Fountain Pen Restoration

Fountain Pens And Collecting Autographs In 1932

I found the book ” Waterman’s Autograph Album“, recently, and excitedly brought it home.  I had never seen one of these before and was excited to find it in great condition, though void of any autographs.  It measures 7 1/8″ by 5 1/8”.  My main attraction was that I know by the name that it was in some way related to the L. E. Waterman Company, one of the leading fountain pen manufacturers of the time.

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You can see that the book was published in 1932, about the time that Waterman was moving away from their famous hard rubber pens and into plastics, such as the Patricians and Lady Patricias.

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Here are photos of the interior.  As you can see, Waterman the Album was part of an Autograph Contest for boys and girls ages 16 and under.  Each child had six months to accumulate autographs of famous persons and submit them to the L. E. Waterman Company.  There were 333 prizes, 133 of which were cash prizes ($1,000 being the grand prize).   100 prizes were fountain pens – No 94 for boys and a Lady Patricia for girls, and 100 were Waterman Mechanical Pencils.

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I find page three below to be particularly interesting, under the heading of “Entering The Names In Your Album”.  Naturally, one would be embarrassed to ask for an autograph without a pen, so it makes sense to have a Waterman handy, filled with Waterman Blue Black Ink, of course!

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Finally, I find paragraph 9 to be interesting.  There is no guarantee that you will get your book back….

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Doing a web search provides an interesting result.  Several of these, with autographs (the one that I found has none), have sold for handsome sums.  I am in no way and expert on autographs, but here are a few examples ~

Sotheby’s auction for Waterman Book, with autographs of 21 of the 1932 New York Yankees

A 1994 query as to what to do with one of these booksthe interesting thing about this is that the writer states that there were 15,000 entries and they came in 29th place (which would have been a $10 prize).  This and the other top 30 were displayed by Waterman at the 1933 Worlds Fair in Chicago and was returned.  The book linked in the letter had the autographs from Winston Churchill, Amelia Earhart, President Calvin Coolidge, President Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, and many others.  I wonder what autographs were in the winning entry?

A book for sale for $750.00, including numerous autographs

A book focusing on State Governor Autographs, including nice photos

Keep an eye out for these at estate sales or vintage book stores.  You may find an empty one, as I did, but it is still an interesting side street of  the fountain pen world.

March 14, 2012 Posted by | L. E. Waterman Pen Company, Waterman Autograph Book | , | 3 Comments

Waterman Skywriter

This week’s pen is not an expensive or highly sought after collectible, but an interesting corner of Waterman, and fountain pen, history.

Waterman Skywriters were produced by Waterman over quite a span of time.  They were first produced in Canada under the Waterman and Aiken Lambert name.  Waterman had purchased Aiken Lambert in the 30s and these first Skywriters used both names. See this link for excellent Skywriter information.  These were produced from sometime in the late 30s into the 1940s.

Interestingly, the name Skywriter was capitalizing on the rising popularity of air travel.  Other Pen Companies had also done this as evidenced by the Wahl Eversharp Skyline and the Sheaffer Skyboy. (follow links to previous posts on these pens)

The second “generation” of these Skywriters were produced by Waterman in the 1950s and are represented by this restoration pen.   Produced mostly in the 1950s, they were primarily a chrome adorned lever filler, but this one has gold filled cap, lever, and nib.  A third generation was produced in the 1950s and resembled the Waterman C/F (cartridge filler), but was still a lever filler and had an open nib, not a C/F type nib.

The second generation Skywriter below had normal wear to its parts.  As you can see, it came apart fairly easily with the assistance of a little heat.  The nib and feed knocked out of the section, and the original sac had separated from the section, needing to be replaced.  The section, feed, and nib were cleaned up and a new size 16 sac was fitted to the section unit.  I buffed out a few scratches on the barrel and polished the cap and nib as well.

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The finished burgundy / gold pen can be seen below.  It measures 5 1/8 inches closed and 6 1/16 inches posted.

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Below is a photo of the gold plated M – 24 Sky Writer nib.

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The Skywriter spanned a few decades and many of these low priced pens can still be found today in varying models and configurations.  Interestingly, very little information exists on them.   Waterman did not highly advertise them or catalog them, probably due to the fact that they were an entry level pen.  If anyone has any written material in the form of advertising or catalogs on these lines, I would love to see it!

For those looking for a low priced, reasonably made, fountain pen…. this is another pen to think about finding and restoring.

March 1, 2012 Posted by | Waterman Pen Company, Waterman Skywriter | , | 6 Comments

   

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