As you will see from my earlier speculations in this blog, it took a long while before I was able to get an overall picture of the Dickinson’s Croxley range of pens. Indeed, it was only when Stephen Hull’s The English Fountain Pen Industry 1875 – 1975 came out that the mystery was fully solved. In a way, this substituted one mystery for another. Why, one must ask, did Dickinson discontinue production of the Croxley after such a short time when the level of sales must have been gratifyingly high. Considering that the company was in business for only a couple of years, the number of Croxleys around is phenomenal.
The earliest Croxley I have seen was a very plain pen with a smooth ball-ended clip and an unexceptional lever. The next model is the one we’re all familiar with, with its angular stylised arrow-shaped clip and lever. This model remained in production until the end of the company though the pen was constantly modified. You’ll notice that the grey Croxley has a much shallower clip screw than the red one, which I believe to be earlier. The length of these clip screws which also form the inner cap varies considerably too. A streamlined pen and one with a silver cap were introduced in 1948.
Considering the huge number of Croxleys that had been sold, it is difficult to understand the decision to cease production but it was brought to an end in mid-1949. It has been suggested that Dickinson chose to kill the Croxley off because it had a dated filling system and no replacement system was available. The “dated” filling system doesn’t seem to have affected sales in the previous two years. In any case, does any system that successfully fills a pen with ink ever become dated, except, perhaps, in the eyes of the advertising man who wants to sell you his latest gimcrack novelty?