Fountain Pen Restoration

Pencraft School Spirit Pens

For those of you who have followed this blog since it started eight years ago, you will know that one of my favorite topics is George Kraker and his colorful career in the fountain pen business in the 1920s.  Just click on his name in the Blogroll to the right and there are many posts regarding his pens in Minneapolis, Chicago, Kansas City, Grand Haven (MI) and Libertyville (IL).

One pen of his that has always eluded me is his bi-color, Libertyville produced, Flat Top lever filler.  The are not extremely rare, but seem to get snapped up quickly if they hit the market.

Speculation is that these were produced and marketed for the School market.  They come in several color variations and the thought is that they targeted various educational institutions  and their school colors.  This would have targeted black and gold schools.  Coincidentally, my oldest daughter is a current college student at a Black and Gold University and this will be an easy one to pass along.  I have another in college – did Kraker make an orange and blue?

Below is the pen after I took it apart.  Like all of his brands of the period (late 1920s), these were solid lever fillers.

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I spent quite a bit of this restoration, as one does with light colored pens (white, yellow etc..) cleaning the body and threads.   For the threads, I have been using a toothbrush and ink remover.  It seems to work very well, as you can see from the photo below.  I also cleaned the section and feed with gentle water and qtips, and made sure to clean the grooves in the feed with an x-acto knife.

The nib (photo below) is a nice Forever No. 3, common in many later model Kraker products.  It polished up nicely and the fit was perfect when inserted back in the barrel.  This one took a shortened size 16 sac.

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The completed pen measures 4 1/4 inches closed and 5 3/4 inches posted.

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Here is a close up of the crisp imprint.  As a refresher, George Kraker used his first and middle names reversed as the name of his pen company when he was in Illinois and Michigan.  His full name was George Michael Kraker – thus the Michael-George Company name.  Also, Libertyville was his last stop as a major pen maker.

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Here is a close up of the Forever No. 3 nib. His various models of the period – Dixie, Yankee, Pencraft, Monogram, Minnesota, and a few others – had many different nibs – Warranted, Yankee, Dixie, Everlasting, and Forever (similar to this one).

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Finally, this pen seems to be built on the same platform that he used for many of his other pens which can all be accessed from the menu on the right.  Go Black and Gold!!


November 23, 2015 Posted by | George M. Kraker, Kraker, Pencraft Pens | , , | 5 Comments


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