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I have a few of the "Gold is BACK/Gold Filled pens" which are collectively known as "Coronet" pens/pencils. I finally got my hands on an actual jewelry store Coronet four days ago.

My best guess is that it was the model 17730 pen which is described in some of the surviving advertisements from that era. The ads were black and white, so some things are uncertain.

It is the Gold filled cap with the square Pyralin accents with the black celluloid (Pyralin) body with the transparent ink view window. It had the self-fitting-point (the adjustable nib with the silver

colored slider block) for adjusting flex. Another indicator the Jewelry Store version is the Gold cap at the butt end of the barrel. Also note the curved wicking element sticking out of the section (which indicates range of years of production). These are similar to the part used on another well-known brand of pen.


It was MUCH easier to get apart than the all metal version of the pen. I almost felt dirty it was so easy. The pen was disassembled, cleaned, the #18 sac was replaced, shellac cured, and re-assembled. The section fit firmly, but without the trauma of it being shrunk celluloid over un-shrunk Hard Rubber.

The nib flexes to about 2.25mm, which is about on par with other examples of the self-fitting-point pens which are out there. The view window has darkened to a deep amber, but

shows no sign of cracking or crazing. I will have to do some light plating work on the common wear points on the pen, but that is to be expected. Step one is always to get the pen

mechanically sound, before you work on the pretty stuff. I am just glad I won't have to engrave obliterated (worn) lines first, that is tedious work.


Four pictures... 1. as it was advertised, 2. once mostly disassembled, 3. Sac replaced and the shellac curing before assembly, 4. assembled, filled, and with some test writing with the pen.









Edited by Addertooth
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The law firms my first spouse worked for, used them back in the 70s. But not the version which was in use back in 1938. It used a tube coated with wax, which was transcribed by talking into a mouthpiece like the old "hose linked" battleships of WWII. Then the typist would plug in a hose-linked earpiece, and hear the sounds recorded by her boss. I am including two pictures of the Dictaphone from the same time period of the pen. The wax tube was probably motor driven when transcribed and played back, but there were no electronics to amplify the sound. In that sense, it was much like the old 78 RPM record players which had a large "horn" to radiate the sounds generated by the vibrations from the needle. The Dictaphone was originally developed by a lab which was owned by Thomas Edison.


I normally dislike engravings on pens which are simply a name. But something which gives context of the era of the pen is interesting to me, and does not detract from the value in my eyes.





Edited by Addertooth
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I used a more modern iteration, not sure if was a ''real'' Dictaphone (maybe the word became the generic form of dictating machines much like ''Hoover'' for vacuum cleaners) but it used magnetic tape, kind of like a small reel-to-reel. Great job finding that engraving.

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Pen Lady,


Yes, the Dictiphone company changed hands many times over the past century. At one point, they had tapes, the current itteration stores the voice in solid state memory. The engraving on the pens memorialized a person who apparently won it as an award in the Dictaphone Achievement club in 1938. Considering the feed used a "lucky curve-like" wicking element, indicates it is one of the earlier versions of this pen. The previous owner had purchased it at gun show in Houston Texas in the 1990s. It is possible that this pen was the legacy of the booming oil and gas industry which was rolling in cash, during that era.


Eons ago, I was an engraver, and we had a gold wax we would rub into the engraved letters to make them pop. Considering this pen is gold and black, I have considered picking up some of that gold wax to fill the letters on this pen. But, at this point, I am undecided. I have even entertained the idea of grinding some black celluloid, and mixing it with MEK and filling the lettering; but, somehow it seems wrong to erase the achievement of a person from 80 years long past.



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I am just glad I won't have to engrave obliterated (worn) lines first, that is tedious work.

Tedious I can imagine but intriguing too. Part of my attraction to vintage pens are the methods, often lost to history, used to produce them. I'd love to see a picture of your workbench and a short description of how you'd engrave the cap lines.


And I vote for leaving the DICTAPHONE engravings in place. Do the MEK experiment on a parts pen.

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There are two general families of "engraving". For the machine turned pens, they press the lines into the metal. i.e., no metal is removed, it is simply displaced. For the hand engraved pens, the metal is actual chiselled away.


The Coronets were machine turned, and their appearence can be closely aproximated with a modern "new hermes" diamond stylus engraver. For straight lines, you only need a sliding plate with a hole which the template points sets in. The plate then rests where the template "letters" fit in the engraving machine, and slide it side-to side. Obviously, the pen needs to be oriented horizontally, and the stylus must be carefully aligned with the vestiges of the original line. It is a lot of careful alignment, then one short line is performed, and then the process starts again for the next line. For pens with complex patterns, such as a checkerboard pattern, it is best done by making a brass template which is 5 (or more), times larger than the original engraving on the pen), then you are aligning and engraving one "check" at a time.


For the old and artful hand-engraved pens, you must first grind a "graver" which matched the width and angle of the original engraver's tool. The work is a lot like tracing, but requires careful attention as you work. For artistic flourishes, sometimes the graver is held at a sideward angle to make one side of the bevel more shallow; that must be copied as well. This type of engraving takes years to truly master. But minor touch-up requires less skill.

Edited by Addertooth
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A better example of a pen requiring lines to be re-engraved is a different current project pen. It is what most people think of when you say "Coronet". It suffers from the usual wear/obliterations of lines where the long time owner "posted" the cap on the back side of the pen. Over time, he wore down the metal enough that the longitudal lines are completely or nearly completely gone.


In the case of the pen which is the topic of this thread, its lines are clear and sharp, with only light brassing at the usual wear points. It will get a bit of polishing, cleaning, rinsing, nickel plating to act as a barrier layer for the copper, and finally gold plating.. which I use an actual gold anode as the donor material. The lever box and the decorative cap on the butt end of the barrel will be plated as well. Other than the engraving on the celluloid barrel, it will look nearly mint when it is done.


And example of a pen needing engraving with longitudal lines worn away (a different Coronet in the middle of restoral.) ....



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