A Late Ormiston & Glass Camel

Among the pioneers of fountain pen making in Britain is the firm of Ormiston & Glass. The company was established in 1868, probably as a manufacturer of steel nibs, among other stationery products. In 1902 the company was incorporated as a limited company and began the production of fountain and stylographic pens in that period. They were an innovative company and provided a wide range of fountain pens and stylos. In later years, probably after 1915, the company stopped making fountain pens and continued with a varied range of other products.

One of their most famous pens was the Camel, and I’ve tried to get my hands on one of these pens for several years without success until now. This is a late version – possibly a No 7, though it’s hard to tell as the barrel stamp is indistinct.

As a lever-filler it cannot, I would think, be earlier than 1912 when Sheaffer brought out the first of this type of filling system, and indeed even 1915 would show the company as being quick off the mark, though it is possible. Waterman brought out their box lever in that year and this pen copies it very closely.

In style – straight-sided with a very slight taper at the end of the barrel, chased black hard rubber, flat-topped with a gently concave section – it would not be out of place in 1915, but I think we might consider a slightly later date as at least a possibility. The riveted clip might be original or an after-market addition as it bears no imprint.

The name “Camel”, one would imagine, implies a pen that contained an exceptional amount of ink but this one doesn’t. Indeed, it’s a quite ordinary pen, though well-executed. I’ve seen a hint somewhere that the Camel range of pens had something special about the feed but I’m denied the opportunity to see that here as someone has been at the repairing before me, and employed a wholly inappropriate Swan feed and an even more inappropriate (if that were possible) Waterman Skywriter nib! I have no idea what a Camel feed looked like or whether Ormiston & Glass produced their own branded nibs or used warranted ones. Perhaps someone can tell me.

The black of this pen is unfaded and the chasing and imprint remain razor-sharp. Though not in any way outstanding, this is a high-quality pen and one that was well worth the wait.

10 thoughts on “A Late Ormiston & Glass Camel

  1. Hi, i have recently acquired an O & G ‘Teddy’ pen and stylo set. Could you tell me what age this set may be?

    1. Hi Dave,
      That’s a nice set to have. The “Teddy” went into production in 1908. No-one knows for certain when they stopped being made, but 1915 is often given as the date.

  2. Hi i have acquired a camel no 2 ormiston and glass London with an odd nib has a gold cover over top. Unfortunately does.not have a cap victot

      1. hi how do I upload pics cheers victor, have found another in lot .a ”OG”pen but has a warrented nib no cap.the camel has the original Ormiston nib

      2. Hi Victor,

        Email the photographs to me, if you would, at goodwriters@BT Internet.com. Ormiston and Glass are not well covered anywhere but I’ve had a few of them over the years.

  3. I have an Ormiston & Glass “The Retriever” stylo pen. Do you have any information on this/how to use it? thanks…

    1. I’m sorry I’ve been so long in replying – see today’s post. The Retriever is one of the larger Ormiston & Glass stylos and it cost the princely sum of one shilling before World War I. It’s bound to be quite a rarity, I should think. Unfortunately, I have never seen one, but it’s an eye-dropper filler and I assume that it will unscrew at the section for filling. Usually the needle fails on these things through time but they can be repaired. You might try Eric Wilson: http://eckiethump.webs.com/contactdetails.htm

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