An Unbranded Lever Filler


IMGP4042There is a language to the design of pens and with experience you can read it. Straight sided barrel and cap, bought-in lever, threading at the end of the barrel to take a posted cap: all this adds up to a recognisable type of pen. Nobody knows who made them. It might have been Mentmore, Wyvern, Langs or just about anyone else. It might even have been a pen manufacturing company whose name never occurs in any context. These pens were cheaply mass produced as giveaways or inducements to buy for commercial companies that had nothing else to do with fountain pens. Often they were given away by newspapers in return for postage and the mastheads of a week’s worth of daily papers.


This one is a bit strange, though. It was made for FW Parris and Sons, which is a large hardware store in Nagambie, Victoria, Australia. So the story is that this pen was made in Britain for an Australian company and somehow found its way back to the UK again. That’s a lot of travelling. People didn’t fly to Australia when this pen was made in the 1920s, so there probably were two ocean liner voyages.


As I said, these pens were produced to a low price, in large quantity. The quality is good nonetheless. The cap and barrel fit together well and the black hard rubber is as fresh, and the chasing as sharp, as the day it was made. Perhaps that’s an indication that the pen wasn’t used much but it has survived the intervening near-century in better condition than many much more expensive and prestigious pens.


The nib is warranted but it’s a reasonable size, comparable with a Swan No2.


I suppose this pen is roughly the equivalent of some of today’s law-cost Asian pens, some of which are rebadged for commercial companies in a similar way. I doubt that the modern equivalent will look as good 90-odd years from now.

2 thoughts on “An Unbranded Lever Filler

  1. Very attractive design. I don’t like flashy, I prefer black as a main color, and this gives a very nice tone on tone appearance without ostentation. I like it.

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