Fountain Pen Restoration

Rentz Fountain Pens

I was lucky enough to find a Rentz Pen recently and the photographs of this mottled hard rubber pen are below. No restoration necessary, but I want to discuss this pen for three reasons. Reason 1 is that it was made in Minnesota, my home. Reason 2, is that it has a really unique filling system that I will discuss, and reason 3 is that it has an interesting and incomplete history.

George and Bert Rentz resided in Wells, Minnesota in the early 1900s. They were inventors and claimed inventions of a phonograph, fishing leaders,  night driving glasses, and fountain pens.

Three Rentz fountain pen patents that I have located are as follows:

Patent 1,036,149

Patent 955,475

Patent 896,576

As you can see, these are dated between 1908 and 1912.

I have not seen too many Rentz pens and this one came with a glaring problem.  What you see in the photo below is all there is.  The section, feed, and nib are all missing.  But, I have wanted one of these for a long time and the filling system is the attraction, so I couldn’t resist picking it up.  A fellow collector has a Rentz pen and they were produced with proprietary Rentz nibs.  I will keep my eye out for a section/feed/nib in another pen, but they are not very plentiful.  In the last two years, this is the only Rentz I have seen.

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The filling system does work well in this pen.   As you can see in the next two photos, the top shows the button locked while the pen is in use.

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To fill the pen, the button on the right is pulled out, allowing for the button to be pressed against the pressure bar and sac to deflate the sac, releasing it again fills the pen.  Bert Rentz’ patent 955,475, referred to above, covers this system.

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Here are close ups of the two imprints showing the patent information and the Wells, Minnesota location.

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The pen measures a long 5 7/16 capped and the hard rubber is in excellent shape, though the imprints are a bit faded.

The last bit of information I would like to discuss briefly is, Why Wells, Minnesota? I don’t know specifically but Wells was on a rail line leading east to Wisconsin, Chicago, and east giving them a source for the delivery of materials and distribution. I don’t believe Rentz pens existed for a long period of time, but they may be a good example of the small manufacturers and assemblers that popped up during this era, only to disappear as quickly as they appeared.

Finally, if you come across a Rentz pen, let me know. Mine needs to be used and I would love an original section, feed and nib!

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February 17, 2009 - Posted by | Rentz Fountain Pens |

3 Comments »

  1. This looks to be a different version of several Match-stick filling pens that I have in my collection made by the Self-Lock Pen Co. of Wells, MN. Very similar, other than the filler with an added built in push button. My matchstick fillers have the “match” (made out of metal inset into the end of the cap). Quite neat yours is, and I would love to find one for my Minnesota collection.

    Thanks, Steve

    Comment by Steve Nelson | November 4, 2009 | Reply

    • iam a long relative of the rentz family my mom her madian name is rentz and iam her daughter we would love to know more about the rentz pens and the history of it all. if you could plz e-mail me back i would love to know more about my great great etc grandfather… fglqst@gmail.com

      thanks amelia

      Comment by amelia | March 13, 2013 | Reply

      • Reply sent back channel…

        Comment by PKM | March 13, 2013


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