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A Serendipitous Find


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#1 Diabolical_Engineer

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 14:16

As always, the Ohio Pen Show weekend was a non-stop burst of furious activity for me. Unlike in previous years, Pearce Jarvis and I decided to go to a country auction Saturday morning, rather than wandering around the show. As it turns out, that was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made in years.
 
When Pearce and I arrived at the auction, after setting out from Columbus around 5am, we were presented with the familiar sight of a table of fountain pens set out for preview. I wasn’t interested on bidding on many of them, but I started looking at the couple of pens I was interested in. Now, most of what I was interested in was second tier pens (Diamond Medals, Gold Bonds, etc), but the preview photos online had showed a large Parker button filler. Sure enough, there was a big Jack Knife Safety on the table.
 
Now a 25 ½ JKS is a good pen find on any day, especially as this one had superb chasing and imprints and a nice big nib. However, as I examined the pen, I noticed a couple of odd things. First, it weighed about 3 times as much as a normal 25. Second, the blind cap rotated freely on the end of the barrel. Third, the imprint on the blind cap was off center and there was a small hole in the center (Can you see where this is going?).
 
A quick phone call to a friend later, and I had enough of a suspicion to be more than ready for this pen to come home with me. A while later, the pen came up for bid, and I won it (for far less than I was prepared to pay). I’m sure the other bidders were a bit confused as to why I was so excited about this pen.
 
The pen is a very limited production run Jack Knife Safety from around 1916 with an experimental pneumatic filler. This type of filler, more commonly seen in Chiltons and Sheaffer Touchdowns, would have been revolutionary when it was developed in 1916, but was too complicated compared to the simple button filler. There’s some discussion  here ( http://vintagepensbl...tic-filler.html ) of this pen. This is the third known example and probably the single cleanest example in existence. It goes to show, that when you see an odd pen in the wild, trust your instincts. It might be way more interesting than you think.
 
YWgsfrql.jpg
 


 



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#2 crescentfiller

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 17:34

Congratulations on a truly spectacular acquisition!



#3 joss

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 17:35

That is a truly great find, congratulations!

 

Can you share pictures of the filling system? Is it the same "finger filling" system that David Nishimura describes in his blog?



#4 inkstainedruth

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 00:06

Wow.  That's really kinda cool, and a great story as well.  I don't know a lot about the really early pens, so it wouldn't have occurred to me that that one was in any way unusual.  The earliest pen I have is a 1926 Lucky Curve Duofold ringtop, and I haven't done anything with it because it's pretty fragile, especially the cap (OTOH, I paid $12 US for it, so can't complain....  :rolleyes: 

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#5 Diabolical_Engineer

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 00:53

Joss, it's a dead ringer for the example in David's article. The filler on mine is locked up and I don't want to force it. It looks like a typical 25 1/2 excluding the weight and the hole in the rotating blind cap.

#6 joss

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 17:30

Joss, it's a dead ringer for the example in David's article. The filler on mine is locked up and I don't want to force it. It looks like a typical 25 1/2 excluding the weight and the hole in the rotating blind cap.

 

Since I was not ware about this type of Parker filler, I went looking for more info on it and found this thread with interesting discussions from the experts:

http://fountainpenbo...matic-whaaaaat/








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