Fountain Pen Restoration

Henry Dreyfuss and the 20th Century Limited

I love trains, especially old ones and there is a nice tie-in to fountain pens. Henry Dreyfuss, a noted industrial designer of the 20th century, actually assisted in the design of the Wahl / Eversharp Skyline. The Skyline was produced by Wahl in Chicago, IL. during the period 1941-1948. In 1945, it was the best selling pen in the US. Mr. Dreyfuss designed the 20th Century Ltd (shown below) in the late 1930s, prior to the 1940 design of the Skyline. More information can be found on him by clicking on his name above.

New York Central – 20th Century Limited

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Now, let’s take a look at his pen design. I have posted a picture of the clip and bonnet of the pen next to the front of the train and you can see the similarity. Below is a picture of three burgundy Skylines that I have restored over the last couple of years. They are lever fillers and very easy to restore, except for two things. The barrels tend to be quite brittle and are notorious for cracking if care is not taken when separating the section from the barrel. Gentle heat is recommended and I use my heat gun carefully. Also, the later Skylines had breather tubes which can be tricky to restore as they also tend to be brittle and care needs to be taken here as well.

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Eversharp Skylines were produced in numerous colors, designs and caps over the 7 years of their production. Three sizes were available: Executive, Standard, and Demi. Most of these pens found today are of the standard size. The Eversharp nibs I have found in these pens have been in quite good condition, and some can be found with a bit of flexibility.


December 14, 2007 Posted by | Henry Dreyfuss, Skyline, Wahl Eversharp | , , | 2 Comments


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