Fountain Pen Restoration

Sheaffer Holiday Pen 1997

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All from Fountain Pen Restoration.  Each of the previous Christmas Posts have featured vintage Christmas Post Cards and the Sheaffer Holly Pen:

Christmas 2009
Christmas 2008
Christmas 2007

This year, I was lucky enough to pick up Sheaffer’s second Holiday Pen ~ The Snow Pen ~ which was produced in the same type of box as the Holly Pen (1996), in 1997.

Here is the pen, sitting on a 1913 post card with a nice Holiday Sentiment ~

Years May Come

And Years May Go

May Happiness

You Always Know

Merry Christmas


Here is the front of the Snow Pen box


And the inside flap, describing the Frederic Mizen painting ~


The snow pen is actually a Prelude model cartridge/converter fill.  Research indicates that these also came in sets with a matching ballpoint, though it appears that mine came without this option.  As you can see, it is a fine point.


Here is a photo taken along with the 1996 Triumph Holly Pen (broad nib).  The Snow Pen was the end to the “Holiday Originals”  two year series.  I do not know if the plan was to continue for more years, but this pen marked the end to a unique marketing campaign.  I am certain that vintage pen collectors, and especially Sheaffer collectors would have loved to see Holiday Pens based on the Balance, Pen For Men, Snorkel, and a Large Red Flat Top…


So, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, to all pen collectors and restorers out there.  Have a great Season and here is to many more pens to discover in the future!


December 20, 2010 Posted by | Christmas, Christmas Pen, Sheaffer, Sheaffer Holiday Originals | , , | 3 Comments

This One Is For You, Dennis

I just received sad news that a friend and fellow collector Dennis Bowden passed away yesterday.  Dennis was a wonderful man, deeply interested in fountain pens, their preservation, and their history.  We traded information regularly and shared a keen interest in Kraker pens and their sometimes mysterious past.  Dennis was always willing to answer a question or trade theories, without ever getting involved in arguments or conflicts that other collectors generated.  He was always the voice of steady reason and just wanted to search out historical information, with the understanding that even if we never find all the facts, the hunt is the fun.  His passing has saddened me, and maybe another collector had it right when he said ~ “these are just pens”.

I looked through my repair queue today and found the perfect pen to restore today – a pen that Dennis would have liked – an early 20s Minnesota Pen Company – Winter Robbins.   George M. Kraker and his Minnesota Pen Company produced these pens, presumably for the Winter – Robbins Stores.  I recently ran into a Minneapolis / St. Paul pen expert who confirmed to me that Winter Robbins was a Twin Cities store.  I have collected several of their pens over the years and I know that Dennis had a few as well.   So Dennis, this one is for you.

Here is a photo of the pen after I took it apart.  It is a lever filler, using the distinctive Lotz lever, common to his early pens.  As you can see, the old sac came out in just a few large pieces.


As this is a BCHR (Black Chased Hard Rubber) pen, I kept all of the pieces away from its enemy – water.  I scraped the section to remove all remnants of the old sac and adhesive.  I also cleaned the feed gently with water and scraped the channels clear with an x-acto knife.  I used metal polish on the Warranted No. 3 nib and it looks as good as new.  Many of Kraker’s early Minnesota pens have cheap furniture, but the Winter Robbins pens often can be found with gold bands.  This one has a very wide gold band that is clear, presumably engraving could have been included.

The completed pen is below.  It measures a long 5 9/16 inches capped and 6 3/4 inches posted and is quite wide as well.



Below is the logo on the Hard Rubber, reading



ST. PAUL,  —-  PAT’D


An additional photo of a Winter Robbins pen can be seen in my post dated December 7, 2007 – Hard Rubber Midwest Style.  Several other posts relate to George Kraker and his pens and can be referenced by clicking on Kraker links in the Blogroll to the right of this post.

The only blemishes on this pen are the fact that the barrel has started to turn brown as these old hard rubber pens are prone to do, and there is a small chip on the reverse side of the cap, near the cap band.  I filled the pen up with Sheaffer  Peacock Blue and the pen writes well.  I will use it for this week in memory of my friend.

December 11, 2010 Posted by | Dennis Bowden, George M. Kraker, Hard Rubber Pen, Kraker, Minnesota Pens, Winter - Robbins | , , , | 3 Comments

Parker Softball Pen

Prototype ~ a name that pen collectors get very excited about. I am skeptical that this is one – I just think it is a pen put together for a Softball Team sponsored by Parker in Janesville, WI in 1971. I purchased it at my local pen club. One of the members brought a friend who had inherited a collection of pens from his father who worked for Parker in Janesville. There were numerous pens from this time period and a gold mine of Jotter Ball Points. I was drawn to this one as I have a soft spot for imprints and this one even has the Pen Company name.

There is no restoration necessary on this pen other than some general clean up. Here is the mystery pen taken apart.  The nib unit on this pen screws out of the section, but I did not thread it all the way out as it did not require cleaning.  I simply tested it to see if it was a screw out unit.


As you can see above, the pen is simple cartridge / converter style.  Its uniqueness comes from a few items –

~ The clear ring that sits on the section, between the cap and the silver trim ring.  It can house piece of paper, presumably with the owners name.

~ A very large and unique clip, that I really like and have not seen on other Parker Pens, still with a narrow arrow down the middle.

~ A large studded gripping area on the section above the nib.


The nib is very reminiscent of a Parker 45 nib – semi – hooded.  As mentioned above, it screws out, as do the 45 nib units to allow for interchanging to fit the nib style the owner prefers. I have never seen one of these before and even though it is not a valuable pen, I enjoy its historical significance, remembering a time when Parker still made pens in Wisconsin.


As I mentioned, this pen reminds me in several respects of a Parker 45.   Below are photos of a Teal Blue 45 and this pen next to each other.  You can see that the 45 is a bit longer and narrower, with a section that matches the  barrel.  The Parker 45 was produced by Parker between 1960 and 2006, an extremely long run for this pen, aimed at the budget minded and school markets.    The differences are several, including the length, width, barrel end, clip, and grip section.  The 45 measures 5 3/8 inches closed and 5 3/4 inches posted and the “Softball Team Pen” measures 5 inches closed and 5 1/2 inches posted.


Here are two Parker 45s from my collection that show the difference in the sections and similarities of the nibs, though the 45s have gold nibs.  You will note that the Flighter version of the 45 has a black section while the Teal has a section that matches the barrel.  All three have the PARKER imprint on the cap below the arrow, as seen below.


So, what is this pen?  I honestly don’t know.  My guess is that it is a pen thrown together for the softball team(s) of the 1971 season.  Whether it was a prototype for another pen or a variant of the 45, I do not know.  Perhaps one of the Parker experts out there can chime in and offer a solution to this puzzle.  In the meantime, I will just enjoy using it.

Note:  Please see comment below from John regarding this pen and that it was a test marketed School Pen.  Thank you to John for sharing his insight.

December 3, 2010 Posted by | Parker 45, Parker Pen Company | , | 4 Comments


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