Fountain Pen Restoration


Disclaimer (Official Business To Get Out Of The Way)

To me, restoration is the resurrection of an old, often neglected, pen and repairing it to as close to its original condition as possible. I attempt to use original parts in all restoration and will always indicate whether a pen has been restored using any substitute parts. I believe in polishing pens to make them look closer to their original condition, but not in recoloring a writing instrument. I have a large inventory of previously restored pens that I will post from time to time, but my goal is to follow current restoration projects. I am by no means a professional pen technician/restorer/craftsman or historian. I do this only as a hobby, and do make mistakes from time to time. Should one be interested in professional restoration advise or service, some of the links on my homepage would be a good place to start. This discourse is for entertainment purposes only and I hope the reader will enjoy some of the information as I learn at the same time.


The first pen of this blog is a 1920s Eaton BCHR (black chased hard rubber) eyedropper. Eaton’s were sold primarily in Canada through mail order. Eaton’s Department Stores started in Winnipeg and expanded across Canada. A detailed history can be found here:

Eaton Department Stores

This one has its original nib and is a very nice specimen. Here is a picture.


Obviously, there was not much restoration involved with this pen. This pen just required a cleaning of the feed and nib. I also coated the threads with a light film of silicone grease to keep the chamber ink-tight. I then filled with water to check for any leaks from the threads or feed/nib assembly. None were found and this one is ready to write.
All in all, not much of a restoration, but given the condition of the nib and feed when I found it, a major improvement.


Last night I had a little time to kill while the kids and Andrea were involved in a few other things and the snow shoveling was on hold between storms, so I restored a few Sheaffer’s. First, I finished working on a Sheaffer Balance Junior. It needed to have the old sac removed. The lever and j-bar were acceptable, so I left them intact and just cleaned them up. Out came the nib and feed and they were cleaned in the ultrasonic cleaner and then replaced. A new sac was installed and the pen was polished, shined, and waxed to a nice new look. Here is a picture next to an OS Balance, also in black. Both date from the 1930s and were produced in Fort Madison, Iowa.


It now joins another Sheaffer Junior in my collection – a less common red-veined that I found this past summer. A similar restoration was performed on this one.


I also worked on a Sheaffer 800, or Dolphin as they are sometimes called due to the dolphin looking nib, touchdown filler. It needed general cleaning and I installed a new “O” ring and sac. It was in pretty clean condition when I picked it up and just needed to be flushed out with the ultrasonic cleaner and polished. Here is a picture next to a 1000 model (cartridge fill-gold caps). Both were produced during the short 1962-64 time period. The 800 sold for $8.95 (touchdown) and the 1000 for $10.00 (cartridge only). A 500 was also available at a $5.95 price point. These were very similar to the Imperial line of fountain pens, except for the unique “dolphin” nib. Colors available were black (shown), blue, green, burgundy, and gray.



December 6, 2007 Posted by | Eaton Pens, Sheaffer | , , , , | 2 Comments


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