A Brace Of Flexible Mabie Todds


These two pens caught my attention when I was doing repairs at the weekend. They’re not outstanding examples of their kind in terms of quality (though the Blackbird’s pretty good) but they both seemed to have a bit of flex in the nib.


They’re pre-war or wartime pens and I suspect the Blackbird – that’s the blue one – is a few years newer. The Blackbird’s a 5242 – the 42 being simply blue marble. The Swan is a 6145. I confess that the significance of the ‘6’ continues to elude me. I have no idea what it means, but I have a suspicion that it dates the pen to wartime. The 1 is the nib size and 45 indicates pearl grey. It looks a little greenish to me but that may be discolouration. Or it may be that it’s perfectly grey and I suffer from a tad of the colour blind where some shades of green, blue and grey approach each other.



Anyway, it wasn’t until today that I got the chance to write-test them and they lived up to their promise. These aren’t wet noodles (what a ridiculous term!) but they’re pens that have a lot of easily induced flexibility and snappy return. For the past few months I’ve been using and enjoying stiff-nibbed Sheaffer Imperials, but I think that these pens may draw me back into the flex camp – especially the Swan.

2 thoughts on “A Brace Of Flexible Mabie Todds

  1. I love MT nibs with all my heart, really, I have yet to find one I don’t like, stub, flexible, fine, all write amazingly.
    Don’t you find a bit strange to use a stiff nib like Sheaffer’s after being used to more springy nibs?
    My fingers always want to flex firm nibs or flex when I don’t expect it when I return to my flexible lovelies 🙂

    1. I felt that I was limiting my enjoyment of pens by not using the ones with firm nibs. It took several months but I’m *almost* as comfortable now with a firm pen as a flex one. I’ll be going back to flex, I expect, but I have enjoyed the inlaid-nib Sheaffers.

      Best Regards,

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