Some time ago I wrote about a red and black hard rubber Primo pen that I’d found. It was an interesting pen and like so many of the smaller, more obscure brands, I couldn’t find out anything about the company or their output. A few days ago, Steve Falkner told me he had another Primo, the Ladies’ Pen, as it is named on the box or The Dainty according to the barrel inscription. Steve very kindly sent me some photos and gave me permission to use them here.
“Dainty” immediately reminds us of “Dinkie” and that’s appropriate. Whoever began the fashion for tiny beautiful pens, Conway Stewart became the best known for it.
The pen is essentially two tubes, one of greater diameter than the other. That design, also used for the Conway Stewart Dinkies and the small Rosemary pens dates it to around 1930. The box, with its various fonts and its seal is a masterpiece of graphic design and the style coincides with that date. The manufacturers made a virtue of necessity in asserting that their “non-corrosive” nib is “as lasting as gold,” a claim similar to that made for the new Platignum range of pens around the same time. With its simple, clean lines and shocking striated pink, the Primo Dainty holds its own with its Rosemary and Conway Stewart competitors, even though it has a steel nib as against their gold ones.
So we know a little more about the Primo company. A short-lived and minor one, perhaps, as it turned out, but they made some very attractive pens. Thanks very much, Steve, for moving our knowledge forward a bit!