Fountain Pen Restoration

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

   

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