Several years ago I came across a Charles H. Ingersoll "Dollar Pen" and was intrigued by its clever design, intended to keep the retail price low but including a 14K nib. A little research showed me that there were three generations of Ingersoll pens: the original all-metal pen, the brief fling with celluloid, and the bakelite family. I decided to try to acquire one of each.
As such things happen, I have more than one of each. I think this qualifies as a mini collection.
Left to right in the picture below:
- All metal screw cap ringtop with chevron chasing.
- All metal screw cap pocket pen with straight line chasing.
- All metal screw cap pocket pen with checkerboard chasing. This pen still has the original sticker and is turned so that you can see the unique Ingersoll clip design.
- All metal bayonet cap pocket pen with checkerboard chasing. Notice the L shaped outdent at the cap lip. The cap was secured by pushing this bayonet channel onto a nub on the barrel, then turning to lock it in place. I believe this pen is older production than the three screw cap versions. This is the pen that started the mini collection.
- Oversize Chinese Red celluloid pocket pen. Notice the black blind cap at the end of the barrel. This cap concealed the twist filler knob.
- Standard size Black celluloid pocket pen. Notice that this smaller pen does not have the blind cap of the oversize pen, so the blind cap must have been an upscale feature.
- Oversize Cardinal Red Bakelite pocket pen. This pen has a smooth twist filler knob rather than the cast metal style described by other collectors.
Since I took the picture above, I found an Ingersoll LEVER FILLER. Looks like the red pen on the right, but without the twist filler knob and with a standard lever on the side of the barrel. My guess is that the Great Depression was catching up with Ingersoll, as it did with so many smaller manufacturers, and he made the change to stay with the times. The clip is not gold-filled and is a simpler stamping, and the nib, though 14K like all of his pens, does not bear the CHI imprint, but is a Warranted 14K nib. Finally, it has no cap band. All are cost-saving measures, but they don't seem to have saved the company.