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Did Delarue Design The Original Pilot/namiki Lever?

delarue lever namiki pilot onoto box section

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#1 Licensedtoquill


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Posted 06 October 2017 - 14:24



Anyone got an opinion on this lever? I haven't been able to find Stephen's book in the US but I had never seen this lever on an Onoto before and wonder why  or how -or mainly if - DeLaRue were using it (or anything so complex, possibly to get around the Watermans box patent?) so early in their l/f production?


In her un-illustrated book THE HISTORY OF THE ONOTO PEN, Eileen Twydle says that DeLaRue (for which company she sounds authoritative, using the term "we") started making l/fs in 1922 in response to market pressures: but their earliest lever seems to have been a straight Sheaffer-type one (known in UK as the Swan/Valentine style) and not the lever in a box Watermans style they adopted later. But this ebay-appearance is neither?? 


I wonder  if they patented this curious design or did this lever just come out of someone's parts stock in the  mid 1920s?  But I have also never seen a generic version of the 1920s Pilot lever without a P or an N in it?    I suppose, in its symmetry, it looks a bit like the early 1920s lever which MontBlanc used for about ten minutes, - shown in the 'Fountain Pens - Their History and Art' book [http://www.ebay.com/...984.m1555.l2649].

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#2 gary


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Posted 06 October 2017 - 19:09

Wish I could help. The 2 leverfillers I have like the eBay listing are both marked Onoto DeLaRue. Maybe not so rare?

#3 praxim


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Posted 06 October 2017 - 23:09

Hull's book describes the first De La Rue lever as appearing in 1922, and not on an Onoto-brand until 1923. There were a few designs, although all of my few Onoto levers (I have mainly plunge-fillers) rely on their externally simple lever design commonly seen on later pens. This one looks somewhat like the "parallel action box lever" patented in 1922 and used in 1923 before Onoto patented a new design in 1924. The general pen design looks 1921 or later to me.


I refer to pp 109-111 of Stephen Hull's Onoto the Pen for the lever, and earlier pages for the pen designs and first lever introduction.

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#4 northlodge


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Posted 09 October 2017 - 18:34

The lever shown in the ebay listing was indeed a DLR item. I have seen several examples use this design, and currently have one here in my parts box  

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: delarue, lever, namiki, pilot, onoto, box section

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