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"transitional" Eversharp Symphony?

eversharp symphony 500 701 loewy

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17 replies to this topic

#1 RedRinger

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Posted 16 August 2020 - 21:57

Hello everyone...

I have recently obtained an odd bird of an Eversharp Symphony -- my understanding is that the first-generation "500" models had the dramatic Loewy-designed caps with the offset halves and the creased clip peaking more sharply, but most indentifiably, no band around the cap base. I recently purchased an (admittedly pretty janky) version that I thought was interesting. Looks to be a first-generation design, but WITH a cap band. Also has the metal threads attached to the barrel (take my word) and a single banner nib with plain tines (photos if requested of any and all the above).

 

A sort of transitional model? Anyone have an idea? 

 

Thanks!

Matt

 

fpn_1597613180__symphonytransitional1.jp

 

fpn_1597613199__symphonytransitional2.jp

 

fpn_1597613218__symphonytransitional3.jp



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#2 joss

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Posted 16 August 2020 - 23:42

Hi,

 

I do not think that it is odd. The 1st generation Loewy 'slipper' cap with high implanted clip appeared late 1948. Already in late 1949 the implant of the clip was lowered so that change appeared within one year. The 1st generation cap without cap band is probably the earliest but a 1st generation cap with a narrow gold ring, like your cap, or with a wide gold cap band is also not uncommon. These three versions of the early 'slipper' cap with high implanted clip had a production period of only one year so they are likely all correct for the early metal threaded Symphony barrel.

 

It is possible that the banded 1st generation slipper caps are a bit later compared to those without cap band. But what means 'a bit later', or even 'transitional', if the design of both the cap (high vs low implanted clip) as well as the barrel (metal vs plastic threads) was changed within one year.



#3 RedRinger

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Posted 18 August 2020 - 09:41

Hi,

 

I do not think that it is odd. The 1st generation Loewy 'slipper' cap with high implanted clip appeared late 1948. Already in late 1949 the implant of the clip was lowered so that change appeared within one year. The 1st generation cap without cap band is probably the earliest but a 1st generation cap with a narrow gold ring, like your cap, or with a wide gold cap band is also not uncommon. These three versions of the early 'slipper' cap with high implanted clip had a production period of only one year so they are likely all correct for the early metal threaded Symphony barrel.

 

It is possible that the banded 1st generation slipper caps are a bit later compared to those without cap band. But what means 'a bit later', or even 'transitional', if the design of both the cap (high vs low implanted clip) as well as the barrel (metal vs plastic threads) was changed within one year.

 

 

Thank you Joss! I have seen many of the first-generation caps with the high clip, but never one with a cap band. It makes sense that they might have started applying them, as all the later models had the cap bands...



#4 Parker51

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Posted 18 August 2020 - 10:53

Hello,
You have a model 701.
I is a second generation pen, per:
http://penhero.com/P...arpSymphony.htm

Edited by Parker51, 18 August 2020 - 10:53.


#5 joss

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Posted 18 August 2020 - 20:54

Hello,
You have a model 701.
I is a second generation pen, per:
http://penhero.com/P...arpSymphony.htm


You will have to check PenHero's pictures again: the clip on the OP's slipper cap is implanted high on the cap which is 1st generation (aka first year), and also the metal barrel threads are 1st gen. The 2nd generation had plastic barrel threads and the clip was implanted a bit lower on the slipper cap. The 3d generation lost the slipper cap.

I will try providing pictures of the three different caps with high implanted clip.

#6 joss

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Posted 28 August 2020 - 13:54

Here is a picture of the three different versions of the early Eversharp Symphony Loewy "slipper" cap: all three with the V-style clip, implanted high on the cap (see for detailed info: PenHero Eversharp Symphony).

 

The cap without cap bands (left) is probably the earliest. The cap with the wide cap band (middle) is in brushed steel while the two others are in polished steel.

 

fpn_1598623135__evsycps-smal.jpg

 

The blue 701 has the less common Sphere Point nib:

 

fpn_1598623174__shpnt.jpg


Edited by joss, 28 August 2020 - 13:59.


#7 Parker51

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Posted 28 August 2020 - 16:59

i am still a little confused.
The third pictured pen, which except for the sphere point matches the OP pen, both in blue, is a 701.
The reference does not indicate a model number for the sphere point, but says it is a first generation pen.
Does that suggest that the reference is wrong about cap styles and that the third pen is proof that there were first generation pens with that cap style? And was the sphere point associated with any specific model number as an identifier, or was it simply a nib option simialer to other nib options.

Perhaps there is another explanation. Maybe there really was no "first generation" with a single cap design, rather that Eversharp did the same thing which Parker did with the 51, have a pen with set design elements, some which didn't change except when there was a model redesign such as clip design and placement, some elements which were different by buyers choice, such as nib types and widths and some which likely had different names or numbers reflecting cap differences.

That does not mean there was not a specific cap design which was initially produced, there likely was, and it may have been the predominant initial production. Things such as caps with certain features can take time to produce and might be missing from initial advertisements. Thus, the third pen might reflect a little produced, late first generation cap design that simply wasn't ready when the other one was and when the second generation, per the year of production and placemet of the clip as well as other aspects of the cap are taken as cues for its generation of production and the decision was made to continue into the second generation an element (and likely then available and unused material) for the new design.

I sometimes think of automobiles and their style and option changes in regard to pens and how sometimes a car will come out and some options will not be available initially, but are available later in production and that those options may be then carried on to the next model year and appear on the next years cars in much larger numbers, so much that one can mistakenly associate an option, a feature, and sometimes even an edition name to a specific year when in reality it was used earlier and sometimes later due to the a ailabilit of certain options and option packages. In cars this can be very confusing, especially if there are certain options you are trying to get, they are no longer available and it is unclear except through digging through a combination of press releases, reviews and origonal dealer material to determine which tears and which editions for which years had the options you want. I personally dealt with this last year in trying to get a used van with adult "Captain style" second row seating, with all leather seating, heated driver and passenger seats, rear back up camera, fog lights, satellite radio and a CD player, features we could not get in a new van. With pens fewer options mean that any given combination may suggest a specific model year, but may not define it.

Edited by Parker51, 28 August 2020 - 17:02.


#8 Paul-in-SF

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Posted 28 August 2020 - 19:44

Perhaps there was some cap switching at some point, even at the factory? The first version did have the metal cap threads, but this cap has the clip placement, rounded lip, and cap band of the second version starting roughly in Christmas 1949. So it might be a little transitional in the sense that (speculating of course) perhaps the factory had more bodies than caps in the original style, so they started subbing in new caps as needed at the end of that model. Or a substitution might have been done later.

 

This is from Richard Binder's Wahl-Eversharp book, a description of the original version cap: "The clip, creased along its center and attached at the apex of the cap's shorter side, matches the overall contour perfectly; if its curve is extended past its anchor, the curve intersects the apex of the cap's longer half." That is not the case in this example. It's a little hard to see due to reflection on the shiny metal, but OP's cap looks to me exactly the same as the third cap in joss's photo. 



#9 joss

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Posted 30 August 2020 - 14:22

The third pictured pen, which except for the sphere point matches the OP pen, both in blue, is a 701.
The reference does not indicate a model number for the sphere point, but says it is a first generation pen.
Does that suggest that the reference is wrong about cap styles and that the third pen is proof that there were first generation pens with that cap style? And was the sphere point associated with any specific model number as an identifier, or was it simply a nib option simialer to other nib options.

The strength of PenHero's reviews is that his statements are based on detailed research of pens and original documentation. 

 

The two earliest Symphony advertisements (October and November 1948) show the Symphony with a "slipper" cap with high implanted clip and without cap bands. So this cap configuration is definitely 1st generation, as per PenHero. The 1948 advertisements also mention the Sphere Point, so that nib configuration is also 1st generation.

 

PenHero shows that his 1st generation Symphony SpherePoint (photo 8) has a cap with narrow cap band and high implanted clip. So clearly, early Symphony caps with a cap band do exist. But because these are not documented in catalogs or advertisements, no conclusion can be drawn on their exact moment of introduction.

 

PenHero explains that the model number "701" refers to the narrow cap band and shows a stickered "701" of the 3d generation. The original sticker on my pen suggest that the "701" model name already existed in the 1st generation Symphony series.



#10 joss

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Posted 30 August 2020 - 15:04

Perhaps there was some cap switching at some point, even at the factory? The first version did have the metal cap threads, but this cap has the clip placement, rounded lip, and cap band of the second version starting roughly in Christmas 1949. So it might be a little transitional in the sense that (speculating of course) perhaps the factory had more bodies than caps in the original style, so they started subbing in new caps as needed at the end of that model. Or a substitution might have been done later.

I do not see 2nd generation features on the caps but on re-examining the clip placement, referring to Richard Binder's definition, I indeed see that the clip on the black pen with wide cap band sits a bit lower compared to the other clips. But that does not seem to be unique for the wide band cap as I found a similar clip on a cap without cap band.

 

The picture below shows four 1st generation caps. Pen 2 and 3 (black) have a different cap but similar clip implant that is a bit lower compared to that of pen 1 (blue) en pen 4 (red).

fpn_1598798266__symcps1-kl.jpg

These three pictures focus on the clip implant of respectively pen 2, 3 and 4:

fpn_1598798346__symcps2-kl.jpg



#11 joss

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Posted 30 August 2020 - 15:35

This is from Richard Binder's Wahl-Eversharp book, a description of the original version cap: "The clip, creased along its center and attached at the apex of the cap's shorter side, matches the overall contour perfectly; if its curve is extended past its anchor, the curve intersects the apex of the cap's longer half." That is not the case in this example. It's a little hard to see due to reflection on the shiny metal, but OP's cap looks to me exactly the same as the third cap in joss's photo. 

I tried to visualize the above definition of the 1st gen cap in the picture below. The pen on the left shows a 2nd generation "slipper" cap that clearly does not fit Richard Binder's definition. The next four caps, pen 2 to 5, are 1st generation and fit the description of Richard Binder but have in fact two (maybe three) different locations of the clip.

 

fpn_1598801588__scps-kl.jpg



#12 Paul-in-SF

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Posted 30 August 2020 - 18:20

I tried to visualize the above definition of the 1st gen cap in the picture below. The pen on the left shows a 2nd generation "slipper" cap that clearly does not fit Richard Binder's definition. The next four caps, pen 2 to 5, are 1st generation and fit the description of Richard Binder but have in fact two (maybe three) different locations of the clip.

 

I'm sorry to disagree, but I think the only one of the five caps shown that meets that criterion is the 2nd one, the red one. On the last three, even though the clips are higher than the left-most one, they are too far down to match that description. I think I also mentioned another factor that changed after the first iteration of Symphonies was the cap lip, which went from straight to rounded, and again only the red pen has a straight cap lip. OP's cap has a rounded cap lip. Based on your evidence, I agree the cap band is not conclusive. 



#13 RedRinger

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Posted 31 August 2020 - 02:34

Thank you everyone for your opinions and contributions!

I have another proposal that perhaps hasn't been suggested yet -- So, in the "second generation," I believe the characteristics most apparent are a clip with a rounded top and no longer creased, and a more rounded cap end profile, as well as a rounded cap lip and the presence of a gold band.

So, perhaps this "odd" cap is simply a newer cap style, but with the older-style clip affixed. 

 

A stickered 500 on the right, and this odd cap on the left...

 

fpn_1598840714__symphonycompare1.jpg

 

fpn_1598840731__symphony_compare2.jpg

 

fpn_1598840750__symphony_compare3.jpg



#14 joss

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Posted 01 September 2020 - 09:05

 

I'm sorry to disagree, but I think the only one of the five caps shown that meets that criterion is the 2nd one, the red one. On the last three, even though the clips are higher than the left-most one, they are too far down to match that description. I think I also mentioned another factor that changed after the first iteration of Symphonies was the cap lip, which went from straight to rounded, and again only the red pen has a straight cap lip. OP's cap has a rounded cap lip. Based on your evidence, I agree the cap band is not conclusive. 

 

It is not a problem to disagree and I am also convinced that the cap on the red pen is the very first version that was also the subject of Richard Binder's Symphony cap definition. The question to me is in which 'generation' do we place the other 3 pens (pen 3-5 from left in picture below).

 

fpn_1599035660__scps-kl2.jpg

 

These are 5 Symphony 'slipper' caps:

- cap 1 is a 2nd gen Symphony (low clip implant, rounded cap lip, narrow gold cap band)

- cap 2 is the original 1st gen Symphony (high clip implant, straight cap lip, no cap band)

- caps 3, 4 and 5 have features that are assigned to 2nd generation caps (narrow or wide gold cap band, rounded cap lip) but they do not fit on the 2nd gen Symphony barrel with plastic threads

- cap 4 is a version without cap bands (1st gen) but it has a rounded cap lip (2nd gen feature) and a slightly lower clip implant

- cap 5 has a narrow gold cap band (2nd gen feature) but that band sits considerably lower than that on the 2nd gen cap (cap 1)

 

In my opinion, caps 3, 4 and 5 are all genuine 1st generation caps because they only fit the 1st generation Symphony barrel with metal threads.

 

It is difficult to draw conclusions without back-up of original documentation but my own conclusion, for what it is worth, is that these three caps are likely all 1st generation but that they appeared later than the original one (cap 2) and that they were developed once Eversharp understood that the original Symphony did not attract much attention.

 

So it appears that, within one year of the introduction of the Symphony (end of 1948), subtle changes have taken place in the Loewy cap design and that these changes rapidly (by the end of 1949) culminated in the 2nd generation cap, which lost the minimalist styling of the original cap.


Edited by joss, 02 September 2020 - 08:35.


#15 joss

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Posted 01 September 2020 - 09:13

Thank you everyone for your opinions and contributions!

I have another proposal that perhaps hasn't been suggested yet -- So, in the "second generation," I believe the characteristics most apparent are a clip with a rounded top and no longer creased, and a more rounded cap end profile, as well as a rounded cap lip and the presence of a gold band.

So, perhaps this "odd" cap is simply a newer cap style, but with the older-style clip affixed. 

 

A stickered 500 on the right, and this odd cap on the left...

It is always nice to have stickered pens! 

 

The clip on the 2nd generation sits considerably lower on the cap, see pen 1 in my picture above.



#16 RedRinger

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Posted 02 September 2020 - 04:21

It is always nice to have stickered pens! 

 

The clip on the 2nd generation sits considerably lower on the cap, see pen 1 in my picture above.

 

 

I see, so you would call my "odd" cap a first-generation, just with a rounded lip and cap band?



#17 joss

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Posted 02 September 2020 - 08:37

I see, so you would call my "odd" cap a first-generation, just with a rounded lip and cap band?

Yes indeed.

 

Your "odd" cap will not fit a 2nd gen barrel (with plastic threads) and the clip on your cap has the design, implant and anchor points of the 1st gen clip.

 

So my conclusion is that it is a 1st gen cap but that it is later than the original earliest cap (the version without cap bands and with straight cap lip).



#18 RedRinger

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Posted 03 September 2020 - 00:06

Yes indeed.

 

Your "odd" cap will not fit a 2nd gen barrel (with plastic threads) and the clip on your cap has the design, implant and anchor points of the 1st gen clip.

 

So my conclusion is that it is a 1st gen cap but that it is later than the original earliest cap (the version without cap bands and with straight cap lip).

 

 

Very cool. Thank you!







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: eversharp, symphony, 500, 701, loewy



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