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Sheaffer Military Clips Revisited


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33 replies to this topic

#1 Dennis B

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Posted 08 April 2006 - 19:41

Introduced in 1941, the "OVER-THE-TOP" or military clip pen is shown in the 1941 catalog in four styles, two filler systems, and three colors.

Two Lifetime Feathertouch pens, the Valiant and Vigilant at $10 and $8.75, respectively, The Feathertouch Defender at $5 and the Streamlined Balance Commandant at $4. Only the Commandant is referred to as a Balance. Colors shown as available were Black, Golden Brown and Carmine. Marine Green is not shown in the 1941 catalog but was made at some point.

This brings me to my questions. Since Pearl Gray was available at that time, were any Pearl Gray military clip pens made? And, when was the military clip discontinued? Would it have been around 1945 when the new style clip was introduced?

Just curious if anyone has seen a Pearl Gray military clip pen.

Thanks to Joe Dinora, I picked up a Carmine Commandant from the PTGB recently. My first of that size.

Dennis B

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#2 PenHero

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 02:07

I've got the 1941 catalog and can confirm that there are no Gray Pearl military clip pens listed. They certainly exist with just about every other model. There are also no Marine Green models listed either. Same deal for the Skyboy, also a military clip pen in 1941, though in the 1940 catalog, the Skyboy is a Statesman size $10.00 pen with a regular style clip stamped "SKYBOY" and that pen had Marine Green and Gray Pearl versions.

My guess is that since the "military clip" was intended for servicemen, Sheaffer must have had a reason to only offer the pen with gold filled trim and in black, Golden Brown and Carmine.

Cheers,

Jim Mamoulides
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Edited by PenHero, 09 April 2006 - 02:08.


#3 Dennis B

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 02:19

Hi Jim,

I don't have any catalogs after 1941, so I don't know whether or not the Marine Green model was listed in later years. They exist and that is what made me wonder if Gray Pearl may also exist, although I've never seen one.

There's always something interesting with Sheaffer.

Dennis B

#4 PenHero

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 02:53

As far as I know, there are no catalogs from 1942-1945. I've been to Sheaffer and they have a complete file of all the catalogs and they have nothing for the war years. I believe there were no catalogs, especially since Sheaffer went to the trouble of making a wartime film explaining to dealers why they can't get pens because Sheaffer is busy making war materials.

If they had anything at all, it was probably price sheets and lists. They did advertise during the war, but apparantly had very low production. Parker records from the war indicate that their production was severely cut, too.

It would not surprise me that the pens were also made in Marine Green. I have to say I've never seen a Military Clip pen with chrome (or rhodium) trim and Gray Pearl celluloid. They may exist, but I have not seen one.

Cheers,

Jim Mamoulides
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#5 Michael Wright

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 09:30

It would not surprise me that the pens were also made in Marine Green. I have to say I've never seen a Military Clip pen with chrome (or rhodium) trim and Gray Pearl celluloid. They may exist, but I have not seen one.

Perhaps this is part of the answer. If grey pearl always went with chrome plated furniture, they presumably couldn't get the chrome, because it was a strategic material, unlike gold. Don't know about rhodium, but if it has any engineering use, I'd guess it would be the same.

I have read that Sheaffer used silver for white metal furniture during WW II; could someone with real knowledge confirm or deny?

Best

Michael

#6 jaytaylor

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Posted 09 July 2006 - 05:41

I have recently picked up an autograph military capped sheaffer, it is in the usual black and same size as the 1000 model.
Anyone else know of this model?

#7 Scorpio

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Posted 09 July 2006 - 14:48

I have a Green Marine w/military clip. It is in very poor condition. No nib, cap is cracked a good inch from the cap lip and has major ding on the barrell that could probably be repaired with dental resin. I believe the section is glued to the barrell. This is how the previous owner broke the nib of the section in an attempt to remove the section.

#8 Guest_PeteWK_*

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 10:23

I'm wondering if any of those military clip balances have serial numbers on the nibs? I've read conflicting reports as to when the serial numbers were discontinued.

PeteWK

#9 jaytaylor

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 10:47

I own about 10 military capped sheaffers, all are lifetime models and 8 have serialised nibs.

Has anyone seen or know of an autograph version of the sheaffer military cap???

#10 kirchh

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 15:02

Skyboy is a Statesman size $10.00 pen with a regular style clip stamped "SKYBOY"....

The conventional-clip Skyboy is a Sovereign-sized pen, but priced like a Statesman. Sheaffer asked a $1.25 premium for the unspecified (and possibly non-existent) features that made it "the airplane special".

--Daniel

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#11 Guest_PeteWK_*

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 19:01

I own about 10 military capped sheaffers, all are lifetime models and 8 have serialised nibs.

Has anyone seen or know of an autograph version of the sheaffer military cap???

I've never seen an autograph model. My only good sheaffer military is a brown striated with a white plastic feed and broad nib. I'll post a pic of the section, feed and nib if anyone's interested as they're a rather unusual conbination.

PeteWK

#12 Dennis B

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 20:09

  My only good sheaffer military is a brown striated with a white plastic feed and broad nib.  unusual conbination.

PeteWK

Here's a pic of my White Feed Sheaffer with a Lifetime Nib in a Golden Brown Military Clip pen.

Sherrell Tyree, Sheaffer repair guru, once told me Sheaffer denied they had ever sold a pen with this feed. She also told me that the white can be removed from the feed and her theory is there was a poor quality batch of hard rubber feeds that were given this white treatment. Who knows why.

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Dennis B

#13 Guest_PeteWK_*

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 02:23

Well, this certainly illustrates what always frustrates and keeps me digging as a pen collector. And that is that there are few if any real experts, only differences of opinion over the same body of knowledge that's generally available to all of us. Frank Dubiel and others posited they were an attempt to deal with the rubber shortages during the war as the plastic wouldn't have been regulated by the government.

I seriously doubt that they were a rubber making mistake given that they're found (though rarely) in triumph nib models as well. Sheaffer wouldn't have made a mistake like that twice.

PeteWK

#14 Dennis B

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 02:36

Pete,

Well you got that right. This can be a frustrating hobby and there are plenty of folks willing to step up as "experts." Sherrell says these feeds are hard rubber, that the white is coating than can be removed and she has done so, and that rather than mistake, she thinks it was low quality rubber received during the war that was coated with the white material for some reason. I sure don't have a clue, but I do know these turn up here and there.

We'll probably never know the real truth.

Dennis B

The search is half the fun

#15 jaytaylor

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 02:49

Could these white feeds be prototypes? white will contrast with the ink and give a more visual feedback of the feed collector performance and cohesion of the ink to the feed..

#16 Guest_PeteWK_*

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 05:22

Could these white feeds be prototypes? white will contrast with the ink and give a more visual feedback of the feed collector performance and cohesion of the ink to the feed..

I'm certainly no expert, just an advanced student given that I read everything I can get my hands on. Richard Binder (much more expert than I) feels that they might indeed be prototypes that leaked out into the market (it happened). At least he suggested that in an email to me. I first learned the feed was something more than a stained piece of junk when I took it into Fred Krinke's shop in L.A. I don't recall him saying anything other than it was a rare white feed.

There is a way to difinitively tell. One could cut a portion of one and light it on fire. Plastic and rubber burn and smell differently. But I ain't gonna be the one to wreck mine!

PeteWK

#17 Univer

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 10:14

Just FYI, here's a post-1935 (streamlined clip with vestigial "ball" at end) golden brown striated Balance 1000 with a white feed that's either (i) losing its whiteness, or (ii) wasn't completely white to begin with. The photo doesn't capture it perfectly, but the whiteness definitely fades, toward the tip and sides of the feed, shading off into a bluish black cast.

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Edited by Univer, 02 August 2006 - 10:15.


#18 jaytaylor

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 10:49

If you pull the feed out a small peice could be cut from a non exposed area, ie an area normally covered by the section.

#19 jaytaylor

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 13:56

Heres a pic of an autograph military capped sheaffer, not the best photos....

Has anyone else come across one of these?

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Edited by jaytaylor, 02 August 2006 - 13:57.


#20 kirchh

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 13:58

(comment no longer applies)

Edited by kirchh, 02 August 2006 - 13:59.

"The greatest mental derangement is to believe things because we want them to be true, not because we observe that they are in effect." --Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

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