Fountain Pen Restoration

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.

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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.

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Below is the logo on the Hard Rubber, reading

MINNESOTA

WINTER ROBBINS CO.

ST. PAUL,  —-  PAT’D

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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.

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

3 Comments »

  1. A very fitting tribute, Phil. I wish I had a Bexley to ink up in his honor; he was the first guy I ever bought a Bexley from. 😦 I’ll miss him, too. Always enjoyed watching him talk about the Sheaffer Connaisseurs (his collection absolutely boggled my mind), too.

    Comment by Ryan | December 11, 2010 | Reply

  2. Thank you Phil. This is the right way to honor the man.

    AZ

    Comment by Antonios Z. | December 11, 2010 | Reply

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by JD, Scott Sprich. Scott Sprich said: This One Is For You, Dennis « Fountain Pen Restoration: 3 nib and it looks as good as new. Many of Kraker's earl… http://bit.ly/fYdGuo […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention This One Is For You, Dennis « Fountain Pen Restoration -- Topsy.com | December 11, 2010 | Reply


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