Hello; I'm looking for help identifying a pen (or maybe pencil) that would have been available in Germany in 1922. To explain the setup:
The other day I was watching Dr Mabuse, der Spieler, a 1922 silent film, when I noticed something very odd - in order to write down his address, a character pulls a pen out of his pocket and clicks it to start writing. Before putting it away he clicks it again, maybe pushing the point against the table. You can see the scene here.
Based on the way he pushes the pen against the table before he puts it away, it looks like it's a mechanical pencil and he's pushing the lead back in, but right after the scene they show the note, which definitely looks like it was written by a fountain pen:
Of course since it's a movie they probably don't show the actual note he wrote during the scene, but it also seems strange they'd use a different kind of writing tool altogether.
Now I'm no expert on the history of pens and pencils, but I think some people here are, which is why I want to ask - what sort of pen or pencil could he be using?
So far as I've been able to find out,
1. Clicky ballpoints weren't invented until ~1950, so that's out
2. Mechanical pencils had been around, but I haven't found a clicky model earlier than the 1936 Eversharp Repeater. I'm not sure how to tell from descriptions which pencils would include the ability to return the lead as he seems to do at the end of the video.
3. For retracting fountain pens, excluding safeties, the oldest models I can find would be the Pilot (1964), the Asterope (1934), the Meteore Pullman (1932), and the mysterious "Capless" Japanese fountain pens from the 1920s (see here). All except for possibly the "Capless" are too late, and it's not clear those have the right action anyway.
4. I've never handled a "safety" fountain pen, but it looks like most of them need their cap to be removed and then twisted to use, which doesn't line up with the video at all.
Based on the above my best guess is it's some kind of mechanical pencil I haven't been able to find a record of, but I'm really not sure. If anyone has any information or theories they could provide, the assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Edited by polm23, 10 November 2015 - 04:15.