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Carter Pen Numbers



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Does anyone know what the meaning of the number you find in the back of Carter flat top pens?

I understood that the last one is the nib/pen size, but the other ones?

 

I found some articles stating is color code, but I saw almost the same color (difficult to see in photos, they seems the same) with numbers 511, 512 and 522 numbers (and different size) so I'm wondering this is really true.

 

Simone

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Carter model numbers:

 

The leftmost number indicates the material/color -

 

1 - Red Polished - Smooth Red HR

2 - Black Polished - Smooth Black (both HR and Coralite)

3 - Black Chased - Straight line chasing

4 - Red-Black Mottled - Mottled (both HR and Coralite)

5 - Coralite Blue

6 - Turquoise Blue - The examples I've seen, however, appear as speckled reddish brown.

7 - Squirrel Gray - Examples appear to be pink or lavender. Perhaps Boston Squirrels were pink. :glare:

8 - Carter seems not to have used this number (?)

9 - Coralite Green

10 - Coralite Lacquer Red (conceived perhaps as a two-tone Coralite version of #1 - Red HR)

 

The following colors are all in Pearltex:

 

11 - Pearl or White Pearl

12 - Rose Petal

13 - Cerulean Blue (can be mistaken for Wave Green when discolored)

14 - Wave Green

15 - Black Pearl (Not to be confused with Black & Pearl)

20 - Black & Pearl

 

 

The next number indicates the width or girth of the pen -

 

1 - Large Barrel

2 - Medium

3 - Small

 

The number in the tens place is for length -

 

1 - Long barrel

2 - Medium

3 - Short

 

These size numbers, however, aren't straightforward. They appear to refer to dimensions within certain categories. So "long" for one model isn't the same as "long" for another.

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raging.dragon

Jeff, your information was timely and useful for me as well - I'm considering buying a 5117 and have been researching the brand.

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Carter model numbers:

 

The leftmost number indicates the material/color -

 

1 - Red Polished - Smooth Red HR

2 - Black Polished - Smooth Black (both HR and Coralite)

3 - Black Chased - Straight line chasing

4 - Red-Black Mottled - Mottled (both HR and Coralite)

5 - Coralite Blue

6 - Turquoise Blue - The examples I've seen, however, appear as speckled reddish brown.

7 - Squirrel Gray - Examples appear to be pink or lavender. Perhaps Boston Squirrels were pink. :glare:

8 - Carter seems not to have used this number (?)

9 - Coralite Green

10 - Coralite Lacquer Red (conceived perhaps as a two-tone Coralite version of #1 - Red HR)

 

The following colors are all in Pearltex:

 

11 - Pearl or White Pearl

12 - Rose Petal

13 - Cerulean Blue (can be mistaken for Wave Green when discolored)

14 - Wave Green

15 - Black Pearl (Not to be confused with Black & Pearl)

20 - Black & Pearl

 

 

The next number indicates the width or girth of the pen -

 

1 - Large Barrel

2 - Medium

3 - Small

 

The number in the tens place is for length -

 

1 - Long barrel

2 - Medium

3 - Short

 

These size numbers, however, aren't straightforward. They appear to refer to dimensions within certain categories. So "long" for one model isn't the same as "long" for another.

Jeff,

 

I just came across your post after doing some Carter research and I just wanted to say thanks for posting it. I do have a question that still stumps me, I have two 10117 pens but one is well over 1/4" longer then the other, I would guess that it's probably an earlier example. The shorter of the two has a 7 nib, while the longer pen has a huge nib that is just marked Carter's Inx Pen.

 

I've always liked Carter pens and since there are so few companies that made in oversized pen in coral plastic I was thrilled to buy one and now feel a little overwhelmed having bought a second. They both need some work but nothing too serious. I'd love to see pictures of any great Carter pieces you have!

 

Pearce.

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Carter pens varying in size over time, going up and down, so it isn't just a straight line slope of taller to shorter.

 

As for the nibs, the numbered nibs are earlier. They went to the Inx nib in 1927. There are several nib variations, including ones that don't show up in the literature (at least not any that I've found). Nibs, of course, get switched around so you can't peg a date by them to hang your hat. Red Coralite doesn't show up until 1929.

 

If you're restoring the pens, note that the nibs are usually fitted very tightly. Getting them out should be done with a knockout block. Getting them back in can be difficult. Barrels are also tight to the section.

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