Fountain Pen Restoration

DuoCraft Fountain Pen History

I first wrote about DuoCraft Fountain Pens in a post dated October 13, 2009 ~ Duocraft Fountain Pens .

In that article, I discussed a theory that these pens were produced and aimed at the Music community. One of the nice things about collecting vintage pens are the nice people that you meet. Over the Holidays I was fortunate to meet a knowledgeable collector/user from California while he was visiting relatives here in Minnesota. One of the pens I brought to show was the DuoCraft – Music Nib pen. After the meeting he found this Duocraft brochure for sale on eBay and pointed me in the right direction to find it, and I did in fact make the purchase last week. Fortunately, there were no other interested parties and the cost stayed low. So, thanks to another collector, I have solved some of the mystery of DuoCraft.

My guess that these pens were directed at the Music industry was correct. I have printed the four pages of the brochure below and I think they are very interesting. Clearly DuoCraft was selling items directly to Musicians/Composers/Orchestras and others in the Music Business.

The pens alone came in either a two or three point style. My pen is the three point pen. Cost was a listed $3.50 or $5.00 for including a double sided pencil of black and red leads. The brochure that I purchased reduces these prices to $2.50 for the pen and $3.50 for the set ~ a Christmas Special. Here is a photo of the pen that I restored, and referred to in the link at the beginning of this article.

Page 1 refers to the cost of the pens, showing the two and three point pens as well as the set with pencil.

Page 2 is my favorite ~ referring to the various Music Writers who use the DuoCraft pen. Chick Adams is featured as the Head Arranger for the Abe Lyman Orchestra. Click on the link for a bit of non-fountain pen entertainment. The comments by the rapidly writing Herbert L. Clarke, VP of the American Bandmaster Association (and noted cornet player) give us an idea that these pens were marketed (at least through this brochure) after March of 1935.

Page 3 is non-pen related, but shows that DuoCraft was marketing more than Fountain Pens. The Lightning Arranger looks complicated to me and, as I am not a musician, I don’t know if it was actually effective.

Page 4 mentions the Fountain Pens again near the bottom and also mentions “Music Writing Ink”. I would love to find a bottle or two of that! Also, a nib junkie’s dream ~ 14K Music nibs at $1.75 each, or steel at $.25. There is also a reference to Congressional Style nibs. My guess is that these are the standard two point nibs. I have seen this term used for dip pen nibs, so maybe this is a reference to a standard two point nib.

Finally, the Brooklyn address for DuoCraft Company. Checking Google maps reveals nothing of interest other than a residential (current) neighborhood at
View Larger Map 2025 Menahan Street in Brooklyn.

So, no restoration this week, but a little more background on an interesting niche fountain pen. I will certainly be keeping an eye out for the dual pencil and the ink.

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February 9, 2010 - Posted by | Duocraft Fountain Pens |

6 Comments »

  1. Great piece of paper ephemera. Note that one of the people providing an endorsement for the pen was Lawrence Fogelberg. He was the subject of his son Dan’s great hit, “Leader of the Band.”

    Comment by Greg Koos | February 9, 2010 | Reply

  2. I just searched Duocraft Special Music Writing Ink, never expecting to find anything so I was surprised to see these comments. I have an unopened bottle of the ink. The label says “Duocraft Special Music Writing Ink. Pint $2.15 and below The Duocraft Co. Uniondale, NY. Are you interested?

    Comment by Linda Jo Lewis | January 12, 2011 | Reply

  3. My high school orchestra teacher gave me one of those pens for a project to create a score for her from some string quartet parts. I had shown my interest by copying orchestra parts from a score to a Mozart violin concerto so we could perform it. I loved that pen. It made beautiful music script effortlessly. The bladder eventually leaked, and I put it away for a later day, but misplaced it. Later I tried doing music with calligraphy pens, but they weren’t right. You needed the three tines AND the flexibility as I recently learned when I purchased the platinum music pen. I thought it would work the same, but the nib is too stiff. Otherwise, it’s a nice pen. I’d trade it for a working version of the Duocraft, though.

    Comment by Doug Stevens | December 23, 2011 | Reply

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