Fountain Pen Restoration

Sheaffer Skyboy Surprise

Sometimes, a new pen find provides some pleasant surprises. This is such a pen.

Sheaffer Skyboy pens were made by Sheaffer in Fort Madison, Iowa in the early 1940s. As you can see, they have a short clip (or military clip) with the word “Skyboy” engraved on it. Military clips were a response to Military Regulations that a pen would be unseen when the pocket flap was buttoned over the shirt pocket. Sheaffer used standard clips and folded them over to form the military clip.

The term Skyboy was coined in a time when airplanes were “taking off” and Sheaffer wanted to capitalize on the attractiveness that they had. Eversharp did so with the Skyline and Waterman with the Skywriter.

This particular pen appeared in Sheaffer catalogs in 1941. I have also seen a magazine advertisement from this time period for pens similar to this one, called Sheaffer Skyboys, but with standard clips and in red and green striated versions. Apparently Sheaffer went to the military clip after 1940 on the Skyboy models.

Here is the pen after I took it apart.

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This is a closeup of the military clip above the “Lifetime” white dot.

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The Surprise is this white feed. I had read about the mysterious white feed in fountain pen literature, but had never seen one. It was a pleasant surprise to see this one when I pulled the cap off and examined the nib. There are several theories as to the origin of the white feed. They are:

That is was simply a prototype, not meant for public use, that escaped the factory

That it was a response to the wartime rubber shortage

That they were painted white to cover up a bad batch of feeds

Pick your favorite, I do not know. I do know that it was a pleasant surprise to uncover this fountain pen oddity. They seem to appear on pens produced during this period around 1940.

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The repair was very easy, as I do not believe that this pen was ever used. The white feed would seem to indicate this as well as the clear visualated section. All I needed to do was clean up the nib, polish the clip, band, and lever, and install a new sac as the old one had solidified.

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Above and below are the finished product. This is one pen that I will probably not use as I don’t want to discolor the unique feed.

skyboy

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March 21, 2008 - Posted by | Sheaffer, Sheaffer Skyboy | ,

7 Comments »

  1. Hi!

    Firstly, thanks for keeping this blog 🙂 It’s informative and, in my case, a little inspiring. I’ve started to dabble in pen restoration too.

    Might I ask — what do you use to knock the feed and nib out of the section here? Ron Zorn suggests a length of brake line tubing, but I may not be able to find any.

    Do you simply use a thin rod as usual and just be careful not to break the breather tube?

    Thanks in advance.

    Comment by leon | November 4, 2008 | Reply

  2. Hi Phil,

    It is really a surprise. Here is a picture of the feed of my Military Clip Balance (not Skyboy). It’s a Lifetime version in green striated, lever filler (1000).

    Warm greetings,

    Marta

    Comment by Rka | February 3, 2010 | Reply

  3. I have a Skyboy, also in marine green striated, but I think it may be a “Lady” Skyboy. Possible? How would I find out? Also, If I wanted to have mine cleaned up and sac replaced, how could I do that? Suggestion

    Comment by Peter Moor | December 12, 2014 | Reply

    • Peter,

      The Lady Skyboy Pens were a little narrower than the standard. If you provide me with the measurements (cap and barrel widths, and lengths) I will be able to tell you. As to restoration, I do not restore pens as a business. There are several reputable Pen Restorers out there that do offer there services for charge. You might check my blogroll on the right hand side for a few. Congratulations on your new pen. These are good writers when repaired and should give you years of enjoyment!

      Phil

      On Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 11:29 AM, Fountain Pen Restoration wrote: > >

      Comment by PKM | December 12, 2014 | Reply

      • Phil,

        Thanks!

        The pen length is 4.75 inches (12.2 cm); cap length 2.5″ (6 cm); Cap width just a pinch over 3/8″ – 1.1 cm, Barrel length slightly under 4 3/8″ (10.9 cm).

        Some pics: http://campl.us/jWt9hfZEbmK

        Hope this helps!

        Oh, and if there’s anyone out there in the restoration business (of sheaffers etc.), send me a message!

        Cheers,

        Peter

        Comment by moorp | December 12, 2014

      • You are welcome Peter. I will do some measurements of my own this weekend and get back to you on whether yours is a Lady size.

        Phil

        On Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 1:51 PM, Fountain Pen Restoration wrote: > >

        Comment by PKM | December 12, 2014

      • Peter,

        I am assuming that the clip says “Skyboy”? I did not see it in the photos, but just wanted to make sure.

        Have a great weekend!

        Phil

        Comment by PKM | December 12, 2014


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