Fountain Pen Restoration

How To Make A Sheaffer Touchdown In 1950

Popular Science, in its November 1950 issue, published an article on How Your Fountain Pen Is Made. It discusses the manufacture of an unnamed Sheaffer pen.  In reviewing the photos it is clear that it is a Sheaffer Touchdown.  This would make sense given the time that this article appeared.

Even though the article is dated, it is an interesting look into the manufacturing process in Fort Madison in 1950.  I picked up many interesting pieces of information.  Of particular interest to me is the fact that it took 6 weeks and 318 different operations to make a pen.  Contrast that to the mass production of items today….

I also enjoyed the section on gold conservation – suctioning the gold off the floors and through the laundry – to salvage gold dust to be reused.

For your reading pleasure ~




From my article dated May 2,  2008, Sheaffer Valiant Touchdowns, here is a photo of the large and thinner models produced before and after 1950, and the larger model taken apart.



Finally, 1949 and 1952 advertisements for these popular, and relatively easy to restore, Sheaffer Touchdowns.


NG Nov 49




February 9, 2011 Posted by | Sheaffer, Sheaffer Valiant Touchdown | , | Leave a comment

Valiant TM Touchdown

This post will trace the restoration done on a Sheaffer Valiant TM (thin model) Touchdown, dating to the 1950-1952 period. This pen is actually part of a pen and pencil set that I found in a Sheaffer box that is in quite good condition. My speculation is that the pen and pencil set was never used as the sac that was extracted from the pen had no signs of ink in it, and the nib section emitted no ink when cleaned. This makes things a bit easier as the sac had not adhered to the insides of the sac protector and did not have to be pried out with a dental pick. As you can see from the picture below, the sac almost came out in one piece.

This picture depicts a touchdown filler broken down into all of its parts.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

All of the parts are in good shape, except for the sac and “O” ring. I have supplies of both and will attach a new sac to the nib section once it is thoroughly cleaned. The O ring was taken out (I use a safety pin to spear it and remove it from its slot) and I will replace it with a new one. Silicone grease will be applied over the O ring area, over the sac protector, and on the threads of the nib section to help all of the parts move more efficiently after 56 years.

The retail price for the pen in 1951 was $12.50. It was available in five colors: Black, Persian Blue, Burgundy, Burnt Umber Brown, and the pictured Evergreen Green. A ballpoint and pencil were also available (pencil shown below).

Now for the after pictures. After performing all the repairs listed above here are a few shots of the finished product

The touchdown pneumatic filler extended:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The pen was part of a pen – pencil set. Here are the two together. The pencil is fully functional.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

December 18, 2007 Posted by | Sheaffer, Sheaffer Valiant Touchdown | , | Leave a comment


%d bloggers like this: