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"REFORM"



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Hi Pen Friends

Some questions about the origin of "Reform Fountain Pens" appeared at FPN and Lion and Pen. It seems that the sources for searching are not very good, so I will write a short history review:

During the second half of the 20th the KAWECO, one of the world`s greatest writing equipment producers in Heidelberg, Germany, immediately went down and Philipp Mutschler and some of his co-workers decided to leave the firm in 1928 to build up their own factory. 1929 the Kaweco actually went to bancrupty and the "Badische Federhalterfabrik Knust, Grube & Woringen" bought the Kaweco trade mark.

The first calculation of the new Mutschler works sounded fantastic. They had a small building, similar to a shed, 5 turnery machines, a chasing- and a polishing machine and 10 workers. The first real cash flow was expected after 6 weeks! (Today it sounds like: somebody had invented a money printing machine). But they managed it.

1932 was the worst economic year because the world monetary crisis swapped across the pond, but Mutschler expanded and had to build a new factory hall in 1938. They cooperated with the "Reform" works from Nieder- Ramstadt, which had a daughter firm in Heidelberg. After a fusion they changed their trademark from "Certo" to "Reform" with an "R" with wings. Mutschler was one of th first who used the injection moulding process for FP production and therefore they constructed their own machines. Reform delivered complete writing systems and parts to several other well known firms like Geha, Herlitz, Rotring, AT Cross, Elysee, Dunnhill, Dupont, Cartier, Caran d Ache or Christian Dior. They bought the "DEGUSSA"- and the "RUPP" nib factory and produced excellent nibs. Alas, after all nearly nobody knew "Reform".

1963 Otto and Peter, the sons of Philipp Mutschler took over the firm. 10 years later they went to the large old building which once was a part of the Kaweco factory.

But in 1999 they had to leave and to sell the house. Reform, a trade mark with its best reputation, which had produced 10 Million fountainpens per year in the early 90th (4 times as much as Lamy) went down. The rescues of Sanford and Ullrich Mutschler failed and the firm went to bancrupty in the late 2003.

The Machines were sold to far east, but the quality of the once produced "Iridium Point Germany" nibs is today only a shadow of the old stuff from Heidelberg. And I am also not sure which of the today sold fountainpens is actually "Reform New old stock"

Pic: Da olde Refograph in black and pearl celluloid mint with cork seal and an extra tiny BHR safety with rectractable nib.

(please do not use pic and text for commercial use)

Thomas Neureither

post-22-1175359901_thumb.jpg

Edited by Kaweco
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Posted Images

pic: New Refograph, a masterpiece of technical writing among Reform fountainpens. pencils and calligraphers

post-22-1175360309_thumb.jpg

Edited by Kaweco
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  • 5 years later...
Bo Bo Olson

I picked up a "Reform Original" war pen at the flea market on Saturday. I met Thomas,and we talked pens for 3/4s an hour.Even though the nib does not say Reform, he believes it to be original to the pen, because of war time limitations, a more generic nib was used.

It is in spite of that still a semi-flex nib.

 

I have the normal NOS 1745, P-120, P-125 and a gold colored plated Reform from a bit earlier but not from Prime Time. It is the only semi-flex spade nib I have seen or heard about.

 

Because in a three long and very very interesting conversations with Thomas, I learned that Reform's owner was stricken with pride.

He refused to make second quality pens and use a plastic exclusion process machine. The threading was not up to his standards.

Others were able to produce cheaper. The ball point came in and he quit making pens rather than make a cheaper product.

 

I won't say I was chasing the Reform, in my wallet is on vacation, but I was alert to them.

For €4.00 I got one. :vbg:

I picked up three cheap pens; the cracked capped Frankie has a slightly bent Bock easy full flex in EF. I hope to straighten it. An other; a real cheap looking no name,has a semi-flex F Bock (€4). The last a much better made Certo (Right after Thomas left. Certo is mentioned by Thomas), but missing the cap ring...could have been a war pen...could be just missing the cap ring has a semi-flex B. The other two I got for a combined cost of €4.50

I was missing that semi-flex B nib or have one in my repair box. I'd have to look.

 

All in all a good day.

 

Bock made good steel (14 k gold too) nibs, with some flex, when the companies wanted it.

 

They could still do that, but the companies don't demand it...in the market is low.

It's easier to keep sell 'modern' stiffer nibs, in that many do not demand a better nib on a modern pen.

 

 

Another pen man came by spotted Thomas and was very happy to show us a Morrison 1/40ths inch gold plated chased pen.

I'd never heard of Morrison. :thumbup: As soon as I can borrow a spare oil well for the week end from some one for the week end, I'll start looking.

The man lucked out, 8.00 Euros of course some stupid idiot took the nib off.

A very nice looking pen.

There are many pens I don't know.

Edited by Bo Bo Olson

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

The Machines were sold to far east, but the quality of the once produced "Iridium Point Germany" nibs is today only a shadow of the old stuff from Heidelberg. And I am also not sure which of the today sold fountainpens is actually "Reform New old stock"

 

Why?There may be fakes?If so,how can i tell if mine is the original "Original Reform 1745"?

Best regards,

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There have been many Reform NOS 1745's on ebay with claims like "from 1950's" and "Sticker reads "Original/Reform/1745'". How CAN you tell if they're 1950's, 1990's or fake?

--

Glenn (love those pen posses)

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I have some Reform 1745s on ebay in the UK, NOS that I have been getting a hold of from Germany.

 

All I can say is that they come in cardboard outers that smell like they are 20+ years old, that sort of musty smell (never any signs of damp or growth tough). The clips have some wear where they have been rattling around in outers for decades and the pistons are often very tight. I clean each one up, check it over ect. and have never been contacted about a fake.

 

I advertise mine as a model that was produced up until 1993, but I couldn't tell you when a particular pen was made.

 

Photo of them cleaned up and packaged for posting:

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7043/6818801774_73cb97b84a.jpg

Reform 1745s by Bigeddie100, on Flickr

Edited by Bigeddie

For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love. -Carl Sagan

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I picked up two (for USD$15 shipped). I haven't inked either yet, but they're relatively thin pens, green barrels with black knob and cap, blue ink window, two tone "iridium point" nibs. No idea when they were made, but seem to be in good condition.

--

Glenn (love those pen posses)

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  • 4 weeks later...

I picked up two (for USD$15 shipped). I haven't inked either yet, but they're relatively thin pens, green barrels with black knob and cap, blue ink window, two tone "iridium point" nibs. No idea when they were made, but seem to be in good condition.

 

Hello Tenney, have you have a chance to ink the Reform pens you just picked? I think I saw that same deal on ebay and am really curious about them, especially their nibs.

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I got too busy and haven't inked one yet... sorry. Soon... I hope...

--

Glenn (love those pen posses)

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  • 1 month later...

I picked up two (for USD$15 shipped). I haven't inked either yet, but they're relatively thin pens, green barrels with black knob and cap, blue ink window, two tone "iridium point" nibs. No idea when they were made, but seem to be in good condition.

 

Hello Tenney, have you have a chance to ink the Reform pens you just picked? I think I saw that same deal on ebay and am really curious about them, especially their nibs.

 

I don't know if you're asking for opinions of them, but mine is a solid, workable little fellow. It's very thin and light, but I don't mind that, though I do usually use it posted (which is odd for me). I found the piston mechanism to be very stiff, making filling a bit of a hassle. The nib is interesting. It actually has a little bit of flex in it, or it's definitely not stiff, at least. With no pressure it writes a surprisingly thin line for a western nib. It's definitely worth the few bucks I paid for it. It's filled with Noodler's Black right now and functions as my dedicated pocket pen right now, because of its slimness, threaded cap preventing leaks, and relatively low price (don't mind it getting scratched some).

 

And to the OP, thanks for the interesting read!

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  • 3 years later...

Can you identify this Reform FP? It has a two-tone nib marked Reform Germany. Clip is gold coloured and says Reform, with logo. Pen is black.

 

...be like the ocean...

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I ´m looking information about this model. Do you know what model is? I bought this fountain pen in Spain

 

http://s29.postimg.org/vqdi52f87/image.jpg

Edited by rizo
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  • 9 months later...

I ´m looking information about this model. Do you know what model is? I bought this fountain pen in Spain

 

http://s29.postimg.org/vqdi52f87/image.jpg

The barrel looks similar to a Pentalic that I have ( made in "W. Germany").

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  • 1 year later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I have this odd little ringtop with a prewar Reform clip. I put an old Bock nib in it and it's a nice writer.

 

fpn_1489337638__img_3336.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

I'm not a big fan of ring tops, but I like vintage German pens, and MAN, that is one interesting cap! I've not seen another contemporary German pen that had one like it - pretty neat.

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It's an outlier in a lot of ways: the military-style design and the clip-and-ringtop construction. The owner seems to have wanted to cover all the bases.

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  • 1 month later...

I replied to another thread on Reform, then noticed that this one does not show a picture of the P125.

Since I have one, here it is

fpn_1537822868__p1150426-3.jpg

 

 

as already mentioned by someone in the thread, the P125 is a very light pen (which I don't mind) and somewhat thin (which is a bit more of an issue) but it's a piston filler which works really well, and the nib is a very nice steel nib with a noticeable amount of springiness/flex, even more than Pelikan steel nibs.

Every time I pick it up I am impressed by the really nice behaviour, a pity it's slightly too thin.

fpn_1537823537__p1150425-3.jpg

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