This handsome Stephens 270 has yet to be restored, always a finicky job with a pen that still has its price label, so you see it with the grime of decades still in place. Quite a few decades actually, because the 270 was issued in 1946 and as I will go on to show, it probably didn’t remain in production for long.
At first, like Sheaffer, Stephens had numbered their pens by their price, so that the 76 cost 7/6d, the 106 cost 10/6d and so on. If the company had not already abandoned that naming policy it did so now as the 270 was first priced at 20/- (£1.00) and later it rose to 24/6d as this price tag indicates.
This is essentially the same Leverfil pen as Stephens had been selling with varying degrees of trim since 1940, the main difference being the introduction of an arrow clip instead of the previous ball-ended clip. By 1951, it seems, Stephens had ceased selling gold-nibbed pens and had begun to concentrate on plated-nib fountain pens and ballpoints*.
Who made these pens? Stephens does not appear to have had a pen production facility of their own and must therefore have bought in parts for assembly or whole pens made by some other manufacturer. I assume that it was Langs of Liverpool who made all the Stephens pens until this post-war period, though, so far as I know, there is no direct evidence that this is so. The indirect evidence is strong, though. Stephens first pen, the excellent stud-filler range of 1935 used a mechanism developed by William Livesey, a Langs employee. Given that and the resemblance of the stud-fillers to Lang’s known production, it seems reasonable to assume that Langs did indeed make them. The later Leverfils resemble the stud-fillers quite closely so again, by inference, one may, not unreasonably, take it that they were made by the same firm.
The early fifties plated-nib Leverfil pens I have seen are essentially the same model too. Did the reduced contract from Stephens hasten Langs’ end? It is certainly the case that by 1954 they had withdrawn from pen manufacture.
*Stephen Hull: The English Fountain Pen Industry 1875 – 1975 p51.