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Early Stylo Id Help


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Can anyone help ID this early stylo?


It has no brand imprinted on it. But it does have two patents imprinted around the butt end of the barrel

Mar 21 '76 and Aug 12 '79

The first patent is for MacKinnon

The second is registered to Downes

It came in the box shown. The box seems to be period (wood, two sections, one with a dropper, the other for the pen). Of course, no way to know if the box is correct.


It is a typical short cap style stylo as shown.

The needle is not weighted or spring, but the "jiggly" type.


It looks like my small AT Cross (the small stylo in the pictures), but my AT Cross is marked as such and has different patent dates.

The needle is a bit different (the Cross is much jigglier), and the Cross vents slightly differently


Any help wold be appreciated.







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  • Greenie


  • shalitha33


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I dont know enough about these pens to make a comment:( but do have a look at this old auction.




it seems to have the 2 same patents and was listed as a mackinnon.


The box seems to resemble that in https://vintagepens.com/morepics.php?id=13773&pics=10..


Both your stylos looks really nice :) congrats :)

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Shalitha33 - thanks for the research


So the unanswered questions in my mind:

1. Is the seller of the ebay pen assuming it is MacKinnon due to patents, since the pen is not marked MacKinnon. OR - do MacKinnon stylos often or usually lack the makers name?

2. We now see a Cross (marked as such) and a pen with MacKinnon patent dates in the what appears to be identical boxes. Were these boxes rather generic, or did "The Stylograpic Pen" refer to an actual brand?




3. Based on superficial reading of David Nishimura's blog, pen hsitory blog, and old FPN posts, are early stylos just something that totally overlap with each other in appearance in internal mechanisms to such an extant that you can't really ever tell?

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And if we can believe the trade gossip from the time, nicely provided for use here



in the polite sniping back and forth, they state that Livermore made pens using Cross design, but put the MacKinnon patents on them.

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I have ended up with a pen with identical patent dates and doesn't contain any mention to MacKinnon brand.

Also I am interested in knowing what the flat cut-out section (on the threads ) is all about.





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The flat on the rear threads enables air to enter the back of the pen with the back knob minimally unscrewed. My Cross 1880s stylo has complete threads, and a hole in the side of the back threads right at the base.

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