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Show Me Your Swan Eyedroppers!

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My technical writing is terrible and I can barely express what I am trying to say. After reading again, what I wrote is not clear. Sorry. I am more visual and less verbal. Permit me to try again at the risk of frustrating you even worse! It is not my intention. If I fail to figure out how to phrase it again, I will most likely give up. Yes - listening to me try to explain in writing can be frustrating. If everyone wants to come to my house in California from Europe tomorrow, I will cook a nice dinner and show you with my hands what I mean! Short of that, I apologize for trying one more time.


I have not seen a pen with a metal stud bayonet on the section that looks like it slips on straight and is not meant to turn.


The early bayonet has the full L shaped cut in the cap. It is pretty self explanatory how it works. Insert stud in slot, push in all the way, and rotate to lock.


The later models have three parts.

The rubber cap itself is the innermost layer of the cap rim. It has a longitudinal slit. (black in my schematic)

The rotating band is actually two parts - An thin decorative outer gold band (red) with a small notch at the rim. The rest of that band is solid.

Inside the gold band is a plain metal band with an L shaped cut out (blue)

The two metal bands turn together. I assume that they tightly fit to each other.


fpn_1441408529__sm_schematic_00001.jpg fpn_1441408461__swan-cap-gif.gif

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  • Greenie


  • Cepasaccus


  • Alex2014


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I think cepasaccus' pen is just rotated shut and maybe the gold color is the stud jammed in the mechanism.

To the left is my pen with the cap rotated to the locked position. On the right is cepasaccus' pen.


Maybe nothing is misaligned at all. Just stuck and filled with debris.


fpn_1441409440__rotated_swan_band.jpg. fpn_1441409686__jammed_swan.jpg


Does that gold spot up in the inner slit feel scratchy like it caused all the scratches on the section?

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Greenie, you are right! The size 1 does indeed rotate and looks like you describe. The size 3 seems to be stuck due to ink or whatever.



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Above my size 1, below my size 3.



sorry to intrude, but I see what Greenie's diagram, and Goudy's ad suggests possibly applies to the broken pen? Do you have patent descriptions for both? Are we seeing the improvement, that floating collar allowing a twist to friction lock in the L? and if this is the design, possibly your forced/broken piece could have the grime gently removed, pin added, with a return to function as designed? Risky I know. I'd probably leave as is.


BTW, if I could have a MT example, the Ladies Swan would be high (est) on list.


oops cross-post.. it will be interesting to see what you decide to do, if anything. The HR must be fragile, but the rest of the HR in your photo looks good.

Edited by pen2paper
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[audible sigh!] I was worried I was starting to irritate everyone!


It was actually not too hard to replace the stud on the section. Mine came scratched and missing that piece just like cepasaccus, but the collar turned OK. I am sure many are broken because people don't know that the collar has to be turned to remove the cap, so they twist and/or pull hard and rip out the pin and scratch everything.


Cepasaccus - Sand and polish the section for starters, an work on freeing up the collar so it rotates. I am happy to tell you how I did the rest when you are ready.


And Cob, I do believe that they all rotate.


So - which part did the trick - the gif or the schematic?

Edited by Greenie
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Greenie, my plan was to fill up hole and scratches with epoxy glue and then even and polish it. I asume that even clear epoxy will result an a sufficiently dark hole.



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Well my one won't move; I shall try again warming it up but I am reluctant: the pen is entirely undamaged and the cap has to be pulled off.


Actually i have to take the pen apart anyway because the feed is not working properly.



fpn_1428963683__6s.jpg “The pen of the British Empire” fpn_1423349537__swan_sign_is.jpg

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If the slot is straight and open to accept the pin, there is no need to mess with it urgently, but eventually it could be nice to restore the cap securing function.


I would suggest some penetrating oil for rusted metal nuts and bolts since it is not just rubber and plastic, but also likely some corrosion of the metal.

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A soak with water, soap and solv-a made the band working again. Lots of ink came out of the band. The inside is made from a copper alloy which is now coppery red due to the solv-a. The middle layer is at least partly made of the same material. I am not sure where the BHR ends and how the band is mounted onto it.



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So the innermost layer is also metal? Please try to post pics.


Next step, fix the pin and have a complete restoration

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And retip the nib.


I am off now, meeting Cob.

An enjoyable meeting with Cepasaccus last evening; he brought some stunning and highly-covetable items with him!



fpn_1428963683__6s.jpg “The pen of the British Empire” fpn_1423349537__swan_sign_is.jpg

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We both brought some stunning and highly-covetable items with us! I hope we meet again next year and I will bring then some first class waterman's nibs and the Swan safeties for testing.



Edited by Cepasaccus
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  • 2 weeks later...

Mabie, Todd & Bard with a gold filled Hand Hammered overlay, imprint with 1880's patents. New-York c, 1905 (-1907).





This eyedropper has a gold overfeed and a HR underfeed with a bulb and two twisted silver wire "tail" that can be pulled off for being filled with ink without unscrewing the section.



Edited by Alex2014
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That pen is just fabulous. Where did you get it from? I want 1.


This pen was a piece in the collection of Saul Kitchener from San Francisco. PM to daynix, member on FPN or visit his site (not affiliate). He still had some beautiful Swan's to offer a week ago. In my opinion, the overlays produced by MT or MT&B are the most beautiful in the world :)

Edited by Alex2014
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  • 1 month later...

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