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Artcraft And Ford's Pens Photo Thread


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#1 PenHero

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 00:25

Hi, Folks,

 

Picked up a couple of Artcraft pens and thought I would start a photo thread on these less known pens.  If you have some, please show them!

 

This is a Ford’s DeLuxe fountain pen in brown pearl and black marbled celluloid c. 1930-1934. This 4 7/8 inch long lever fill pen was made by the Artcraft Pen Company of Birmingham, Alabama.  Originally advertised as Cromer Artcraft, the company was named for Ford Cromer, and existed from about 1920 to 1934.   Early Artcraft pens followed the market leading Parker Duofold with a $5 “black tipped lacquer red” Life-Long model as early as 1923.  Use of the Ford name appears in the 1930s and can be seen in advertising as late as 1933.  Examples of Ford pens include Ford’s, Ford’s Jr. and Ford’s DeLuxe models in a variety of colors.  The trim on this example is lightly gold plated and shows a lot of wear.  There is no barrel imprint.  The nib is a Warranted 14K type.

 

FordsDeluxeBrown_2048_01.jpg

 

Thanks!

 

 



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#2 BamaPen

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 01:21

My wife researched Ford Cromer, President of Artcraft, and found his WWI draft card. At that time he was a sales representative for the Edison Pen Company of Petersburg, VA, working out of Atlanta. About 1920, he married a young woman from Birmingham, Alabama, and soon afterward he incorporated the Edison Artcraft Pen Company. The company name was very soon changed to the Artcraft Founatin Pen Company, but the earliest pens were labeled with the Edison Artcraft name.

 

I can't prove it, but I don't believe that the early Artcraft pens were manufactured in Birmingham. It seems more likely that they were made under contract by Edison; certainly their characteristics are very much in the Edison style. My wife also found a 1925 newsletter from the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce in which they announced that Artcraft was installing manufacturing equipment in Birmingham and would be making their pens there. 

 

Here's one of those very early Edison Artcraft pens, a small black hard rubber ringtop.

 

edison-artcraft-uncapped.jpg?w=800&h=

 

edison-artcraft-lever.jpg?w=600&h=


Edited by BamaPen, 17 May 2019 - 01:23.


#3 BamaPen

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 01:37

In 1923, Artcraft advertised in the Montgomery Advertiser, a Life-Long pen in black hard rubber with straight-line chasing and a "distinctive lacquer-red tip" for $7.00. Lady and Junior sized LIfe-Long pens were $5.00, The pen below matches the image in this ad very closely. Within a year they were also advertising the "Redskin" which carried the inverse color pattern - black section with red hard rubber barrel and cap.

 

In this picture you can spot several Artcraft features. The nib is quite large - Ford Cromer seems to have favored large nibs - and carries the Artcraft logo in the artist's palette. A mini version of that logo appears on the end of the lever. The unusually large hole in the cap allowed the user to see the point where the inner cap and the section come face to face to seal the nib.

 

 

artcraft-lifelong-bhr-ringtop-uncapped.j



#4 PenHero

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 11:18

Great pics!  Thanks for the additional info!



#5 BamaPen

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 01:24

The Ford's line was a sub-brand of Artcraft. They were made in a variety of colors and sizes, and there were Ford's, Ford's DeLuxe, and Fords's Jr. All but the Juniors carried warranted 14K nibs, while the Juniors generally were fitted with Durium nibs. Here are several Ford's and a Ford's DeLuxe, all in brown and bronze.

 

Notice that the two on the left have the Ford's imprint in a font that closely resembles the Ford Motor Company logo, while all the others have something close to a typewriter style Pica font. I suspect that Ford Motor Company may have complained about the original font and it was changed.

 

 

brown-and-bronze-fords.jpg


Edited by BamaPen, 18 May 2019 - 01:25.


#6 PenHero

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 17:46

Hi, Folks,

 

This is an Artcraft black hard rubber fountain pen with a hand engraved wide gold filled cap band c. early 1920s.  The front of the cap band has a framed cartouche for personalization that carries around to the back with a flower and leaves design.  The breather hole on the back of the cap is much larger than on other brands.  This 5 5/16 inch long lever fill pen was made by the Artcraft Pen Company of Birmingham, Alabama.  Advertisements from 1921 to 1925 give the company name as Cromer Artcraft, named for Ford Cromer.  The barrel is stamped Cromer Pen Company Inc. over Artcraft Fountain Pens over Birmingham Alabama.  Centered in the text is an artist's palette with MAKERS OF over ARTCRAFT inside.  The gold filled clip and lever have an artist's palette logo with ART stamped inside.  The gold nib is stamped with an artist's palette logo and ARTCRAFT stamped inside over 2.  This example shows browning discoloration on the cap and barrel and several cracks and a chip missing from the cap lip.

 

ArtcraftHR_2048_01.jpg

 

Thanks!








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