Stylos, Newsletters, Sections and Things


That Ormiston & glass stylo and its box are very interesting. Old pens are historical artefacts but sometimes they don’t give much away. Through experience I can often establish a rough date for a fountain pen just on its appearance but I’m less familiar with stylos. I don’t know what style changes they went through. I know that they remained popular at least until World War II and Churchill’s everyday writer was a stylo.

When you get a box, though, and especially a wonderfully illustrated box like this, there is more information to be had. I’m not sufficiently well up on aeronautical history or the history of dress to be precisely accurate, but it says to me that it’s before 1920.

On another note, I had been thinking about issuing a newsletter to customers through a facility on the sales website. However, it isn’t straightforward and there would be a number of hurdles to overcome including learning quite a bit of HTML. To be honest, I’d just as soon have root canal treatment. Also, it has no capability of showing images which is quite limiting.

Apparently there is another program I could use which would access my customer list and use templates to avoid the necessity of learning HTML but it seems the cost rather a lot for what could only be an occasional newsletter.

Another restorer and I were discussing the phenomenon of extremely tight sections/feeds. Once you’ve drifted out the feed and nib and cleaned everything up and you go to put it all back together, what was there before just won’t go back! This problem never seems to afflict Swans but isn’t uncommon in Conway Stewarts and Mentmores. Some Langs pens can be affected in that way too. Almost invariably the offending sections and feeds are hard rubber, which isn’t subject to either shrinkage or expansion. Perhaps the feeds and nibs were fitted with a mighty hydraulic press!

Of course these difficulties are always resolved. My friend Mr Heat encourages these recalcitrant parts to cooperate.

4 thoughts on “Stylos, Newsletters, Sections and Things

  1. the habit of using the hairdryer to dis-assemble sections, feeds and barrels is so second nature that we’d be muppets if we didn’t go that route, and would deserve the occasional breakage – but hands up who routinely doesn’t do this in reverse. I very rarely do – just a very light smear of silicone grease on the feed (tut, tut, I hear you say) and imagine now that it’s all clean there can’t be any reason why these parts wouldn’t simply slide together with ease. Mostly they do – but speaking of sections and barrels what a sickening feeling when there is that quiet but sharp little crack as the barrel lip cracks.
    It’s really only the push fit pieces that have the potential for disaster – threaded joins are much less of a problem – but here again, silicone grease should always be used prior to assembly.
    As a totally uneducated guess, mho is that twisting a section as it enters the barrel is more risky that simply pushing.

    According to Stephen Hull, “O. & G. manufacturer of and Stylos seems to have ceased in about 1915” – so this example certainly no later.

    As for the suggestion of a newsletter, sounds a good idea and I’d be keen to be a subscriber or recipient.

    Hadn’t occurred to me the pun (unintended of course) in the advertising blurb, where some pens were described as being suitable for many pockets.:-):-)

  2. I don’t use silicone grease in that way. I wouldn’t want to gunge up the feed with grease and there is no need to do so. What you want is a very temporary expansion rather than the long-term inappropriate effect that grease has.

    Silicone grease is great for worn eyedropper fillers. That’s about it.

  3. It is a Bleriot monoplane Deborah, which would date from 1908 to 1914, but is probably a cartoon of Monsieur Bleriot signing an autograph in 1909 after the first flight across The Channel

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