The Wahl Pen


I confess I’m not well up on my Wahl Eversharps.  I was unable to find this exact pen depicted anywhere but its style suggests late 20s or early 30s.  After 1929, to be more precise because it celluloid and that’s when Wahl Eversharp change from black hard rubber to celluloid, or Pyrolin, as they called it.  It’s simply called the “Wahl pen”.  That’s hardly enough and it would be good to know more about it, if there are any people knowledgeable on the Wahl brand reading this.
The pen measures 13.3 cm capped.  Though it isn’t a Gold Seal, the quality is very high and the gold plating remains impeccable.  The barrel and cap have a subtle interrupted line pattern.  The quite broad single cap band is unusual for the period, as Wahl Eversharps seem mostly to have had three or two rings.  The nib is simply marked “Eversharp Made in USA”.  It’s an elegant pen, especially when posted.

I think Wahl Eversharp’s pens in this style (and there are many) are at the peak of their production.  Though it’s only my own opinion, evidently not shared by many others, I feel the company lost their way in later years, particularly with the ugly and inconvenient Henry Dreyfuss-designed Skyline which doesn’t post well and has an unnecessarily bulbous cap.  This is explained (or excused) by the fact that he also designed streamlined steam engines, but pens are pens and trains are trains and never the twain shall meet.
I think that the quiet, understated elegance of this pen is far superior.  It feels good and well-balanced in the hand and it is pleasant to write with.

Not Much Assistance From My Assistant

We had a lovely couple visiting us today and they would have liked to meet my assistant but being the obnoxious character that she is, she preferred to indulge in her Saturday dog-baiting session with the other hooligan cats from around here.  No sign of her all day but the moment that they left she strolled up demanding food, praise and attention and a soft bed.  Our bed.

Anyway, here she is, hard at work as usual.


Waterman 52 Red Ripple Pen and Pencil Set

I don’t often get my hands on a Red Ripple and to get hold of a Waterman 52 pen and pencil set is an exceptional pleasure.
These went into production in this pattern in 1923 and I’m told that the material is stainless and non-inflammable.  It’s beautiful and it’s probably the most famous pen pattern of all time.
I’ve written about Waterman 52 pens on several previous occasions and I don’t have anything to add here.  This is the first time I’ve had a Red Ripple pencil, though.  It has lead and works well.
Stunning though they are to look at, the best thing about Watermans of this period is the nib.  This one is a very pleasant fine semi-flex.  I could write with this all day and it holds enough ink to allow me to do so.


Problem Solved!

The good news for today is that the long-standing checkout problem with PayPal and telephones and tablets has been solved, so you can have at it with your various devices.

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“Will you walk a little faster?” said a Parker to a Swan
“There’s a Blackbird close behind us and he’s treading on my flight
See how eagerly the Blackbirds and the Jackdaws will alight!
They are waiting on the web page – will you come and browse the site?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you come and browse the site?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you log onto the site?”
*With apologies to Lewis Carroll

The Jif-Waterman Duo 7


The first to introduce glass cartridges to the public was the Eagle company way back in 1890.  The idea was not a resounding commercial success and it was not until 1936 that it was revived by Waterman, France.  The first glass cartridge Watermans were converted American-made pens but later Jif-Waterman went on to produce designs of their own.  World War II halted production of these pens but it was resumed after the war, one example of the new models being the Duo 7.

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It was advertised as being “the most perfect pen in the world”, but goodness knows, that’s been said often enough about almost every pen that ever came on the market.  It was also said that it was safe to fly with it and that it was reversible, one side of the nib giving a thinner line than the other.  In France it cost Fr.7.550 and in Britain 84 shillings, which is £4.4 shillings or four guineas, just to confuse those of you who are used to decimal currencies.  For that you got a barrel with an exceptionally long blind cap, a nice large 18 carat number eight Waterman Ideal nib and a double rolled gold cap.
It’s a superb pen by any standard.  The build quality is very high and in the case of this example, the original cartridge seal is still in good condition.  When they perish, the seals are quite easy to replace.  The glass cartridge can be refilled an infinite number of times.  Not that you’ll have to do it all that often.  By modern standards, it’s a huge cartridge.
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The pen has a push-on cap which catches on the gold-plated ring between the section and the barrel.  It works very well.  I assume that one would normally remove the blind cap to fit a new replenished cartridge though the section unscrews as well.  There is a spring mechanism in the butt of the blind cap which forces the cartridge into place.  If you’re one of those people who is devoted to soaking pens, remember that that’s there and it will rust and break in no time at all if it’s soaked.  This section is ribbed, giving a secure grip and the feed is one of the patent Waterman complex multi-finned type.
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In use, the nib, like most 18 carat nibs I have come across, is no more than semi-flex.  The nib is truly reversible and writes perfectly well on either side.  I don’t know if it really is “the most perfect pen in the world” but if not it’s a pretty good runner-up.

Persian Pattern Lady Patricia Pen And Pencil Set

There hasn’t been much activity here in the past few days because I was hardly at home last week.  Almost every day I had appointments which involved travelling.
I love these little Lady Patricia Watermans for their design, for their patterns and for their nibs.  The name hints at a relationship with the famous Patrician but the design is quite different.  The clip flows like lava and the cap band continues this flowing theme.  We always talk about Art Deco with regard to 1930s pens but we rarely have as good an example as the Lady Patricia.

This set is in the Persian pattern.  The pen, of course, has discoloured as they almost always do due to the decomposition of the sac.  Without the sac, the pencil shows how the pen would once have looked, though I must say it isn’t as badly discoloured as many I have seen.  Received wisdom would have it that you should put a silicone sac in pens that are likely to discolour, but there is more to consider here.  This pen uses the Waterman lever box and swing pressure bar.  These lever boxes can and do crack in the middle due to the pressure of constant refilling.  The latest silicone sacs and the PVC sacs that we once thought were silicone are both quite inflexible in comparison with a latex sac.  That causes greater pressure to be brought on the lever box, so I have stuck with the latex sac.  My view is if that you wish such a pen to retain its colour you’d be better taking the sac out and just treating it as a collectable object rather than writing instrument.  Me, I would much rather write with a Lady Patricia than keep it in a box.
The reason for that is that these pens have some of the best Waterman nibs there are, and that’s saying something!  Not only are they flexible but they snap shut instantly after being flexed to their fullest extent.  That makes them a total pleasure to write with.  Though the Patricia is a small pen, when it is posted it is a surprisingly adequate length.
These, then, are a precious pair.  It’s just a pity that they don’t have a box but that seems to have disappeared.



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