The new century begins and a proposal to merge MIT with Harvard is averted after stron objections from MIT's alums .But let's focus on pens. The first advertisement is for Crocker Pens. This ad was the subject of our quiz few days ago. A truly "modern" pen that fills itself The famous Boston company established by Seth Sears Crocker. The company made "blow filler" (the user blows into a hole in back of the pen to make the sac to collapse) and "hatchet filler" pens. His son was the founder of the Chilton company. The blow filler pen is the "mother" of the Chilton pneumatics, the "grandmother"; of the touchdowns, and the great-great grandmother of the Sheaffer Legacy.
This ad shows also the value of ephemera. Many web sites today site 1902 as the year that the company began making pens because the patent was issued in 1901. It looks like the company was active before that and what more fruitful ground than the innovation-hungry geeks of MIT
high res (Dec. 20, 1900)
On January 7, 1901 an ad announces the availability of Waterman pens in the Co-operative bookstore.
high res (Jan. 7, 1901)
The new Century is 5 years old when this ad for Conklin pens appears. A "self-filling pen under you thumb".. Interesting is that the company's address
is given as Toledo O. (not OH...)
high res (April 10, 1905)
Soon Waterman ads appear The "clip cap" is a focal point of the ad, which features eyedropper pens. The second ad also warns: "beware of spurious or fraudulent imitations" (fakes for ever )
high res (Sept. 27, 1905)
high res (February 17, 1907)
And as pens are bought some are lost. The lost and found are full of announcements for lost pens such as a brown Waterman pen - is this an early reference to an oxidized pen?
high res (Sept. 27, 1905)
In 1908 the Parker pens appear full force. In the first ad "agents wanted" while in the second ad entrepreneurial freshman are already in charge of sales.
high res (Oct. 2, 1908)
high res (Oct. 30, 1908)
The Higgins ink begins to advertise and it will continue for many decades to come. Other ads promote ink-pellets.
Low cost pens appear in the market (from overseas?) in "pain and fancy styles"
A single ad for Boston Safety Fountain pen in 1915 is notable, and perhaps a bit late as my understanding is that the company bit the dust in 1917. An informative article on this company was printed in Pen World vol 16, no 5 (Apr/May 2003) by L. Michael Fultz & Patricia Lotfi.
high res(Jan. 13, 1915)
Waterman's ads mention the spoon feed (an older feature I understand from as early as 1903) and the availbility of regular (eyedropper), safety and self-filling types.
high res(November 2, 1914)
Last but not the least is an advertisement for a building company, on November 19, 1917 The relation to pens? They use as a showcase the reinforced concrete factory that they built for CARTER'S INX (the link is to a posting on the history of Carter Inx by R. Astyk at Lion and Pen), "the largest ink manufactures in the world" </p>
On December 10, 1917 in the lost and found section, there are 5 Waterman's fountain pens listed: 1 Crocker, 1 gold fountain pen and 1 Sol Satin fountain pen. Sol Satin? What is this? A quick web search shows that in the Federal Trace Commission report of 1919 Complaint No. 97 is "Federal Trade Commission v. S. M. Hexter & Co." Cause: Stifling and suppressing competition in the sale of cotton fabrics by offering its cotton fabric to the public under the trade name of “Sol Satin,” which simulation is designed and calculated to, and does, deceive the public and cause purchasers to believe that respondents’ fabric is composed of silk, in alleged. Any relation with the fountain pens? Another sub-footnote of the fountain pen history awaits for explanation...
- To be continued -
Edited by antoniosz, 05 March 2006 - 03:17.