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Different feeds for a Skyline?


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12 replies to this topic

#1 jpolaski

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 05:46

I have a few skylines, and I was looking through the one that is fully together, one that is almost complete, and my parts, and I noticed that there were different feeds on all of them. Now I understand that there will be a different feed between the standard and demi, what with the different sized nibs and all, but it seems that I have 2 different feeds for a Standard Skyline.

The first is the more traditional one you see, sharp angles with the weird comb milled out of it, but the other (the one ON my pen) looks more like the feed from a Pelikan, in that it has 3 longitudinal lines running down its center, and the diagonal cuts down the sides to match the traditional feed. It is also curved, instead of at a sharp angle headed from the bottom of the nib to the section, but still maintains the same basic shape. I pulled the feed to look at the foot of it, as I figured that it might be a hack repair (this was done while switching nibs) and noticed that the two feeds are identical in the rear, and under the nib. Has anyone else noticed this difference? Has anyone else seen this feed?

I have yet to run across anything about it anywhere else. I'll try to post pics in the AM smile.gif
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#2 Andy's Pens

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 21:37

Yes, I have noticed both types of feed crop up fairly often, though the one with the three longitudinal lines seems to be a little more uncommon than the other one. My great interest with hte Skylines is the different styles of nibs you get with them. I have counted at least 4 distinct styles:

1. The "Normal" nib with the two lines and "Eversharp" written diagonally,
2. The "teardrop" nib - sometimes find these in stub or oblique.
3. The "narrow" nib with the lone tines - usually get some nice soft nibs in this style.
4. The "plain" style - the smaller Demi nibs are usually this style with the "Eversharp" imprint arching around.

Has anyone else noticed any other styles?
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#3 Wahlnut

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 17:30

There is a good body of information about Skylines, their nibs and nib designs in the "electronic library" already. While some of this informatoin is subject to debate and may need some minor correction in my view, the majority of the information listed below is accurate enough to be recommended as good primers on Skylines.

The fine article done for Pentrace by Jim Mamoulides is in my view a very accurate description and chronoglogy of the Skyline Nib:

Mamoulides Skyline Article

And David Nishimura's Brief overview of Syline Pens is a good reference tool, too:

Nishimura Skyline Article

And Richard Binder's item from his Website is well worth reading:

Binder's Skyline Article

BUT I DON"T RECALL SEEING ANYTHING ABOUT THE FEED in their articles.

Here is my view on it. I may revise this post later with photos of the feeds mentioned and the supporting catalog and advertisement data.

Wahl Eversharp Feed designs always spanned more than one model range. While it is true that the 2 types of feeds mentioned are found in Skylines (or Skyliners as some of them were also labeled), I think it is incorrect to refer to the 2 types of feeds found in Skylines as "Skyline Feeds" at all. The earlier type of feed mentiond in jpolaski's post and Andy's response were of the same "Comb Feed" design used by Wahl sine 1918. There were variations to that design over the years, but those variations were all on the top; double channels, triple channels, breather hole in the feed at the rear and on the top in the capillary channels, cut-outs for the tangs of the adjustable nib slide on the Dorics through the Coronets, etc., etc. But basically these Comb Feeds were in use on no less than 35 models for over 22 years including the Skylines.

What have been referred to by the recent posters as the newer "Skyline feed" with the longitudinal channels, etc, was actually called the "Magic Feed" by Wahl-Eversharp and was used first in the Skylines. It was yet another atempt to create a feed that acheived a balance between holding a good supply of ink at the ready up front at the nib, while not allowing leaking. (something feed designs from the 1800's on have tried to do). These same Magic Feeds, however, feeds were also used on the Symphony, the Ventura and the "Burp" pens, and therefor are not correctly referred to "Skyline Feeds" They are and were referred to in almost all Wahl-Eversharp catalog or magazine ads from 1941/2 through 1949 (at least) as "Magic Feeds" They came in at least 3 sizes (diameters and lengths) to fit the demi, the standard and the Executive sized sections.

Of course some supposedly well-meaning pen repair and restoration persons have made this harder by putting the "wrong" feeds into some pens. While these pens will wtite well with either feed, it makes it hard for the casual observer to use any one pen or any small collection of pens as a true "examples" of what is or isn't correct.

Since we are discussing feeds here, I will not go into the correct chronology of the nib designs here, but that also needs some clarification or correction as well. More on that later.

Syd theWahlnut
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#4 kirchh

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 15:29

QUOTE(Wahlnut @ Jan 21 2007, 01:30 PM)
What have been referred to by the recent posters as the newer "Skyline feed" with the longitudinal channels, etc, was actually called the "Magic Feed" by Wahl-Eversharp and was used first in the Skylines.

Syd -

My understanding is that the feed was first referred to as the "Mystery Feed" (not "Magic Feed"), and that it may have appeared prior to the introduction of the Skyline.

The feed is described and depicted in a 1941 catalog that has many W-E models, but no Skylines; the patent was filed on 7/1/1940. The feed is also found on those burgundy Gold Seal pens that always seem to be stamped "KAMM'S", and NOS boxed sets of these are found that have instructions dated 4-40 and 5-40, though that evidence is not decisive.

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Edited by kirchh, 23 January 2007 - 17:51.

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#5 Wahlnut

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 17:45

Of course it is entirely possible that someone called the feed "Mystery", but all of the Wahl-Eversharp advertising from 1941 through 1949 at least that I have seen, consistently call it "Magic". I have ads from each year in between (maybe 25 ads) that all say "Magic Feed", and nothing in my stuff says "Mystery". Also the Magic Feed is mentioned in the repair literature.

The printed instructions that came with pens may be a good indication of what belongs with what, as you point out. If the instructions dated before July 1, 1940 happen to actually show a picture of the feed we are talking about, then it would clearly indicate that the feed was in use prior to the patent filing date. And thus hhave been in use prior to the Skylines. Do these instructions show or talk about the feed? Absent that, and given that instructions printed at one date may be used for years after and show up in boxes of pens well into the future, nothing conclusive comes forward.
Here is the picture of the Patent in question. I will post the description later which is very interesting, too.



I will post the description later which is very interesting, too.

Syd
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#6 kirchh

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 17:51

QUOTE(Wahlnut @ Jan 23 2007, 01:45 PM)
Of course it is entirely possible that someone called the feed "Mystery", but all of the Wahl-Eversharp advertising from 1941 through 1949 at least that I have seen, consistently call it "Magic". I have ads from each year in between (maybe 25 ads) that all say "Magic Feed", and nothing in my stuff says "Mystery".



(Image courtesy David Nishimura at www.VintagePens.com)

What is your reaction to the fact that this appears in a 1941 catalog that shows all manner of early '40s W-E models (Coronets, Dorics, Pacemakers, Victories, Bantams, and so on, according to D.N.) -- but the Skyline isn't even mentioned?

QUOTE
The printed instructions that came with pens may be a good indication of what belongs with what, as you point out. If the instructions dated before July 1, 1940 happen to actually show a picture of the feed we are talking about, then it would clearly indicate that the feed was in use prior to the patent filing date. And thus hhave been in use prior to the Skylines. Do these instructions show or talk about the feed? Absent that, and given that instructions printed at one date may be used for years after and show up in boxes of pens well into the future, nothing conclusive comes forward.

I concur.

--Daniel

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#7 Wahlnut

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 01:09

Thanks,
Daniel,
My first reaction is to go Hmmmmm. My second reaction is to ask if that piece is a Wahl Eversharp Company piece or a piece from a general sales catalog with the vendor's glowing description? I have a lot of jewelery store pen catalogs that have a lot of descriptions in them that are a little off from reality. But this is interesting nonetheless. I think you are saying that this feed drawing appears in close proximity to those other pen models shown in whatever catalog this is from. The pen models you list are mopstly from late 30's and early 40's. If it a jobbers catalog they could have been selling off old Eversharp stock. If that were the case, they would have pens from a few prior years in the catalog right alongsifde the newer pens with the new feed???I can not dispute, of course that such labelling did indeed occur, but I am wondering who did the labelling? A reseller catalog copywriter or the Eversharp Co. If the former, than I would dismiss it, if the latter, then we have a whole new angle on this feed. Dare I say, a Mystery! (BTW do you have a pic of the Victory set?)

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#8 Vintagepens

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 16:44

The catalog in question is from Bennett Brothers of New York and Chicago; it is for 1941, and bears a copyright date of 1940. By all appearances, the catalog is listing new and up to date merchandise -- not old stuff being cleared out. The pages right before those listing Eversharp products feature the new 1941 Remington typewriter line, for example. The catalog is also clear in noting which items are price-fixed. The only Eversharp items not price-fixed are economy-line sets: Wahl-Oxford, Bantams, Select-O-Points, etc.

I very much doubt that the Mystery Feed blurb can be anything but Eversharp-written. Eversharp undoubtedly sent out publicity material for its new feed, and catalog compilers duly used it. Mystery vs Magic? There are so many cases where a new product's name was changed shortly after its introduction that I hardly need belabor the point.

#9 jimg

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 00:24

Dear Syd and All,

Thank you for this most informative discussion.

I have been looking closely at the copy of the patent specification diagram posted by Syd, and in particular the contruction of the breather tube.

I have a "standard' Skyline that I bought very cheap on eBay because it appeared to be an early model with a transparent section and a two toned nib. Predictably the pen needs a new sac and some other cleaning . Within the pen I found the usual shower of dissicated sac and a small hardened half section of what appears to be a rubber tube about 2/3 inch long, about 1/8 of an inch in diameter.

I assume that I have one of the short breather tubed Skylines and looking down the section I can see an intact extension which appears to correspond with item #24 marked on the patent spec. diagram. My separated half section appears to coorrespond with the diagram's item #25.

Having only ever seen Skylines with long breather tubes before my questions for the experts on this issue are:

1. What is the purpose of the half section tube extension (#25)?

2. How was it originally attached to the section/feed/breather tube?

3. Other than for historical accuracy, is it essential to replace this half section for the pen to operate happily? (bearing in mind that the pen cost me $12 and I have no intention of ever reselling)

4. Do you have any suggestions for sourcing an appropriate replacement for the detached half section?


I realise that this may be more of a repair Q & A question but on balance I have chosen this thread due to the presence of the patent diagram.


Any assistance would be gratefully accepted.


regards
Jim

#10 kirchh

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 00:41

QUOTE(jimg @ Jan 29 2007, 08:24 PM)
1. What is the purpose of the half section tube extension  (#25)?

Feature 25 (the "leader strip") seems to be intended to act not unlike Parker's Lucky Curve -- it's supposed to encourage ink to drain back into the reservoir by providing a capillary path to the wall of the reservoir.

QUOTE
2. How was it originally attached to the section/feed/breather tube?

Likely just a press-fit in the bore of the feed.

QUOTE
3. Other than for historical accuracy, is it essential to replace this half section for the  pen to operate happily? (bearing in mind that the pen cost me $12 and I have no intention of ever reselling)


Well, it won't be a Mystery or Magic Feed anymore...

QUOTE
4. Do you have any suggestions for sourcing an appropriate replacement for the detached half section?

It seems that 24 and 25 are formed from a single piece of tube; I suppose a replacement could be fabricated by cutting and molding a suitable piece of plastic or hard rubber (I'm not sure what the original material was).

Here's a link to the patent; you can read all about it!

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#11 jimg

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 22:13

Thank you Daniel. Most helpful.
Regards
Jim

#12 MLKirk

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 04:33

Here are two feeds from Skyline Standards I disassembled. Distinctly different and sound like your description.
As Syd described, there are three different sized feeds, the Demi and Standard size which I have personally experienced. In fact, I just picked up a brown moire (modern stripe as some call it) standard fitted with a Demi (small) feed and nib. Now I also found that another standard sized feed I had would NOT fit into the moire section, however, I suspect the section is not original to the pen. It is, sized like the other standards I have.

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#13 MLKirk

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 04:34

Here's another view of the same feeds.

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