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Mabie Todd Dip Pens

mabie todd dip pens

103 replies to this topic

#1 Goudy

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 20:26

Before Mabie Todd pens evolved into birds and took flight across the Atlantic, there were the wonderful dinosaurs of the dip pen era.

 

I have a few modest specimens that I'd like to show, but mainly I'd like to see other people's collections.

 

Here's one to start: a No.3 flexible MT nib in a matching holder. Both the nib and the ebony handle extension slide away inside the holder for storage and travel. There is some (hand-chiseled?) decoration on the gold plating.

 

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#2 Cob

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 20:31

"Modest specimen"

 

Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

 

Beautiful.

 

Those craftsmen at Mabie Todd in those days were peerless, they really were.

 

Cob


fpn_1428963683__6s.jpg “The pen of the British Empire” fpn_1423349537__swan_sign_is.jpg


#3 Greenie

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 20:56

Beautiful. I know absolutely nothing about dip pen nibs.  I love the artistry of pens, so this could be a future collection...Like I need more things to expand to.   I also like mechanical things, and have zero knowledge of retractable pens and magic pencils, but I have an unmet interest.

 

 

Does this dip nib pen retract? Which parts move? Does the back "stick" move the nib in and out? Did you dip it with green ink to signify the envy you would instill in all of us ?



#4 Tootles

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 21:11

Not all such pens are high art. There are plenty of run of the mill versions like this one - a Todd #1.

 

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There is a Todd #2 in transit right now, but that is also a bog-standard version like the above.

 

Frankly speaking I am not sure why I have them. Taking the rose-tinted spectacles off for a moment, they are thinner than a standard pencil and thus very awkward to hold and use.



#5 Goudy

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 21:23

Does this dip nib pen retract? Which parts move? Does the back "stick" move the nib in and out?

 

The nib moves by pulling on the ridged ring on the holder. The ebony stick moves independently. This is what the pen looks like when fully retracted (about 7cm long vs 12.5cm open):

 

fFVhX9j.jpg

 

 

Frankly speaking I am not sure why I have them. Taking the rose-tinted spectacles off for a moment, they are thinner than a standard pencil and thus very awkward to hold and use.

 

I find they get easier with practice. And the nibs make it worth the effort. I look forward to seeing your No.2


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#6 missuslovett

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 22:23

Those are both lovely examples and the nibs are like raptors' talons! I think the gold-work is called 'chasing'.



#7 Goudy

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 10:05

An all-metal Edward Todd retractable No.10 dip pen, patent date December 19th 1871. The nib is marked "C".

 

"Edward Todd created high quality gold pens and briefly joined with Mabie Todd before going into business for himself." Reference: Kamakura Pens

 

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Dwarfed by a John Holland No.10:

 

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#8 Greenie

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Posted 28 August 2015 - 00:19

Look. I really need you all to stop posting such beautiful pictures of these works of functional art.  I collect enough pens despite my self imposed limits.  If you get me to start on dip pens as well, I am going to be very mad at you!



#9 pen2paper

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Posted 28 August 2015 - 00:30

Hand chased on the end? ! 

Love the John Holland nib.

Excellent shots, Thanks!

oops, my pardon, focusing On the photos, Mz L clearly noted the chasing. Thank you!


Edited by pen2paper, 28 August 2015 - 00:32.


emoticon-animal-007.gif~Hi! fountain pen enthusiast here~


#10 Goudy

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 12:44

A Mabie Todd No.5 nib, currently residing in an Aikin Lambert retractable holder.

 

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The nib retracts by pulling on the ring. The ebony handle is fixed.

 

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The underside is roughened at the front to enhance ink adhesion:

 

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#11 Greenie

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 16:56

I recall a question in another thread abut the matte finish on the underside of nibs. That picture is a great example. I can only imaging that it helps hold the ink to the nib more strongly and can either hold more ink on the nib, and/or slow the flow a little bit.  It is much easier to see and easier to understand why it was done with a dip pen rather than putting the same feature under a feed.



#12 Goudy

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 17:51

Also, the roughened area ends a little way before the tip. I presume this is so that the only ink that gets to the page is the ink that's carried by gravity or capillary action along the last few millimetres of the slit.

 

Here's a piece of paper's eye view of the underside of the nib (loaded with ink):

 

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#13 Cepasaccus

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 22:25

I recall a question in another thread abut the matte finish on the underside of nibs.

I think I wrote here about the matte finish of the M-T fountain nibs (and also Onoto nibs). Maybe, Maybe Not LLC Inc you remember that.

Cepasaccus

#14 Greenie

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 01:31

Since I read these topics the most, and I remember someone writing about it, your post about it is most likely what I am thinking about.  I am good about remembering what I read, but I tend to not remember who wrote it or where I read it.  The dip pen nib really illustrates this feature well.



#15 Cepasaccus

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 08:59

I think it is on all gold dip nibs I have but only on these few old fountain pen nibs. I think none of my Waterman's nibs has it. It must come from this dip nib tradition.

It is also on some steel dip nibs, but there it is normally like made with an emery cloth. So instead of buring or washing away the protective oil on the steel nibs it might be fine or better to just remove it on the underside with and abrasive.



#16 MalcolmH

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 09:15

Beautiful pens...and photography.  :thumbup:

 

I see we have a patent date of 1871, but can you guys roughly date these dip pens?



#17 Goudy

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 21:12

I see we have a patent date of 1871, but can you guys roughly date these dip pens?

 

Hard to say with any precision, but contemporary advertising shows MT retractable dip pens with that sliding ring mechanism on sale around 1876.

 

The latest patent date on any of my own MT dip pens is 14 August 1877. The company started making fountain pens in 1878, though presumably dip pen manufacture continued beyond that date.


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#18 Tootles

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Posted 05 September 2015 - 06:37

Well, I don't know where you find such nice holders. As noted earlier I have a Todd #1 (black handled). Today (5th Sept) I arrived back in my home town to find a box waiting for me. It contained a Mabie Todd #2. So, here they are (in part):

 

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The white version is the #2. Although it is not that apparent in this very poor photo, the nib is quite a bit larger than the #1. The difference is greater than I expected. The #1 holder plus nib measures 15 cm, the #2 measures 16 cm. I do not know what the handles are made of, so a little enlightenment from the more knowledgeable (i.e. everyone else) would be appreciated. The #2 nib exhibits about the same flexibility as the the #1.

 

<I am waiting on a mini camera stand, even though I have an awful camera. May be able to get some more in focus shots then. Sorry for poor picture quality>



#19 Goudy

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Posted 05 September 2015 - 08:25

Nice. And it looks like the No.2 has an even finer point than the No.1.

 

The handles are probably ebony and ivory. The former is more common, but the lovely collection of dip pens at mabie-todd.com has some examples of ivory holders similar to yours.

 

 


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#20 Tootles

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Posted 05 September 2015 - 08:42

I had thought it might be mother of pearl, but when I look closely I do notice a buttery yellowing that is typical of ivory, and faint streaking patterns that again indicate - albeit weakly - an ivory grain. There is a simple way to test this but I am not keen on sticking a red hot needle into the material.

 

I am also a bit concerned now that there is the possibility that I have just imported something naughty. Although the manufacture of this pen pre-dates the CITES treaties, so I should be okay.





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