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When did Sheaffer stopped making pens out of rubber?


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#1 Pepin

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 08:19

When did they stop making rubber pens? What are the available colors? Where do I go to learn more about early Sheaffer pens? Thanks.

Edited by Pepin, 16 November 2009 - 08:21.

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#2 diplomat

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 08:59

When did they stop making rubber pens? What are the available colors? Where do I go to learn more about early Sheaffer pens? Thanks.



  • As usual, if it is possible to say when Sheaffer started doing something, it's kind of difficult to say when it stopped. I think that the last catalogue to show HR pens is the 1926 (which shows only non-lifetime HR, so possibly lifetime HR were out of the catalogues earlier). But that's not conclusive because possibly specimen with later characteristics were found. I'll wait the experts here.
  • I believe only Black. I understood color in HR pens was introduced by Parker in 1921. In 1924 Sheaffer's made their first plastc pens. I don't think in these three years they made colored HR.
  • Here on FPN (!). If you research thoroughly, you'll find a lot of info here.


#3 Pepin

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 09:12

Thank you Diplomat. At least now I have a reference point, 1926, to determine the age of my little treasures.
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#4 Roger W.

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 14:08

It is reasonable to say that HR pens were produced until circa 1926. They were typically black though there are rare examples of 46's in RHR (catalogued in 1923). As rare as these are the mottled HR pens which were made as early as 1912 thru the late teens or maybe the early 20's. As far as colored hard rubber goes it appears that Sheaffer simply wanted to state that they offered these too as well as their competitors though in the 1923 catalogue they stated that black was considered suitable for general use (in other words, red was too brittle for daily use). RHR and mottled rubber were not as strong as BHR and Sheaffer seems not to have supported sales of the weaker colored rubber for this reason.

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Edited by Roger W., 16 November 2009 - 22:27.


#5 Pepin

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 12:22

Hi Roger,

By weak, do you mean the RHR is more fragile and permissive to cracks?
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#6 Shangas

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 13:15

Hi Pepin!

I believe the RHR WAS more susceptable to cracking and splitting, which is, as I understand it, one of the biggest reasons why the Parker Pen Co. was so nervous about introducing the Big RED Duofold in 1921, when pens were still made of rubber. It was due to the splitting or cracking nature of the rubber, that cap-bands were introduced.
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#7 Pepin

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 06:20

Hi Pepin!

I believe the RHR WAS more susceptable to cracking and splitting, which is, as I understand it, one of the biggest reasons why the Parker Pen Co. was so nervous about introducing the Big RED Duofold in 1921, when pens were still made of rubber. It was due to the splitting or cracking nature of the rubber, that cap-bands were introduced.


Hi Shangas,

Why is red in particular more fragile than the other colors?
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#8 Shangas

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 07:25

From what I recall, black was the only halfway stable colour pens could be made in because the hard rubber turned black naturally during the rubber-making process. All the other colours had to have dyes put into the rubber and when the rubber hardened, I think the dyes caused the rubber to be brittle or fragile. Red was not necessarily MORE fragile than other colours, (in fact I think it was one of the least), but the fact that it WAS a COLOUR other than black, meant that there was a risk of the pen-barrels or caps cracking and splitting if someone screwed the cap or barrel back onto the pen too firmly. It was for this reason that people were initially afraid to have pens made in colours other than black.

I may be totally off the mark, but that's my understanding, at least.
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