Fountain Pen Restoration

Artcraft Filigree

I have written several pieces on Artcraft (Alabama and Argentina)  Pens and History ~

Artcraft Financial Certificate – November 2, 2011

Artcraft Advertising in Argentina – September 26, 2011

Artcraft Gold Ringtop Fountain Pen –  September 2, 2011

Artcraft in Argentina – June 23, 2011

An Artcraft Wedding – January 11, 2011

Cromer Artcraft Lifelong Fountain Pen – March 2, 2010

Artcraft Fountain Pens –  August 18, 2009

Certainly many more entries than I would have imagined back in August 2009, when I restored my first Artcraft.

I crossed paths with another this Winter; a gold filigree ringtop.  Similar in size to the gold ringtop restored in September 2011, it was not without its problems when I received it.  Below you can see the pen after I took it apart. The sac was completely hardened and broken.  The nib was badly discolored and the barrel stained inside and out.

I was able to clean the pen up pretty well.  The nib was cleaned with a jewelers cloth, and in an ultrasonic cleaner.  Filigrees are tricky and time consuming to polish as you have to try and avoid touching the Black Hard Rubber barrel and cap that are the foundation for the gold designs.  So, I took a long time to polish the gold filigree part by part, with a narrow, cut jewelers cloth.  The only part that I was unable to clean was the worn barrel end that had suffered years of posting of the cap (see below photos).  I was able to salvage the old pressure bar and cement a trimmed down size 16 sac to the scraped and cleaned section/feed/nib.

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The completed pen is below.

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It measures 4 inches closed and 5 3/8 inches posted.

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Here is a photo of two very different Artcraft Ringtops.  The lower pen is the Ringtop that I restored in my post of September 2, 2011.   You can see that there are several differences in the two pens.  The filigree is larger, has a different type of lever, and different imprints.

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The lever on the pen is another of the Artcraft questions.  The artists palette is the same as on many of the Artcraft’s that I own, but the lever is a new one to me.  I have seen “Artcraft” and Cromer Artcraft”, but this is the first “Edison Artcraft” that I have handled.  The only connection that I have been able to think of is with Edison /Arnold Pens of Petersburg, Virginia.  I have read that there may have been a connection between Ford Cromer and Edison.  This might point to a production connection early in Artcraft’s history.

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Finally, the nib.  It is an Artcraft No. 2, the same nib as found on the gold ringtop above.  Same familiar artist’s palette and heart hole.

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One thing that I am starting to see from the small number of Artcraft pens that I own, is that during the short time that they were in the the United States (Alabama), they had a wide variety of pen models, configurations, and names.  Then, they picked up stakes and moved to Argentina in the 30s.   Truly an intriguing Company.

11-12-12 Edit:   The following comment was received from Alabama native, and Artcraft collector, John Hubbard, which may shed some light on the Edison Artcraft name.  It also places this pen in the 1920 range ~

“The Edison Artcraft imprint certainly is interesting. On October 22, 1920, Ford Cromer, G.B. Forbes, and Harriet Cromer incorporated under the name “Edison-Cromer Pen Co., Inc.” The name of the company was changed shortly afterward to “Cromer Artcraft Pen Co., Inc.” Since Ford Cromer was originally a traveling salesman for Edison Pen Company, it would seem very likely that he had his first pens made by Edison under contract. But perhaps Edison objected to his use of their name in his company name because of the possibility of confusion and the name was changed accordingly.”

 

November 12, 2012 Posted by | Artcraft Fountain Pens | | 6 Comments

Artcraft Financial Certificate

My friend Rodrigo, from Argentina, who sent me the Artcraft Advertisement that is the subject of my post of  September 26, 2011, once again generously surprised me with another piece of Artcraft ephemera – a 1940s-1950s Artcraft Bearer Bond.

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You can see from the dates that Artcraft was a going concern during these dates.  I am uncertain if this drawing is of an actual Artcraft building, but think there is a chance that this was a 1950s version of the Company that started in the late 1920s in Birmingham, Alabama, only to up and move to Argentina in the mid 1930s.

I would also think that this certificate (translation = Bearer Bond) was issued during the period that these pens (restored in my post of June 23, 2011 – Artcraft in Argentina) were produced.  Actually, I think the top pen would be more likely to have been produced in this period.

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Another small piece of the Artcraft international story. Thank you, Rodrigo!

November 2, 2011 Posted by | Artcraft Fountain Pens | | Leave a comment

Artcraft Advertising In Argentina

Yes, another Artcraft post. For those not keeping count, here are the others:

Artcraft Fountain Pens – August 18, 2009

Cromer Artcraft Lifelong Fountain Pen – March 2, 2010

An Artcraft Wedding – January 11, 2011

Artcraft in Argentina – June 23, 2011

Artcraft Gold Ringtop Fountain Pen – September 2, 2011

The fourth one listed covered the restoration of two Argentinian produced Artcraft pens, including some magazine advertisements related to the Escritor. These posts over the years have led to a fellow collector and I communicating on the Artcraft brand in his country. He has provided me with several photos of Artcraft pens from Argentina and surprised me recently with this advertisement.  It is a great find for those interested in both US and Argentina branded Artcraft Pens, and even for Parker and Waterman enthusiasts..

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This is an amazing piece of Artcraft history for a couple of reasons. First, it compares the Artcraft pen to two iconic pens, the Parker Vacumatic (looks to be a mid to late 1930s first generation version) and a Waterman Patrician.  Second, the Artcraft pen used for the comparison is almost identical to the pen restored in my post of August 18, 2009 titled Artcraft Fountain Pens ~ photo below.

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Clearly, the advertisement is pointing out the similarities and differences of the three brands.  Much current discussion is spent on the three tiers of fountain pens during this time period.  Parker and Waterman are universally placed in the first tier.  Artcraft is clearly not.  As a fan of their pens, I enjoy seeing it advertised along side of them.

While on the topic of Artcraft, here is another another link to an Artcraft Site, produced by a friend and fellow collector:

Artcraft Collection

Finally, thank you Rodrigo, for this wonderful gift, and for allowing me to share it!

September 26, 2011 Posted by | Artcraft Fountain Pens, Uncategorized | | 1 Comment

Artcraft Gold Ringtop Fountain Pen

Sometimes good things come in small packages. I am normally not a collector of ringtops, or small fountain pens. The exception to this rule is when it is a brand that I am researching or interested in. The opportunity to pick up another Artcraft (Birmingham, AL) for a ringtop price was too good to pass up. I have written about Artcrafts on three separate occasions ~

Artcraft Fountain Pens – August 18, 2009

Cromer Artcraft Lifelong Fountain Pen – March 2, 2010

An Artcraft Wedding – January 11, 2011

You can see from the photo below that this one comes in three pieces.  The reason for this is that the lever is intact and the feed and nib appear to be fit extremely securely into the section.  I tried to move them with heat and with water help and they did not budge.  This is not a problem as long as you can clean each of them.  I let the ultrasonic cleaner do the work here.  After several cleanings, the assembly was very clean and channels appear to be fully open.

I was careful on the barrel and cap at first, being careful in case the gold was a thin gold plate.   This does not appear to be the case and I was able to clean them using the ultrasonic cleaner and a jewelers cloth.

Finally, I attached a trimmed down (1 3/16 inch) size 14 sac to the section.

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The resulting pen is below, a gold ringtop pen with a screw in barrel.  It measures 3 5/8 inches closed and 5 3/16 inches posted.

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For the sake of comparison, the Artcraft (Bottom) next to a 1920s Wahl Ringtop. The sizes are identical, though the chasing, section configuration, and lever is different.

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Here is a close up of the chasing, the common lever, and clean barrel end.

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The ringtop is also quite clean.

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Finally, a nice medium Artcraft No. 2 nib with the familiar artist’s easel logo.

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The pen has no markings on it at all and I have no proof of whether this is actually an Artcraft, but the nib and its apparent molding to the feed and section lead me to believe that it is.  An Artcraft collector has commented to me that he believes this is indeed an Artcraft.

I am not sure what attracts me to Artcrafts – maybe it is the fact that they were located in Alabama, away from the centers of Fountain Pen production, or maybe the fact that they mysteriously left for South America in the mid 1930s and I don’t know why.  Whatever the reason, I always enjoy hunting them down and learning a little more each time.

Addendum:  I have recently come across some fantastic Artcraft / Argentina ephemera which I will be photographing and posting soon.  Thank you so much, Rodrigo!

September 2, 2011 Posted by | Artcraft Fountain Pens | | 2 Comments

Artcraft In Argentina

Artcraft Pens are pens that I started taking an interest in after picking one up, restoring, and writing about it in August of 2009 ~ Artcraft Fountain Pens.   At that time I had done a bit of research from afar, utilizing a Birmingham, AL museum curator and several local sources.  After writing the above post, several knowledgeable collectors contacted me, both formally and mysteriously.   One person mentioned that the Company, led by J. G. Erwin picked up and left for Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1934.  I continued to seek out Artcrafts and wrote two more articles on them:

Cromer Artrcraft Lifelong Fountain Pen –  March 2, 2010

An Artcraft Wedding –  January 11, 2011

All three posts discussed Artcraft pens from the 1920s and 1930s in Birmingham, Alabama.  Over the course of the last year or so I have been corresponding with a few collectors in Argentina and gather bits and pieces on Artcraft there.  I was able to secure a couple of their pens and worked to restore them last week.

The first photo below shows the two pens after I have taken them apart.  The pieces are co-mingled,  but two stand out.  First, the top left looks similar to a Parker 51 hood, containing the feeder and nib.  I chose not to take this apart.  With all of my 51 restorations I have done so, but this was especially stubborn to take apart and I decided to just clean it and leave it in one piece – more later.  Second is the gold cap.  There was no jewel in the cap, but there was a chamber and threads where a jewel had been.

You can also see that the parts are very dirty and in need of strong cleaning.

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The first pen that I worked on was the black plastic lever filler.  I completely cleaned all of the parts, including scraping the old sac remnants from the section.   I cleaned the section, inside and out, as well as the feed.  The nib is a “Park Avenue” and I do not know if this is a replacement, or original to the pen.  If a replacement, it was replaced in Argentina, as the pen was purchased there.  Cleaning the nib eliminated all traces of gold plate, but the steel nib fits in with the polished silver cap band and clip.   These arrived in silver and I suspect there was no gold plate on them when new.  I installed a size 16 sac on the section after the feed and nib were inserted.  The section was placed back in the barrel and the lever system works fine .

As you can see, the cap band and clip polished up well, as did the plastic barrel and cap. The pen measures 5 1/8 inches capped and 6 1/4 inches posted. It is very similar to the Parker (Safford) Fifth Avenue in size and style.

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The imprint below reads:

ARTCRAFT PEN CO ARG.

INDUSTRIA  ARGENTINA

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Here is a close up of the Park Avenue nib. Again, I am uncertain as to if this is the original nib.

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The next pen restored is an Escritor with the Parker 51 like hooded nib and aerometric filler.  As I mentioned earlier, I chose to leave the hood/collector/feed/ and nib intact.  I placed them in an ultrasonic cleaner and washed them until any sign of ink was gone.  I then attached a size 14 sac to the section and trimmed it to fit the aerometric filling unit.  I then glued the aero unit to the section and allowed it to sit overnight.  I then began the long task of cleaning the barrel and cap.  Both were very dirty and scratched up.  After quite a bit of effort, I was able to clean these up and, with the help of some scratch remover, I realized that the barrel and section are actually a dark blue.  Below are photos of the pen which measures 5  3/16 inches capped and 6 1/8 inches posted.

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As I noted earlier, the cap had a black plastic jewel that was missing, so I found Parker 51 jewel in my parts bin and used it as a substitute.  I fits perfectly and spices the pen up a bit.

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The imprint on the barrel and on the aerometric filler reads:

Escritor (in script)

INDUSTRIA ARGENTINA

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The two Argentinian advertisements below, that I was able to obtain from a collector in that country, reveal the tie in to Artcraft, or what remained of it in Argentina.  The pen is not a perfect match, but very close.  Editorial Comment – Golf certainly has changed…..

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Finally, a photo of a Parker 51 above this Escritor, showing the similarity.  Given that Parker had a presence in South America, it would be interesting to know if there was any relationship between the two Companies.   As always, I look forward to hearing more from readers who have this knowledge.

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Edit ~  An excellent comment from Rodrigo in Argentina, who has shared his knowledge about these pens.  He states:  The second one, with Parker 51 inspiration iI guess is a Escritor 57 (series ´30s, ´50s and ´60s were aerometric and ´40s were button fillers, someone in metacrylate and others in celuloid, all models with a long range of caps styles and measurements).

About the Parker and Escritor -or Artcraft-, there were no relationship between  both companies. The confusion comes when an few sellers relates Parker brand with his Escitor items (the similar ones) as a strategy of sale. Thank you Rodrigo for this information!

Edit (8-25-14) Aldo, a collector in Argentina has just shared a great find and puzzle piece for Artcraft both in the US and in Argentina.  The following photos are of a Ford’s Deluxe Pen/Pencil combo, from Argentina, and Artcraft.  John Hubbard, a fellow collector and friend has researched the Ford Cromer – Ford Pens connection for quite some time and his website can be found here.  Aldo’s photographs are below.  Thank you Aldo, for this excellent piece of information!

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June 23, 2011 Posted by | Artcraft Fountain Pens, Escritor Pens, Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment

An Artcraft Wedding

Artcraft Fountain Pens were made in Birmingham, Alabama in the 20s and 30s, until the Company moved to Argentina on or around 1934.  I own a few and have an interest in finding a few more.  When I was alerted to the existence of this Wedding Party Announcement by the owner, I couldn’t  resist the urge to obtain it and take some photographs, do some research and then send it on to a pen friend and very serious Artcraft collector in Alabama.  I suspect he will be able to research the contents of this Invitation/Announcement better than I.

The announcement comes on a four panel fold sheet of very heavy paper.  Quite a production for a dinner in 1919.

Ford Cromer, was the President and Treasurer of Artcraft.  An excerpt from my post on Artcraft (August 18, 2009) reads:

…”research shows that Artcraft first appears in 1930 at 1424-26 3rd Avenue North in Birmingham, AL (this address is now a large Chevrolet dealership).  The President/Treasurer was Ford D. Cromer, James G. Erwin was Vice President, and Lillian Sharpley was Secretary. In 1931, the address changed to simply 1424 3rd Avenue North.  In 1932, Ms. Sharpley was no longer listed and in 1934 Harriett P. Cromer was listed as Secretary/Treasurer and the address reverted to the 1424-26 3rd Avenue.  Artcraft disappears from the Birmingham records after 1934.”…

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Years before this, in October of 1919, Reese Adamson, threw a dinner in honor of Ford and Harriet’s impending wedding.  I am a sucker for history and this piece is certainly filled with it.

Based on the Sheriff’s quote at the bottom of this post, we can assume that Ford and Harriett were married shortly after this Friday dinner.

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I am not sure who the victims refer to – whether they were the wedding party or if they were the close friends, or if they were all the attendees of the evening.  (Edit 2/11/12:  John Hubbard sent me the following vintage post card of the Roebuck Country Club.  Thank you, John for this glimpse of the location ~

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As for What’s Coming, count me in the camp of those that are glad they were not there.  I will defer to Alabama natives as to the popularity of some of these items in the early 1900s, or whether this was just a joke menu, but it is not the most appealing menu to me.  I did not know what Postum was.  For those who do not know, it was a coffee substitute which gained popularity during WWII as coffee was rationed.  Anyway, Mr. Adamson certainly had a lot of fun putting this together.

I did some research on the various attendees.  Without spending numerous hours on genealogical sites and inspecting birth, death, and cemetery records, I found out a few quick pieces of information ~

Ford Cromer was 33 years old at this dinner.

Edwina Thagaard attended Yale University during the period 1917-18.

William Cosby – Bill Cosby?  No, of course not, but most fountain pen fans know that the other Bill Cosby is a huge fountain pen fan and regularly appears on a Fountain Pen Hospital Ad – just a weird coincidence.

Frances Glenn and Harold Bowron –  Frances was 21 and Harold 24 at the time of the dinner.  They eventually married and the Bowron family creates many references today in the Birmingham area.

Cecil Gaston was a prominent Birmingham Proctologist for years and has a patent for a portable sitz bath..

Po Ole Reese Adamson (age 31 at the dinner) was involved in the transportation business, patenting a railroad locomotive five years later in 1924.  Adamson Ford still exists in Birmingham today, descending from his roots.

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I have never run across any photos of Ford Cromer in my limited research of Artcraft.  At least now I have an artists interpretation.

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Below are two offspring produced by Ford and Harriet, about 10  years after the wedding.  Both are discussed in previous Artcraft posts ~

Artcraft Fountain Pens – August 18, 2009

Cromer Artcraft Lifelong Fountain Pen – March 2, 2010

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No fountain pen restoration this week, but an interesting piece of ephemera from before the Artcraft Pen Company got started.  I look forward to any additional information that those more familiar with this Company can provide…

January 11, 2011 Posted by | Artcraft Fountain Pens | , | 2 Comments

Cromer Artcraft LIFELONG Fountain Pen

This week’s pen is a beat up hard rubber Artcraft, from Birmingham, Alabama.  Not exactly the first place we think of as a fountain pen production center during the 1920s and 1930s, but they made some nice pens, and I wish I had a few more.  This one came to me via eBay and was advertised as a Cromer Pen.  Fortunately, I had done a small amount of research for this article ~ Artcraft Fountain Pens – August 18, 2009 ~ and remembered that Ford D. Cromer was President of Artcraft Pens in 1930.

When the pen arrived, I checked the worn imprint, and it was indeed an Artcraft Pen, though the imprint was different than the pen restored in my August article.

As you can see, this pen is quite beat up, and the red hard rubber is stained.   There is also a small crack in the cap lip.  Cracks in hard rubber pens are not a good thing.  Plastic pen cracks are  much easier to deal with.

You can also see that there was once a cap band and that it is now missing.  The lever is in good shape, but the j bar is broken and corroded.

I began restoration by cleaning the gold clip, lever, and nib.  All three cleaned up well with a jewelers cloth and small amount of polish.  The hard rubber is another story.  As you know, hard rubber does not stand up well to water and other liquids.  The largest stain was near the large cap hole opposite the clip.  I used a very small amount of toothpaste on this stain and gently removed as much as possible.  Other than the barrel threads, I did not clean the rest of the pen.  I did scrub the inside of the cap with light amounts of water and a q tip – removing most of the old ink.  On pens with years of caked layers of ink, this can be a long and tedious job.  Cleaning the cap and internal threads guarantees that the barrel and barrel threads will remain clean as well.

This is a large pen, measuring 5 1/4″ closed and 6 3/4″ posted requires a large j bar and a size 18 sac, which were inserted into the barrel and attached to the reassembled nib/section/feed.

Below is the completed pen, with the Large LIFELONG imprint.

The full imprint is very faded, but reads:

Cromer Artcraft      Pen Company

Artcraft                       Fountain Pens

Birmingham              Alabama

LIFELONG

In the middle of the two columns is the familiar Artcraft logo – an artists palette, with the words Makers of Artcraft inside.

I tried to get a close up of the Cromer Artcraft below to give you an idea of the type.

The nib that came with this pen is an Aiken Lambert Warranted Number 4.  My guess is that this is a replacement, but I have no evidence of this.  The other Artcraft restoration that I have done (August 2009 article referred to above) had an Artcraft nib, but that pen was probably produced at a later date that this one.

The history of Artcraft is interesting, though incomplete to me.  What I do know is in the August 18, 2009 article, complete with Artcraft moving to Argentina in 1934.  They continued to produce pens there, as I have received photos of some from collectors in response to this previous article.

March 2, 2010 Posted by | Artcraft Fountain Pens | | Leave a comment

Artcraft Fountain Pens

Fountain Pen History in the United States tends to focus in the Midwest and Northeast during the first half of the 20th Century.  Boston (Moore, Carter etc.. ), New York Area (Waterman, Swan, Esterbrook, Morrison, Ingersoll, Wearever…), and Chicago and the Midwest (Wahl, Parker, and Sheaffer…) were hotbeds for fountain pen production and marketing from the early 1900s through the 40s and beyond.  One normally does not think of Alabama as a fountain pen distribution point, but the Artcraft Pen is an exception.

Below is a photo of the simple lever filler after I have taken it apart.  As you can see, the clip, cap band, lever, and nib are quite dirty, as is the barrel.  The j-bar had broken off and the sac was reduced to powder.

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I replaced the j-bar and the sac (size 16) and trimmed them to fit the Artcraft barrel.  The metal parts were polished in the ultrasonic cleaner and then using Pentiques’ scratch remover, polish and wax.  Classified as a third-tier pen, it still has a few nice features.  I like the stepped clip, and all of the gold fixtures polished up and there was no deterioration of the gold.  Second, I like the brown swirl pattern of the plastic.  It is very similar to the pattern found in the Belmont pen/pencil combination that I wrote about in the post ~ Belmont Pen And Pencil Combination In fact, if you look at the two writing instruments (Belmont and Artcraft) you will see the levers, feeds and shapes are very similar. I have no documentation as to who made these parts, but it is feasible that they came from the same factory. One of the great mysteries, at least to me, is the origin of many of the components of the pens we restore.

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The pen is 5 1/4 inches closed and 5/ 15/16 posted.  Restored, it is quite clean and writes with a flexy medium line.

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Here is a close up of the logo for Artcraft, which I believe is an artists pallet.

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The medium nib, with the Artcraft Pallet logo.

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Now for a bit of history on Artcraft Pens ~  I owe thanks to Mr. Marvin Whiting of the Birmingham – Jefferson History Museum for helping me with this research.  When I found out that the Museum had an Artcraft pen in its collection, I requested his assistance with any information they might have on Artcraft.  He provided me with Corporate information from the Birmingham, Alabama City Directories (1925-34).

This research shows that Artcraft first appears in 1930 at 1424-26 3rd Avenue North in Birmingham, AL (this address is now a large Chevrolet dealership).  The President/Treasurer was Ford D. Cromer, James G. Erwin was Vice President, and Lillian Sharpley was Secretary. In 1931, the address changed to simply 1424 3rd Avenue North.  In 1932, Ms. Sharpley was no longer listed and in 1934 Harriett P. Cromer was listed as Secretar/Treasurer and the address reverted to the 1424-26 3rd Avenue.  Artcraft disappears from the Birmingham records after 1934.

I did some further digging on these names and Ford D. (Dalton) Cromer, was born in August 1886 in Christiansburg, VA and died in July 1967 in Birmingham. Interestingly, he was descibed as an industrialist and inventor.  Two inventions were patented – a shoulder rest for a telephone in 1959 and a fountain pen in 1934 (the same year that Artcraft disappears from the Birmingham City directory. The application date of the patent is 1932.  His patent is linked below.  If you read the patent closely, the only aspect of the pen he is patenting is the “ornamental design”.

Patent Link (click for full patent)

Interestingly, the pen in the patent is identical to the pen I restored.  The lever and clip have the same designs as in the patent.  This would place the production of this pen somewhere in the early thirties, presumably prior to 1934.  Mr. Cromer had patented these designs on the clip and lever as his own.

Ms. Sharpley, who was the Secretary from 1930 to 1932 was born in 1901 and died in 1983.  She was a graduate in 1923 of Auburn University (AL), where she helped start the YWCA on campus.  She can be seen here in a 1922 photo.  She was quite active in the YWCA nationally, starting to work there in 1933 in Baltimore, MD after her stint at Artcraft.  She went to graduate school at Columbia University in New York and remained active in leadership roles for the YWCA into the 1950s. How she came to Artcraft for a few years I can not imagine.

Artcraft Pens appear occasionally, but not often.  I know of one collector who actively seeks them.  They still are quite a mystery to me. I don’t know if they made some of the parts, or just assembled the pens in Birmingham.  I also do not know how they were marketed.  I did come across an Artcraft Printing Company in Mobile, AL that advertises that they were founded in 1929, but they responded that there is no relation to Artcraft Pens.

I had fun exploring this little corner of Fountain Pen History, and ended up with a nice pen in the process.  A very good week….

EDIT:  I received a comment (see below) that “The Artcraft Pen Company (with J.G. Erwin) moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1934.”  This would match the information received from the Birmingham directories that Artcraft disappeared from Birmingham in 1934. I have tried to email back to the commenter, but the address bounces.  If there is additional information, please let us know what happened in Argentina…

EDIT2:  (11-6-09) I have received another comment from a reader in Argentina that confirms the move of Artcraft from Alabama to Buenos Aires.  He states that he has a pen that has the inscription “ARTCRAFT PEN CO., ARG. INDUSTRIA  ARGENTINA” on the barrel.  It is black and has no logo, and a similar clip.  This would seem to confirm the comment that J.G. Erwin moved the Company to Buenos Aires in 1934.

EDIT3: (4-9-10) One of the great things about interactive blogs is the sharing of information.  Another reader from Argentina shared this with me today ~ “In continue with the Artcraft history (the argentine chapter), here a little information. Artcraft present itself in the 40 or 50’s as the first high quality pen factory in Argentina and continuing under the brand “Escritor”, with a large list of different articles, including a Parker 51 inspiration pen with filler button and firt class materials.It is relative easy found those pens here.” I am very interested in this as I have recently come across an Argentina-made Artcraft that I purchased from a seller in Argentina that has a Parker made nib (actually a Parker budget Fifth Avenue nib).  I wonder if there was a relationship? Phil

EDIT4: (7-22-10) A pen friend in Alabama did some fantastic research and came up with the following:

“My wife found an online copy at the Birmingham Public Library of a Birmingham Chamber of Commerce publication dated April, 1925.  On page 11 under Industrial Development is an announcement:
The Artcraft Pen Company announced it will manufacture its pens and pencils here at its new plant 1426-28 3rd Avenue.  Machinery is now being installed and the plan will be in operation within 30 days.”

This would seem to indicate that Artcraft made their own pens (or at least some parts) in Birmingham in the late 1920s.

August 18, 2009 Posted by | Artcraft Fountain Pens | | 16 Comments

   

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