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Liberty Fountain Pen N.Y.


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#1 Mac In Oak Ridge

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 12:48

I recently purchased a nice black (hard rubber/plastic?) fountain pen with sagging drapery design on the body and cap. The hardware is silver color, chrome or nickle or something else. The clip has Liberty on it and the body has Liberty Fountain Pen N.Y.

The nib is marked Warented, 14CT. Can't tell if there is any more writing on below where it sticks out of the collar/feed. It is a lever filler and the lever has a round end on it with a circle and L inside of the circle. I don't see any other marking.

The pen is in quite good condtion, I have not inked it yet.

Can anyone tell me anything about this company? Age of pen? I can post a photo if that would help.

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#2 Johnny Appleseed

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 15:41

A photo would be great!

I don't really have any knowledge of the Liberty Fountain Pen company. It sounds like a chased hard rubber or chased celluloid pen, which probably dates from somewhere between 1914-1930s. 1914, because that was when lever-fillers really got their start, 1930s because the black-chased look was well on it's way out by the end of the 1930s. At that time there were literally hundreds of pen companies around the US. Many were no more than jobbers who bought parts or partially made pens from different manufacturers, did a little final assembly and stamped their name on them.

One interesting thing is that the nib states 14Ct, which was the designation used in Europe, as opposed to 14K which was usually used in the US. Replacement nib? Export model? Who knows.

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#3 Mac In Oak Ridge

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Posted 20 May 2006 - 23:29

Sorry for the delay in posting a photo. I found it difficult to get the details to show up, this is about the best I have been able to do.

Attached Images

  • Liberty_FP_0016.jpg


#4 Nail-Bender

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 23:21

Curiosity got the best of me and this pen is on its way.

I'm wondering what size nib the pen requires.

 

Not much information about these things here or anywhere.

I'm hoping to learn and post more when I find out.

 

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Edited by Bordeaux146, 27 July 2017 - 23:23.


#5 jonveley

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 02:11

Nice!  Can I use your pictures at The Leadhead's Pencil Blog?  I've got the pencil and I've been working on tracking it down.



#6 Nail-Bender

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 11:01

Nice!  Can I use your pictures at The Leadhead's Pencil Blog?  I've got the pencil and I've been working on tracking it down.

 

I'm thinking the pictures sold along with the pen when I bought it off ebay, so sure.

 

Here is about the only other information I have found on the liberty

https://munsonpens.w...y-fountain-pen/

 

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Edited by Bordeaux146, 28 July 2017 - 11:03.


#7 Chrissy

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 11:14

It certainly looks like a vintage pen.  :)  And it's in good condition.  :)



#8 AAAndrew

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 19:10

A quick and unscientific scan of newspaper ads shows the company from at least 1905 to 1930. There are ads from Indiana in the west, to New York. 

 

The hard rubber ones look like the 1920's (1925 ad for "red, black and mottled"). By 1930 they are advertising "jade green, black and white and brown."

 

The 1905 ad has a bonus. It mentions Waterman pens designed and branded for Steinbach Company. So, if you run into a Steinbach branded fountain pen, you may have a 1905 Waterman Ideal. 

 

The ads seem to indicate that this was a budget priced pen, but it was sold in both drug stores as well as stationary shops. (and in one case, directly by Dave Whitaker right out of the city treasurer's office in Elwood, Indiana)

 

fpn_1501268740__liberty_fountain_pen_ads



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#9 Nail-Bender

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 00:04

A quick and unscientific scan of newspaper ads shows the company from at least 1905 to 1930. 

Thanks for the digging...Very interesting 

The price may be an indication of when it was offered for sale.

pwpwpw.jpg


Edited by Bordeaux146, 29 July 2017 - 01:09.


#10 philm

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 20:42

Additional to my linked photos above, I have since acquired this postcard, dated 1926, which shows a red version, priced 50 percent off at $3.50.  

 

e4ea3cb6-b080-4d47-9668-24c838720d85_zps

 

Phil


Edited by philm, 08 August 2017 - 20:46.


#11 David V

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 23:20

I have one that looks exactly like the ad you show there, Phil.  I restored it for someone who kept it for a few years and only used it once.  She finally sold it back to me since I actually use them.  Writes pretty nice for a second or third tier pen, and it has survived the eons amazingly well.  I'll try to get a picture of it up sometime in the near future.



#12 langere

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 01:38

Yes, please do!  The small pen companies are incredibly interesting for an economic historian such as myself.

 

Thanks!

 

Erick


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#13 welch

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 17:01

Looking at AAAndrew's advertised prices, could Liberty have been a first-tier pen that discounted, more and more heavily, as the Depression bit harder? Philm's post-card from 1926 suggests that a full price, then, might have been almost $7. An intro price of $3.75 would have been even fifteen years later. Liberty was down to about $1.75 by 1930 -- what was advertised price for the Duofold in 1930?

 

Hmm...Is there an overview of American writing instruments from 1905 - 1950? Something covering prices, sales, sales areas for dip pens, fountain pens, pencils? Maybe including typewriters?


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#14 jonveley

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 11:58

My article on the subject posted this morning:

http://leadheadpenci...iberty.html?m=1

#15 peterg

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 13:41

At $7.00 the pen was being pitted against the top line Duofold



#16 philm

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 17:06

The Liberty in my advertisement was a $3.50 or less pen.  The $7.00 was a marketing ploy and I question whether they could have sold any at that price.  The "special offer" price was probably closer to their retail price point at the time.   A bit of clever advertising, that's all.  I don't believe they were ever trying to compete with the Parker's of the world at their pricing points, advertising and distribution. 

 

Phil



#17 David V

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 22:47

Okay, here are my pictures of my pen:

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My pen is the oversized variety and writes with a nice degree of flex, going from bold to triple bold or better.  My only other pen in this size range is a first year oversize Balance, and I prefer the performance of this one.  Just sayin...


Edited by David V, 22 February 2018 - 01:07.


#18 David V

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 22:59

On a side note, 380 Canal Street is a gorgeous frescoed 6 story building in the Tribeca district that was built in 1920 according to online property records (and my opinion of the photos)  I wonder if it was built by Liberty or if they only leased the space.  It isn't a warehouse, that's for sure.

380canal_med.jpg



#19 AAAndrew

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 00:20

Sometimes those buildings would have stores and offices on the lower floors and light industrial factories on the upper. Beautiful building. 

 

And the pen is really cool! Thanks for the photos. 



“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928



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#20 David V

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 00:57

Thanks!  I'm rather fond of it.  Matter of fact, I'm in the process of selling off my collection of hard rubber pens, but this is the one that I don't plan on selling.








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