Fountain Pen Restoration

Shirley Temple Fountain Pen

Shirley Temple (1928 – 2014) was arguably the most famous child actor of all time.  Her movie career spanned the 1930s and 1940s.

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This week’s restoration is a small fountain pen that bears her name.  Below, you can see the pen after it has been taken apart.

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The next photos are of the restored pen.  It measures a small 4 1/16 inches closed and 5 1/16 inches posted.  It was a quite simple fix.  I had to clean each of the five parts.  The pressure bar inside was solid and working properly, so I did not remove it.  The old sac was nothing but powder.  First I cleaned the inside of the cap and then the threads of the barrel.  Then I polished the clip and lever.  Any gold plate was gone before I polished, so silver will be the color going forward.  In the photo above, you can see that gold plated nib which was in very bad shape, pitted and irreversibly stained.  Amusingly, it reads “Stainless  Gold Plate”.   I was able to find a very nice replacement nib, a 14K Belmont No. 3.  After cleaning the section insides, scraping off the old sac, and cleaning the feed and its channels, I fit the nib and feed back into the section.  I then attached a size 14 sac to the section and allowed the sac cement to dry overnight.  I then replaced the section in the barrel and the pen is ready to write.  The nib is a definite upgrade over the gold plated with no tipping material.

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As you can see, both the clip and barrel are imprinted with the name “Shirley Temple”.  The Shirley Temple on the barrel was originally in gold, which has faded a bit.

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I have seen photographs of these 1930s pens in light blue, red, green, patterned, and light purple.   They were sold as a set, with a matching pencil, and packaged in a nice box with photos of her on the box and the wording ” Sincerely Yours, Shirley Temple, 20th Century Fox Star”.   The pens/pencils were made by David Kahn, Inc., North Bergen, NJ, which was the Wearever Pen Companies.   Two things that I have read, but have no direct proof of are that Ms. Temple received a percentage of each set sold, and that there were other Companies that produced a Shirley Temple pen.  If anyone has any direct evidence of these items, I would like to hear from you.

There were a variety of these celebrity (real or fictional) pens during this period.  I have already written about Mickey Mouse and Popeye Pens.  Some others that I have seen are Hopalong Cassidy and Babe Ruth.  I am sure there are others as well.

Finally, an interesting fountain pen story, involving Shirley Temple.  In 1949 she would have been 21 years old.

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“Hollywood’s most famous child star–could not be protected from such real-life intrusions as kidnap and extortion attempts, death threats and an attempted seduction by a Hollywood producer when she was only 12 years old. The threats weren’t reported at the time, she said, for fear that they would stimulate more threats.

The FBI was called in numerous times to investigate these death and extortion threats against her. She and J Edgar Hoover became friends through it all. In 1949, J. Edgar Hoover gave Shirley Temple a strange FBI souvenir– a fountain pen that emitted tear gas.” (credit: duckduckgrayduck.com)  Indeed, a Fountain Pen Surprise….

Edit (2-13-14)  Sadly, Shirley Temple passed away today. 

March 21, 2013 Posted by | Shirley Temple Fountain Pen | | Leave a comment

Kimberly Ballpoints

When I first saw this at an antique store in a glass of pens and pencils, I thought it was a bullet pencil, but further examination revealed a ballpoint. I grabbed it for a dollar, and brought it home for further examination. After reading the imprint on the silver band, and doing some research on the web, I learned a bit about this compact pen.

Easy to take apart, below are the components.

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I washed the barrel, blind cap and cap in an ultrasonic cleaner.  The old ballpoint refill had, of course dried out.  But not before draining some of its blue ink into the blind cap and barrel.  So, I had to spend a considerable amount of time trying to get the gooey mess out of each.  Once cleaned, the real work begins….

First, I wanted to find if refills still exist – they do not.   To do this required more web searches.  To learn more about these ballpoints requires a visit to an amazing site, maintained by Richard Binder – Richards Pens.  I have no relationship to this site, but do visit it regularly.   His Kimberly information, found here, is phenomenal.  Any information I have acquired, comes directly from his site.

Basically, Kimberly Ballpoints were produced by Kimberly, which was purchase by Eversharp, which was eventually purchased by Parker.  The model I have is a Pockette, the first model, produced sometime during or after the mid 1940s.  This advertisement (below), from my collection, is from an October 16,1948 issue of The Saturday Evening Post, featuring Fred MacMurray, showing the Pockette next to a cigarette for size comparison.  Referring to the link above (Richard’s Pens) will provide far more detailed information on the history of the Kimberly Ballpoints, including Models offered, and Colors.  This is the only Kimberly advertisement that I have, but an internet search will reveal that Humphrey Bogart was also featured in one of these cigarette comparison ads.  Nothing against Fred MacMurray (as a kid I loved him as the Dad in My Three Sons), but Bogart would be a cooler ad to own, and photograph….

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Two closeups of the advertisement ~

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Back to the refill.  I read in various locations that Paper Mate and Cross refills could be adapted to work in Kimberly Pens.  I tried a Papermate,  but it was a little too large to fit through the barrel.  These may work in the later Pockette Jr. and Reporter models, but did not in my Pockette. I then remembered that I had an old Cross Ballpoint – you know, the long slender ones that are often given as gifts.   I pulled the refill out and the fit was not good, but better than any so far.  I admit that I had to widen the tip opening just a small amount, simply using the refill itself.   Now the fit was perfect.  I cut the refill to match the length of the original Kimberly (pictured above), and reassembled the pen.  It fit perfectly and was ready to write (albeit a ballpoint).

Finally, I applied some scratch remover, then polish to the plastic to brighten it up a bit.  The completed pen is below.

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The pen measures 3 3/8 inches closed and 4 3/4 inches posted.

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Imprints on opposite sides of the chrome band ~

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As you can see, this is not the gold filled band model ($7.50 in 1948), but the chrome banded model ($4.95 and not featured in the advertisement).   It is dark blue, presumably not one of the feminine colors referred to above.  These are another example of long/short pens, appealing to the ease of carrying in a pocket or purse.  Yes, they are not a Fountain Pen Restoration, but an interesting writing instrument restoration, from a once major fountain pen manufacturer.

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March 4, 2013 Posted by | Kimberly Ballpoint Pen | | 3 Comments

   

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