Fountain Pen Restoration

Morrison Battleship Grey Fountain Pen

I have previously written about Morrison Fountain Pen Restorations in three previous posts ~

No Tiers Shed Here — December 12, 2007

Golden Fountain Pen Dreams —  March 7, 2008

Morrison Wartime Pens — March 4, 2009

The Morrison Family of Fountain Pens are some of my favorite third tier pens as they are often well made and have quite good nibs.  This pen is one I have not seen before.

Below you can see the lever filler after I found it.  It had never been used before, but was in quite a neglected state.  You can see the sac has hardened and the nib is very discolored.  The cap rings, clip and lever have also taken on a greenish brown hue.  I first tested the gold furniture and determined that it was not cheap gold plate and could be polished back to its original gold color.  I then took quite a bit of time to scrub the cap and barrel and polish them.  The section and feed were soaked and cleaned.  I then reinserted the nib and feed into the section and attached a large size 20 sac.  A large j-bar was reinserted into the barrel and the  friction fit section was placed back in the barrel.  More on the nib later…

Here is a photo of the unposted and posted pen.  It measures 5 3/8 inches closed and 6 7/8 inches posted.    The clip looks to have plating wear and to have lost its gold, but if has not and this is a lighting issue.

I am intrigued as to how these were sold, or to whom they were sold.  The box has “A GIFT OF SERVICE”  on the top.  Morrison did market to the Military as shown in the advertising and pen in my Morrison Wartime Pens article of March 4, 2009.  This pen seems to be directed to members of the US Navy or Veterans in appreciation of their service.

Here is a photo of the completed pen, in its box.  The box contains two slots for writing instruments and I am going to assume there was a matching pencil at one time.  Morrison did make pencils to match their pens as is evidenced by other models.

The nib is a bit different than any Morrison’s that I have seen, with Morrison in cursive with a flourished “M”.  In fitting with the large pen, it is a large 14K No. 8 nib.

Here is the imprint, which refers to “BATTLESHIP GREY” as the pen name.  Clearly a Navy reference, this would seem to be a pen marketed as an appreciation gift to a US Navy Sailor for his or her service to their Country sometime after World War I (Thank you Greg, for this reference).  These are not as common as other Morrison brands, though I have seen a few in the past year.


January 20, 2010 Posted by | Morrison Fountain Pens | | 1 Comment

Monogram Pearl and Black Fountain Pen

Black and Pearl pens are treasured by collectors for their interesting patterns, and for the lack of surviving clean examples.  Time (insert aging sacs and ink residue) has not been kind to these pens and most have discolored badly. All of the large pen makers of the 20s and 30s made them ~ most notable are the Parker Duofold, Sheaffer Balance, and Wahl Gold Seal Pearl and Black Pens.  A collector can expect to pay $ 500 and above for clean examples of the pens listed above.

This brings me to this week’s restoration.  It is a large Monogram pen in Pearl and Black that probably dates to the late 1920s, the same time that the Big Three were producing Pearl and Black beauties.  As you may recall, Monogram Fountain Pens were a house brand of Rexall Stores, made during this period by George Kraker.

Previous posts referring to Monograms are as follows:

Rexall Monogram – February 7, 2008
Pencraft – June 1, 2008

Below is a photo of the pen after taking it apart.  You can see that the parts are in good shape, aside from a stained feed and nib, as well as the gold bands and lever.  The sac and j-bar were absent from the pen after I removed the friction fit section/feed/nib assembly.  I thoroughly cleaned each piece, making certain to scrub the inside of the cap and removing all of the ink residue.  All of the gold parts cleaned up to their original luster and the pen was ready for reassembly.  As this is a large pen, a large j-bar and long size 20 sac were used and attached to the section/feed /nib.  This will guarantee a very large ink supply in the future.  I used a silicon sac to help prevent future discoloration of the barrel, which has survived quite well.

Here is a photo of the completed pen which measures a very large 5 1/2 inches closed and 6 7/8 inches posted.  The double cap band and top cap band are a nice touch to this premium Rexall brand pen.

The clip is a typical Kraker clip seen on many of his Pens (Yankee, Dixie, Belmont, and Monogram).

The nib is a very large “Everlasting” L, which I assume to be for Large.  In my April 24, 2009 post, Pencraft Chicago the Pencraft / Kraker nib was a Pencraft “L”. These nibs with sizes occur in some of his pens.  I am not certain that this nib is original to this pen, but tend to think it is, given the “L”.

Here is a photo of the imprint on the barrel.  It reads:

The Monogram Pen


SOLD ONLY AT The Rexall Store

Given the popularity of the Pearl and Black pattern of this pen and the fact that Kraker was still making pens for Rexall in the late 1920s,  I would guess that this pen was produced in Libertyville, IL in the late 20s by Kraker’s Pen Company.   It is a very attractive pen and the color has survived very well over the past 80 years.

January 12, 2010 Posted by | Kraker, Monogram Fountain Pens | , | 1 Comment

Parker 51 Damaged Filler Units

Happy New Year!

This past week I worked on a Cordovan Parker 51 Vacumatic.  I have each of the primary 51 Vacumatic colors in my collection, but not Cordovan Brown.  When I had the opportunity to acquire this one to complete the four color run ~ India Black. Cedar Blue, and Dove Grey being the other three ~ I jumped at the chance.  The price was very reasonable, and the photo below will confirm why.  After taking the pen completely apart, I discovered that someone had already attempted to repair it, as is evidenced by the filler unit below.  The top unit is what I found after I removed it from the barrel.  There was no sign of a diaphragm in the barrel which confirmed to me that the pen had been taken apart at some point and an attempt at repair had been made.  It is always a good idea to have extra filling units if you are going to work on 51s and Vacumatics, as this is not a rare problem.  As you can see from the top photo, the cup that holds the diaphragm pellet has been damaged and will no longer hold the pellet and thus the vacumatic filling system will not work.  This usually occurs when attempts to remove the old pellet are done incorrectly or with lack of care.

Fortunately, I had some spare units, accumulated over the years.  The bottom unit was a perfect fit and you can see that it is in fine shape.

I inserted a debutante diaphragm on to the filler and inserted it back in to the barrel.  I have covered 51 vacumatic restoration in many posts and if you would like a more detailed description of the entire process, here are a few links to prior articles:

Black And Gold Parker 51 Vacumatic September 25, 2008

Parker Vacumatic June 13, 2008

This pen is interesting for another reason.  As you can see by the imprint below, it was Made in the USA, but bears a T7  imprint with three dots.  This indicates that is was assembled in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in the first quarter of 1947 from parts that were manufactured in Janesville, Wisconsin.

The following was taken from my article of June 9th of this year, and summarizes some of the US /Canada Parker 51 relationships ~

The Canadian division of Parker was started in Toronto, Ontario in 1923.  It began strictly as an assembly location, assembling pens to be distributed in the UK.  At the time, laws prevented product to be produced and shipped from the US to Great Britain, so the Canadian solution was devised.  Eventually, the Toronto location began to manufacture as well.  During WWII it manufactured war parts for Britain.  By the time the 51 Vacumatic came along, during and after WWII, these pens were manufactured in Toronto, as well as simply assembled there.  This pen (well, at least the barrel) was assembled only in Toronto, based on the T6 (edit: T7 for this pen) imprint.  Had it been manufactured there it would have had a “Made in Canada” imprint and no “T” before the date code.

Business must have been good in Canada, as Parker expanded after WWII and opened up an ink production facility in London, Ontario.  They also began making 51 Vacumatics in England in 1947.

Below are photos of the final result – a full sized Parker 51 / Vacumatic from 1947.  Keep an eye out for the more rare colors ~ Tan, Mustard, and Nassau Green.  They are much more difficult to find, quite expensive if sold as restored, but very desirable, especially with double jewels.

January 4, 2010 Posted by | Parker 51, Parker Pen - Canada, Parker Pen Company | , , | 2 Comments


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