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"emblem Pen"


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5 replies to this topic

#1 brettttt

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 21:44

This is essentially a follow-up to an earlier post that died from lack of interest. It was prompted by my somewhat confusing response to a question in this recent thread, and I thought it better to try to clear things up by starting a fresh thread. Perhaps this post will catch the eye of some knowledgable soul this time around, but if not I still wanted to write out a clearer argument than I have. My hypothesis is a pedantic point, I know; it boils down to the claim that, based on the contemporary advertising and catalog copy from Waterman, what the FP collecting community generally calls the Emblem is the Medalist. Given that when these pens show up today "Medalist" appears nowhere on them and that the point is generally imprinted "Emblem Pen," it's not surprising that that's what people have taken to calling them. But it also seems to me that expediency can sometimes get in the way of better understanding history, which is for me one of the sustaining interests in the hobby. Here's an example ad, from early December 1945:

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Even though the ad makes out that this is a new model, the almost-illegible imprint on the point reads "Waterman's / Hundred / Year Pen." So the common wisdom that this is the direct descendant of the Hundred Year Pen is actually an understatement, I'd say. Someone finding this pen at an antique shop today would very reasonably conclude that it's a Hundred Year Pen, I think.

This ad appeared just two weeks later:

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Still the Medalist, but the point is inscribed "Waterman's / Emblem / Pen." Pens like these two show up irregularly in ads for several years, sometimes with the first inscription on the point, sometimes with the second. An ad from December 1949 (the last US one I've found) calls the pen "New Medalist" and shows it with a point clearly inscribed "Waterman's / Ideal / 14KT":

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As I said above, I'm mostly just putting what I've found out here for the record, but if someone has further information or corrections, that would be great. I'd love to hear an insider's account of the reasons behind all of this muddle, but I'm not counting on that information ever surfacing.

Best regards,
Brett

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#2 Azuniga

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 17:07

I have read your earlier post as well as this one and I have been very pleased to read it. I do not know much about those particular waterman's although I have a couple of Hundred Years as well as an Emblem. I would like so much to be able to bring something new here, unfortunately I cant.. I just wanted you to know it is because of rich posts like your that I keep on coming back to the forums. I really hope someone knows something more out there... Thank you, Best, Ariel

#3 Ernst Bitterman

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 18:15

I'm convinced. We might think of the "Emblem Pen" point, then, in much the same way we think of "Triumph" amongst Sheaffers.

I notice that the copyists were working mightily to ensure confusion on the matter of "Taperite" in that second ad, the buggers.

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#4 brettttt

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 20:03

Thanks, Ariel, for the nice words. It's always nice to hear when time spent obsessing over minutiae has some value to someone else.

And Ernst: Yeah, that ad is a good example of the perverse but kind of hilarious copy in many of the Waterman's ads of the time. This one would work well as a case study in the abuse of emphasis, I think. "Hmmm, let's see. What can we use to make this word stand out? We've already used bold, caps, all caps, and underlining. I guess that just leaves italics." Oh, and what the monkey do you suppose it's supposed to mean that the Medalist "will write its own greeting for many Christmases to come"? Does that even mean anything?

#5 Ernst Bitterman

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 14:47

"Them pens is actin' funny since Monty fell into the crucible... gettin' up and writin' by theyselves!"

"Well, we'll let the guys in the ad department sort that out."

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Oh, good heavens. He's got a blog now, too.

 

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#6 rhosygell

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 21:05

And to confuse matters even further......I have another iteration of Waterman's crazy mixed up thinking in that what I have is a Commando (clear end on barrel) with an Emblem nib - known to be utterly genuine since my Uncle brought the thing back from Canada in 1946. Ho hum..... Now I suppose I had better resurrect the thing to show you lot.
Iechyd da pob Cymro






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