Fountain Pen Restoration

Charles Keene – Keene Fountain Pens

One of the advantages of having a blog such as this, where I can cover a wide variety of non commercial fountain pen topics, is that I get to talk with many people with similar interests. Some are experts, who communicate to share their knowledge and expertise, and some are fellow collectors who want to share similar experiences and add to the discussion. Once and a while, I hear from family members of persons discussed in various articles. I was fortunate to correspond with Frank Spors’ son on a few occasions, who shared valuable historical information on a few post about Spors Pens that I wrote a few years ago. I also have communicated with fellow collectors in Alabama and Argentina, who have shared many Artcraft Pen historical references that I would never had found.

A few weeks ago I received an email from the great granddaughter of the recipient of the letter below.  You can see that the letter was written to Mrs. Long by Charles Keene,  her cousin.  She had apparently attempted to assess the value of an antique, and possibly sell it.  I have previously written about Charles Keene in my post of February 21, 2011 – Keene Fountain Pens.  In that post I discussed Keene pens and their relationship with Eclipse.  The letter confirms the referenced New York address in 1931.  It also lists foreign locations and confirms that pens were certainly not his main product line.  I wonder what type of pen he used to sign this letter in 1931???

Mrs. Long died a few months after receiving this letter at age 55.  Her mother and Charles’ father were brother and sister, from Augusta, Maine.  Her great granddaughter also shared this obituary from the New York Times in 1947.

Charles obit from the New York Times published 27 Jul 1947 reads:
Charles A. Keene, retired diamond merchant and jeweler, formerly of many years proprietor of a store at 180 Broadway, New York, died here today in the Cape Cod Hospital after a week’s illness. As had been his custom for a long time he was spending the summer at his house in East Dennis. He was born eighty-one years ago in Windsor, ME, a son of William G. Keene.
Mr. Keene’s wife, Sadie B. Keene, who died on Sept 2, 1929 left her husband a life interest in her estate. of which the net value was appraised in Nov 1930, at $2,530,025. Mr. Keene’s New York residence in recent years was the Hotel Waldorf-Astoria.

I am thankful to Mrs. Long’s great grandaughter for sending this to me and granting me permission to share it here. It is another contribution to the history of fountain pens, shedding light on one of it’s fringe participants.


August 17, 2011 - Posted by | Keene Fountain Pens | ,


  1. I was using my grandmother’s Esterbrook fountain pen, when a piece of the tip broke off…rendering it unable to write. Can this tip be replaced?

    Comment by Tom Wood | December 14, 2011 | Reply

    • Most Esterbrook fountain pens have a replacable nib. There are/were literaly dozens of nibs of all kind of configurations – fine, medium, stiff, flexible, etc. There should be a number on the upper surface of the nib such as 9668 (firm, medium). You can get a replacement from many sellers on the internet or sellers on ebay. The average price I’ve seen is around $15.

      Comment by Martin E. Kader | December 27, 2011 | Reply

      • Thanks. I have found several replacement sources!

        Comment by Tom Wood | December 27, 2011

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