Here’s one you don’t see often – a plug filler Swan! This was originally a Mabie Todd and Bard design and it was continued on after the company became Mabie Todd in 1907. This pen is stamped “Mabie Todd & Co” on the barrel. As the feed is stamped MTB that suggests that it was made very soon after the change in the company name, when earlier parts were still being used up. Well more than 100 years old, anyway, and looking like new.
This is an eyedropper filler but instead of unscrewing the section to fill the pen, the plug is withdrawn to allow filling with a very slender eyedropper. This method does not seem to have caught on as there aren’t many pens of this type around. Perhaps it became unreliable as the plug wore with much use or it may be that it was less expensive to revert to the screw-in section.
This must be the longest twisted silver wire that I have ever seen! I have no doubt that it did the job of improving ink flow just as well but these became much shorter as time went on.
It is remarkable that the black hard rubber has retained its original darkness and shine so well for over a hundred years. Is this the earliest appearance of the gold overfeed in Swans?
Many thanks to Paul Leclercq for sight of this splendid pen and permission to write about it.