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1937 Green Marble Parker Challenger Flex

Published on 04/15/14

A few months back I picked up a group of pens at a local antique shop, and among them was a black 1936 Parker Challenger that was missing the cap band. When I got it home though, I found out it had an awesome flexible nib that quickly became one of my favorite play-around-with pens (at the time).

The nib, clip, and blind cap from that pen found their way to this nice green marble 1937 Challenger. The pen is in decent shape (with some significant brassing on the cap band).

After using both of these pens for awhile, I’ve realized how much I appreciate the simplicity and of the standard push button filler pen. It operates on the same principle as a lever filler, but is much simpler to operate (and you don’t have to use your fingernail to get started pulling a lever up).

Parker Challenger

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Dark Red Eversharp Skyline Demi

Published on 04/04/14

This is the Eversharp Skyline, a modern-looking pen that was produced in the 1940’s.

Eversharp Skyline Demi

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Restoring a 1940s Sheaffer Triumph Tuckaway

Published on 04/02/14

This pen was my grail pen for many months. I love everything about it. Sheaffer’s Triumph pen, with it’s extra-wide cap band is very distinctive looking. Sheaffer’s conical Triumph nib is not only very smooth writing but is a thing of beauty all on its own. Sheaffer’s vacuum ink filling system is my favorite because it allows for a large ink capacity and it is simple to operate (even if it is kind tricky to restore). It’s also very cool to see the ink rushing into the barrel when the plunger reaches the bottom. Add to all this the cool factor of the compact size of the Tuckaway pens and you’ve got just an awesome all around pen.

Sheaffer Triumph Tuckaway

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Waterman Ideal 52 with full-flex #2 nib

Published on 04/02/14

This pen was among the first large estate lot that I purchased on eBay. Waterman Ideal fountain pens from the first couple decades of the twentieth century often come with wonderful flex nibs like the one on this pen. The lot had four Waterman Ideal pens (two 52’s, a 12 sleeve filler, and a 15 eye dropper), but all but one were without a cap.

Restoring this particular pen, apart from trying to find a cap with a clip which I decided not to do, is a simple matter of polishing and replacing the ink sac. Polishing is a bit of a judgement call on it since it had a chase pattern on the body but it was also pretty badly discolored in spots. The discoloration of the cap was much worse than the pen body so I decided to polish it until the colors and chase pattern wear matched each other.

So what I ended up with was a pen that won’t be the crown jewel of someone’s Waterman collection, but it is a decent looking pen that is a great introduction into the world of vintage flex pens.

Waterman 52

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Sheaffer Valiant First-year Touchdown (1949)

Published on 02/24/14

Sheaffer introduced the Touchdown ink filling system in 1949 after a long run of their plunger/vacuum filling system. You can tell that this Valiant was produced that first year because in 1950 all the Touchdown pen models were replaced with the much thinner TM models (TM stands for thin model). These “fat” Touchdown pens are pretty awesome because the thicker girth makes them easier to handle.

The Valiant model has Sheaffer’s awesome conical “Triumph” nib which I think is the most beautiful nib around.

Sheaffer Valiant Touchdown

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Sheaffer Balance Admiral c. 1940 with Semi-flex Feather Touch nib

Published on 02/18/14

A couple weeks ago I finished the restoration on a Sheaffer Balance Admiral pen with a great semi-flex nib. (imgur album here).

This is a vac-fill pen which means a single down stroke of the plunger fills the barrel about 2/3 full of ink (it’s a lot of fun to watch the barrel fill up:).

This is a non-lifetime pen, hence no white dot. I think it was originally warranted for 30 years. It’s a full-size pen (as opposed to the much more common demi or lady sized pens). It feels great in the hand.

Absolutely love this pen.

Sheaffer Balance Admiral c 1940 with Semiflex Feather Touch nib

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Yellowstone Yellow 1945 Parker “51” Vacumatic

Published on 02/12/14

This is by far the biggest find I’ve made at the local antique shops here in Pensacola, FL.

Yellowstone Yellow Parker 51 from 1945

The Parker “51” is probably the most iconic fountain pen in history.
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