Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies






Photo

First transparent barrel pen


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 simp

simp

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 397 posts

Posted 27 December 2009 - 18:35

Does anyone know when transparent barrel pens were introduced?

The far back I managed to go is 1916, for a Lucky Curve n.20, as shown by this Parker advertisement:
Posted Image
(this is the enlarged view of the model)
Posted Image

But was this their first bakelite model? And there were other brands using bakelite at that time making transparent barrels? I know Dunn but it's older. Nothing about Sheaffer, Waterman or Conklin.

Regards
Simone
Fountain Pen Wiki - www.FountainPen.it
Fountain pen Chronology (need help to improve...)
Old advertisement (needing new ones to enlarge the gallery...)

Sponsored Content

#2 ZeissIkon

ZeissIkon

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,247 posts
  • Location:North Carolina

Posted 28 December 2009 - 01:45

Bakelite barrels can't predate that ad by a great deal; Bakelite was invented in 1907. Celluloid was made transparent as early as the 1890s (George Eastman coated photographic emulsions onto celluloid in response to Edison's requirements for motion picture cameras), but I don't know of any pens with celluloid barrels before the late 1920s.
Does not always write loving messages.
Does not always foot up columns correctly.
Does not always sign big checks.

#3 simp

simp

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 397 posts

Posted 28 December 2009 - 23:04

Bakelite barrels can't predate that ad by a great deal; Bakelite was invented in 1907. Celluloid was made transparent as early as the 1890s (George Eastman coated photographic emulsions onto celluloid in response to Edison's requirements for motion picture cameras), but I don't know of any pens with celluloid barrels before the late 1920s.

Yes I know about the invention year, and I agree that probably the first use won't predate that much, but I was curious if someone know if there are some other producer making transparent barrels before 1916, or we can assign this title to Parker.

I also wonder why fountain pen producers used bakelite before celluloid. It was a quite new material. Perhaps celluloid was more difficult to produce, or cost more...

Anyway it came later, but not so later as you say: Lebouef started making celluloid fountain pen in 1920 (and I heard that also Conway Stewart did the same that year).

Regards
Simone
Fountain Pen Wiki - www.FountainPen.it
Fountain pen Chronology (need help to improve...)
Old advertisement (needing new ones to enlarge the gallery...)

#4 ZeissIkon

ZeissIkon

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,247 posts
  • Location:North Carolina

Posted 29 December 2009 - 01:40

I also wonder why fountain pen producers used bakelite before celluloid. It was a quite new material. Perhaps celluloid was more difficult to produce, or cost more...


Hard to say for certain. Celluloid was used for billiard balls from around 1880, and in other applications with color added in a similar timeframe (add-on collars in the 1880s, some other applications, mostly replacements for ivory at that time) -- and as noted, was the base for the first flexible, transparent photographic medium, which predated 1890 by a little. Celluloid, however, wasn't mainly used in pens for transparency, but for the riot of color it could carry (though many of the celluloid beauties of the 1930s -- especially those without sacs -- were partially translucent to allow the user to see ink levels).
Does not always write loving messages.
Does not always foot up columns correctly.
Does not always sign big checks.

#5 Vintagepens

Vintagepens

    David Nishimura

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,581 posts

Posted 29 December 2009 - 03:44

I don't recall exactly when Parker first offered transparent-Bakelite-barreled pens; it must have been around 1913, though, as I have catalogs from just around then. These pens were apparently first made as demonstrators, and were then made available to the public in response to customer demand. In any event, I do think Parker was likely the first to offer such pens.

Celluloid was used for fountain pens much earlier than the dates normally cited for Sheaffer and LeBoeuf. There was a 1905 article on electroforming published in the PENnant some years ago, which made casual reference to celluloid for pens as if it were no novelty at all. Yet actual examples of pens that correspond to this reference have all been in basic black -- so at the time, celluloid was evidently adopted more for economy than for any special properties.

#6 simp

simp

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 397 posts

Posted 30 December 2009 - 11:21

I don't recall exactly when Parker first offered transparent-Bakelite-barreled pens; it must have been around 1913, though, as I have catalogs from just around then. These pens were apparently first made as demonstrators, and were then made available to the public in response to customer demand. In any event, I do think Parker was likely the first to offer such pens.

Celluloid was used for fountain pens much earlier than the dates normally cited for Sheaffer and LeBoeuf. There was a 1905 article on electroforming published in the PENnant some years ago, which made casual reference to celluloid for pens as if it were no novelty at all. Yet actual examples of pens that correspond to this reference have all been in basic black -- so at the time, celluloid was evidently adopted more for economy than for any special properties.

Oh, that's very interesting to know. So this means at least that all the common references to the time of celluloid introduction should be rephrased talking about colored celluloid.

Thank you for the valuable informations, I'm going to make corrections...

Simone
Fountain Pen Wiki - www.FountainPen.it
Fountain pen Chronology (need help to improve...)
Old advertisement (needing new ones to enlarge the gallery...)

#7 kirchh

kirchh

    Please see my Profile interests

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,583 posts

Posted 28 January 2010 - 16:47

In a very cursory search, the first reference I could locate to a fountain pen with a transparent barrel is in patent 890747, filed 10/4/1905. The material is specified as "celluloid, horn, amber, quill, or hoof; or in fact any non-vitreous inorganic material (such as mica, quartz, or any porous fabric or solid made air-tight and transparent or translucent by being filled with such substances)." Other early patents include small barrel windows in various shapes for viewing the ink level.

--Daniel

"The greatest mental derangement is to believe things because we want them to be true, not because we observe that they are in effect." --Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

Daniel Kirchheimer
Specialty Pen Restoration
Authorized Sheaffer/Parker/Waterman Vintage Repair Center
Purveyor of the iCroScope digital loupe


#8 simp

simp

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 397 posts

Posted 30 January 2010 - 23:53

In a very cursory search, the first reference I could locate to a fountain pen with a transparent barrel is in patent 890747, filed 10/4/1905. The material is specified as "celluloid, horn, amber, quill, or hoof; or in fact any non-vitreous inorganic material (such as mica, quartz, or any porous fabric or solid made air-tight and transparent or translucent by being filled with such substances)." Other early patents include small barrel windows in various shapes for viewing the ink level.

--Daniel

That's very interesting to know, but what I was really interested was the actual production and selling of transparent barrel pens, and it seems the the first ones where made by Parker. I also heard of some early Swan having transparent windows, but this would be a different case.

Regards
Simone
Fountain Pen Wiki - www.FountainPen.it
Fountain pen Chronology (need help to improve...)
Old advertisement (needing new ones to enlarge the gallery...)

#9 Vintagepens

Vintagepens

    David Nishimura

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,581 posts

Posted 31 January 2010 - 18:26

Indeed -- I understood the initial inquiry referred to a fully transparent barrel, as opposed to the Swans with hard rubber barrels with little inset glass portholes.

#10 EvanSei

EvanSei

    Near Mint

  • Member - Silver

  • PipPipPip
  • 29 posts
  • Location:Longview, WA

Posted 03 February 2010 - 17:11

not totally sure when the first one was made, but they sure do get expensive, I saw one yesterday for $88,888USD I was shocked.

#11 simp

simp

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 397 posts

Posted 03 February 2010 - 22:07

Indeed -- I understood the initial inquiry referred to a fully transparent barrel, as opposed to the Swans with hard rubber barrels with little inset glass portholes.

Yes, it was. I was mentioning Swan's just because there were a mention of some patents about ink visibility.

I think patents are a very important source for historical data, but probably there are also many of them that were filed without having any real application on the market (this still happens today). But I'm far more interested in the history of pens that where produced and sold, and the existence of a patent does not imply the existence of a pen using it.

Regards
Simone
Fountain Pen Wiki - www.FountainPen.it
Fountain pen Chronology (need help to improve...)
Old advertisement (needing new ones to enlarge the gallery...)






Sponsored Content




|