Fountain Pen Restoration

Waterman C/F Trade In Set

This is my second post about the Waterman C/F (Cartridge/Fill). The first was on April 7, 2011 – Waterman C/F .   This time, I restored a C/F Set.  This particular set includes a matching pencil, and I was fortunate to find an unused post card advertisement, showing a similar set.  It appears below, and was mailed out by The Typewriter Shop in Meriden, Connecticut, to promote their store, and this set.  Interestingly, they were offering a $5.00 credit toward the $20.00 set price, for any old fountain pens with a 14K gold point!

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The reverse of the postcard has this 2 cent stamp. Using this stamp as a guide, the postcard dates from 1952 to 1958.

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Below are the two instruments after taken apart.  The blue cartridge with red tip was taken from the section, which was filled with blue ink.

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Not much internal work needs to be done (other than rinsing in an ultrasonic cleaner) as this is a standard cartridge pen.  Below is the finished product ~ a pen measuring 5 3/16 inches closed and 6 1/16 inches posted.  The pencil measures 5 1/4 inches and takes 0.9 mm lead.

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The nibs and sections on these are notorious for chipping and losing their plating, but this one has survived unscathed.  I would estimated it to be a medium width.

The link in the first paragraph directs you to previously stated C/F information, and here is a small extract:

“The CF (Cartridge Fill) is intriguing purely from an historical perspective. It is thought of as the first modern widely produced and distributed cartridge pen. I also happen to think that it is pretty sharp looking and reflects the 1950s modern deco styles.

It comes as no surprise that the designer was Harley Earl, a famous automotive designer. Pen companies often contracted with designers to come up with innovative and current designs to attract buyers.”

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C/F pens were produced by Waterman, starting in about 1953 and until Waterman shut down its US operations.  After that time, many of the C/F pens found today were made in France.  This set has a “Made in USA” imprint.  That, and the 2 cent stamp above place the set in the 1953 to 1958 period.

As you can see, the set came in an attractive box.

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The cloth pen holder lifts up to reveal space for eight cartridges.  Six were found in these slots.  Unfortunately, they have dried up.  As cartridges are no longer produced for these pens, the cartridges are valuable as they can be used again after being cleaned and filled with syringe.

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While on the subject of C/F cartridges, here is an advertisement, from my collection, showing the cartridge above being inserted in a pen.  It also shows the various levels and prices of C/F pens produced in 1955, the date of this advertisement.

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These pens are not highly sought after by collectors, though some French models command high prices due to their materials.  I find the design interesting and am glad to have added a US set to my collection.

November 22, 2011 Posted by | Waterman C/F | | 2 Comments

Waterman C/F

I admit that I came purchase this pen after restoring and using the Waterman Crusader in my post of January 24, 2011. I had never really thought much about the newer Waterman Pen (1950s and 60s), but I enjoyed the Crusader so much, I went out looking for another example. The CF (Cartridge Fill) is intriguing purely from an historical perspective. It is thought of as the first modern widely produced and distributed cartridge pen. I also happen to think that it is pretty sharp looking and reflects the 1950s modern deco styles.

It comes as no surprise that the designer was Harley Earl, a famous automotive designer. Pen companies often contracted with designers to come up with innovative and current designs to attract buyers.

You can see from the photo below that this was a very distressed old pen.  The price was certainly reflective of this, but it was in worse condition than I thought.  The staining is very pronounced and there was a thick layer of crud under the cap.  I figured that I had nothing to lose and began to chip away.  Restoration of this pen was simply limited to cleaning and a bit of nib adjustment.  I started with a small portion of the barrel to see if subjecting it to a harsh dose of polish would do any damage.  I used some polish and a q tip with no results, so I raised the stakes and used a dremel.  The result was good, so I began the process of polishing the barrel and cap in their entirety.  I alternated between the dremel and an ultrasonic cleaner.  I had to use a toothbrush to get under the clip, which is permanently attached to the cap and is rigid.

No restoration of a filling system here as this is a simple cartridge pen.  More on the cartridge later.

After many repetitions of the cleaning rotation, I was able to see that this was once an attractive pen.  Additionally, I flushed the section/nib/feed out several times.  The nib had bent downward toward the feed, and I used a special nib tool to straighten it back out.

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The results are stunning.  Here is the completed pen which measures 5 3/8 inches closed and 6 1/16 inches posted.

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The cap snaps flush to the barrel when closed, similar to modern pens.

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I cleaned out the cartridge and below is a photo of it sitting in the section.  It snaps on to the section nipple similar to other cartridge pens that followed.  The reason that this cartridge is important is that there are no more being produced for this discontinued line, and converters are often difficult to come by.  Thus, I will reuse this one, filling it with a syringe prior to each use.

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The next three photos are of a pack of eight green cartridges that I found (unfortunately all are dried out) and one of the cartridges showing the patent number – 2802448, issued in August of 1957 – viewable here.

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Here is the imprint on the cap end identifying it as a Waterman C/F.

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The nib design is very distinctive.  I believe this pen was made in France after the US Waterman operations ceased in the late 1950s.  Exactly when, I have no idea as these pens have no date markings.  If I were to guess, I would say sometime in the 1960s or 70s – how is that for not narrowing it down?

I have read that one of the problems with these pens over time is significant pitting on the nib and gold trim surrounding the insert. Fortunately, this pen has none of that and the assembly has survived well.

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The C/F was introduced in 1953/4 and continued to be produced in the US until around 1958, when Waterman ceased operations.  They were also made in Canada for a time as well as in the United Kingdom and in France.  The French versions were much more ornate than many of the US versions.  Production continued in France until the early 1980s.  I have seen pencils and ballpoints as well.  The most impressive collection of them that I have seen, can be accessed at a thread at the Fountain Pen Network, here.

In the mid 1950s, they were advertised in the Saturday Evening Post, and here is an advertisement from my collection.  It is always nice to know that you can change your ink cartridge in the middle of the dance floor….wonder if they will try that on Dancing With The Stars….

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I really like how this pen turned out.  I will enjoy trying it out in the near future and am pleased to have learned another little piece of Fountain Pen History from this predecessor to the cartridge pens of today.

April 7, 2011 Posted by | Waterman C/F, Waterman Pen Company | , | 2 Comments

   

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