A No Number Late Conway Stewart Cartridge Filler

I was almost convinced that I have written about this hideous pen before, but I have assiduously searched the blog and there’s nothing there so here goes:
The pen closely resembles the Flowline nylon-tipped pen which was introduced in 1972, and doubtless this one is of the same date.  Essentially, the pen expands with slightly curved lines from both ends until they meet in the complexity of the lower cap and the barrel.  Very seventies, one might say, afflicted with the same style that was applied to everything from cars to transistor radios.  Still, it’s functional, isn’t it?  Well, no.  The raised, ridged area at the bottom of the cap looks as if it would be useful in unscrewing the cap – except that the cap doesn’t unscrew but is friction fit.  Unscrewing merely removes the barrel and leaves the nib/section unit inside the cap.
Goodness knows what compelled the “designers” to use that military drab colour.  Full-on khaki would be attractive by comparison.  At a stretch it could be described as olive green by the kind-hearted but at least the ugliness of the colour is consistent with the rest of the pen.  The cap pulls off to expose an imported steel Smoothline nib, about which one might say that it’s no worse than many other cheap after-market nibs.


A lot of plastic flashing is also revealed on the section.  Unscrewing the barrel shows that it is a cartridge filler.  Like most other pen manufacturers of the time, Conway Stewart intended to cash in on the sale of over-priced ink in dedicated cartridges, so nothing else fits this pen so far as I’m aware.  Conway Stewart cartridges of the right date do turn up in eBay sometimes, a little evaporated but useable.  That’s always assuming I’d want to write with this pen, or be seen with it.  Stop it – I’ll split my sides!
So that’s it, except I failed to mention the rust – yes, rust, not wear or tarnish – on the clip.  This, really, is where the company that once was Conway Stewart touched bottom.  No matter how hard you might try, you can’t really make a worse pen than this, qualitatively, aesthetically or practically.    If  you would like this pen to complete your collection, or maybe just to stamp on it, send me the postage and it’s yours.  If, against all good advice you decide to keep and use it, don’t wear it in an external pocket where it can be seen, or men may spit at you in the street and women will slap your face for inflicting such ghastliness upon them without provocation..

7 thoughts on “A No Number Late Conway Stewart Cartridge Filler

    1. And me at my most persuasive, too! Hubby was once a Test Centre Manager for the Department of Transport, conducting theory tests. With the earliest machines, part of the setup was to adjust the sensitivity of the touchscreens. Too much and blinking at it from across the room would send it into hysterics. Too little and it was a dead lump of glass and plastic, too big to be a paperweight. There was a hair’s-breadth between these extremes. He still growls at the mention of the word “touchscreen”.

  1. Well, well. My first fountain pen was a Conway Stewart of the same period, and whilst it wasn’t quite so ghastly in appearance it was a truly awful pen. I tend to sound a cynical note about the modern pen market, but this is a reminder that the cheap and cheerful products of today are a vast improvement on what was available in my youth. Happily I believe that there’s a company called Conway Stewart making better pens than this, too.

    That business about proprietary cartridges is still a bugbear though.

  2. I`m sure I used to have one of these as a kid, in the same “British Leyland” green. I seem to remember that the ribbed collar was so thick that it sat higher than the clip, making it impossible to fasten into a school shirt pocket without ripping it.

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