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Skyboy Question



tmenyc

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I've come into a carmine Skyboy, the pre-military clip version. It has a Lifetime nib, and the barrel is marked 875. Could this be an original nib? Sadly, the cap has an inch-long wide-open fracture, so it will end up in the parts box, but I'm curious if the whole thing is correct or an assembly of parts.

 

thanks!

 

Tim

Tim

@timsvintagepens and timsvintagepens.com

 

Currently inked pens:

Sheaffer Valiant, Parker Junior Duofold, Aurora 88 (modern), Montblanc Meisterstück (home desk), Esterbrook Deluxe (home desk), Delta Fusion 82 (office desk)

 

 

 

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In 1940 Sheaffer's Catalog 8,75$ Lady Skyboy (pre-military clip) is shown with a Lifetime nib which is typical for 8,75$ Soverign type/size pens of that time described as "Lifetime Feathertouch". Does anyone know about any other source of info on 1940 regular clip Skyboys?

 

 

@Tim: Do you think you could post a picture or two of the pen?

 

Hope this helps,

BR,

Mac

Edited by mac.kozinsky

The fundamental substance is air. The soul is air; fire is rarefied air; when condensed, air becomes first water, then if further condensed, earth, and finally stone...

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Interesting...Lifetime Feathertouch is a combination of terms I've never heard of before. I thought Feathertouches were only their own nib model/type.

thanks!

 

Tim

Tim

@timsvintagepens and timsvintagepens.com

 

Currently inked pens:

Sheaffer Valiant, Parker Junior Duofold, Aurora 88 (modern), Montblanc Meisterstück (home desk), Esterbrook Deluxe (home desk), Delta Fusion 82 (office desk)

 

 

 

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Nibs marked/imprinted with the word "Feathertouch" is one thing and, iirc subsequent, concept of different nibs being highest quality silk-smooth feathertouch points and therefore different pens and ensembles being called Lifetime Feathertouch, are two different things. The name was widely used on adverts and it was also a registered Trademark. If you look up 1937-1942 adverts you'll see for yourself :-)

Edited by mac.kozinsky

The fundamental substance is air. The soul is air; fire is rarefied air; when condensed, air becomes first water, then if further condensed, earth, and finally stone...

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Thanks! The almost zoological extent of Sheaffer information never ceases to amaze me.

Tim

Tim

@timsvintagepens and timsvintagepens.com

 

Currently inked pens:

Sheaffer Valiant, Parker Junior Duofold, Aurora 88 (modern), Montblanc Meisterstück (home desk), Esterbrook Deluxe (home desk), Delta Fusion 82 (office desk)

 

 

 

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Interesting...Lifetime Feathertouch is a combination of terms I've never heard of before. I thought Feathertouches were only their own nib model/type.

thanks!

 

Tim

 

Again we plunge into the murky netherworld of Sheaffer. To quote Sheaffer luminary Frank Dubiel: "ALL Lifetime nibs are Feathertouch nibs." This is true from the 1930's through the late 1950's. The only difference is the imprint. The question is nuanced but is covered extensively in the literature, for those who are interested.

Carpe Stilo

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And we also deal with "Advertising" where a "Lady Skyboy" model seems to make sense. Kinda like Amelia Earhart luggage; "I've got an idea; let's name our luggage after a flight that just disappeared and was never seen again."

 

My Website

 

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You'll note that your SKYBOY has a White Dot above the clip; at the time, that indicated a Lifetime pen. Therefore, a Lifetime-marked nib is consistent with the pen.

 

Broadly speaking, a Feathertouch nib is one with the forepart plated with a white metal (at first platinum, and later, palladium). Initially, Feathertouch nibs were only made as Lifetime-marked nibs; subsequently, Sheaffer applied that design also to the best non-Lifetime stratum of pens; briefly, the 5-30 nibs were of Feathertouch design, and then there appeared the nibs that were actually marked "Feathertouch" on that non-Lifetime class of pens.

 

To quote Sheaffer luminary Frank Dubiel: "ALL Lifetime nibs are Feathertouch nibs." This is true from the 1930's through the late 1950's.

 

Not so. Frank had a good deal of information, but he also promulgated plenty of misinformation. Sheaffer made non-Feathertouch Lifetime nibs through the '30s, at least.

 

--Daniel

"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

Daniel Kirchheimer
Specialty Pen Restoration
Authorized Sheaffer/Parker/Waterman Vintage Repair Center
Purveyor of the iCroScope digital loupe

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Nibs marked/imprinted with the word "Feathertouch" is one thing and, iirc subsequent, concept of different nibs being highest quality silk-smooth feathertouch points and therefore different pens and ensembles being called Lifetime Feathertouch, are two different things. The name was widely used on adverts and it was also a registered Trademark. If you look up 1937-1942 adverts you'll see for yourself :-)

 

Note the Feathertouch principle did not pertain, strictly speaking, to some higher quality nor to a grade of smoothness. The benefits centered on consistent ink flow.

 

--Daniel

"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

Daniel Kirchheimer
Specialty Pen Restoration
Authorized Sheaffer/Parker/Waterman Vintage Repair Center
Purveyor of the iCroScope digital loupe

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thanks, Daniel -- I always learn from you.

 

Tim

Tim

@timsvintagepens and timsvintagepens.com

 

Currently inked pens:

Sheaffer Valiant, Parker Junior Duofold, Aurora 88 (modern), Montblanc Meisterstück (home desk), Esterbrook Deluxe (home desk), Delta Fusion 82 (office desk)

 

 

 

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Note the Feathertouch principle did not pertain, strictly speaking, to some higher quality nor to a grade of smoothness. The benefits centered on consistent ink flow.

 

--Daniel

 

Daniel:

 

Thanks for explaining it (probably once again) for us.

 

With "highest quality" I was merely refering to the fact that cheaper pens (e.g. no. 3, Junior, Craftsman) were lacking said platinum plating and thus patented in 1931 improved ink flow qualities. Which makes a clear distincion, in terms of nominal value, between FT and non-feathertouch pens.

As for the silk smoothness I was just quoting one of the advertisements ... this "feature" is often refered to, as well as two-way writing qualities of FT nibs. At least you find them together in the same adverts, right? The ones claiming that "platinum covered channel 'lubricates' and induces the right flow" also say about "the smoothest writing point" and that "78% less pressure is required in writing" which I guess also doesn't make it "feel" less smooth, does it? And, as I don't recall seeing reference to this particular feature in previous Balance ads, I associate Waverley shaped FT nibs with smoothnes :wub: ... I would even say that was probably the marketing idea to make such association.

I guess, I should have used quotation marks ...

 

And thanks again for precisely pinpointing what FT is :)

 

Regards,

Mac

Edited by mac.kozinsky

The fundamental substance is air. The soul is air; fire is rarefied air; when condensed, air becomes first water, then if further condensed, earth, and finally stone...

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I associate Waverley shaped FT nibs with smoothnes :wub:

 

Oh, don't get me started...

 

--Daniel

"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

Daniel Kirchheimer
Specialty Pen Restoration
Authorized Sheaffer/Parker/Waterman Vintage Repair Center
Purveyor of the iCroScope digital loupe

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Oh, Don't mind me, really ...

 

Daniel, I realize that a Patent stating that "It has thus been proven that the platinum plating on the gold pen greatly improves the flow and spread of the writing fluid employed." and marketing bragging about smooth nibs not necessarily in connection with the actual qualities resulting from the invention nor being consistently used when FT is advertised as a certain patented quality and trademarked name are two different things. Still all the things I mentioned above are there and I guess for a reason, right? I mean, there aren't just claims with no grounds ...

http://images43.fotosik.pl/1442/ec25bc2343bb04d2.jpg

 

And yes, I know W.A. Sheaffer Pen Co. probably never used the expression "Waverley" (I don't know of any such instance to be precise) but some of the FT pens (both open and conical, so called Triumph nibs) have a distinct turned-up nib resembling the one Duncan Cameron invented, right?

Do you know maybe what was the rule, I mean - all firm (i.e. non-Music, non-Stub, non-Oblique, non-other-speciality) nibs were like that for some period? I would be grateful if you could share some info on that and will certainly don't mind getting you started :) . Redirecting to some other thread will also do the trick, if it's been already covered extensively ...

 

Have a good day,

Mac

Edited by mac.kozinsky

The fundamental substance is air. The soul is air; fire is rarefied air; when condensed, air becomes first water, then if further condensed, earth, and finally stone...

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Oh, don't get me started...

 

--Daniel

 

If you want to keep poor Daniel from tearing out his hair, please don't indiscriminately refer to all turned-up nibs as "Waverley" nibs.

 

When discussing vintage pens, the name should only apply to nibs made by Macniven and Cameron -- nibs of distinctive design, in which the turned-up tip is only one feature.

 

I'm not even sure if Macniven and Cameron were the first to made a turned-up nib. By the early 20th century, however, turned-up tips were commonly used in a wide range of dip pen nibs -- and in early fountain pens, where they were called . . . "turn-up" or "turned-up" nibs.

Edited by Vintagepens
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All right, point taken. Thank you. Still, I wasn't really indiscriminate about it:

Waverley shaped FT nibs

was the expression. You may not like it, but I guess, that there are plenty of "names" which have nothing to do with actual wording or terms of the producers t h e n and are common today for different reasons among which user-friendliness seems to be the most important. Even if those "names" or definitions were born as a kind of misconception spread and cultivated for decades ... they can't just be ignored ... if used carefully to "make the long story short" might actually be useful, right?

Which doesn't mean we shouldn't try, based on evidence available, to separate the wheat from the chaff of collectors lingo which is out there, one likes it or not.

How many times did Sheaffer use "Triumph nib" in print for the public to name its conical or Sheath Point (stronger because it is a cylinder) in adverts? Once? Triumph Pen was all over the ads but "Triumph point"? Looking at several dozens of ads from 1940s I've seen: not so much. Still, we take it for granted now, don't we? As it's useful ... even if I may have strong allergy for that term .... And I know, that 1949 catalog opens with "Improved Feathertouch giant 14k "Triumph" nib" but I still believe it wasn't the "the one" expression most commonly used in 1940s by Sheaffer.

And sorry if I seem to be preaching to the converted but some of this stuff is actually new to me and I'm eager to learn ... for real.

Speaking of which, I would be more than glad if you could direct me to any printed evidence of

and in early fountain pens, where they were called . . . "turn-up" or "turned-up" nibs.

 

Thanks in advance and ... Sorry to inadvertently contributing to the hair loss if that was the case :huh:

Regards,

Mac

Edited by mac.kozinsky

The fundamental substance is air. The soul is air; fire is rarefied air; when condensed, air becomes first water, then if further condensed, earth, and finally stone...

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You are right on point (so to speak!) about collector terminology. I'm hardly a fundamentalist myself about strictly following original manufacturer's model names, especially when a given model went through multiple name changes during its run.

 

"Waverley", however, is problematic on a few counts. The main one is that a real Waverley nib has a shape completely different from any fountain pen nib (a handful of rather uncommon Macniven and Cameron fountain pens excepted). Here's a picture: http://www.londonancestor.com/iln/fountain-pen.htm

So instead of being useful, "Waverley" applied to turn-up nibs is, above all, confusing.

 

As already noted, the use of "Waverley" to describe nibs made by companies other than Macniven and Cameron is also anachronistic. No other penmaker used the term while Macniven and Cameron was still around, and from what I can see it didn't shut down until the mid-1960s. Nor can I find any evidence that anyone, either penmaker or collector, described turned-up nibs as "Waverley" nibs until just a few years ago. There is no history to the usage within the pen collecting community. It's a brand-new coinage, and most older collectors will just look at you blankly if you use it. It caught me totally off-guard when I first ran across it in 2009.

 

"Turned-up" points, by contrast, are mentioned constantly in old ads and catalogs. You can see a bunch of them listed in this 1882 Perry list: http://books.google.com/books?id=aTQGAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA152

There's a bunch more here in this Hunt's ad from 1909: http://books.google.com/books?id=vvRYAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA3

 

If you look at the Waterman 1908 catalog (downloadable from the PCA reference library), on p. 55 you will see a picture of 8 nibs, the fifth from the left described as "TURNED UP" and shown from the side for good measure. The text below includes the following: "Turned-up Pens or ball points of different degrees of fineness." (boldface in original)

The 1912 Conklin catalog (also available through the PCA) has on p. 19 a mention of special nibs, including "pens with turned-up points".

 

These are just a few examples. If you dig through old catalogs and ads (as I spend far too much time doing), you see "turn-up" and "turned-up" nibs mentioned over and over and over. There's no question that this was standard terminology -- so really no need to adopt a new name for a feature already perfectly well named.

 

David

Edited by Vintagepens
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Mighty thanks for clarifying that for me David. I'll look up the catalogs you mentioned and sources you linked. And I shall be more careful with the "W" word in future :-) Did Sheaffer use any particular name for its turned-up nibs? I wasn't able to find any so far but maybe I wasn't thorough enough.

Regards and once again Thank you for the detailed answer,

Mac

 

EDIT: There is a TURNED-UP POINT in 1918 Waterman catalog. I wish there was a drawing or picture next to it. Search engine doesn't help much.

Edited by mac.kozinsky

The fundamental substance is air. The soul is air; fire is rarefied air; when condensed, air becomes first water, then if further condensed, earth, and finally stone...

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I neglected to mention that the "turned-up point" nibs appear again and again in Waterman catalogs. The 1908 citation was just what I grabbed off the shelf, so to speak.

 

This is a worthwhile topic of discussion, and I think I'll put together a proper summary of the situation with photos and full references on my Vintage Pen News blog. It will probably take a few days, and I'll add a link when it's ready.

 

I'm not aware of Sheaffer using any special term to describe the turned-up tip feature of its nibs.

 

You are most welcome for the answers, and thanks to you for the questions

 

David

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This is a worthwhile topic of discussion, and I think I'll put together a proper summary of the situation with photos and full references on my Vintage Pen News blog. It will probably take a few days, and I'll add a link when it's ready.

 

Please do. Thanks in advance.

Maciek

The fundamental substance is air. The soul is air; fire is rarefied air; when condensed, air becomes first water, then if further condensed, earth, and finally stone...

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  • 3 weeks later...

OK, the Waverley nibs article is now online here!

 

I've put together a lot of new information, including corrections of a few commonly accepted (but wrong) dates, and links to some of the patent history for nibs with turned-up points.

 

Hope you find it interesting and useful

 

David

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