Fountain Pen Restoration

The Ink Is The Thing

I like to use vintage inks in my vintage pens. I have a decent supply to vintage Skrip, Quink, and Carters Inks.  Some vintage bottles were photographed and discussed in these previous articles ~

Ink Spots –  January 23, 2008

The Story Your Ink Bottle Tells – November 3, 2010

Whenever I get the opportunity to pick up some full bottles of vintage inks, I jump at the opportunity.  Just such an opportunity arose last week and I snapped up these two bottles of vintage Waterman’s Ink.

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It is not all that unusual to find vintage ink bottles, but to find previously unopened ones is more difficult.  I have seen advertisements for these inks in the 1940s and they are the famous Waterman “tip-fill bottles” that can be tilted to the side by themselves when filling to get deeper into the bottle as it reduces.  The same shape is used today by Waterman.

Below is a Waterman Timeline of Tip-Fill bottles that includes a current Florida Blue bottle on the far right ~

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Other colors besides these two that were produced in the US were Permanent Blue Black, Permanent Black, Aztec Brown, Tropic Green, South Seas Blue, and Carnation Red.

If your hunts in the wild for Fountain Pens come up dry, keep an eye out for bottles.  They are hidden gems…

February 2, 2012 Posted by | Ink, Waterman Fountain Pen Ink | , | 4 Comments

The Story Your Ink Bottle Tells

I recently picked up a book titled ” The Story Your Ink Bottle Tells”, as it was rejected from a library. The cover, shown below, doesn’t reveal that it is actually a book published by the Carter’s Ink Company.  It covers all aspects of the Company, including the history of ink production, different types of ink, and the production process at Carter’s in Boston, MA.  There are many interesting photos in the book of  the Carter factory, machines, and production lines.  I would place the publication date in the late 1920s as the Library Stamp on the inside cover is 1928.  The withdrawal stamps on the back jacket show that it was checked out 12 times between May of 1933 and April of 1992.

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I like the first page ~

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Here is Chapter 1, with a large photo of the factory, presumably in the 1920s.

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The last page shows a sketch of the factory again.

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After purchasing this book, I thought it would be a good idea to put together some of the magazine advertisements and ink bottles in my collection relating to Carter’s.

Here is a Saturday Evening Post Advertisement from an October 25, 1941 issue, promoting their very creative and colorful cubes, priced at 10 cents.

10*25*1941 SEP

These are very interesting, colorful and easily collectible bottles for the fountain pen enthusiast.  I have photographed the seven cubes that I have in my collection below.  This is by no means a comprehensive collection – just ones I have run into over the years of looking for pens.  I have seen photos of several collections that are amazing and include most or all of the cubes that were produced – amazing collections.

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Here is another advertisement for the American Blue Ink produced by Carter’s at about the same time, followed by a photograph of a box and bottle of this ink.  When I found this the box was in excellent condition, but unfortunately the ink bottle was empty.

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Below is the insert that is in the above box.  Carter’s prophesies that the user will buy it again and again.

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The final piece of Carter’s ephemera that I have is the blotter below, provided by J. F. Parker of Danville, VA.  The Colonel Roosevelt referred to is Theodore Roosevelt who was the 26th President of the United States, prior to this trip in 1909-1910.

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The trip, which included Carter’s Pen Fluid, is detailed here ~ Theodore Roosevelt’s African Safari & Scientific Expedition.  This blotter clearly predates the ink cube advertisement above by many years, maybe close to 30.

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I had not written about inks in quite some time – the last being Ink Spots, on January 23, 2008.  That seems like a long time, considering how important ink is to the fountain pen.   Over the next year, I will try to research a few more.

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November 3, 2010 Posted by | Carters, Ink | | 6 Comments

Ink Spots

The most important internal part of a fountain pen is the ink. In pen restoration it is the restorers worst enemy. When these implements were finally set aside in a drawer, storage box, or old desk, they often had ink still inside. This caused all kinds of problems which need to be rectified upon repair. Some of these problems can be reversed, and some not. As discussed in previous posts, hardened ink can contribute to parts becoming stuck (section to barrel, hardened sac to barrel or sac protector etc..). It also causes staining to sections, feeds, nibs, caps and barrels. Much of this can be cleaned with water/polish and heat, or soaking can take care of adhesion. The worst damage ink does is the irreversible staining to rubber and plastic caps and barrels.

With this in mind, I thought it would be fun to show a few vintage ink bottles that I have acquired over the years. I have concentrated on more recent production of the mid 1900s. Inkwell and ink bottle collection prior to this time is a very active hobby as well.

As with pens, many of these companies have disappeared over the years, but there are a few familiar names that have survived.

First, the familiar / Sheaffer and Parker

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And a few of the lesser known

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The bottles and the stories of Ink Companies make for interesting historical research. When hunting for fountain pens in antique shops we often come up empty, but often the disappointment can be softened by the discovery of one of these colorful ink bottles.

January 23, 2008 Posted by | Carters, Fount O Ink, FreFlo, Ink, Onward, Parker Pen Company, Sheaffer, Stafford | | Leave a comment

   

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