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Review of the Pick Pen Company Combination Pen (ca. 1930?)


I don't know much about this pen, or the pen company, but the pen seems to be of undeniably high quality. As a student, I always found the concept of combination pens to be very practical and as such I have always wanted one. I always forget to bring pencils to my exams, and this pen has helped me with that! I am no expert on the topic, but to the best of my knowledge combination pens were most common around the Great Depression where people wanted to save money by buying one instrument. Name brand (Sheaffer, Parker, etc.) combination pens often fetch absurd prices, but most other combination pens tend to be cheap and relatively poorly made. "Wearever" and "Arnold" made a good deal of the cheap combination pens that can currently be (relatively easily) found on ebay, but apparently they are poorly made and I didn't want to suffer through a bad pen.


So I ended up hunting for gold nib combination pens, that were relatively reputable (Though I know this is not necessarily the case, I figured that gold nibs would generally be of higher quality when it comes to combination pens). The very first one that I had my eyes set on was a Newark Pen Company Secretary combination, but alas someone bought it before me. A month afterwards, I discover another seemingly high quality gold nib combination for $65. I bit the proverbial bullet and here I am. I'm very satisfied with the pen, and the following is my handwritten review of it and a transcription (for those who can't read my handwriting). Sadly, I got distracted by a room mate and before I realized it, some of the lines were crooked!


The Handwritten Review:

DSCF6614 by makey95, on Flickr
Pen: Pick Pen Company Combination Pen+Pencil (ca. 1930)
Ink: Sheaffer Blue-Black
Paper: Tomoe River Paper
Introduction: I have been looking for a combo pen for a very long time; to me they seemed very practical for a college student and fascinating as a piece of history! The pen made a great first impression on me. Though I do not care for the colour or the pattern, the pen felt well built in my hands and the pencil is working wonderfully. I have had the pen for a month or so now, before the review.
Appearance and Design: 6
As much as I have always wanted one, I have to admit that combo pens are fairly unattractive. The dull and slightly discoloured celluloid does not appeal to me. However, functionally, the design has proven to be functional [sic] and wonderful.
Construction and Quality: 8.5
The pen is very sturdy and very reliable. The only criticism is that the lever filler system feels a tad "loose." There are no problems with the pencil.
Weight and Dimensions: 9
It feels almost perfectly balanced regardless of the end that I am using. About 6" capped regardless of the end in use, about 5.25" uncapped.
Nib and performance: 8.5
Though a lovely nib, sometimes on cheaper paper upward strokes may skip. Otherwise the nib is quite smooth with surprising variation [Hasty Flex]
Filling System: 5
A lever filler with relatively low capacity (to make room for the pencil).
Cost and Value: 9
$65 on ebay for a lovely pen! I think it's a bargain.
If you can find it, snatch it up! Highly recommended! (Out of ink! Right on time)
Other Pictures/Thoughts:
A Close-Up of the Nib:
DSCF6612 by makey95, on Flickr
Pencil Unscrewed:


Other Notes:

The pen has an engraving on the nib that says: Pick/1/CintiO/USA

The pen has an engraving on the body that says: THE PICK PEN CO./CINCINNATI O./MADE IN U.S.A.

The nib seems to be bordering on being a flexible nib. I would say. . . semi flex? I have no railroading, or similar issues and can get some decent line variation with fair snapback.

The mechanical pencil accepts .46" lead, or about 1.1 mm lead. This can be a pain to find, but certainly not impossible. Message me for links where to get said lead. An advantage to this lead thickness is that it doesn't break as easily, and it doesn't wear down as quickly.

The mechanical pencil has to be filled from the front. Extra leads can be stored after pencil part is unscrewed (see pictures).


Other Thoughts:

Hope the review was helpful or at least informative to a few people. If anyone knows enough to correct me or fill me in more about the pen or history, I would appreciate it. Also if there is any way I could improve the way, do let me know.

Finally, the sort of skipping that it has on some upwards strokes (like the returning loop on the g) is very strange and I wonder why it happens at all. If anyone knows why, please tell me what it is and how I could fix it. It's the only thing that's keeping the nib on this pen from being a 9 or higher.

Edited by Aurko
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Thanks for the review, nice Combo!


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Thank you; I'm glad you enjoyed the review! The pen is absolutely wonderful and I carry it with me wherever I go. I have yet to have problems with the ink leaking into the cap or anything like that. Though I've always wondered how the cheap "wearever" combos are in terms of quality. Can anyone tell me?

Edited by Aurko
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