Fountain Pen Restoration

Houston Pen Company – Tracy, Minnesota – My Holy Grail

Occasionally you hear collectors of various items, including fountain pens, speak of “holy grails”. These are items that they seek and are at the top of their lists of desired items. For several years I have collected Houston Pens and their offspring (Jiffy and Snapfil). I have covered a Houston Pen, made in Sioux City, IA in my post of April 10 – Houston Pen Company.

I finally had a chance to acquire a Houston Pen made here in my home State – Minnesota. The Houston Pen Company was started in Tracy, Minnesota in 1908 by W. A. Houston and moved to Iowa near 1912. So the Houston Pens made in Iowa are much more plentiful.

I have posted a few photos of the materials that arrived with the pen; an outer box which shows the manufacturing location of Tracy and the direction sheet and drawings of the pen.





This is obviously an eyedropper, so there were few repairs to be done. I did polish the gold parts, remove the feed and nib, and thoroughly clean the section. You can see that the gold decorative bands have held up very well over time. The double threaded section is quite unique and I have shown a couple of close-ups of it below.



The pen measures a long 6 15/16 inches long (capped) and has a Warranted No. 4 nib. I feel very good about finally finding one of these. I hope that you all get the opportunity to find that one pen you have been spending time trying to locate. After several years I have finally found my “holy grail”.


August 26, 2008 - Posted by | Houston Pen Company, Tracy MN | , ,


  1. Congrats! 😀 That’s a beautiful pen indeed, esp. the gold parts.

    Comment by strangeknight | August 26, 2008 | Reply

  2. Congratulations on a great find. That makes me wonder if there were any fountain pens manufactured in my home state of Florida?

    Comment by jonro | August 27, 2008 | Reply

  3. Thank you to both of you. Yes, it is a nice pen. Jon, Hartline Pens were made in Florida, I believe. Some featured a blotter in the cap.

    Comment by all of us | August 27, 2008 | Reply

  4. Am enjoying your blog. Thanks! I have a collection of about 40 FPs some of which I have restored, primarily new sac, nib adjustment and polishing, very basic stuff.

    Comment by penburg | August 29, 2008 | Reply

  5. Hi, I found your website while searching for information on a pen I acquired this past weekend. I’m delighted to have found your site, as well as others you’ve referred to here. The pen I acquired is a JUCO Independent stylographic pen. I have questions about it that I’ve found no answers for so far. Can I email you photos of it and ask you my questions? I’m not sure how to fill it with ink and I have questions about holes and pegs on the top of the barrel. I’ll watch here for your response and at my email address. Thanks very much, EKathy

    Comment by EKathy | September 3, 2008 | Reply

  6. Kathy, I will contact you backchannel. For additional information on JUCO Independents, see my post on them here:

    Comment by all of us | September 3, 2008 | Reply

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