I had a productive morning fixing pens. I covered most British manufacturers and most filling systems. Keeps me interested. There were several Swans and it occurred to me that there was a period after the war when Swans became irritatingly over-engineered. There’s the brass barrel threads, which admittedly look nice, but can be hard on cap threads. This is one of the not infrequent occasions where plastic is better than metal. Then there’s the lever-fillers with screw-in sections. What’s that about? What does a screw-in section add to a lever filler? A friction-fit section is equally secure and makes re-saccing much easier. Many of these pens come my way with a sac twisted up inside them like a piece of string that the kittens have been at. Where a press-in section would take an 18 sac, you have to drop to a 16 and keep it quite short to ensure that it doesn’t snag on anything. So what, long-dead Swan engineers, were you thinking of? EMWTK!
I don’t often get Conway Stewart sets. They tend to be priced a bit beyond my restricted budget, but I managed to snag this nice black CS12/Nippy No 3 set the other day. The box is nice and fresh too. The pencil, strangely, shows wear to the gold plating whereas the pen doesn’t. It’s usually the other way round. I’m very pleased with it, though. It ,looks great for a set that was made at least fifty years ago. I love the pattern on the box. Conway Stewart knew how to present a pen and pencil set back then.
As I was so busy I asked my assistant for assistance. She replied that she couldn’t do much with the tools with no thumbs and re-saccing’s not the job for her either, not with those long, sharp, latex-puncturing claws. “You’ve got my moral support, though, boss,“ she said, “but keep the noise down ’cause it’s nap time, m’kay?”