I don’t use modern eyedropper fillers. I don’t see the point, really, when there are so many good and adequate filling systems around. I love old eyedroppers, though. I’m particularly fond of the Mabie Todd Swan 200, which I have written about before. Use that search box at the upper right if you want to find it.
This one, though a little worn, is a very fine example of the model. It even has Mabie Todd’s accommodation clip, “The Clipper”. The clip is blackened to blend with the black hard rubber of the pen. The BHR is a tiny bit faded to a pleasing, very dark brown. The engine turning and barrel and cap imprints are clearly visible.
The barrel/section threads are good and it holds ink safely. The over and under feed has survived in this pen. They are often retrofitted with ladder feeds. This pen was made in England but at that time Mabie Todd was still importing gold nibs from the US. As is so often the case with these older Swans we have an extraordinary nib. It’s a stub, medium with an appreciable amount of flexibility – semiflexible, I would say.
Looking back at these old pens now it is a temptation to think that they are not quite comparable with our modern pens. One would not expect an over and under feed to give as good ink control as our later multi-finned feeds. That may even be true at the margins, but judging by the gentle wear of use on the barrel of this pen, it served a more than practical purpose for many years for its first owner.
This pen is a century old. I feel fortunate and privileged to handle and use such a beautiful survivor of a time long gone.