Fountain Pen Restoration

Spors Fountain Pen Advertising In 1927

OK, another departure from repairs for this post. It is related to a few previous posts –

Made In Japan February 13, 2008

Spors Fountain Pen Entertainment Center September 17, 2008

Frank Spors sold goods through a catalog from Le Sueur, Minnesota. The following correspondence with a Charles Butts of Trosky, MN reveals one of the ways that Spors Marketed their pens.  I won’t go into the pens themselves as the above two referred posts will do that, but it is interesting to see how his marketing program worked.

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What first strikes me is the demonstration that the salesman can do (after purchasing a piece of “soft” wood for $0.65) to prove how strong the nib is.  Images of a door to door salesman cutting pieces of wood with his glass nibbed pens provide me with quite a chuckle.  And this should, of course, lead to at least $100 per week.

One other quick question from the page below – why does the rubber sponge in the cap make the pen write better than any other pen on the market?

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Following is the application to be filled out and the cost involved in getting started on the path to riches.  Based on this, I figure you only had to sell about 120 pens per week to make the $100.00!

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Of course, if pens weren’t big sellers in your area, or if the wood cutting trick wasn’t particularly effective, or you couldn’t get your hands on the cool pens with the dice under the compass (see my post of September 17, 2008), then you could resort to many items covered in the letter to Mr. Butts below.  After all, everyone is black bottom hose crazy….and who can resist a Lindbergh visor or shirts that sell like hotcakes.

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Back to pens – Apparently some found them an easy sale and they actually do still show up quite frequently in auctions and at antique stores.  Just look at the next to last paragraph below.  If you run across a Spors pen today, it may have been sold by the successful Mr. D. Parks of New York or Lee Sohn in Ohio.

I wonder if Mr. Spors used one of these pens to sign the letter?

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Finally, here is an advertisement that I picked up, separately from the letter to Mr. Butts, to be used in a Store environment.  The recipient of the coupon can purchase the pen for 69 cents.  Not bad for a pen that can carve wood…..

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Spors Pens, with the glass nibs, were imported from Japan up until WWII, when the supply ran out for obvious reasons.  They are interesting, and thier marketing was as well.

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March 25, 2009 - Posted by | Spors |

6 Comments »

  1. Thanks for sharing that! Now I need to find myself a Spors pen or two.

    Comment by Michael Moncur | March 25, 2009 | Reply

  2. […] all of us put an intriguing blog post on Spors Fountain Pen Advertising In 1927 « Fountain Pen RestorationHere’s a quick excerptSpors Fountain Pen Entertainment Center September 17, 2008. Frank Spors sold goods through a catalog from Le Sueur, Minnesota. The following correspondence with a Charles Butts of Trosky, MN reveals one of the ways that Spors Marketed … […]

    Pingback by Topics about Pens » Archive » Spors Fountain Pen Advertising In 1927 « Fountain Pen Restoration | April 3, 2009 | Reply

  3. […] Spors Fountain Pen Advertising In 1927 […]

    Pingback by Spors Fountain Pen Advertising In 1927 : Penpedia | April 7, 2009 | Reply

  4. The fountain pens were the beginning of a business that lasted as a wholesaler into the 1960’s. In the beginning primarily stationary and novelties were featured. Later there were yearly catalogs of items, even diamonds and watches. Spors Company provided all of these to independent retail outlets throughout the Midwest. Their strength was the sales network. With the growth of chain retail outlet expanding into small towns, the business did not survive in that form. The business does however continue.

    Dennis Spors
    President
    Spors Company. Inc.

    Comment by Dennis A. Spors | June 24, 2009 | Reply

  5. I am looking for someone who would take the challenge of restoring a Spors fountain pen. Or somwone who would like to purchase a Spors fountain pen needing restoration.Please reply to djwhitney151@gmail.com

    Comment by Diane J Whitney | December 19, 2009 | Reply

  6. Hi, I’ve become interested in fountain pens recently. I want to purchase a pen, but I’ve no clue what to get, or even how to use it.

    Comment by arizona fountain renovation | April 29, 2010 | Reply


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