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Strawbridge and Clothier - Pen ID


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13 replies to this topic

#1 antoniosz

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 20:21

I know that Phila's S&C did not make pens but they sold them.
The clip appears similar to some of those on New Diamond Point Pen Co. pens.
Can someone ID the maker of this pen?


Edited by antoniosz, 05 May 2007 - 20:21.


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#2 blueiris

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Posted 06 May 2007 - 00:19

I don't know the answer, Antonios, but the pen photo made me smile. I did not often shop at Strawbridge's, but it was still a little sad for me to see the Center City store close (Wanamaker's, too). Also, thanks for showing us the example of your writing! It's lovely, as usual.

#3 antoniosz

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Posted 06 May 2007 - 03:22

I wasnt that familiar with the Gallery S+C, but I was buying things on Clover days in the S+C Ardmore store in Suburban Square.
It was sad to see Wanamakers fade away also. Since you reminder me here is another pen sitting on one of my trays.
From NY's Wanamakers:




#4 playpen

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Posted 06 May 2007 - 03:25

Good lord your handwriting is gorgeous! bunny01.gif bunny01.gif bunny01.gif bunny01.gif bunny01.gif bunny01.gif bunny01.gif

#5 Univer

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Posted 06 May 2007 - 14:14

Ah, dear old Strawbridge's...

When I lived in Center City Philadelphia long ago, I would often walk to both Wanamaker's and S&C. Years later, I worked briefly for S&C as a corporate trainer, based out of one of the branch stores (I was actually there for the announcement of the sale to May Company - a dark day indeed).

When I wasn't training, I would sometimes lend a hand in the housewares/gifts department, which included the pen counter. It wasn't much of a pen counter: Parker and Mont Blanc were represented, but there were very few fountain pens in stock. Still, looking back from today's vantage point, it's remarkable to think that this little suburban store - not in an affluent area - maintained a display case of fine writing instruments.

I picked up an early Sonnet rollerball during my tenure there. I can't recall, for the life of me, why I didn't buy a fountain pen instead. I have to think that there simply wasn't anything worthwhile available at the time. Does anyone know if I can swap a fountain pen section/nib into the rollerball barrel? (A question for the Parker forum, I know...I'll repost it there.)

None of which helps, I realize, in identifying the specific pen under discussion. New Diamond seems like a reasonable guess, based on the clip configuration.

I've also seen "John Wanamaker" pens that were clearly made by Wearever; if I'm not mistaken, they actually bore Wearever identification along with the "JW" branding.

I would very much like to own a Strawbridge & Clothier fountain pen. I still have a fair amount of store ephemera tucked away somewhere, but a pen would be a lovely memento of a much-missed store...and a much-missed era.

Thanks so much for sharing!

Jon

#6 blueiris

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Posted 06 May 2007 - 14:45

QUOTE(antoniosz @ May 5 2007, 11:22 PM) View Post
I wasnt that familiar with the Gallery S+C, but I was buying things on Clover days in the S+C Ardmore store in Suburban Square.


Yes, it is strange to see the Macy's name in that store now.

Things have changed a lot at Suburban Sq, but I do enjoy the new Farmer's Market and Trader Joe's.



#7 coolpenz

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 05:07

Yeah, I know I'm a little late, but as a fellow "Fluffyan," this touched off all kinds of memories. I have to chime in and say that while I do miss Strawbridge's (CC, Suburban Square, and don't forget Jenkintown!), as well as Lits ("hats trimmed free of charge") and Snellenburg's, Wanamaker's was THE store. Yeah, the Abington and Ardmore stores were nice, but CC had everything... not only the eagle and, until they fixed the one in AC, the world's largest functioning pipe organ (this is the truth; check it out), but how many other department stores boasted ...

-an antiques dept.
-a music dept. where you could buy everything from harmonicas to concert grands to harpsichords
-a full-blown shoe-repair shop
-a full-service post office
-three ladies who wrapped your gifts using glue -- never tape
-a pharmacy that looked like it was frozen in 1905 that sold not just the usual and filled 'scrips, but also offered things like straight razors, shaving brushes, and genuine horn and genuine tortoise combs
- a restaurant (Crystal Room) that was better than over half the other restaurants in the city.
- a theatre for fashion shows that was a masterpiece of 1930s Egyptian-themed deco
- John Wanamaker's original office, perfectly preserved
- a three-story grand court
- daily organ concerts (they still do this, but it's nothing like it was)
- not to mention all the historic markers embedded in the floor and walls here and there

It's sad to walk through the store now... forgive the cliche, but it really is a shell of what it used to be. It has no more soul, no more personality.

Antonios, you're very lucky to have a Strawbridge and Wanny's pen... I'd absolutely love to find one of each one day.

But Lits "made" 'em too...

When I was a kid, there was one fountain pen in the house ... a blue one with the Lit Bros name on the side. It was kept in the same tin with the other pens and pencils, but my dad only used it to write checks when he was paying bills. I was forbidden to play with it. God only knows who the manufacturer was; all I remember are 1) it was blue with a silver pull-off cap and two, had a VEY powerful lever and apparently a large sac. One day when my mom was on the phone (I was probably 4 or so), I began going through the tin, finally got my hands on the coveted pen, and wondered what that little metal thing was on its side, so I pulled it up ... and squirted ink all over the kitchen wall. Needless to say, I never saw the pen again, and got a few shots on the butt besides. Never found that pen, either; I think they gave it away to prevent a recurrence.

I think my first experience was the one that got me hooked.... but I'd love to find a Lits pen as well...

Anyway, thanks for stirring up some nice memories....




#8 Johnny Appleseed

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 22:50

QUOTE
but as a fellow "Fluffyan,"



roller1.gif


QUOTE
Jenkintown, Abington


Ah Jenkintown - I grew up in Glenside, born at Abington Memorial hospital. Dad worked the Abington post office.

And Suburban Square has many a fond memories for me - The book house was a regular stop since I was a kid, back in their old store with the cozy little reading nook. And the EMS near there was where I got most of my camping and backpacking equipment.

But does anyone remember Walter's Swiss Pastries on Lancaster Ave? (ooops - that's off topic).

I would have liked to have had that S & C pen as well - but not as much as AZ. tongue.gif

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John




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#9 donwinn

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 03:11

QUOTE(blueiris @ May 6 2007, 02:45 PM) View Post
QUOTE(antoniosz @ May 5 2007, 11:22 PM) View Post
I wasnt that familiar with the Gallery S+C, but I was buying things on Clover days in the S+C Ardmore store in Suburban Square.


Yes, it is strange to see the Macy's name in that store now.

Things have changed a lot at Suburban Sq, but I do enjoy the new Farmer's Market and Trader Joe's.


There is no S & C here in Little Elm, or anywhere near Little Elm (Frisco (TX) and Plano are near Little Elm). We are in the hinterlands north of Dallas. But the talk of Trader Joes makes me want to cry. We moved here after over 30 years in San Diego, and grew to love TJ's. There is no TJs here. Where to get gourmet chocolate? Where to get the little sesame rounds and excellent brie? Where to get the plethora of goodies which only TJs has? If they also sold good stationery, fountain pens and bottled ink, they would have to have that branch located in heaven!

Donnie in Little Elm TX

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797)
 


#10 coolpenz

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 03:59

JOhn...

Oh, man... Walters!!! The only better SWiss chocolate-chip cake was at the Swiss Bakery in center city... it's still there, but new management, and the cake's not as good as before by half.

Donnie...
Yeah, Trader Joe's is amazing. How they sell what they sell (quality-wise) at the prices they do still astounds me. If they sold FPs, they'd be exact and superior private-label copies of the more well-known names, and there probably wouldn't be one priced over $29.95!! Hmmm.... maybe someone should talk to their CEO.... rolleyes.gif

#11 Momomar

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 14:11

Gosh, what a walk down Memory Lane. Thanks, folks.

I just wanted to slip in a message to Antonios, here in this very public fashion, after seeing the photo. I have kept by my computer for weeks and weeks now the beautifully written little note he sent with a pen I bought. What a treasure.

Connections like this (and like all the warm and fuzzy around the FPN LE), leave me thinking that if there were enough special interest forums spanning the globe, we could probably avoid WW3 altogether!

You guys have a great weekend.

Flying by the seat of my pants.

#12 bone215

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 00:07

Some very interesting posts here.
My wife worked at S & C a, ahem, cough, a century ago.
I am working downtown Philly and my work takes me to the Wanamaker Building. What an interesting building. The Tea Room (Crystal) on the 9th floor is spectacular in its woodwork alone and there is a cozy (unused) bar next door that would make a millionaires basement complete, or, could serve as a movie set. Grand floor.
The era of Lits, S & C, Wanamakers, at least in Philly is gone, probably country wide as well. The newer aspiring stores, although pricey, just don't have the ambiance.

We had to use a fountain pen in Catholic school for cursive writing, and back then they were Shaeffers, with the colored but see through barrels and used a cartridge. The blue ones and the green ones were cool, with the silver caps. I never could write very well though but I remember the pens. Some of the classrooms with the older seats had the ink well indentation in the top right corner of the writing surfaces. Stories abounded about dipping the girls poney tails in the ink.
Well I am dating myself as going to school in the late 50's.
Be Happy, work at it. Namaste

#13 framebaer

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 00:31

I know that Phila's <a href="http://en.wikipedia....e_and_Clothier" target="_blank">S&C</a> did not make pens but they sold them.
The clip appears similar to some of those on New Diamond Point Pen Co. pens.
Can someone ID the maker of this pen?

<img src="http://i22.photobuck...othier001.jpg">


antoniosz: I have the same clip on an RH MACY pen. The patent on the clip traced to a NYC co. that manufactured clips. I suspect Diamond Point or perhaps Eclipse manufactured as private label for the various Dept Store chains in the North East. I also have a Garfinkels pen with a very similar clip.
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#14 Pengrump

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 01:38

Oh man, I grew up in Philly and worked at Wanamaker's in the credit department in center city during college summer vacations. I later taught on the Main Line and used to walk to the Strawbridge in Ardmore from Bryn Mawr because I hated spending money on the Paoli Local for such a short trip. I think Snellenburg's closed when I was still living at home with the parents.

There was a whole strip mall with Wanamaker's, Lit Brothers, and Gimbel Brothers out in Northeast Philly where I lived from age 7 to when I went off to college at 18.

And my father had a Wanamaker's fountain pen that my mother tossed out along with his other pens once he'd passed on, as she hated fountain pens. (So how did I get to be a fp nut? Must be my father's daughter.)






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