Jump to content
Classifieds is broken, please do not submit any new ads ×

Good Service Pen Co



Recommended Posts

In a lot of eBay junk, I found a Good Service Pen Co ringtop, BCHR, no model number, fairly small lengthwise, nib says "Warranted 14K", I'd guess 1920s or so, maybe a little later. Of course the sac was shot, and it was crudded up...

 

Those situations being fixed up, it has turned out to be one of the nicest, smoothest nibs I've ever come across. I can only compare it to a Pilot 78G, though it's a little fussier about angle. It's actually nicer than the 78G, since it doesn't have the same harmonic at a particular angle (which happens to annoy me *slightly*).

 

Anyway, my question is, has anyone else had any experiences with pens from this almost-forgotten company (according to a Google trawl)? Is this just a lone example tuned by some nibmeister of old into perfection, or were all their products this good? My biggest beef with it is that I had to cut the sac quite short in order to make it fit, and as a result, it doesn't hold all that much ink (about ten drops only!).

 

I really like this little pen, a gem to have found in a lot of *total* junk otherwise!

 

(Yes, in case anyone is wondering, this is the nib that got the sodium hydroxide treatment - it looked gawdawful, which is probably why it ended up in this junk pile.)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 19
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • philm

    5

  • Johnny Appleseed

    5

  • extrafine

    3

  • rroossinck

    2

Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images

Extrafine,

 

Good Service pens, considered by many to be lower level pens, can be very nice after restoration. I agree that they have very nice nibs. Here are a couple that I have come across in the last few years and restored to working order.

 

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y50/munsonhsr/Chicago%20Pens/Good%20Service/DSC_0008-12.jpg

 

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y50/munsonhsr/Chicago%20Pens/Good%20Service/DSC_0014.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

The one I have looks very much like a ring-top version of the first one that you put up.

 

No idea why anyone would consider it lower-level!

 

Thanks for the info!

 

Best wishes,

 

Louis

Link to post
Share on other sites

Louis,

 

Lower level may have been a poor choice of words. Second Tier (or third to some) may be a better term. Most considered the large producers of the day - Parker, Wahl, Waterman, Sheaffer etc... to be the first tier of pen makers. Then came the second tier, of which there are many, especially in the time these pens were made.

 

Happy Writing.

 

phil

Link to post
Share on other sites
Johnny Appleseed

The Good Service Pen co. was a house brand of Sears Roebuck that started in about 1925 or so. The early ones such as the ones shown here were (probably) made by the National Pen and Pencil co. in Chicago. Good Service was the lower line of pens, under the top-line Diamond Medal, and mid-level Webster pens. The "lines" though were not totally clear, and it is not uncommon for a top-price Good Service to cost more than the lower-price Webster, and so on. Later Good Service pens, after about 1934, may have been made by Parker, as they bare a very close resemblence to some Parkette's. They kind of faded out in the late 30s-early 40s.

 

The early Good Service are really nice pens, and most of them turn out to be excellent writers. I have a slew of them, though not a handy picture at the moment.

 

However, you may have also lucked out on a pen that has an optimal sweet spot for you, and the fact that you say it is more fussy about the angle makes me think that might be the case. While the tipping on these pens is generally about as hard a metal as there is, it does wear over time. When one person uses a pen exclusively and a lot, as people did back in the 1920s and 30s, it can cause the nib to wear-in to their writing angle, so it has a very smooth "sweet spot" for just that angle. Sometimes this can be a flaw, and the nibs can even get badly flattened at the tip, but sometimes the wear is just enough to give it an incredibly nice sweet-spot. If your writing angle happens to hit that sweet spot, then its :cloud9: .

 

Either way enjoy it. The small sac means you can change ink color more frequently!

 

Here is a few from the Fall 1927 Sears catalog.

 

John

post-445-1194038576_thumb.jpg

So if you have a lot of ink,

You should get a Yink, I think.

 

- Dr Suess

 

Always looking for pens by Baird-North, Charles Ingersoll, and nibs marked "CHI"

Link to post
Share on other sites
Johnny Appleseed
Thank you John. Great stuff and background. I was unaware of the later relationship with Parker.

 

philm

 

Well, I should qualify that it is a little speculative. The Diamond Medal and Webster Sears brands switched over to Parker in about 1934 - they were Vacuum-fillers (vacumatics), as well as some button fillers. The DMs were nearly identical to some of the vacumatics, and the Websters nearly identical to Parker Challengers - they even have Parker date-codes on the nibs - but I did not know about the Good Service. I have heard Bruce Speary describe some of the fluted Good Service pens of this time as identical to fluted Parkettes, so I am assuming there was a similar arrangement.

 

I think National or C.E. Barrett or one of their successors was involved in making some of the Websters in the 1940s, based on some similarities with other pens, but I am really not sure.

 

John

Edited by Johnny Appleseed

So if you have a lot of ink,

You should get a Yink, I think.

 

- Dr Suess

 

Always looking for pens by Baird-North, Charles Ingersoll, and nibs marked "CHI"

Link to post
Share on other sites

John, Louis ...

 

Thanks for this additional info. Louis, I am not trying to hijack your post on Good Service, but as a response to John's information on the Webster, Good Service, Diamond Medal and other National Pen Products relationship to Parker, here is a later Webster (Sears) that tracks with John's Parker reference. Sure looks like one to me.

 

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y50/munsonhsr/Chicago%20Pens/DSC_0006.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much to everyone for all the information! The one I have looks like the fourth one from the bottom of the chart, at $1.25.

 

I think that Johnny may be right about lucking in to one with the right wear pattern, though from looking at it with a loupe, it's far from a "foot." It's also not extreme enough not to tolerate any angle variation, though it's definitely not happy with near-upright, which I sometimes do, unlike the famous 78G, which will take almost anything.

 

I notice that the tipping doesn't bulge out of the tip, unlike many modern pens, but instead is very much "one" with it, like a lot of older ones...

 

On a more general note, one of my "issues" is that I tend to change my writing angle a lot, even throughout a page, trying to avoid fatigue - indeed, the ability to have low writing angles is one of the reasons why I like fountain pens.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

Hi All,

 

Resurrecting this thread to share a family photo of three Good Service pens, in varying degrees of operability and restoration.

 

post-2029-1196085406_thumb.jpg

 

At the top: a full-length, slender pen in an interesting red-and-black mottled celluloid. Fully restored, although the nib has developed a crack since the restoration was done.

 

Below that: a woodgrain celluloid ringtop pen-and-pencil set, unrestored.

 

At the bottom: a black-and-cream celluloid pen, in a more streamlined (and presumably later) style. This one is shown capped because the section, nib and feed have been removed in the course of restoration.

 

All of the pens feature Warranted 14K nibs. The black-and-cream pen's is the nicest of the lot, with wonderful flexibility.

 

Definitely an interesting little brand; I wouldn't mind adding a few more to the collection.

 

Cheers,

 

Jon

Link to post
Share on other sites
Johnny Appleseed

Though I would share a few of my Good Service pens,

 

The big:

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a150/laridae/GS-big.jpg

 

The Small:

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a150/laridae/GS-small.jpg

 

And the Mini:

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a150/laridae/Good-service-minis.jpg

Edited by Johnny Appleseed

So if you have a lot of ink,

You should get a Yink, I think.

 

- Dr Suess

 

Always looking for pens by Baird-North, Charles Ingersoll, and nibs marked "CHI"

Link to post
Share on other sites
Johnny Appleseed

And here is a very funky bulb-filler from the late 1930s:

 

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a150/laridae/GS-bulb.jpg

 

Anyone recgnize this design from any other manufacturer?

 

John

Edited by Johnny Appleseed

So if you have a lot of ink,

You should get a Yink, I think.

 

- Dr Suess

 

Always looking for pens by Baird-North, Charles Ingersoll, and nibs marked "CHI"

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to add to the pretty pics!

 

It stuck me "odd" how nice the clip is detailed and the lever is pretty much plain jane.

Great Nib though

Edited by luckygrandson
AWN%252520ADD.jpg
Link to post
Share on other sites
Johnny Appleseed

Here is the catalog page with the Good Service bulb-filler shown above. According to Bruce Speary, who posted a similar pen on Stylophiles, it is nearly identical to some of the Parker-made ParCo pens. This is from the Fall/Winter 1936/'37 catalog.

 

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a150/laridae/Sears-Seattle-fall-winter1936-1937.jpg

 

What I find realy gutsy about the Good Service is the claim that it is "Sacless". This was a common claim Parker used for the Vacumatic, despite the fact that it had a rubber "diaphragm" that sure looks a lot like I sac. The claim was based on the fact that the pen held ink in the barrel, not exclusively in a rubber sack. I can see the claim with a vacumatic, since the sac is concealed beneath the whole plunger-assembly of the vacumatic. With a bulb filler, however, the sac is sitting there, right out in the open. I dunno. . .

 

John

 

PS. David - I tried to post this to Sylophiles, but it has been so long since I posted there that I forgot my password. I have some emails out, but if you want to link this ad there while I get it sorted out I would not mind.

 

Also note that Webster was also a Sears sub-brand from 1923 (The Webster Professional B - probably made by Wirt) to the late 1940s at least. There was another Webster that was not Sears and was made by the Rex Manufacturing company - but that is a topic for another post.

So if you have a lot of ink,

You should get a Yink, I think.

 

- Dr Suess

 

Always looking for pens by Baird-North, Charles Ingersoll, and nibs marked "CHI"

Link to post
Share on other sites

John,

 

Great Advertisement. I believe the picture of the Webster that I posted on page 1 of this post, is the Webster in this ad. It is interesting that they show it being filled from a Parker Ink Bottle.

 

Thanks for the information.

 

Phil

Edited by philm
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 13 years later...
inkstainedruth

Sorry for the extreme case of necro-posting, but I picked up a pen/pencil combo at an estate sale yesterday afternoon.  Box had a ribbon inside the top that says "DIAMOND MEDAL DIPLOMAT", but when I looked at the pen more closely in better light, the imprint read "GOOD SERVICE PEN CO." and "CHICAGO, IL", with a the initials "SR" inside a circle between the two sets of imprints.  And after finding this thread I see that the ribbon inside the top part of the case and the pen/pencil itself isn't that far off from each other.

Sac of course is probably toast, and the lever and lever box may need work, but for five bucks?  What the heck....  :thumbup:  Nib looks okay (albeit the slit between the tines being a tiny bit off-center).  As for the pen and cap?  The celluloid looks similar to the bottom pen in the old photo Univer posted, while the engraving on the clip looks like that of the red pen at the top of the same photo.  

I love this site.  Did a general Google search for "Good Service Pen Co." and it took me right to this old thread and gave me all sorts of information!  Even though the thread is from 14 years ago....  If any of the old posters are still on, thanks muchly! :notworthy1:

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

 

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

My husband just bought me a Diamond Medal Diplomat pen. Lovely celluloid pattern and a holder on the top that allows for attaching to a watch fob or chantellaine style chain Reconditioned at Fountain Pen Hospital so the nib is luxurious and the lever fill works. I just love it. Get yours fixed up and you'll love it

Link to post
Share on other sites
inkstainedruth

That's for sometime in the (hopefully) near future.  I finally got photos taken of it on Monday (along with some other recent acquisitions) but haven't gotten a chance to tweak the images yet (cropping, color corrections, etc); spent several hours in the middle of the night mid-week having Apple Support walk me through getting the new laptop to the phone, and vice-versa; and probably will not be able to figure out how to post them here right away (too much going on at the moment).  But when I took the photos, I discovered that the pencil part still works, and when I unscrewed it from the barrel, it still has most of the eraser intact; whether it is hardened beyond use as an eraser is still to be determined....

But of course when I found the history of the brand/model, it definitely then made sense for the "SR" as part of the imprint.  And up until Sears started opening up B&M stores, and then having to compete with the quality level of other stores in shopping malls, the quality of their products had been really good (my mother said that their kids' clothing?  Kids would outgrow the stuff before it wore out; and for years she swore by her Kenmore appliances).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Most Contributions

    1. amberleadavis
      amberleadavis
      37757
    2. PAKMAN
      PAKMAN
      30669
    3. Ghost Plane
      Ghost Plane
      28220
    4. jar
      jar
      26101
    5. wimg
      wimg
      25570
  • Upcoming Events

  • Blog Comments

    • Ferocity
      I hope you enjoy it ❤️ You are so very lucky ❤️
    • halffriedchicken
      Not sure if this has been suggested already but would a setting for localized regions or chapters in FPN be helpful? I don't know if there is a way to find local FPN members who would be nearby. I don't know if we want to be discoverable but a setting to know how many members are in 25, 50, or a 100 miles of each other might be helpful. We can create a regions specific network like Craigslist where people could use that to connect with nearby members, conduct in person sales, arrange FPN meetups
    • Daneaxe
      Hi again all, I forgot to tell y'all that I made the post about Sweden ink PIF. Most have probably found it long ago, but here's a link, anyway:      
    • Ayami_109
      I read your blog post and all the replies with much interest. I'm a FP user in Australia. Been part of this forum for years but rarely post. I did come across your ink sharing thread and considered participation. For me it's not lack of interest but lack of time to play around with FP and inks. I'd feel bad to put my hand up for the box and just have it sit until gosh knows when...   I also think that the FP community in Australia is smaller, and I wonder how many in the community are
    • A Smug Dill
      Even so, you'd end up with a fragmented list, and it becomes an O(N²) process for each prospective requestor to check what is available: effectively recreate the list of currently active servers (without any reliable up-to-date info upfront about the inks and number of samples on offer in the thread) from the sequential list of posts, which may be spread over two or even more pages, and then query each server independently to check what is currently on offer.   It comes down to not hav
  • Chatbox

    You don't have permission to chat.
    Load More
  • Expiring Soon

    • By benbot517
      51 years and 8 months
    • By benbot517
      51 years and 8 months
    • By benbot517
      51 years and 8 months
    • By Okami
      51 years and 8 months
    • By Okami
      51 years and 8 months
  • Random Adverts

    • By stanv
      51 years and 8 months
    • By Mtrap
      51 years and 8 months
    • By A-xy
      51 years and 8 months
    • By JNeffLind
      51 years and 8 months
    • By DrDebG
      51 years and 8 months
  • Files

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. baronofthenorth
      baronofthenorth
      (45 years old)
    2. Bristol24
      Bristol24
    3. comfortableshoes
      comfortableshoes
    4. Copsych
      Copsych
      (64 years old)
    5. DarkSymphony
      DarkSymphony
      (31 years old)





×
×
  • Create New...