Fountain Pen Restoration

Atlas Appliance Desk Pen

A recent family vacation unearthed this Desk Set.  We were traveling through Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois and a rainy day brought us to an antique store in rural northwestern Illinois.  When I saw this one, I assumed it was a Sheaffer.  After all, we were only a hundred or so miles from Fort Madison and they were famous for producing a myriad of desk sets.  So, for $9.00, I snatched it up and we were on our way.  Not until I got home and unwrapped it on my work bench did I realize that it was not a Sheaffer set.

I have written about a few other desk sets in the past ~

Rube Goldberg Ink Delivery Machine – December 21, 2007

Fishing For A Desk Base – January 19, 2008

Gold Bond Stonite Desk Pen – December 17, 2008

I am not certain who made the pen or the desk hardware.  I only know that the clock was made in Germany from its markings.

However, I do know that it was probably put together for the Atlas Appliance Corporation in Brooklyn, NY.

Below, is the exploded view of the desk pen after I took it apart.  Nothing special here and a very underused pen as there were very few traces of ink.  I only needed to replace the size 14 sac and the jbar.  The bar was still intact, as you can see, but it was brittle and broke after a few pulls.  I polished the ornamental band and lever, but left the nib alone, as it is gold plate and I wanted to retain as much of the gold as possible.

As with many desk pens of this type, the sac has to be trimmed quite short, as the barrel is smaller to allow the taper to screw in.  I also used a smaller size j-bar to accommodate this.

Here is a photo of the completed pen, ready to write.

And the completed set.  The clock is a wind-up model (remember those?) with a wind up alarm and alarm volume control on the reverse.  I found that it works for about 1.5 days after being completely wound.  The familiar tick-tick-tick brought back some childhood memories that battery or electric clocks have taken away.  Orbros was a Clock and Barometer manufacturer in Germany and several of their products are still sold in the antique marketplace.  I have no evidence that they still exist.

The underside of the handsome marble base bears this label from Lachman and Company.  They still exist in the Detroit area and as you can see by the link, still very active in these types of promotional products, among many other products and services.

The lever filling desk pen bears this imprint.  I don’t have any information on the Company, but my guess is that they used these as promotional pieces or awards.

The coolest part of the set is the nib.  It actually bears the Company Name and what I believe is their logo as well.

Lachman may have contracted these pieces and then sold them to Atlas for their use.  It would be interesting to find other desk bases made for Lachman that they sold to other corporate clients.  The imprinted gold plate nib is what makes this set to me.

It now resides in my office at work.  Now I just have to remember to wind it each day…..


March 10, 2010 Posted by | Atlas Appliance Fountain Pen, Desk Pens | | 3 Comments


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