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Mackinnon Pen WOW!


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#1 AllWriteNow

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 11:46

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I watched this one...
Too rich for my blood.

Is this one of the really early Stylograph pens?

Great piece of history.

Steve
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#2 EventHorizon

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 16:49

COOL and yes, expensive.

At the risk of sounding stupid, where does the ink come out? Is there not a picture of the nib or what ever?
Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
Isaac Asimov, Salvor Hardin in "Foundation"
US science fiction novelist & scholar (1920 - 1992)

There is probably no more terrible instant of enlightenment than the one in which you discover your father is a man--with human flesh.
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US science fiction novelist (1920 - 1986)

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#3 Jeff L

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 17:22

As Vader said, "Impressive, most impressive."

Duncan MacKinnon's early stylographic pen from Canadian patent #4809 from 1875, his first patent. This precedes his first American patent of #174965 issued in March 21, 1876.

Here MacKinnon uses what will become the standard ink flow control method for stylos, a weighted needle, what he calls his "gravitating valve". He will, unfortunately, stray from this simple but effective solution.

This early model has a writing point with tipping material. The needle in these early pens, however, isn't tipped (although it will be in later models). At this time, tipping a stylo is still difficult and costly. Early attempts involve trying to drill a hole through a tiny ball of iridium, a costly and error prone endeavor. It'll take a couple of more years before John Holland's breakthrough for stylographic tipping to become more cost efficient.

The cap at the back is vented for air flow. When unscrewed, air flows from the cap vent through a tube down the middle of the barrel and ends at the section, near the top of the weighted needle. Later, the cap itself will not be vented but will be unscrewed to open access to the vent underneath it.

These early models also have what we would nowadays call an ink shut-off mechanism. A rod extends down the middle of the air tube to just above the weighted needle. When the cap is screwed down, the rod holds the weight against a seal inside the section, shutting off ink flow.

Subsequent models would abandon this ink shut off rod. Other methods would be used to keep the needle assembly in place (screwed-in or back-stopped with a plug) and/or the needle extended (the dreaded spring and its legal entanglements).

You'll note that the cap or "point protector" is very small. These early models don't allow for posting of this cap, which obviously can get lost very easily. Drop that on a rug and see if you can find it. Later models will add a post at the back for the cap.

This type of small point protector form factor will be copied by most other stylo makers of the time. By the early to mid 1880's, this form factor will be replaced by the more familiar straight cap design.

By the early 1880s, MacKinnon, having lost his lawsuit with Cross, is dead. Francis C Brown and Alexander M Sutherland takeover the company and quickly sell it (and are themselves sued for breach of contract on the sale soon thereafter); making for a rough and tumble time for all.



#4 zabo

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 17:29

QUOTE (EventHorizon @ Apr 20 2009, 06:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
COOL and yes, expensive.

At the risk of sounding stupid, where does the ink come out? Is there not a picture of the nib or what ever?

There should be a Rapidograph-like point (the stylograph) at the rastremated part, just below the little cap.
Filling obviously by eyedropper, unscrewing the rastremated part I guess...
Arnaldo
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