Fountain Pen Restoration

Indian Fountain Pen Combo / Part II

I first acquired an Indian brand fountain pen / pencil back in March of this year, and wrote briefly about the restoration of one on March 10, 2011.

Indian Fountain Pen

Well, a few months later, I ran across another and was able to swing a trade to acquire it. These never seem to be in pristine condition, but this one seemed to be in fair condition. Below, is a photo of the pen, after taking it apart.  You can see that the green pattern is in very good shape.  The first thing that jumps out is the dirty nib.

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After cleaning the nib, it is apparent that it is beyond salvage, and needs to be replaced. Here is where a spare nib drawer comes in handy. Nibs can be purchase on their own, or harvested off of “lost cause” pens. I have a future article in draft on some pens that I purchased for next to nothing due to their horrible condition, but the nib is in great shape and ready for transplant into another needy pen.

This Indian an example of a pen (and pencil combo in this case) in need of a transplant.  The gold plated nib in the top photo is the original nib to this open and it a pitted and damaged Iridium Gold Plate No. 4.    I had a “Very Smooth Made in USA”  medium nib which is identical in size and fit perfectly in the section.  It is in the second photo below.

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After polishing the exterior of the pen and pencil barrels, including the clip, lever, and pencil casing, I inserted the new nib and feed into the section.  As you can see, the fit was perfect.  I then inserted a new size 16 sac into the barrel, still using the old jbar, which was in great shape.

The final result is below.

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The Combo measures 5 1/2 inches closed, and 5 7/8 inches posted

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In the two photos below, taken with the yellow Indian from the March 10, 2011 post, you can see the different clips on each pen.  The yellow pen retains its original “Iridium No. 4”  nib.

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As I mentioned in the first Indian Pen article, speculation is that these were a brand produced by the Arnold Pen Company, possibly in the 1930s.  I have no direct evidence of this, but have read the educated guesses. If anyone has direct evidence, please pass it along.

I have also seen a red and blue patterned Indian Pens. Be on the look out for them. They are a nice colorful addition to any collection.

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October 24, 2011 Posted by | Indian Fountain Pens, Indian Pen Company | , | 1 Comment

Townsend Fountain Pens

A bit of an obscure brand of 1920s/30s fountain pen made its way onto my workbench this week.  It is a Townsend branded pen in bright Mandarin Yellow.  One sees Townsend pens from time to time from this era.  I had never been tempted to work on one, or own one, but the yellow color attracted me and it appears to be fairly well made.  It is a third tier pen though with its blemishes such as cheap plastic that has deteriorated in spots and gold plate on the clip and lever.

Here is a photo of the pen after I had taken it apart.  The lever was intact and in good condition.  You can see on portion of the sac – the remainder was dust.  Note the bad staining and discoloration of the barrel and cap – common with these older lightly colored pens.

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I first worked on the section/feed/nib.  I cleaned the section by scraping off all remnants of the old sac, leaving a smooth surface on the shank.  I also used a qtip and water to fully clean the inside of the section which almost always has years of caked-on ink.  The feed was cleaned briefly in water and then I scraped out all of the channels with and exacto knife.  The nib, a Warranted 14K Number 8, was cleaned in my ultrasonic cleaner and then dried and touched up with a jewelers cloth.

The barrel and cap (inside and out) were first given a bath in the ultrasonic cleaner and then scrubbed with a dremel and barrel polish.  The results are below.  Except for the lever anchor line (seen through the cheap plastic) the pen is very clean.  I was even able to clean out the threads of the barrel to their original yellow – not an easy task on these pens.  The pen measures 5 18/64 inches closed and 6 1/2 inches posted.

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As you can see, the pen is branded in two places – the cap clip and lever.  I have no information as to who made Townsend pens.  Some people I have talked to have speculated that they were a sub brand produced by National Pen Products in Chicago, though I have not seen any proof of this.  Others have speculated that they were produced by Eclipse.   I do not lean in either direction and look forward to hearing from someone with additional information.

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I have seen several Townsend pens.   The unique green marbled ends of this pen is a very nice touch and does remind me of the ends of many Eclipse brands.

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Of course, the Townsend name surfaced again, many years later.  Cross Pens uses this name for one of its recent lines of pens.  Just try searching the internet for information on this vintage brand, and you will soon find out…

If you have any other Townsend Fountain Pens that  have survived, and information about them, I would love to hear from you.

10-12-11 Edit:  A reader has sent an email stating that they have a Wearever that is very similar to this pen.  This is another possibility of a producer of this pen (or the parts for this pen). 

October 12, 2011 Posted by | Townsend Fountain Pens | | 6 Comments

   

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