Hi John, and all other readers of this topic.
This is going to be a long story, sorry, hope you can find the time to read it....
I'll illustrate just with Century... Early in the last century, Century had two sub-lines of pen: The Student Pen and The Victory Pen (note that Fultz' writings don't include any mention of Victory). Should these constitute separate entries in your list?
In answer to this question, I would say "Yes" they should be included as separate entries, or at least as separate brands.
Yes I agree. Strongly. Especially if such a brand name is (original meaning of brand:
) branded into the pen. A burn mark!
The question with identification of a pen that has a 'burn mark'
is not the mark itself, but to what firm this mark - and then we talk about a trade
mark - is joined, in other words: we seem to have a problem when the imprint on the pen is not the same as the name of the manufacturer. E.g. When a Parker pen has the marking (or branding
as Max originally called it) 'Parker' then it is totally clear what we have: a Parker, but then we still do not know anything about the model yet. So more research is needed for that field to complete. When a pen has the marking 'Parkette' we must do some research and eventually find that Parkette is a sub-brand of Parker. Problem is however that sometimes companies use only a model name as a 'branding' and the trade mark from the manufacturer is nowhere to find, maybe sometimes on a box or in accompanied papers. But unfortunately it is rather exceptional to find a vintage pen with complete boxing and papers!
So, often one has to make a decision if the mark is a brand, model or sub-brand name. In the case that research does not come with a solution an arbitrary action must follow. But you can maintain a priority rule: In case you know the imprint ABC belongs to manufacturer XYZ, and there is no indication or reference to XYZ having specific sub-brands, the 1st priority is to denominate ABC as a model name of XYZ.
2nd: If brand XYZ is known for having numerous sub-brands and there are indications (document research, technical details etc.) that imprint ABC is manufactured by XYZ, ABC is determined as a brand, with XYZ in the sub-brand field ( E.g. Conway Stewart). In case of doubt, also the doubt can be documented or explained in one of the memo/text fields (DESCRIPT & REMARK). The REFerence field gives also extra info, i.e. the user that consults the data list can see where the geek that made the wrong(?) input got is info from. That might even be an E-bay ad., as long as it exists its usable.
But this is Cyberspace man!
Yes, Internet provides volatile information. When it's gone it's gone. So are all these beautiful pens we do NOT have in our collections.... gone forever. That's why we collect them. (In Dutch collecting
is the same word: sparen
Now a little thing about data bases as we can use them on a computer (PC):
What if the denomination one enters in his file is in the wrong field?
A disaster? No, the info might be historically wrong and from a documentary and archival point of view not totally correct, but we can retrieve it! All the associations we made are there, in the record, and if one finds out it could or must be corrected, correct it and subsequently send a nice posting to FPN
to let the world know of your findings.
Practically all database applications work with a search mode that can find so called 'free text strings'. So when I ask my system for "Century" the system will return all
references to that string and if the response is too big you can narrow your question. How do you think Google works? Ok, not all of us have sophisticated database applications that support SQL and Boolean query facilities and all that jazz, but with some creativity you can even do an intelligent query in an Excel file. Remember also that a database not only helps to answer your questions, but also can help to order your data. But remember also: if there is a zero, nill, 0 response, your database or computer system can not find it! No system whatever can find it.
And that, IMHO, is what is all about. I have this pen and where the .... did it come from..... So I need a system that gives me answers on questions about details I already know or I can find. A no name will be extremely difficult, but in that case e.g. a comparison with pictures of 'look-alikes' can help. Make a picture and post it, with some relevant questions. Once a name is found that gives any hold to the pen you have in your hands the database is going to help. The Merkur story in the thread of Theresa, Thomas and myself are a nice example that shows how some research and a fruitful communication on FPN can lead to a successful data set on a certain brand that else would maybe be forgotten forever. (Theresa's pen was not a Merkur, but a Markant, model Merkur. Proof built up by a combination of Theresa's Pics and Thomas' convincing documentation info and me acting as an intermediary!)
Parker, Waterman, Sheaffer's, etc., the top firms, can be difficult because of the numerous models and colours and modifications and varieties they made. Heinz Tomato Ketchup (57 varieties…. remember?) is nothing compared to Parker & friends. The 2nd and 3rd tier brands are even worse, because there is so little documentation about it. But: once found and entered in this list, even sometimes mixed up in the wrong fields: Hurray for ever!
A Herculic task? I do not think so: I've been (in a past life) involved with the research and documentation of a huge Photo and Film Archive with more than 6 million meters of documentary 35mm newsreel film and more than 1,5 million press photo's covering the period of approx 1895 to 1980. More than half of it seemed
undocumented. But 90% of this collection has been documented now and it is now a major part of the collection of the Dutch National Broadcasting Museum and can be consulted by everyone who needs to know something about what happended in The Netherlands, its former colonies and some other for Dutch history important parts of the world. That was a professional job, ok, but it can
be done! And believe me, the complete Dutch government thought we were nuts when we started the job, 25 years ago. With no computers, no Internet, no digital scans.... Last month, December 2006, the Museum was officially opened by our Queen Beatrix.
Maybe this "Pen Brands World Wide" list will never be complete, actually I am sure that will be the case, but I am convinced that this compilation of brands and names and manufacturers and references will add to improve the knowledge of how and where and by whom these ink spraying little cylinders were made.
People like Gerry and Thomas and John and Antoniosz and myself and many others who contribute with comments and findings, we will build an instrument we can really use. It may be not our live work or magnum opus, but it’s sure a lot fun.
Have a nice Sunday!
P.S. Here is a tough one: ( see picture below)
Imprint directly under the section: Hallmark. Imprint at the top end ot the cap: 18K gold filled (brass?). 14 K warranted no 3 standard f flex nib. The metal seems an overlay on a HR body and cap. Lenght capped: 12,5 cm. Posted: 15,8 cm.
Special: the clip is not yellow, but red gold (no... not brass!
This is not a test
I honestly cannot find anything
about this pen!
Any ideas? Please! Make me happy! :bunny1: :bunny1: :bunny1:
Edited by Lexaf, 13 January 2007 - 23:30.