Fountain Pen Restoration

Hard Rubber Midwest Style

Last night I restored a two vintage Minnesota Pens. I suspect both were manufactured in the 1920s. Who manufactured them is an interesting topic for discussion. A link to further discussion and speculation can be found here -

Kraker Discussion

The discussion takes many twists and turns and a few pictures of my pens appear.

First, I restored a Brown and Bigelow Ringtop lever-filler. The material is a mottled hard rubber. As with most of these, all that was required was removal of the old sac remains, a check of the lever – pressure bar mechanism and a replacement sac. I also cleaned up the Redipoint nib and feed. The result is pictured below.

brown-and-bigelow2.jpg

I used some white crayon to highlight the imprint for photo purposes.

The next pen was a BHR (black hard rubber) Winter-Robbins Minnesota Pen. This is the second one of these in my collection of Minnesota Pens. The restoration process was the same as the above pen and no problems were encountered. The discoloration of the Black Hard Rubber is very slight. This can be a big problem for many of these old BHR and BCHR pens. A larger discussion within the hobby is whether or not to attempt to reverse this process. There are a few products out there and the results can be stunning. I tend to think that these pens should be left in the condition they are found in terms of hard rubber, but I am not as militant in my stance as many. It is an issue that can be quite polarizing, to experts in the fountain pen community.

Here is a picture of the finished product.

winter-robbins-bhr.jpg

The lever on this pen is interesting. It is a lever attributable to a patent issued to R. W. Lotz, a Chicago Attorney in 1918. This lever appears on Kraker pens, Drew(MN) pens, and several others that lead one to believe that George Kraker may have been involved in the manufacture of these. Much more information can be found in the link at the top of this post. I have a notebook filled with notes on these connections. When I get some time, I would like to learn more about Minnesota Corporate records and where to gather more information. But for now, two restored hard rubber ringtops are back in action., and at close to the condition they were in 80 years ago.

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December 7, 2007 - Posted by | Brown & Bigelow, Kraker, Minnesota Pens, Winter - Robbins | , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. je vend un stylo a plume parker warranted 2 a 14carats qui devait dater entre 1910 a 1917

    Comment by achraf | February 19, 2010 | Reply

  2. Nice job. How did you treat hard rubber (mottled red/black) barrel and taper for desk pen restoration? I have old Walh Eversharp that needs cleaning and enhancement to make look better. Thanks.

    Comment by Ed | January 25, 2011 | Reply


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