Fountain Pen Restoration

Burrows Welcome Stylus

I last reviewed a Stylographic Pen Restoration in my post of June 6, 2008, titled Stylographic Pens. That article (click on title for link) featured the restoration of a JUCO Stylo  (Jacob Ullrich Company).    About a month ago, I found this pen and thought about how much I enjoyed writing with the JUCO.  So, I picked it up and began the restoration.

Below is a photo of the pen after it has been taken apart.  The key component in repairing these old stylos is the wire needle which sits in the section and controls the flow of ink from the sac to the writing surface.  They are quite delicate, and if damaged or missing, cause a search for replacement parts.

I cleaned all of the parts below, including a through scraping of the section to remove all remnants of the old sac.  Make certain to clean the section channel completely as this one was clogged with old ink.  As usual. the cap was caked with old ink which needs to be removed.

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Here is a close up photo of the section with the wire needle fully extended after cleaning.

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This photo is of the section from the rear, showing the bar that extends across the inside, providing a backstop for the wire needle, keeping it within the section.

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Finally, a photo of the section after the size 16 sac was cemented on and the wire has been inserted.

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The completed pen measures 5 1/8 inches closed and 5 11/16 inches posted.  As you can see, the gold clip, cap bands, and lever all polished up well.  No cheap gold plate on this pen.

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The mystery of this pen is the imprint.  It is crisp and clear, but I have been unable to find any information on its meaning.  Burrows Welcome is certainly a very familiar name.  However, the Pharmaceutical Giant known as Burroughs Wellcome is spelled differently.  Burroughs Wellcome was (and is) a pharmaceutical company that began in London in the late 1800s, eventually becoming a Global giant in their business.  So, does this pen relate to them as a poor misspelling or Americanization of the British names?  I have no idea and have been unable to track down any information.  If anyone has further information or ideas, please comment below.

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Stylographic pens were more popular and manufactured in the UK, but also here in the US.  The stylo that I wrote about in 2008, referred to above was manufactured in the New York area.   This one remains a mystery to me.  I do think that Stylographs are a neat little niche in the fountain pen world.   When one writes with one, they resemble a roller ball, which is a highly popular pen today.  Keep you eyes peeled for them.  They are simple to restore and are an often overlooked part of fountain pen history.

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March 1, 2011 Posted by | Burrows Welcome, Stylograpic Pens | , | 3 Comments

Stylographic Pens

Just when you think you know enough about fountain pens to make you dangerous in casual conversation, another alley opens up and a new type of pen emerges.

I had heard of stylographic pens and had seen a few pictures here and there, but considered them inferior to standard nibbed fountain pens.

Last night I restored a JUCO “Independent” Stylo. My opinions changed after I completed the pen and tried it out. First, a picture of the pen after I took it apart. Note that there are a few parts that are not found on most fountain pens. The nib almost looks like a rollerball nib and the bottom right elongated needle fits inside this nib to control the flow of ink.

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The black hard rubber barrel and cap are identical to lever fillers of the day. The only departure is the section, nib and and control needle. There is no feed as the nib screws directly into the section. As you can see, the sac had hardened and needed to be replaced by a size 18 sac. I cleaned out the section, nib and ink control using an ultrasonic cleaner. I also spent quite some time cleaning out the cap, which had an abnormally high concentration of purple ink caked into it.

Below is a close up of the imprint, which appears on the cap, not the barrel. Inside the heart on the left is “JU & Co, which is short for Jacob Ullrich and Company. JUCO, was a fountain and stylographic pen maker in New York City in the late 1800s and until the 1920s. Jacob Ullrich was a resident of Hoboken, NJ.

Here are a few of his Stylographic Patents:

Stylo 1882

Stylo 1908

Stylo 1910

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Below is a picture of the completed pen. The clip and lever have lost their gold plating, but the chasing on the black hard rubber is well preserved. I would estimate this as an early to mid 1920s pen as it is a lever filler and many of the JUCO stylographic pens I have seen are eyedroppers and date to the 1905 to 1915 time period. This pen writes much like a modern day roller ball with a fine line. There is none of the shading and expressiveness of a standard fountain pen nib, but if one is looking for a rollerball type experience with a vintage feel, this is the pen. I have filled mine up with Waterman Ink (Florida Blue) and it will be a good pen for math and accounting in the office.

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Stylographic pens were invented in 1875 in Canada by MacKinnon and appeared in the US shortly thereafter. Their popularity was then quickly dashed by the emergence of nibbed pens, but they did remain in production on a limited basis for many years. One of the most noted producers in the United States was Inkograph and they were even more popular in England.

If you are looking for a pen with some historical significance, with practical use, ease of repair (assuming the needle is in usable condition), and a unique niche in the world of pens, a Stylo would be a good choice.

(Note: Many thanks to the website: Vintage Fountain Pens, for information critical to the writing of this post, as well as friends at the Lion & Pen website for leading me to Jacob Ullrich.)

June 6, 2008 Posted by | Jacob Ullrich, JUCO Pens, Stylograpic Pens | , | Leave a comment

   

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