The Mabie Todd Blackbird BB20/61 Eyedropper Filler.


I like MHR in a wood grain pattern, and I especially like it when it comes in the form of something unusual. This is a Blackbird BB20/61 Fountpen. The BB means Blackbird, the 20 means a No 2 size nib and no bands, and the 61 is for wood grain. This is an eyedropper filler. It’s pre-screw-cap but post over-and-under feed. It has a slip cap and a spoon type of feed. So what date does that indicate? Actually, it’s surprisingly late. This version of the Fountpen was introduced in 1921, so it’s a mere youngster of 92 years.


These long, slender, elegant pens are quite uncommon. It may be that the public wanted self-filling pens by 1921 and so the Fountpen never took off. The black hard rubber version, the BB20/60, is marginally more common but I’ve seen only a couple of them in the last five years. This is the first mottled hard rubber Fountpen that has come my way.

It survived the first ninety or so years in perfect condition. Recently, some cretin had difficulty opening it and resorted to his pliers. I’m not a violent woman but I could think of some uses for those pliers that would make the thickhead think twice before he dug them into the section of a fountain pen again.

By dint of incantations and sacrificing a chicken I’ve been able to reduce the scratch to a less offensively obtrusive level. ‘Scuse me, I’ve got to go now and make gravy for the chicken.

4 thoughts on “The Mabie Todd Blackbird BB20/61 Eyedropper Filler.

  1. Well said about the use of pliers! It’s a beautiful pen, and I think that term ‘elegant’ suits it very nicely. Hope the chicken was tasty, Deb.

    1. Nice to see those rarities from time to time. I I had my way, the use of unprotected pliers on a fountain pen would be a criminal offence, in line with assault with a deadly weapon, and punished accordingly.

      A few roast spuds and some nice stuffing and a sacrificed chicken isn’t such a sacrifice after all. Well, maybe it is for the chicken…

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