Fountain Pen Restoration

Diamond Point Yellow Flat Top

I am not an expert on Diamond Point Pens, but I had a chance to restore what turned out to be a nice pen, and learn some interesting history during the process.

This pen came to me from a fellow collector and I purchased it locally.  As you can see, it was in fairly good condition when I got it.   You can see that it needs some general cleaning, both inside and out, as well as a new sac.

Yellow pens are very prone to cracking and this would have been a pen that I would have expected to see some cracks, especially near the cap ring, but none are present.  As I have said, I like large pens with large nibs and this is just that.

I took the pen apart and cleaned the inside of the cap, as well as the outside of both the barrel and cap.  I alternated with Pentiques cleaning compound and then their polish on the outside and was able to get rid of all if the staining and spots that so often plagues these light colored plastics.  I cleaned the section with a q tip and water, scrubbing all of the old ink out of the inside.  I cleared the feed channels with and x-acto knife and polished the nib.  Once I reassembled the nib/feed/section,  I measured and attached a size 20 sac and let it dry overnight.  I then inserted the assembly back into the barrel (the jbar and lever were clean).

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The completed pen is below.  Given the length of the sac and large 20 size, this pen holds a lot of ink.  The clip and cap ring polished well and no plating was lost.

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I am quite impressed with the general quality of this pen and became interested in some of the history behind the pen.  I will admit that, though I own two other Diamond Points, I knew little about them other than they were a New York City Company.

Diamond Point started near, if not before, the turn of the Century, in New York.  Initially, they made Black Hard Rubber Eyedroppers and may have had other pens as well.  They continued until WWI, when the ownership changed.  I have read that the initial owner died in the War.  After the new ownership took over, the pens took on the markings of the NEW Diamond Point.  See the clip below for this wording.  In the 1920s they made some very attractive pens, and I believe this pen dates during that time period.   Eventually Diamond Point Pens slipped in quality, and the Company continued to make pens into the 1950s.

Further details from more learned persons can be found here.

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Here is the cleaned up imprint, reading ~

DIAMOND POINT

TUCOLOR

FILL        E -Z

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The clip, showing the New Diamond P.P. Co., found on many of their pens of the period.

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I am not certain if the nib is the original nib for this pen.  I have seen Diamond Point and Warranted Nibs on these.  If I had to guess, I would say this is a replacement.

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Both the cap and barrel have jade and black inserted rings, providing a nice touch to the design of the pen.  I have seen these on other brands such as vintage Eclipse pens.

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Keep an eye out for Diamond Points, especially the colorful and well-made pens of the late 1920s.  They may not be top tier, but they are close….

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July 23, 2010 Posted by | Diamond Point Fountain Pens | | 1 Comment

Pen Restorers

No pen restoration here, just some small humor, but still on topic……

What does your Dad do? As a father of three, this is a question my kids have been asked and in turned asked me as they grow up. Being in the Financial Services Industry doesn’t get me a lot of invitations to Parent’s Day. That is usually reserved for Parents with more exciting jobs such as Pilots, Photographers, Artists, Writers, Police etc…. A few weeks ago one of my daughters (2nd Grade) was given an assignment where they had to write a story about their parent’s job. They were to include what the job entailed, what the parent wore, and what the workplace looks like. Apparently, my “real” job was not going to cut it and she decided to go out of the box and talk about what she perceives as my “other” job. Though only a hobby to me, she thinks otherwise….

Apologies to those restorers with nicer workshops than my “garage” looking workbench area.

Art Linkletter said it ~ Kids Say The Darndest Things…..

July 16, 2010 Posted by | Just For Fun | | 1 Comment

Three Pencils Just For Fun

Occasionally, I cover pencils in my restorations.  Often times they come as part of a set, as I have covered in articles about Parker 51,, Parker Vacumatic, Striped Duofold, and Sheaffer sets.   As a fountain pen collector, you constantly run across vintage mechanical pencils in your searches and they are frustratingly more common than the pens we covet.  I usually resist the temptation to clutter up my pen case with pencils, but when they are available for a very low price, it is hard to resist.  The three pencils that I restored this week were all found at less than a dollar apiece, so I could not resist.  They came in varying conditions – two completed sets, and one has an interesting story and interior.

The first photo below is of the simple opening of all three.  All were mechanically sound, but a bit dirty and without lead.

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The first pencil I cleaned up is a very clean example of a Sheaffer brown striped pencil with a military clip.  This would seem to place it in the World War II time period of the early 1940s.  It measures 5 1/8 inches and takes 0.9 mm pencil leads.  The lead is inserted and then fed using a twist motion of the barrel and cap.  What is nice about this pencil is the wide 14K band.  There is a clear area of the band that was available for signature or initial of the owner.  This pencil’s was left blank. As you can see from the top photo, the eraser is old and dried up.  It can be lifted and there is room for spare pencil lead. I cleaned the eraser and inserted an ample supply of 0.9mm lead.

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I do no know what the corresponding pen is for this pencil.  My guess is that it has a larger signature band than the two brown striped military clip models that I have.

The photo below is of two pens from my collection, both Sheaffer lever filling Balance models from the early 1940s.  Not a perfect match, but close.

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The second pencil is a mid 1930s Vacumatic Junior Pencil, made in Canada, based on the imprint.  You can see from the topmost photo that the largest issue with this pencil is the pitted tip.  I worked long and hard to try to clean this up and the best I could do is the result below.  It measures 4 5/8 inches and also advances lead and is filled by twisting the cap and barrel in opposite directions.  It takes a much larger lead – using a 1.15mm lead.

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Below is a photo of this pencil with a 1935 Vacumatic Junior that I restored in a June 20, 2008 article.  I had restored a similar US made pencil to pair with this pen in a previous pencil article, so this will be a user pencil and the other, which is in great shape, will stay with the pen.

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The final pencil is a bit of an oddity and just for fun.   There is no corresponding fountain pen, but a bit of history that actually fits in with some fountain pen history.

The vintage mechanical pencil below is a Ritepoint Pencil.  On the pencil it indicates that Ritepoint is in St. Louis, Missouri.  Google searches of Ritepoint generate many interesting mechanical pencils with all sorts of advertising twists.

First, the particulars of this pencil.  It measures 5 5/8 inches long and the lead (it takes 0.9mm lead) advances and is filled by holding the point and twisting the full barrel.  You can see from the first photo above that the barrel pulls apart to reveal a large eraser and small lead storage area.  The clip reads Ritepoint, and underneath there appears a list of Patents.

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I researched the patents and they are below.  Clicking on each will take you to the Patent Summary and Drawings.

Osborne Balanced Pencil

Lipic Ornamental Device

Lipic Ornamental Device II

Here is a copy of the Lipic Ornamental Device drawing from 1941.  In the abstract they refer to inserting an image, symbol, or advertising device in the top of the pen to be viewed through the window at the top of the pencil.

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My pencil was fortunately not used in their diagrams, appearing after the patent process.  I am not certain what Mr. Dow was promoting, but suspect it was just a pencil (New Peek Pencil) that was a novelty and could be used to promote a business or product.  Research indicates that the Louis F. Dow Company was a large National Promotional firm that produced all types of articles such as pens and calendars to promote businesses.  They were known to use  models such as the one in this  pencil for these promotions.   Before anyone sends emails about content, I can assure you that Miss Negligee is fully clothed.  The photos below are a bit hazy as it was difficult to get my camera to take a photo through the small hole.

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An interesting tidbit that I learned about Ritepoint / St. Louis (the maker of the pencil)  when researching the patents is that they were associated with the Lipic family in some way.  I am sure that the St. Louis collectors out there know the connection, but the patents for both Ritepoint Pencils and Lighters carry the Lipic name as you can see above.  I have already discussed Lipic Pens in an article on The Radium Point Pen, dated January 22, 2009.  Further information on the Lipic Company can be found there.

Ritepoint pencils, as mentioned above, came in many different styles, with floating scenes, personalities, and perpetual calendars.  The ones I have seen, including this one, are very well made, and continue to be very functional today.  Here is a link to another Ritepoint review from a very good Mechanical Pencil blog that I check out regularly ~ Dave’s Mechanical Pencils … Ritepoint.

Sorry for the diversion again into pencils.  Once and a while it is fun to pick up a few and get them working again.   Not all of us can do a Crossword Puzzle with a fountain pen, can we?

July 7, 2010 Posted by | Lipic Fountain Pens, Parker Pen Company, Parker Vacumatic, Ritepoint Mechanical Pencils, Sheaffer, Vintage Mechanical Pencils | , , , | 1 Comment

   

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