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407 Dipless

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7 replies to this topic

#1 Brent22989


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Posted 19 March 2009 - 05:00

Whoever said that Esties multiply got that right.

Just bought a 407 inkwell with a dipless pen. Can anyone advise me as to any quirks of this new/old system? Is this a comfortable pen to work with at one's desk? Or is this more of a museum piece?

Also, can anyone give an approximate date of the 407? Are we talking about 1930's, '40's...?

And can anyone suggest a good ink? I have some very nice blue Noodler's, but this ink was a little watery in my Estie LJ--and made some unfortunate "love marks." Would the Noodler's do okay for the dipless system?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

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#2 RayMan



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Posted 19 March 2009 - 05:45

I have several Estie Dip-Less Sets (I have more dip-less pens than inkwells), but I've never actually filled the inkwells. Based on my experience with a similar system (Sengbusch), I've assumed that the ink will evaporate quicker than I can use it. I use the inkwells for display.

I have used the pens quite often, however, by simply dipping them directly in an ink bottle. Typically I use them with Renew nibs (not all of the Estie dip-less pens have threading for Renew nibs, however), but I have also used them with 5000 series dip-less nibs. I find them to be very enjoyable to use. The dip-less pens are rather skinny, however, so if you have large hands they might feel a bit strange.


#3 PaFitch



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Posted 19 March 2009 - 20:38

A 444 and 477 reside in my collection. Both held ink for more than 4 months before evaporation reduced the ink level so it wouldn't wet the nib. I just added water to reconstitute the ink (the 444 with Diamine blue-black) and have written another several months.

Dipless wells have come up several times in this forum. A search will yield multiple interesting threads about them.

#4 leroy



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Posted 20 March 2009 - 18:43

I love the dipless sets too. I keep a 444 (hockey puck) full of Noodlers Bay State Blue. I use it 3 or 3 times a week. Fill it every month or so. My guess is that evaporation is not too big a deal if the gaskets are good. I love to write with the dipless pens; they will write several sentences or a paragraph after they have set in the inkwell a while. Capillarity keeps the feed filled with ink. Dipless inkwells and pens are a great thing; a throwback to another era when things were expected to work and work well. So fill up that inkwell and start using it!
Kind regards,
"Let your light shine out...." Old mountain gospel tune

#5 RsH


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Posted 31 December 2018 - 15:17

I have a 407 filled with brown ink - Mont Blanc and Pelikan browns are the inks I use. I use it with a glass dip pen, kept in the inkwell at all times when not in use, and that basically fills up the space where the pen goes into the well, so likely reduces evaporation to almost nill. Works great, and the pen too works great with a very fine tip... The glass pen was purchased in Venice years ago, and my main requirement from any such pen is a very fine line when writing, less than the width of a .38 tip on a fountain pen. I keep the ink well by the side of my computer and use it daily.... The flow of the ink depends on what you are writing with and what you really want the flow to be, in my view, so I am happy with the ink I use, but others might not be.

#6 AAAndrew


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Posted 08 January 2019 - 17:34

I've used 444's and they work great, especially if you do a lot of writing. They will begin to dry out after a while and you can reconstitute with water or more ink or both. They're easy to restore (I have a thread on here somewhere with details how I did mine). The pens are every bit at nice writers as the fountain pens, mainly because all but the oldest use the same nibs. 


As for dates, the 407 (477 is the double version of the 407) line is more from the 40's, and the 444's from the 50's (early and late). Not sure how long they made them into the 60's, if at all. By that time they were modernizing the fountain pen desk sets. I'm sure our "modern" Esterbrook historians can tell you better. 


Here are three very late desk sets on my bookshelf at work. The Baby Blue is earlier, the green flying saucer is 60's and the beige Venus/Esterbrook Recorder ball point pen set I believe may even be from the 70's. 



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#7 aalmcc4



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Posted 12 January 2019 - 00:34

I use my 407 in my home office everyday.  They are fantastic.  Great for notes or taking phone messages. One dip will last anywhere from 2-3 paragraphs to maybe a page and a half of a legal  pad depending on the nib you're using. 


I think the 407 was introduced about 1939 or 1940.  The latest advertisement for them I have seen was about 1950. Seems they were replaced by the hockey puck-like 444, although I've seen ads with both the 407 and 444 in the same ad. Any fountain pen ink works great. 


Fill yours and have fun.

#8 5thhistorian


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Posted 29 January 2019 - 14:12

I have had a dipless set inked up for about a year now with Pilot Blue Black, it has yet to dry out on me and I've only refilled it once. It's very handy if you write a lot and have somewhere to keep it.

Edited by 5thhistorian, 29 January 2019 - 14:12.

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