Fountain Pen Restoration

Moore Fingertip Variation Set

I have previously written posts about the Moore Fingertip ~

Moore Fingertip – September 6, 2012

Moore Fingertip Generation 2 – January 25, 2013

Moore Fingertip Variation – February 25, 2014

The Fingertip was one of Moore’s final Fountain Pen Products, produced in the late 1940s.  The first post above covers the standard Fingertip model and the second two cover a variation, which I call the second generation, but is simply a variant of the first with a metal cap. The third post focuses on a smaller size of the metal capped variant.

This restoration is of a Pen and Pencil set of the smaller variant metal capped Moore Fingertip.

As you  can see below, the pen is pretty clean and just needs a new sac.  These smaller Fingertips take a size 14 sac and the small barrel size makes for a very short cut and not a lot of ink.

I cleaned the section/nib in the ultrasonic cleaner and attached a new sac, trimming it to the correct barrel length.  Remember that the sections on Fingertips are friction fit.

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After polishing, here is the resulting set, in black with silver and gold cap.  The  pencil is actually very well made and cap actuated, clutch style, and takes 0.9 mm lead.

The pen is 4 9/16 inches closed and 5 1/2 inches posted.  The pencil is a short 4 1/2 inches.

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The pen imprint ~

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The pencil imprint ~

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And finally, the Presentation Box for this small, but attractive set.

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As you may have noticed, I have a soft spot for the Fingertip. I have recently come across a few different colors that are in pretty rough shape and will get to their restoration soon!

May 25, 2015 Posted by | Moore Fingertip, Morrison Fountain Pens | , | 1 Comment

Moore Fingertip Variation

I am always on the look out for these pens in need of restoration.  Previously, I have written about restorations of two of these pens ~

Moore Fingertip – dated September 6, 2012, and

Moore Fingertip – Generation 2 – dated January 25, 2013

These posts discussed the restoration of two pens, produced in the 1946-1950 time period by Moore.  My terminology of First and Second Generation was my own, and not a description used in any advertising materials or catalogs.  I recently came upon a third variation of the Fingertip, a smaller version of the second generation – pens that do not have the over the cap clip, have a metal cap (in either gold or silver) and a generally cheaper feel.  Speculation is that these  second generation pens were a later version of the Fingertip, towards the end of their unsuccessful production run.

Below is the pen after I took it apart, showing the silver cap and short clip, feed, section, old sac (which was too big and must have been placed there by a later repair job) and barrel. The lever was left in the pen as it was in fine working order.

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I cleaned each part individually, leaving the barrel alone, so that I did not compromise the sticker that is still on the pen.  After cleaning, I cemented a shortened size 16 sac on the end of the feed which was reinserted into the section after cleaning.  After letting the sac sit overnight, I reinserted (friction fit) the section into the barrel and tested with water.  A gentle polishing with a jewelers cloth yielded this completed pen, measuring 4 9/16 inches closed and 5  1/2 inches posted.

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Interestingly, this seems to be a demi-version of the second generation Moore.  In the photo below, you can see the differences in sizing between the two later Fingertips and the Original version.

For review, here are some of the main differences between the earlier and later versions, copied from my January 25, 2013 post ~

~ The first produced pen had some national magazine advertising, the second has none, as far as I have seen.

~ The first pen was longer and appears to have been produced in more color combinations

~ The second pen only came in metal caps.  Mine has an attractive silver cap with gold clip.  I have also seen examples in all gold.

~ The first pen has an “over the cap clip, whereas the second pen has a mid cap clip, with a decorative bubble on the top of the cap.

~ The silver section is larger on the first pen, though the gold inlaid nib seems to be the same size (not so on the demi model).  The nib on the second generation pen has two breather holes as opposed to one in the first produced pen.

~ The first pen has a screw on cap, the second is friction fit with a clutch ring.

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Model numbers appear on all versions on the barrel, and also on price sticker, which was still legible on this demi model.  Both versions of the full size Fingertip were stamped 96B on their barrels.  The smaller second generation model is stamped 77B, but the price sticker appears to read 76B.   I would like to get my hands on some Moore catalogs to see what they indicate.  For comparison, the $8.75 price held for all three of these models.

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These Fingertips, no matter which version or size are an interesting pen, marking an unsuccessful attempt by Moore to compete with Parker and Sheaffer in the streamlined pen craze of the late 1940s.   I am pleased to have found these three different examples to restore.

Also, from previous posts, an advertisement for the original Fingertip from 1946, and a grouping of major Pen Company pens, contemporary to the Fingertip.

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February 25, 2014 Posted by | Moore Fingertip, Moore Pen | , | Leave a comment

Moore Fingertip Generation 2

Post Number 200 ~

I recently restored and wrote about a Moore Fingertip Fountain Pen on September 6, 2012.

Briefly, Fingertips were produced by Moore from 1946 to 1950. More information on them can be found in the link above.

A second generation, or smaller variant was produced later in the Fingertip run at the same $8.75 price point.  Neither pen is easily available now, but this second, smaller pen is a bit rarer.  I was fortunate to find one recently and decided to move it forward in the repair queue, as I had just recently restored the larger “Vintage Wine” colored model linked above.

Below is the exploded view of the pen.  There was no old sac inside, leading me to believe that a previous owner had taken it apart, and not finished the restoration job.  Less work for me!

I did have to clean the section unit in the ultrasonic cleaner, elimination any ink remains.  I also scraped off the old sac from the section and attached a trimmed size 18 sac to the cleaned, dry surface.  I inserted a small jbar, which fit perfectly, without having to be shaved, and the pen was ready  for assembly.

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Here is a photo of the size 18 sac and section/nib, prior to insertion in the barrel.

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Below are two photos of the pen after completion and polishing with a jewelers cloth.  The pen measures 4 15/16 inches closed and 6 inches posted.

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The nib is a hard and inflexible fine.  As mentioned in my initial post of the first generation Fingertip, this appears to be the norm with these pens.

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I find the next two photos interesting, comparing this second generation (top) and the first generation (bottom).

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There are several differences between the two.  Here is a partial list from what I have observed in restoring the two.

~ The first produced pen has some advertising, the second has none, as far as I have seen.

~ The first pen was longer and appears to have been produced in more color combinations

~ The second pen only came in metal caps.  Mine has an attractive silver cap with gold clip.  I have also seen examples in all gold.

~ The first pen has an “over the cap clip, whereas the second pen has a mid cap clip, with a decorative bubble on the top of the cap.

~ The silver section is larger on the first pen, though the gold inlaid nib seems to be the same size.  The nib on the second generation pen has two breather holes as opposed to one in the first produced pen.

~ The first pen has a screw on cap, the second is friction fit with a clutch ring.

Both Fingertips marked a transition period in fountain pens and an unsuccessful attempt by Moore to compete with the more successful Parker and Sheaffer streamlined pens of the period.  They are no longer plentiful, and putting together a large collection would be cost prohibitive to most collectors, but one is an interesting collection addition.

January 25, 2013 Posted by | Moore Fingertip, Moore Pen | , | 3 Comments

Moore Fingertip

The Moore Fingertip Pen is a fountain pen I have been in search of for quite some time. I have run across a few, but they have been in distressed external condition. Recently, this pen crossed my path and I made a nice trade for it.

Moore Pens began near 1900 in Boston, Massachusetts and were a significant player in the fountain pen world for a good part of the first fifty years of the 20th Century. The Fingertip was their answer to the streamlined pens of the 1940s, highlighted by the Parker 51 and Sheaffer Triumph nibbed pens. Fingertips were made from 1946 to 1950, and unfortunately for Moore, did not enjoy the successes of the Parker and Sheaffer pens, and mark the beginning of the end for Moore. However, they were solid pens, and are extremely collectible today. Part of that collectibility is due to the failure of the line, as less were sold over the four years of production.

Below is a photo of the Fingertip after it was taken apart. The stainless steel section is friction fit to the barrel. I have heard that extreme care needs to be taken in removing the section, as the barrel is very prone to cracking. Fortunately, with gentle heat from my heat gun, the section separated with no problems. You can see the sac had hardened and broken apart in the barrel.

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I scraped the old sac off the section edge and cleaned out any remaining sac remnants from the barrel.  The lever system was in great shape and the pen shows no evidence of any usage.  This is confirmed when I rinsed the section in an ultrasonic cleaner, and also by the clean sales sticker on the cap, reverse side to the clip (see photo below).  I attached a size 18 sac to the section, using sac cement, and allowed it to dry overnight.  The friction fit section was then securely placed back in the barrel and the pen is ready for use.  Fingertips are well known for their rigid nibs.  This one is no exception.

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The pen measures a 5 1/8 inches closed and a substantial 6 3/8 inches posted.  Given the fit of the cap, I would think most would write without posting the cap.

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Here is a closeup of the price sticker, found on the cap, reverse of the clip, matching the price of $8.75 for pen only, quoted in the advertisement from my collection, below.

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From 1946 (Saturday Evening Post) – this is a rare advertisement for the Fingertip, aimed at the graduate.

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And a closeup of the pricing and features.  A few comments ~ Number 3 states that the lack of an exposed feed prevents fingers from getting ink on them.  Actually, users of this pen often note that it does bleed onto the fingers from the section/nib.  And Number 5 states that there is a full selection of pen points for every individual writing requirement.  I have never seen a catalog, or Moore publication, depicting all of the points available, but most I have seen in person or in print seem to be of the standard medium or fine variety.  If anyone has additional information on wide, italic, or other nibs, I would like to have the information to add here.

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As mentioned earlier, Fingertips were produced from 1946 to 1950.  They came in six solid colors (Black, Vintage Wine (this pen), Sunset Red, Stardust Blue, Woodsman Green, and Eiderdown White).  There were also two striped colors produced – Autumn Pearl and Seaspray Pearl.  These are a bit rarer, and command a higher price in today’s marketplace.

The Fingertip was a response to the trend by pen makers to produce more streamlined pens.  The major US manufacturers all had their entries in this competition.  Below are five pens from my collection that represent some of the entries.  All have streamlined features and had varied successes.  Obviously the Parker Vac 51 and the Sheaffer Triumph models were winning designs and marketing victories, and led to many further models and successes.  The other three, including the Moore Fingertip, were not so successful, and to varying degrees, marked the decline of their ability to compete in the future pen marketplace.

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Finally, the packaging.  You can see in the photo above that the Fingertip set (fountain pen and pencil) came in an attractive snap case.   This single sale pen ($8.75) came in the rather plain box photographed below.

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The Fingertip disappeared in 1950.  I really like this pen – the weight and uniqueness of the styling.  Though not successful in its time, it is still very collectible, and marks an interesting transition period in United States Fountain Pen history.

September 6, 2012 Posted by | Moore Fingertip, Moore Pen | | 2 Comments

   

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