Fountain Pen Restoration

Made in Japan

Note: (3-4-2011) An ebay sales page has linked to this article without my knowledge.  I am in no way associated with this ebay sale or item – Phil

Frank Spors, of Spors and Company of Le Center, MN (formerly called Le Sueur Center) was the owner of Spors and Company, a marketing company that sold many items through mail order, to drug stores, to salesmen, and to the public. One such successful item was a crescent-fill, glass nibbed fountain pen. This pen was made in Japan and shipped to Spors for distribution from the Post Office in Le Center. An advertisement from a 1926 catalog can be seen below.

Several of these pens can be found today. They came in many colors and finishes through the years until the Japanese supply connection stopped as World War II approached.


One of the main problems encountered in restoring a Spors Pen is referred to in the diagram below. It shows that the section is glued into the barrel so that the user will not “be so apt to take it apart, twist the ink container (sac) all out of shape and then finally blame the pen.” I have seen these in solid colors and also colorful celluloid. The sections can be very difficult to remove from the barrel, due to the referred glue.


Above photo from George Kovalenko and Lion and Pen Discussion here:

The pen I am restoring is a brown marble Spors. I have seen this particular model in many colors – green, blue, and red come to mind. I started out very carefully to remove the section from the barrel. Patience was the key. I applied gentle heat from a heat gun in small doses. After each time of rotating the barrel about 10 inches above the gun, I gently rocked the section using my rubber ended section pliers. The first several times produced nothing, but after a few rest breaks, I finally heard a small click and noticed that the section had moved a bit. A few more doses of heat and more gentle rocking and the glued section was out. Here is a picture of the pen broken down.


As you can see, the nib is glass as opposed to gold or steel. It is a pressure fit into the section. The sac was hardened in one piece which made removal very easy. You can see the crescent fill bar in the center of the picture. Here is a close up of the imprint.


After scraping the section clean and removing the remnants of the old sac, I polished up the crescent bar and clip and cleaned the outside of the barrel and cap, being careful not to touch the original price sticker. The sticker reads: Guaranteed – F. Spors and Co. – Lesueur Center, Minn. – Price $1.25. I placed a size 14 sac on the section and inserted the crescent into the barrel using a pair of needle nose pliers. After slipping it through the slot, I locked it, allowing the sac and section to be inserted into the barrel. Testing with water shows that the pen works and is ready to use. Here is a picture of the completed Japanese Made – Minnesota Marketed – Glass Nibbed – Crescent Filler.


Thank you Frank Spors, for this fountain pen curiosity.


February 13, 2008 Posted by | Spors | | 25 Comments


%d bloggers like this: