunting for the right one has proven to be quite difficult if not an impossibility for me. So, I might settle for a generic 14K warranted instead. The Pelikan nib should do for now.

Thanks again for the posts, they're gold. Have a good one buddy.

Tony
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"ON THE PLEASURE OF TAKING UP ONE'S PEN", Hilaire Belloc

#14 Pennata Penna

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 03:52

Quick update. Found and replaced the Pelikan nib to a matching shiro, perhaps it is not the correct pilot generic, but it's close enough I reckon. And out of a few samples (including a gold one) this one fits best and wasn't as hard to fit as the stiff longer ones. For some reason the nib was plated. It took me a while to remove it with the silver polish cloth. I had heaps of fun (and palpitations!) in refitting this. Enjoy.

10770420713_dd036aac81_c.jpg

Tony
Pie pellicane Iesu Domine, me immundum munda tuo Sanguine – St Thomas Aquinas
"ON THE PLEASURE OF TAKING UP ONE'S PEN", Hilaire Belloc





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