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What is the first modern fountain pen ?



KandyPenz
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What would be the first modern fountain pen?

To be considered modern it should at least have some concepts that match up with a pen thats in production.

 

Example:  Waterman 12 eyedropper would have roughly the same set of components that are found on a current cheap eyedropper pen. Parts like the feed / cap would be very basic compared to now but thats ok.

 

If the requirement is relaxed to have some concepts found on a pen from 1970s or newer will the answer change?

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1907 Sheaffer, first lever filler.  1925 piston filler patented.  Adopted by Pelikan 1929.

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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I've always thought of the Parker 45, as being the first "modern" fountain pen. Easily swapped nib unit, and cartridge / converter filler. 

 

Prior to that, would be the first lever filler. 

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I agree with mallmal1. Before the Parker 45, pen companies expected a dissatisfied user to send the pen to a customer service center, which the pen company supplied with spare parts, tools, service manuals, and trained repair specialists. An owner was expected to refill their pen -- from a bottle of the pen company's ink, of course -- but to do nothing more. In the early 1950s, a Parker booklet suggested that an owner flush their Parker pen now and again, but nobody but Parker service would take a fountain pen apart.

 

The Parker 45 was the first successful "do it yourself" fountain pen. An owner could swap the nib with another, helpfully hanging from a card in a pen store or even in a drug store or 5&dime (in the US). The owner could pull the 45's squeeze filler for a Parker cartridge. All the parts were interchangeable.

 

Compare the P-45, offered in 1960, with the Parker 61 from the late 1950s or the Sheaffer PFM. They were the last of the classic fountain pens.

Washington Nationals 2019: the fight for .500; "stay in the fight"; WON the fight

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but nobody but Parker service would take a fountain pen apart.

 

I don't know that I agree with that comment.  The Parker repair manuals, even as late as the 90s, suggest otherwise.  There are parts catalogs, and there are also repair instructions for Sheaffer pens, along with the catalogs too.  I have them.  Granted many of the pen repairs involve just replacement of assemblies today, but in the 50s?  No. Parker people took pens apart to repair them. 

 

Sheaffer nomenclature had ballpoints, roller balls, pencils, and pens.  Pens referred to fountain pens, and fountain pens only.  I have many parts for the modern fountain pens, including feeds, bushings, clutches...  all kinds of stuff. 

 

No, they repaired them.

 

Sheaffer had cartridge pens in the early 60s. 

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On 10/28/2021 at 5:56 AM, mallymal1 said:

I've always thought of the Parker 45, as being the first "modern" fountain pen. Easily swapped nib unit, and cartridge / converter filler. 

 

Prior to that, would be the first lever filler. 

Not at all, Esterbrook pen company in 1940-50´s years offers swapped nibs unit with a lot of points sizes, something similar with Pelikan pens.

Regards.

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4 hours ago, Ron Z said:

Sheaffer had cartridge pens in the early 60s. 

 

Waterman had them in the 30's (1936), with glass cartridges.

Vintage. Cursive italic. Iron gall.

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4 hours ago, Ron Z said:

 

 

 

I don't know that I agree with that comment.  The Parker repair manuals, even as late as the 90s, suggest otherwise.  There are parts catalogs, and there are also repair instructions for Sheaffer pens, along with the catalogs too.  I have them.  Granted many of the pen repairs involve just replacement of assemblies today, but in the 50s?  No. Parker people took pens apart to repair them. 

 

Sheaffer nomenclature had ballpoints, roller balls, pencils, and pens.  Pens referred to fountain pens, and fountain pens only.  I have many parts for the modern fountain pens, including feeds, bushings, clutches...  all kinds of stuff. 

 

No, they repaired them.

 

Sheaffer had cartridge pens in the early 60s. 

 

That's the point, Ron. Nobody but a repair center repaired pens: Parker for Parker pens and Sheaffer for Sheaffer pens. The Parker 45 was released in 1960, and I got one that Christmas. Sheaffer followed Parker, and, by about 1963, Parker had issued its top-line 75 as a cartridge-converter pen...about the same time Sheaffer gave up on the PFM.

 

**

 

While Esterbrook made its fountain pens with a replaceable nib unit, the Estie was a lever-filler: "buy one pen and three points -- it's like buying three pens". That was the advertising blurb.

 

**

 

Whenever Waterman made some fountain-pens with a glass cartridge, whether the 1930s or the early 1950s, the idea did not catch on. For that matter, Waterman went out of business.

 

**

 

The P-45 was the first successful cartridge/converter pen, and all of the 45's parts could be swapped around by an owner. That makes the 45 in 1960 a break from how fountain pens had been designed, sold, and serviced. Perhaps now that a fountain pen is more of a hobby and no longer a mainstream writing instrument, perhaps now some small company will try to re-invent an old-fashioned filling system, but it is unlikely that a pen company will recreate the business process on which the P-51 and Snorkel were based.

Washington Nationals 2019: the fight for .500; "stay in the fight"; WON the fight

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