Fountain Pen Restoration

Filene’s Fountain Pen

What is it with Department Stores and Yellow Ringtop fountain pens?

In my post of January 16, 2012 , I restored and discussed a yellow ringtop with the Buettell (Dubuque, IA) imprint on it. Buettell was a Store in Dubuque and this pen has the Filene’s imprint.  More on Filene’s later.

As with many vintage yellow flat tops that were used, old ink is a staining problem that is difficult to deal with.  As you can see below, this pen was no exception.


I performed all the usual cleaning and repair steps on this one.  The plastic barrel and cap are of fairly cheap quality and remind me of the Townsend pen that I restored back on October 12, 2011.  I spent a lot of time on the barrel threads.  As I have mentioned before, I find that a toothbrush works well with some kind of ink remover such as Ink Nix.  I removed all of the old sac and replaced it with a trimmed size 16.  The nib was cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner and finished off with a jewelers cloth.  The barrel and cap outsides were gently cleaned with scratch remover and polish.  The inside of the cap was caked with old ink and I cleaned it in the ultrasonic cleaner and then with qtips and water.  Ever after all of the ink was removed, you can see below that the cap is permanently stained as the old ink has altered the yellow plastic.  I finished up by cleaning the section and feed and reinserting the nib.  Finally, I attached a shortened size 16 sac to the section/feed/nib and inserted it into the barrel.


The pen measures 4 5/8 inches closed and 6 inches capped.


Here is a closeup of the barrel imprint – FILENE’S.  Filene’s was a department store that was started in Boston in the late 1800s and built their flagship store there in 1912.  The famous retailer continued in operation until the early 21st century.


The nib, which I am thinking is not original to the pen, is a Wahl Eversharp Signature 2, and in very nice condition.  I am uncertain as to its originality because I do not think this would be a Wahl product.  I do not know who did make it, but Wahl would not be on the top of my list. The nib, which has been in the pen for a while, is a nice addition, however.


Here are my two “department store” pens together.  The top pen is this Filene’s pens and the bottom is the Dubuque, IA Buettell Brothers Pen.  I would be interested to know if these were provided to employees to use in the stores (the ringtop would make it easier to wear carry and use), or as gifts.   Yellow would certainly make them stand out!   As mentioned in the Buettell article, I would place these in the 1930s range of production, based on the style.  Certainly, Filene’s was a vibrant retailer in Boston at that time.


I would be interested to hear if anyone has any other large retail store logo pens from this time period.  An interesting subset of the fountain pen world, to be sure…..


October 6, 2012 - Posted by | Buettell Brothers Dubuque Iowa, Filene's Fountain Pen | ,

1 Comment »

  1. Hi Phil, great stuff as always!
    I have a Strawbridge and Clothier, and Wannamaker and 1-2 Macy’s imprinted pens.
    Photos in

    Comment by kalopistos | October 21, 2012 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: