Fountain Pen Restoration

Lakeside Thumb Flller

The pen I worked on this week is a Lakeside “thumb filler”. I will call it a thumb filler, though there is not a sleeve on the barrel that protects the bar which is inside the thumb hole. You can see the components, prior to repair, below. The top three items are the barrel, internal sleeve, and pressure bar which will sit atop the sac inside the sleeve. The sleeve is made of brass or similar metal and the barrel and cap of black chased hard rubber (BCHR).

In a previous post (12/11/07) I talked about a Lakeside pen that was one of the fountain pen brands of Montgomery Wards. I am less certain about this pen. In the early 1900s there was another Chicago based retailer of various items, Lapp & Flershem, that had brand pens by the names of Banner, Lakeside, and Remington. Lapp & Flershem went out of business in 1922. I do not know if there was a relationship between the two companies either before or after the end of Lapp and Flershem.

Thus, I am not sure who made this pen (National Pen Products / Chicago) and where they were sold (Montgomery Ward, Lapp & Flershem). If someone has some insight, I would appreciate a comment to this post to educate us all. To me, that is half the fun of vintage pens – unraveling their pasts.

Here is a closeup of the imprint. The shading on the BCHR leads me to believe there was a small cover for the thumb hole at one time.


The restoration involved cleaning the pressure bar, nib feed and section completely. I also polished the internal sleeve, though it is not visible. It now shines and is a brass color. I put the nib, feed and section back together and attached a size 18 sac to the section with sac cement. After drying overnight I placed the pressure bar on to the top of the sac and slid the sleeve over the bar and sac. The pressure bar sits on the sac below where the sac attached to the section to allow free movement when pressed and to allow the sleeve to fit to the section. The barrel is then screwed into the section, being careful to align the pressure bar with the barrel thumb hole.

Below is the finished product – water tested and ready to write.


Just for fun, I thought I would post a modern version of this old filling system. In 2001, the Ohio (USA) based fountain pen manufacturer, Bexley, produced a sleeve filler. I was able to acquire one of these last year and replaced the sac.

Here is a picture of this new version of an old filler. It is fun when one of these old systems is brought back.


The total cost for the Lakeside pen was about 10% of the modern Bexley. Both are nice pens, but it shows that you can obtain quality pens that write well (and with flex) at an attractive price. The restoration and history lessons are an added bonus.


April 18, 2008 Posted by | Hard Rubber Pen, Lakeside Pens, Montgomery Ward | , | 2 Comments


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