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. 

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March 21, 2013 - Posted by | Shirley Temple Fountain Pen |

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