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Vintage Italian Fountain Pen: Identify Cartridge/converter Type

vintage italian alba converter type

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6 replies to this topic

#1 ser.rep

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 10:29

Hello everybody,

I recently found at an old stationery in the Genoa hinterland an Alba Duplex vintage fountain pen; it is cartridge/converter filled.

When I started maintenance actvities on it, I noticed the converter is different from any one I know.

 

The outlet's inner diameter is 4mm, the outer is 6mm; I am posting here an image where the cartridge outlet is compared to a standard international one:

 

9004520611_387a870773_b.jpg
Alba Converter di S.R.GE, su Flickr

 

Can anyone help me to find out if there is a contemporary converter type that can fit the old one?

 

Thanks a lot!

 

Sergio


Edited by ser.rep, 10 June 2013 - 12:12.

Fatti non foste a viver come bruti ma per seguire virtude e canoscenza

--
(Dante Alighieri - Divina Commedia, Inferno Canto XXVI)


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#2 ser.rep

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 16:27

While waiting for answers or suggestions, I went on looking for information on the net, to solve the problem.

 

I understand that this cartridge format is the same of Auretta's cartridges of the seventies and now I am also sure there is no way to obtain new ones, because Aurora changed its format (that at present is Parker-like) and no one seems to produce such old cartridges.

 

At the end, If I would use the Alba Duplex pen, I was facing two choices:

  1. clean the old cartridges - the pen's case came with two of them whose ink inside has dried – and fill them with new ink using a syringe
  2. try to adapt a converter to fit the pen.

I was not confortable with the first solution, that would have made the pen a sort of eyedropper, so I went with the second choice.

 

I found out a couple of possible solutions, both based on reuse of old cartridges, and since in the meantime I bought another vintage Alba Duplex, I now have 4 old cartridges, so I tested both.

 

First solution

 

As preparatory step I had to found a converter that could slide into the Alba Duplex barrel, that is unexpectedly narrow inside and it does not allow those converters with the metal sleeve covering the piston worm a bit too large, to get inside.

 

9153202913_60be81c1a2_z.jpg

 

I cut away the part of the cartridge that fits into pen's section:

 

9153201693_74b8517851_z.jpg

 

And I finally fixed it on the converter, sliding the converter mouth into the small plastic cilinder:

 

9155424790_1c19d443e5_z.jpg

 

To fix the two parts I tried three different glues: first an ordinary general purpose adhesive, that did not work; second a stronger glue, that appeared to adhere, but when I tried to ink the pen, I noticed copious ink leaks between the two joined parts of the converter; when I tried to remove it from the pen, the small plastic collar unstuck and remained inside pen's section.

At the end, I bought a poliethilene specific glue, that worked.

 

Second solution

 

The original cartridge is not an unique piece, but it is made of three parts: the body, a bottom stopper and a rather complicated manifold (hope the English term is correct), that couples the cartridge with the section:

 

9153185219_0ed4318ee8_z.jpg
 

The old cartridge manifold has two walls on the back part so that the body slips between the two.

 

I removed the internal one to allow a full run of the converter piston.

 

I grabbed another converter, with the same properties I indicated above and I removed the converter's manifold:

 

9153185551_3d943628a1_z.jpg
 

Then I fixed the converter inside cartridge manifold, using the polyethilene glue:

 

9153184559_62abc00885_z.jpg
 

This second solution seems to work better that the first one, where original converter mouth may cover pen feeder inlet, not allowing a correct ink flow – infact the pen goes into starvation after a while, forcing me to act on the converter knob to push some ink into the feeder.

 

I am stil testing the second solution at work: at the moment I have not had problems in ink feeding.

 

Sergio


Fatti non foste a viver come bruti ma per seguire virtude e canoscenza

--
(Dante Alighieri - Divina Commedia, Inferno Canto XXVI)


#3 basterma

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 16:56

Interesting story of a solution. It's nice to see it explained. Thanks for posting.



#4 whych

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 00:04

Have you tried the thin end of a Lamy cartridge or a Cross one?



#5 ser.rep

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 10:36

Have you tried the thin end of a Lamy cartridge or a Cross one?

 

Hi whych,

good suggestion. I actually tried the Lamy one without success, but I did not think about Cross: it is worth a test; I will check the shape on the net.

Also Pilot, that has a large outlet, may fit ...

 

Thanks, Sergio


Fatti non foste a viver come bruti ma per seguire virtude e canoscenza

--
(Dante Alighieri - Divina Commedia, Inferno Canto XXVI)


#6 whych

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 15:15

Forget Pilot - Like Sailor, they are straight with a large opening.



#7 jrobert6

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 03:16

Hello friends,

 

I'm looking to ink my "vintage" Aurora Auretta, but cannot identify cartridges or a converter that would fit. I came across this helpful post, but am at a disadvantage in that I have no empty cartridges from which to begin. Any other suggestions?

Thanks,

 

Jason







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: vintage, italian, alba, converter type



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