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Esterbrook Salesman's Case - C. 1920


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#1 AAAndrew

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 02:11

Used by Esterbrook Salesmen when visiting stationery stores. 

 

There are some unusual pens in this one, including a gold plated 313, and particularly the Gisburn Ruling Pens (the folded pens in row three on the far right). 

 

fpn_1552173482__19teens_01_outside_sm.jp

 

 

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Row 1

 

fpn_1552173510__19teens_03_first_row_sm.

 

 

Row 2

 

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Row 3

 

fpn_1552173549__19teens_05_third_row_sm.

 

 

 

Row 4

 

fpn_1552173647__19teens_06_fourth_row_sm

 

 

 

Row 5

 

fpn_1552173663__19teens_07_fifth_row_sm.

 



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#2 inkstainedruth

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 20:23

You always find the most interesting things!  A few years ago I picked up a card with an assortment about eight or ten Esterbrook dip pen nibs and a couple of holders, but haven't ever tried them (I spotted the card in the window of a place about a block from Bromfield Pens that mostly did sports memorabilia.  And for ten bucks said "Oh, yeah, I need this...").  :rolleyes:  Not sure where in the house I stashed the card at this point....  :blush:

I'm curious about the "Radio Pens".  What does that mean?  Is it something with the metal or finish?

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#3 AAAndrew

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 20:41

Radio was referencing the special finish of the pens. I suspect "Radio" was a hyped term signifying "modern" and hinting at some kind of ultra-high-tech electro plating process. Kind of like "Atomic" in the 50's and 60's and "i" or "e" before anything today. 

 

The pens themselves are exactly the same as the normal pens but with an extra coating that does seem to have some impact on preventing corrosion. 

 

But knowing that the only difference is the coating makes things like the extraordinary price for an Esterbrook 914 Radio pen crazy when regular 14's are sold at a fraction of the price. This is because it is known that Charles Schultz, creator of Charlie Brown and the Peanuts comic strip, would only draw his strip using a 914 dip pen. He said he would stop drawing his stripshould he ever run out. The story goes that when Esterbrook announced they were going to stop production of all dip pens, he went out and bought every single 914 he could find. There aren't as many of them out there as other Radio pen styles (all begin with "9") and with their association with Schultz, they sell for a stupid price, considering. (like five or more times the price of a regular 14)


Edited by AAAndrew, 10 March 2019 - 20:42.


“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928



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#4 inkstainedruth

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 21:15

Ah.  I had wondered if the "radio" description had any connection with radium.  It was clear that they seemed to be plated (as opposed to the other nibs in the case).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


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#5 Hobiwan

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 00:13

Hmmmm ...

The Text Writers seem to be gauged like wire; the wider the point, the smaller the number ....


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#6 AAAndrew

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 02:29

Hmmmm ...

The Text Writers seem to be gauged like wire; the wider the point, the smaller the number ....

 

That's how they did it. Even the very first mention of them in 1885, when there were just #1, #2, and #3, #1 was the largest. By 1920 or so they had added all of the rest of the numbers and the in-between numbers. Later in the 1920's or early 30's they added a left oblique version called the Manuscript Pen. Same numbering system. 



“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928



Check out my Steel Pen Blog


"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

-Montaigne


#7 Taverius

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 05:07

Ah.  I had wondered if the "radio" description had any connection with radium.  It was clear that they seemed to be plated (as opposed to the other nibs in the case).
Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

There was a nickel alloy used for plating that was called "Radio Plating".

Not sure why it was called that, maybe it was used to plate radio switches/dials internals for corrosion? The period fits.

#8 Tweel

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 08:58

I wonder whether the nickel alloy was the same as that used for the metal filings in a coherer (a very early type of radio detector, for example used by Marconi).


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#9 Tweel

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 09:00

That set of sample pens is fantastic!


fpn_1375035941__postcard_swap.png * * * "Don't neglect to write me several times from different places when you may."
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#10 Taverius

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 09:13

I wonder whether the nickel alloy was the same as that used for the metal filings in a coherer (a very early type of radio detector, for example used by Marconi).

Could well be. Its hard to research without already knowing where to look, googling "radio nickel plating" or the like brings up all sorts of things about plating plastics with nickel to prevent emf interference ... as well as one article about the nibs.






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