Fountain Pen Restoration

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.


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.



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.



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.



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 |


  1. Hi…I have a Waterson pen which is also very similar to this. Glod-plated nib, a bit of flex…

    Comment by Brian Baker | October 16, 2011 | Reply

    • Thank you for the comment Brian. I believe Waterson is an Eclipse product and may point to Townsend as well. I am not certain, though. Thank you for sharing information about your pen. Phil

      Comment by PKM | October 17, 2011 | Reply

  2. Hi: I am interested in having some pens of mine restored or repaired. Do you have any suggestions about where I can find someone who would do this in the Metro area? Thanks, Steve Rau

    Comment by Steven E. Rau | October 18, 2011 | Reply

  3. Hi! I own 3 Waterson pens in different colours that are very similar to this one. One of mine is in the Mandarin yellow. The Waterson pens were out of Massachusetts. All three are sweethearts, just like I bet your yellow one is.

    Comment by xfinenib | November 2, 2011 | Reply

  4. Do you have a writing sample by chance or a description of its writing characteristics?

    Thank you kindly

    Comment by Esteban Schimpf | June 3, 2016 | Reply

    • Esteban, I do not have a sample, but as with many of these vintage pens, the nib is very flexy.

      Comment by PKM | June 3, 2016 | Reply

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