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A Sentimental 'what's It'



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Recently I acquired my grandparents' writing desk from the late 1800s early 1900s. Along with a couple of tintypes and an old letter was a 1920s (?) Sheaffer fountain pen. No surprise there as I mostly knew of my grandparents writing with fountain pens. Almost always.

Since finding the Sheaffer a few months ago I've spent time off and on looking online for a similar pen. No luck yet. The biggest difference I see between mine and all of the others I've seen is that mine has a black blind cap. The most helpful information came from http://newpentrace.net/article090701114.html

If you can point me in the right direction and/or tell me more about this pen, I'll be eternally grateful. And, what are the chances of having it repaired and a correct cap located? Thank you so much!

Imprinted information below the pics.

fpn_1559776825__scheaffer_20190805120842

This image most accurately shows the barrel's material and color.
Imprinted:
W.A.SHEAFFER PEN Co
PAT.AUG.25-08-FORT MADISON,IA.U.S.A.
DEC.10-12-JAN.27-OCT.20-NOV.24-14

fpn_1559776869__scheaffer_20195005045030

Imprinted:
SHEAFFER'S
---------
LIFETIME
REG. U.S. PAT. OFF.

815517

fpn_1559776897__20190605_140836-reduced.

The flat, terminal end of the blind cap is chipped. Any thoughts on how / why that could happen. It seems like an odd place for a fountain pen to chip. The color is off in this photo, but the nib appears to be in good shape with no dents, dings, or bent tines.

I've enjoyed and learned a lot from reading through many of your posts. Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Edited by FPRebel
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This was desk pen, so it never had a cap. It also had a long pointy tail, which has broken off, and the black end is what's left of it.

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This was desk pen, so it never had a cap. It also had a long pointy tail, which has broken off, and the black end is what's left of it.

Aaahhhh, and thank you. Your explanation of it is quite reasonable.

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It is always nice to find pens with a personal history. This Sheaffer desk pen is from late 1920s-early 1930s. You may want to check whether there is an accompanying desk pen base.

 

Can you unscrew the broken part of the taper/tail? The taper was connected to the barrel by a metal threaded stem so it should be removable (but it can be difficult to unscrew so do not use too much force).

 

Below is a Sheaffer advertisement from 1926 showing the Jade green Sheaffer desk pen:

 

fpn_1559806944__sdskp.jpg

Edited by joss
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apologies in advance for jumping into someone else's thread, but just to show one in the flesh and with all its parts of tail and base marble etc. intact, though I don't think as early as the op's pen - this one is more likely c. mid 1940s. These things were often provided with some threading on the section - in this case it's on the rear half - which engaged with female threading inside the captive cap, attached to the base. For those with a brass plate I guess the idea was that you might have your name engraved. They're great pieces of history, but I'd imagine the devil to collect, in view of the space they take up.

You'd imagine that those with a flange at the front of the section might not have stability when in the base cap, but perhaps with the op's pen it's a tad wider behind the section, than at the flange.

post-125342-0-72715800-1559810862_thumb.jpg

post-125342-0-29374700-1559810877_thumb.jpg

post-125342-0-53925400-1559810888_thumb.jpg

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crescentfiller

OP, in response to the other questions in your post, it is an easy repair job. Your pen will require a new sac (a couple of bucks) and a new taper, which should not be too difficult (or expensive) to source. I'll check to see if I have a taper in my parts box; perhaps others here will do the same.

 

Regards,

Daniel

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apologies in advance for jumping into someone else's thread, but just to show one in the flesh and with all its parts of tail and base marble etc. intact, though I don't think as early as the op's pen - this one is more likely c. mid 1940s. These things were often provided with some threading on the section - in this case it's on the rear half - which engaged with female threading inside the captive cap, attached to the base. For those with a brass plate I guess the idea was that you might have your name engraved. They're great pieces of history, but I'd imagine the devil to collect, in view of the space they take up.

You'd imagine that those with a flange at the front of the section might not have stability when in the base cap, but perhaps with the op's pen it's a tad wider behind the section, than at the flange.

 

I haven't seen a filling mechanism like that on a Shaeffer - it looks for all the world like a Parker Vacumatic. What's it's filling method?

=====================================
Mario Mirabile
Melbourne, Australia

www.miralightimaging.com

=====================================
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I agree that the plastic plunger does make it appear to fill by pushing downward like a Vacumatic, but this one does pull right out to reveal a s/s rod, and so I've assumed it's a standard Sheaffer Balance Vac-fill which sucks up directly into the barrel. Will post a picture showing the withdrawn steel rod later. The terminals on most steel rods belong to these Vac-fil models have a different appearance from this pen, so maybe this one is very unusual as you suggest.

 

These early models not remotely within my comfort zone, and I see Marshall & Oldfield devote several pages to service and dismantling such pens, so I've stayed well away from tinkering with this pen - difficulties appear to abound, and I don't need to use the pen presently.

 

Of course if I have this all wrong do please shout. :)

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Some of you provided very helpful information!!! I am truly grateful to you.

It is always nice to find pens with a personal history. This Sheaffer desk pen is from late 1920s-early 1930s. You may want to check whether there is an accompanying desk pen base.

 

Can you unscrew the broken part of the taper/tail? The taper was connected to the barrel by a metal threaded stem so it should be removable (but it can be difficult to unscrew so do not use too much force).

 

Below is a Sheaffer advertisement from 1926 showing the Jade green Sheaffer desk pen:

 

Joss, so far I haven't found the pen base, but there are still a few boxes to go through. I'm hopeful, but realistic.
If I wind up having to replace the base, what specifically should I look for? You mentioned my pen is from the late 20s - early 30s. I'm happy with that information, while also wondering if there's a way to narrow the time frame of its production?
After posting, I realized I hadn't posted a picture of the feed; perhaps there's another angle that would help some of you experts close in on the date.

Yes :-) the (broken) taper rather easily unscrews. I was able to do that even before posting here, and now I understand why I couldn't figure out what the heck I was looking at. In my limited experience I should have been looking at part of the filling system. It didn't look like anything I'd ever seen in person or online. :lol: Thank you for clearing that right up!
EDIT to add: I'm not able to pull the section, nib, or feed however. Is the section friction fit or screwed in? There's a small (maybe 1 mm) gap between the section and the barrel where I think someone began to take them apart; they are stuck pretty tight though, and I don't want to force anything. Thanks again!!

Oh, wow! What a cool ad!! Do you happen to have an original of this? Finding one is now on my wish list. Thank you for sharing it. Everything that adds to the story of this pen is important - it was my grandparents and it helps to complete the story. Some of you get that.

 

apologies in advance for jumping into someone else's thread, but just to show one in the flesh and with all its parts of tail and base marble etc. intact,

PaulS - No hard feelings, and my first thought was that you really were just wanting to show me a different but kinda similar pen.....

 

OP, in response to the other questions in your post, it is an easy repair job. Your pen will require a new sac (a couple of bucks) and a new taper, which should not be too difficult (or expensive) to source. I'll check to see if I have a taper in my parts box; perhaps others here will do the same.

 

Regards,

Daniel

 

Daniel, this is the best news!!! Knowing that a repair should not be too problematic. It's very kind of you to offer to look for a taper among your spare parts. If you have one, I'll gladly pay you for your trouble and its value.
By "sourcing the repair," do you mean the parts or finding a reputable, conscientious repair person? I'm interested in the latter if you know of someone. Perhaps it's easy, but I'd rather my first personal experience be with one that I'm not sentimental about.

I agree that the plastic plunger does make it appear to fill by pushing downward like a Vacumatic, but this one does pull right out to reveal a s/s rod, and so I've assumed it's a standard Sheaffer Balance Vac-fill which sucks up directly into the barrel. Will post a picture showing the withdrawn steel rod later. The terminals on most steel rods belong to these Vac-fil models have a different appearance from this pen, so maybe this one is very unusual as you suggest.

 

These early models not remotely within my comfort zone, and I see Marshall & Oldfield devote several pages to service and dismantling such pens, so I've stayed well away from tinkering with this pen - difficulties appear to abound, and I don't need to use the pen presently.

 

Of course if I have this all wrong do please shout. :)

 

PaulS, and then you proceeded to jump right on in with unrelated pictures and questions. Again, no hard feelings, but please begin your own post. Our pens are very different: filling systems, nibs, era, etc.; the only similarities are shape, that they are desk pens, and PERHAPS the same manufacturer, but even that doesn't appear to be crystal. If you want photos and discussions of various models of desk pens to be included in your post, by all means propose it that; way I'll jump in and share pics and what I've learned about this one. Thank you for understanding.

It's a standard vac-fil, it just doesn't have a blind cap or taper attached.

 

Roger W.

Thank you, Roger W, and forgive my having to ask...which pen are you referring to? Mine has a lever, which I think is always(?) usually(?) referred to as a lever-fill, but I'm still learning. Thank you for clarifying for me.

Edited by FPRebel
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I was responding to the second pen.

 

Your pen dates from 1924-1934 - I doubt narrowing that range. Sheaffer made 246 bases (that I have documented) during this period, some of which are double bases but, still appropriate to the pen. I have 149 ads for this period many of which depict desk sets, typically from Life or Saturday Evening Post. If you find the base I can identify that to a year that it first appeared in a catalog.

 

Roger W.

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I was responding to the second pen.

 

Your pen dates from 1924-1934 - I doubt narrowing that range. Sheaffer made 246 bases (that I have documented) during this period, some of which are double bases but, still appropriate to the pen. I have 149 ads for this period many of which depict desk sets, typically from Life or Saturday Evening Post. If you find the base I can identify that to a year that it first appeared in a catalog.

 

Roger W.

 

Roger,

Can you correct me estimating the production date of the Jade green desk pen to "late 1920s-early 1930s" based on:

- the serial number on the nib (appeared ca 1926 ?)

- presence of single tone nib (two-tone nib appeared ca 1931-32 ?)

Thanks!

 

FPrebel;

I forgot to include the link where I found the 1926 Sheaffer advertisement;

https://archive.org/details/the-saturday-evening-post-1926-04-24/page/n171

You might also be interested in the Sheaffer ads that PenHero made available on his website:

http://penhero.com/PenGallery/Sheaffer/SheafferAds01.htm

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EDIT to add: I'm not able to pull the section, nib, or feed however. Is the section friction fit or screwed in? There's a small (maybe 1 mm) gap between the section and the barrel where I think someone began to take them apart; they are stuck pretty tight though, and I don't want to force anything. Thanks again!!

 

....

By "sourcing the repair," do you mean the parts or finding a reputable, conscientious repair person? I'm interested in the latter if you know of someone. Perhaps it's easy, but I'd rather my first personal experience be with one that I'm not sentimental about.

 

The section is friction fit and you likely need some heat to release it from the barrel. There is a lot of info (also on this forum, search in the "Repair Q&A" section) on how replacing the sack of these pens, see for instance:

 

www.richardspens.com/ref/repair/resac.htm

http://dirck.delint.ca/beta/?page_id=27

www.mainstreetpens.com/articles/cheaptools_1.htm

www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/178127-sheaffers-lifetime-senior-repairrestoration/?hl=%2Bsheaffer+%2Bsack

 

If you do not feel comfortable doing it yourself, there are a number of excellent repair people active on this forum

Edited by joss
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The section is friction fit and you likely need some heat to release it from the barrel. There is a lot of info (also on this forum, search in the "Repair Q&A" section) on how replacing the sack of these pens, see for instance:

 

www.richardspens.com/ref/repair/resac.htm

http://dirck.delint.ca/beta/?page_id=27

www.mainstreetpens.com/articles/cheaptools_1.htm

www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/178127-sheaffers-lifetime-senior-repairrestoration/?hl=%2Bsheaffer+%2Bsack

 

If you do not feel comfortable doing it yourself, there are a number of excellent repair people active on this forum

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Roger,

Can you correct me estimating the production date of the Jade green desk pen to "late 1920s-early 1930s" based on:

- the serial number on the nib (appeared ca 1926 ?)

- presence of single tone nib (two-tone nib appeared ca 1931-32 ?)

Thanks!

 

FPrebel;

I forgot to include the link where I found the 1926 Sheaffer advertisement;

https://archive.org/details/the-saturday-evening-post-1926-04-24/page/n171

You might also be interested in the Sheaffer ads that PenHero made available on his website:

http://penhero.com/PenGallery/Sheaffer/SheafferAds01.htm

OK, if we make the assumption that the nib is original to the pen (which is the most changeable part of a pen) then 1926-1931, I'm fine with that. That takes you down to about 200 bases as the early stuff is a narrow band and the early 30's is also obscure. Anyway, a refinement with little impact. I get though that Parker will give you the quarter of the year that it is made. Sheaffer is wide ranges and I don't see where it usually makes much of a difference. If I see the base I can give you the year it was originally listed but, some of these bases are sold 15 years later from the factory because sockets and pens are matched to the base when shipped - we see at lot of these.

 

Roger W.

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