The Pento Sydney Eyedropper

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This rather ordinary-looking eyedropper filler has a bit more to it than meets the eye – at least at first glance.  It seems that you have the choice of filling it in the usual way, by unscrewing the section, or, in this case, by removing a screw-in plug at the end of the barrel and filling from there.  I’m not sure what the benefit is in that or even if there’s a benefit at all.  It may be just another place that has the potential to leak ink.  That aside, it’s quite a conventional eyedropper pen, slender, with an over and under feed and engine chasing on the barrel but not on the tight fitting cap.
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Stamped at a slight angle on the barrel is “Pento Sydney”.  Stephen Hull,in his The English Fountain Pen Industry 1875 – 1975 records the Pento pen but his various references to it are all in the 1920s.  This would seem to me to be quite a bit earlier than that, which is really all I can say about it.  It may well be that the company began rather earlier.
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Pento was one of those companies allied to Langs of Liverpool.  The company was set up by WJ May at the Maypen Works in Twickenham.  It went on to produce lever fillers and later a capless pen which does not appear to have been a success.  The company was wound up with a considerable loss in 1927.(ibid).

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About goodwriterspens
I restore fountain pens, and used to trade as redripple52 in eBay. I also have my own fountain pen sales website, www.goodwriterssales.com

8 Responses to The Pento Sydney Eyedropper

  1. Rard Changizi says:

    Hi Deb,
    The Pento pen was a design lodged under the name WJ May by Osmond Blyth Wade of Maypen/Langs. My great grandfather.He also had a stationary wholesaler called WJ May’s and was a senior partner in Associated Gold (nib manufacturers). Hence you find now and again May’s nibs on Maypens.
    If this pen come up for sale could you please let me know as I look at your sales site daily and have not seen the other three pens I enquired about buying from you come up as yet. That was quite some time ago.

    Cheers and stay well.

    Rard Changizi

    • Yes, Rard, I’ll let you know when it goes up for sale. I can’t remember if you have Stephen Hull’s book or not but there’s a tremendous amount of information about the Wade family and various others there.

  2. Wonderful story! Do you have more information you would care to post about this? As a regular reader of this bloke I really enjoy reading about manufacturer history.

    Best wishes

  3. pderl says:

    Sorry I meant blog – oh dear…

  4. Peter says:

    As they are another manufacturer ‘just around the corner to me’ about whom I know very little I had a little shoofty and came up with this:

    NEW COMPANIES.

    W. J. May and Co. (Scandinavia), Ltd. —
    Registered with a capital of £”3,000, in £”1
    share.*, to carry on the business of publishers,
    stationers, printeis, advertising and press
    agents, etc. The first directors are O. B.
    Wade and W. J. Webber. Private company.
    Registered office: Maypen Works, Richmond-
    road, East Twickenham.

    British & Colonial Stationer – January 29, 1920

    • Rard Changizi says:

      Peter,
      That is fantastic. Where are you and where did you get this info from? It is kind of hard for me to “shoofty” as I live in Australia. I have several Maypens and Pento pens that I have collected over the years, but none had and over/under feed. Most carry a May’s nib and are fairly basic and not particularly well made when compared with other manufacturers of the time. Email me if you wish on rard.changizi@harcourts.com.au .
      Regards
      Rard Changizi

    • Hi Peter,

      That’s excellent! It confirms Stephen Hull’s dates. It leaves this pen as much of a mystery as ever because it seems so unlikely that anyone was making an eyedropper of this type with an over-and-under feed in 1920.

      The “Scandinavia” part of the company name is unexpected.

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