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Question On Vintage Mb Steel Nibs.

steel nib montblanc prewar

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8 replies to this topic

#1 Eugen-of-Savoy

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Posted 03 January 2015 - 12:36

When started Montblanc to use steel nibs instead of solid gold nibs on their Meisterstücks? 

Was it before WWII because the nazis forbid the use of gold for nibproduction or was it during the war due to shortage of raw material?



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#2 Michael R.

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Posted 03 January 2015 - 16:47

According to the Montblanc book Collectible Stars I the Reichskriegsverordnung came into effect in June 1942 limiting production in general.

 

Accordingly the following models were produced corresponding to this regulation and appeared at the dealers in 1943 and were sold until 1946: 134, 136, 234,5, 236, 332, 334 and Stylo. E.g. size of pens was limited as well as the use of cap rings (only for export).

 

But if you read some Wikipedia articles, it sounds that the use was already limited in 1940:

 

http://de.wikipedia....wiki/Goldverbot

 

 

Also Collectible Stars I shows Meisterstück nibs 220, 225, 235 and 245 as "steel nibs" for 1940-1947. I assume that this includes Palladium-alloy nibs as well.

 

 

This might be interesting to read as well : http://de.wikipedia....eutschen_Volkes

 

 

Unfortunately I could not find the original regulation which is mentioned in the book.

 

 

 

Cheers

 

Michael


Edited by Michael R., 03 January 2015 - 16:49.


#3 pavoni

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Posted 03 January 2015 - 19:17

Interesting question Opooh. 

 

According to my 1932, 1937 and 1939 catalogues, all Meisterstuck and 2nd and 3rd tier pens were sold with gold nibs.  As the excellent Michael R says, most of the available evidence points to the period 1942/1943 for steel nibs being introduced.

 

On page 32 of the excellent Collectibles Stars I, under 'Steel nibs/Stahlfedern' they picture a 3rd tier steel 3 1/2 nib as having existed between 1935-1940 and, others from 1939/1940.   

 

On page IX of the appendices of the brilliant Montblanc Diary & Collector's Guide, they list the MB 236 (1939-1940) as 'steel nib possible.'  

 

Both my standard and wartime MB 236 pens have steel nibs, the gold nib  :puddle: being less common. 

 

I would say that 1940 sounds safe.

 

Pavoni. 



#4 Eugen-of-Savoy

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 15:05

Thank you Michael and Pavoni. 

I find these steel nibs very interesting, also very good writers.

There also exist 138 and 139 with steel nib. Thanks to Tom Westerich I got myself a 138 with BB steel nib.

DSC_3335.JPG DSC_3339.JPG DSC_3352.JPG DSC_3355.JPG DSC_3360.JPG DSC_3362.JPG DSC_3342.JPG DSC_3349.JPG



#5 Michael R.

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 15:42

Great pen!

 

One of my 138s has a two-tone non-gold nib as well. So it must be made before  (1940 or 1940) they put a restriction on the size of pens allowed to be produced (or for export ?!).

 

Some say that 138s were made in 1939 only anyways but I've seen models completely made of celluloid with smaller (#6 size) gold nibs as well. Must be after war versions made from leftovers ;-)

 

Cheers

 

Michael



#6 pavoni

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 19:12

Wow!  Opooh, great pen.  Gorgeous long ink window.  Typical quality pen from Tom :notworthy1: .  

 

Many say that the steel nibs from this period make for excellent writers!   Looks like you have a 'keeper' there with that lovely original 'BB' steel nib :puddle: .  Many congratulations.  

 

Don't you think the MB 138 feels excellent in the hand?  I really appreciate its dimensions, and its relative scarcity makes it feel that much more 'special' ;) 

 

Now, I would really like to see a MB 139 with steel nib.  Anyone seen a 'wartime' version? 

 

Michael - as well as the MB 138 coming in the form you say - indicating production after 1939 - I have also seen short ink window versions.  Bearing-in-mind that Montblanc is supposed to have changed from producing its Meisterstuck pens with long ink windows, to a short ink window, in or around 1942-1943, it seems more likely that my long-held view of production being limited to 1939 is flawed.  As always with these fabulous pens from this important period, plenty to ponder on  :) 

 

Would still love to see a sales catalogue from the 1940s though! 

 

Pavoni.



#7 Michael R.

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 19:42

Yes, I have a 138 with short ink window and more modern features. It's fitted with the earlier Meisterstück tear-drop clip which was used on many war-time and after war-time production models I've seen.

 

I bought a 139 with long ink window and hardrubber parts which came with a steel nib; but it's #6 size also.

 

The pen seem to have a "history" in the East German GDR and might have undergone much use and more or less qualified repair. So I cannot be sure if this cam originally with this set-up or not.

 

If I remember correctly Tom showed a Palladium (Pd) nib on a 139 on penboard.

 

Discussing the differences between steel and Pd-nibs could add another interesting point to this discussion (is there a difference or are there only gold nibs and non-gold alloy nibs?).

 

Also I really need to find out about the actual laws back then, they must be available on the internet somewhere...

 

 

I would be interested in:

  • voluntary use of other metals instead of gold for the Vaterland before it was legally required
  • actual law/regulation which regulated the use of precious metals for civil-production
  • difference for German-market models and export models during that time.

I'll let you know when I find something which is more than speculation :-)

 

Cheers

 

Michael



#8 da vinci

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 20:40

Very interesting and informative thread - thank you in particular for the pictures :thumbup:

#9 Eugen-of-Savoy

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 21:46

Thanks, everyone.

About the Palladium nibs. This white metal of the platinumgroup was used in the production of heavy water, which the german scientists thought was necessary to make a nuclear bomb. It was also used in the production of spark plugs for aircraft engines. Given the strategic value of this metal, there must have been a reasonable supply of it, surely after the destruction of the Norvegian production facility in 1943.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: steel nib, montblanc, prewar



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