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FP ads in The Tech - Part II: Moore ads 1902-1915


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In this article I present the advertisements of the Moore pens in The Tech which runs from 1902 to 1915.


Morris W. Moore was a music teacher and is the "father" of the safety pen. As David Nashimura pointed out below there are safety pens that predate Moore', but never show the commercial success of Moore pens. Safety pen is a pen with retractable nib which is filled like an eyedropper with the nib retracted and works with the nib extended. In Moore's design the nib was pulled and pushed by a sliding mechanism in the barrel. One of the advantages over the "state-of-the art" eyedropper of the period is that the user does not have to handle the "messy inky joins". The patent #567,151 of Moore is considered to be a truly non-leakable pen. The Moore pens were shipped from the factory with ink to prove their name!


Moore pens were sold by the American Fountain Pen Company of Boston starting from 1899. Being a local to Boston the company advertised heavily in The Tech up to 1915. With 2-3 designs per year, Moore pen advertisements appeared practically in every issue of the student newspaper.


The first advertisement (May of 1902) is notable because it shows the early Moore design with the threads high up in the barrel. the later ads show the threads close to the nib. The short cap is also a "mark" of the early pens. In this advertisement, the imprint of the nib and barrel are legible (AMERICAN FOUNTAIN PEN CO No 2, and MOORE'S NON-LEAKABLE FOUNTAIN PEN - PAT. SEPT. 8TH 1896 respectively). Of interesting is also the fact that the company claims that the pen will work with Higgins India ink. With the exception of the one ad that shows a pen with two ornate bands all other ads show the basic hard rubber model. Moore had some very nice overlays.


Reading the advertisements is a lot of fun and I will not spoil it more with my comments - I will let you enjoy them. They are roughly in chronologically order. When a specific date is noted, it is only one of the days when this ad appeared. I tried to note the earliest that I could find for each ad. The ads stop in 1916...


s_Page_04_Image_0003.jpghigh res (May 15, 1902)



s_Page_06_Image_0002.jpghigh res(Nov. 19, 1906)


s_Page_07_Image_0003.jpghigh res Oct. 7, 1908


s_Page_08_Image_0001.jpghigh res(October 5, 1909) s_Page_08_Image_0002.jpghigh res(Oct. 19, 1909)

s_Page_09_Image_0003.jpghigh res(Nov 3, 1910)


s_Page_09_Image_0004.jpghigh res(Nov. 4, 1910?)


s_Page_10_Image_0001.jpghigh res(Oct. 19, 1911)


s_Page_10_Image_0002.jpghigh res(Nov. 17, 1911)


s_Page_11_Image_0002.jpghigh ress_Page_11_Image_0004.jpghigh res


s_Page_11_Image_0001.jpghigh res(Feb. 7, 1913)


s_Page_11_Image_0005.jpghigh res(April 25, 1914)

s_Page_11_Image_0006.jpghigh res(Oct 15, 1913) s_Page_12_Image_0001.jpghigh res(Oct 17, 1913)

s_Page_12_Image_0002.jpghigh res


s_Page_14_Image_0001.jpghigh ress_Page_14_Image_0002.jpghigh res (January 5, 1916)


s_Page_14_Image_0003.jpghigh res(March 1, 1915)


s_Page_14_Image_0004.jpghigh res(November 24, 1915)


s_Page_14_Image_0005.jpghigh res(October 18, 1915)

Edited by antoniosz
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Please note that safety pens with retracting nibs predate Moore's version. You can see an example of an 1890s Horton here.

I hear that this was the favorite pen of Mike Dukakis :lol:

Seriously, David thanks for your note. Maybe I should send you these tidbits, before I post them here, so that you can catch all the inaccurate statements I made :)

Edited by antoniosz
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In the "Run the inkblot out of town" ad, I'm trying to figure out if the person is the ad is supposed to be a real figure. It sure looks like Teddy Roosevelt, but what's with the weird hat? Am I spending too much time scrutinizing these ads or what?



"My shoes were reasonably clean, my rent was paid and I had two boxes of cereal and plenty of coffee at home. The world was mine, and I had plenty of time."

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In the "Run the inkblot out of town" ad, I'm trying to figure out if the person is the ad is supposed to be a real figure. It sure looks like Teddy Roosevelt, but what's with the weird hat?

I dont know - this ad was published at the end of 1915.

At that time the political life of Roosevelt was already history after the defeat in 1912 when she sought a 3rd term.

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