Fountain Pen Restoration

Liberty Fountain Pens

This week I came upon a Liberty Fountain Pen. It is a lever filler from somewhere in the 1915 to 1925 period. As you can see below, the pen arrived in quite good condition. The sac inside was merely dust as I removed the section. It had a standard jbar which can be reused. The section was friction fit and came off after using a heat gun to loosen it up.

Photobucket

After removing the sac remnants, I polished up the clip, nib, lever, and gold section on the barrel. The 14K gold parts cleaned up well and were not cheap gold plate or brass, found on many vintage pens. The material of the pen is Black Chased Hard Rubber, and I do not touch this. Fortunately, the BCHR on this pen is still crisp and black. Many vintage BCHR pens have discoloring problems and the owners have the option of leaving them as they are, or reblackening using various procedures. Personally, I prefer to leave the pens alone, but it is a personal decision.

Photobucket

The pen takes a size 16 sac and I attached one to the section and reassembled the pen – the results being the photos above and below here.

Photobucket

There is not a lot of historical information on Liberty Pens. What information I was able to find was obtained at the Lion and Pen website (link provided at Blogroll to the right). Liberty Pen was a Company that existed in New York in 1915 (see the Manhattan Pen Maker Project for this information) and there is a listing in the New York Times for their existence in Bayonne, NJ in 1916 and in New York at 380 Canal Street during 1923 (see Lion and Pen for this information).

Here are closeups of the clip and crisp imprint.  Not shown is the lever which has a large capital “L” on the circular end.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Advertisements

October 21, 2008 Posted by | Liberty Fountain Pen | | 2 Comments

1942 Parker Vacumatic Maxima (?) see note below

Note:  3-30-11 – It has come to my attention that this may, in fact, not be a Maxima.  I will be the first to admit that I am far from a Vacumatic expert, and I appreciate those with much more knowledge than I, pointing this out.  Back in 2008, when this was written, I used measurements from another site to make this determination, but it seems I was in error.   Thank you, once again to those of you who have corrected this.  As mentioned in my original disclaimer of 2007, I do make mistakes :).   Your attention is much appreciated….Phil

I seem to have done several Parker Vacumatic Pen repairs recently. All have been different in their own way. First I did a Speedline Filler and then a Lockdown Filler. This restoration is also a speedline filler from 1942, but has two unique characteristics. First, it is a larger size Maxima (though a single jewel), and it came with a badly damaged nib. As you can see from the first picture below, the pen came in quite dirty condition with a badly damaged nib with no tipping material. The nib has the same 1942 code as the imprint, so I am thinking it is the original nib. However, it sat too far out of the section (as did the feed) and this caused the damage as the cap was screwed onto the barrel. The positive of this is that the pen was in such negative condition that it came at a very cheap price.
Photobucket

Here is a picture of the nib after I knocked it out of the section. As you can see it still has its two-tone finish but is severely bent inwards.

Photobucket

I do not have the tools or expertise to re tip nibs, so I sent this out to Greg Minuskin, who I also mention in the post entitled Parker 51 Nib Change.
I requested that he repair the damage done to the nib, and restore to a fine stub.  The repaired nib, as received in one week’s time, is below.

Photobucket

As you can see from the top photo, this is a Vacumatic Speedline Filler.  As it is the Maxima size, it required a standard sized diaphragm, as opposed to the debutante size, used in most Vacumatic repairs.  The breather tube and all other parts were salvageable, though they needed cleaning.  As with most Vacumatic repairs, take extra time to make sure the barrel and cap are cleaned out completely.  I use many q-tips to clean after making sure the old diaphragm material is completely removed.  Be careful not to scrape the inside of the barrel as this will compromise the barrel transparency.

After removing the old pellet from the filler, I trimmed the diaphragm and proceeded to work the sac back over the filler after the new pellet was inserted in the filler.  The filler was then screwed back into the barrel with the vac tool (see previous posts) and tested to make sure it was seated properly in the barrel and had not  twisted.  Once this was done and tested for suction, I polished up all of the parts, including the clip, jewel, band and barrel/cap.  I then inserted the nib and feed into the section and inserted the breather tube into the feed hole.  Make sure that the breather tube is completely cleaned and clear of obstructions.  This can be done with an ultrasonic cleaner and fine wire.  This unit is then screwed back into the barrel and tested with water to make sure the vacumatic filling system works.

The finished product is below – s 1942 Single Jewel Golden Pearl Vacumatic Maxima with a fine stub nib.  I am currently using it, filled with Waterman Florida Blue Ink, and enjoying the feel and creativity of the fine stub nib.


Photobucket

October 13, 2008 Posted by | Minuskin Nibs, Parker Pen Company, Parker Vacumatic | , | 2 Comments

Drew Pen Company

I decided to take a break from pen restoration to share some old newspaper advertisements that I purchased recently and tie them to some pens I have in my collection.  I enjoy looking for ephemera that relates to pen history and the advertisements below are an interesting look back.

Drew Pens were produced in St. Paul, Minnesota in the 1920s, probably by George Kraker, though I have no written proof of this.  I discussed them and their unique lever (Lotz)  in my post A Yankee in Minnesota (May 15, 2008)

The clip on the pen is also the same one as seen on several Kraker pens seen in many posts throughout the past year.

The pen shown below is a very nicer Black Chased Hard Rubber (BCHR) Drew Lever Filler.   I have had it for several years.  An interesting part of this pen is that the gold bands were put on the pen, over the imprint.  I am not sure why, but they were clearly not on all Drew pens and somewhat of an afterthought. The pen has a very nice Warranted No. 5 nib (fine).

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Below, are three panels.  The first shows page 12 of an unknown newspaper advertisement for Drew Pens.  The second and third are simply close ups of the first, separated to get a closer look.

Photobucket

The advertisement is an eye catcher.  $1,000 cash (assuming you upgrade to Class A by purchasing a pen for $5) was a lot of money in the 1920s.  Judges were honorable (“honest and impartial”):  A doctor, a teacher, and a bank president!  Clearly we were a few years ahead of the crash of 1929, and the bank president was still well respected.

The pen on the left appears to be the same one that I have, above.  Thus, we can place production of this pen in 1922, or earlier.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Searching for this type of fountain pen related material is a lot of fun and often sheds light on the history of a pen in your collection.  In this instance, it gave me a date of production that I would not have known without reading the contest deadline.

Finally, if you get bored you can begin to count the C’s.  Let’s see — canary, cutlery, clown……..

October 3, 2008 Posted by | Drew Pen Company, Kraker | , | 3 Comments

   

%d bloggers like this: