Fountain Pen Restoration

Rexall Monogram

Monogram pens have been discussed briefly in a few earlier posts. They were a house brand of pen for Rexall Drug Stores.

Photobucket

At one point the contract for Monogram pens was held by George Kraker and he produced these pens at his Grand Haven, MI location and possibly in Libertyville, IL and Minneapolis, MN. Here is a picture of a mottled Monogram that I have had for quite some time. It carries the distinctive Kraker clip and opaque morroon cap top. It has a Monogram 14K nib and a Lotz’ patented lever, which is a Kraker product.

Photobucket

The pen that I have worked on over the past few days is a Monogram with a clip that is very similar to the Kraker Company clips, though in gold. It is a marbled white and black plastic that is an excellent example of what happens when an ink sac and ink deteriorate inside a barrel and cap over the course of seventy years. Here is a picture of the pen after I took it apart. Three things are interesting to me. First, the discoloration is very pronounced on on the barrel and the condition of the sac can explain the thorough discoloration. Unfortunately, this discoloration can not be reversed. Second, the pressure bar is different from many lever fillers that you see. It is not a traditional jbar type bar, but a round base that sits against the end of the barrel with a hook on it which attaches to the bar. It is in surprisingly good shape and I will be able to reuse it. All that will be needed for this restoration will be a new sac. Third, I like the addition of the tiered black ends of the cap and barrel. This is a nice touch.

I went in search of information on the pressure bar mechanism and was told that this was a pressure bar system that is common to Kraker Company Pens and also some National Pen Products Pens (Chicago). The research response also indicated that this Monogram pen was very similar to a Pencraft Pen. Pencraft Pens were made by the Michael – George Company (Kraker). So, I am going to say that this pen was made by Kraker prior to Rexall moving the contract away from him.

Photobucket

The actual repair for this involved the usual thorough cleaning. I made sure that all of the sac remnants and ink residue was removed from both the cap and barrel to stop the discoloration process for good. I also installed a silicone sac after cleaning the section/feed/nib. I was able to reinstall the pressure bar and base and the lever opens and closes easily and cleanly. Even though the pen has discolored, I polished it and worked out all of the spots from the gold clip, trim rings and lever. Though not a perfect representation of what the pen looked like when it sat on the drug store shelf in the 20s or 30s, it functions well and the 14K Monogram nib writes with a firm medium line.

Photobucket

Instead of discoloration, I prefer to say that it has “character“.

Photobucket

Edit 1-14-13: Mike H. sent me this photo of a matching pencil to this Monogram.  Thank you Mike!
Photobucket

Advertisements

February 7, 2008 - Posted by | Kraker, Monogram Fountain Pens, Rexall | , ,

4 Comments »

  1. Hi,
    Thanks for the good info on Monogram pens. United Drug Co. (owner of the Rexall brand) also sold Belmont, Rexall, Lord Baltimore, Scout, Signet, and Medford pens. Do you have any manufacturer information regarding these brands? I am compiling a commercial history of the United/Rexall Drug Companies.
    Thank you,
    Frank (please contact at fsternad@sonic.net)

    Comment by Frank | February 7, 2008 | Reply

  2. Frank,

    I have responded to you via email with additional information I have accumulated.

    Comment by all of us | February 7, 2008 | Reply

  3. Five years late, but I would very much appreciate knowing the rest of the story you provided Frank. I just acquired a nice little pencil that is clearly a mate to the pen above, with identical material and trim right down to the black end cap.

    Comment by Mike Hungerford | January 14, 2013 | Reply

  4. Hi, I came across what is purported to be a Monogram Sales kit with 6 fountain pens and 2 mech. pencils. The seller says they are for Rexall but these are newer pens, looking like 1940s. They come with a nice display case but there is nothing on the case. All the fountain pens are in mint condition with generic 14k gold nibs. Any ideas about who might have made these pens?
    Thanks

    Comment by Robert Draper | November 21, 2014 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: