Mabie Todd Swan SF300B

Mabie Todd introduced the Swan SF300B in 1929. It was one of only two pens the company brought out that year, the other being a mottled hard rubber Blackbird, so it seems to have been an attempt to plug a hole in the market.


At 12.7cm capped it’s a short pen, especially by the standards of the day, but it’s longer than you would expect a vest pocket pen or a ring-top to be and, indeed, it’s fitted with one of Swan’s classic gold-filled stepped clips. It isn’t a chopped-off version of one of the larger pens either; its parts are all in proportion. Though it has a No 3 nib, being a short pen with no cap band, it was doubtless aimed at a spot a little lower down the price range than some of their more prestigious pens.

It appears not to have caught on, though. The following year the Swan Minor range was brought out, aimed squarely at the same section of buyers. Though not quite rare, the SF300B isn’t commonly found nowadays. Doubtless it had a short run.


The SF300B may not have appealed to the pen-buying public of 1929 but it appeals to me. This example I have is without fault except for a very slight fading of the hard rubber. The gold plating shows only a little wear at the ball end of the clip and the chased pattern is crisp. The No 3 nib is fully flexible and slightly stubbish – perfect for my writing style. I’ve had a couple of these pens before and both were flexible, so the chances are good that they all are. They don’t appear all that often but if one does, grab it. The SF300B is a real writer’s delight.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.