Langs Bulb Filler

It has been quite a while since I’ve restored a bulb filler. I’ve written about them several times before, because I find them quite impressive. There are two very similar designs, one by Mentmore the other by Langs. This one, I feel sure, is by Langs. It is identical in design to National Security pen which was certainly by Langs, and the pattern of the engine turning is the same as other Langs pens I’ve worked on.

Though this pen does not appear to have been used much it has had some rough handling. The breather tube had been snapped off. I removed the remaining part easily enough but the breather tube I have is too thick. A few moments with the Archimedes drill solved that problem. I had a suitable sac to use as the bulb and I found the right size of nib among my spares. A dab of silicone grease on the section threads eased reassembling and helped to seal it.

These pens are both admirably simple yet sophisticated in design. Like other ink-in-the-barrel pens, they take a good charge of ink and are easy to fill fully. When compared with Parker’s Vacumatic, these pens come out ahead because of their ease of maintenance.


2 thoughts on “Langs Bulb Filler

  1. that’s some very clear ‘tank’ Deborah – I’ve a similar pen but the once clear part of the barrel is now a dark shade of mint. Believe you helped me with an id on mine some year or two back – had an idea you said Lang’s at the time – my barrel carries Pat. No. 29336/37 plus MADE IN ENGLAND, and the tiered tassie design can be seen on Mentmore Ink Lock pens, though the stepped clip of mine doesn’t appear on any of my Mentmore pens.
    I think the ‘clear’ part goes well with black – I’m a big fan of black, despite their lack of monetary pulling power, and engine turning looks better than on colours.
    The barrel on mine is in three parts (all threaded), as it’s a button filler (and a sizeable button it is too), though some similar pens are in two only (yours possibly), and filling is a matter of squeezing the bulb.
    Have an idea that not all pens with ‘windows’ provide good access for cleaning, but with this one and perhaps the Mentmore, the internal surface can be give a good scrub after removing the section, though decades of ink can discolour permanently in some pens.
    As far as the breather tube goes, I’d have thought that if a replacement was needed, one might be cannibalised from a Newhaven Duofold – though I’ve not yet needed to test that idea.
    Have to say that my pen is minus its bulb – but since I don’t write perhaps not a problem, and no one can spot its absence;-)

    1. I have a small stock of breather tubing but what was in the bulb-filler was unusually narrow, narrower than what Parker used. The tank took quite a while in the ultrasonic cleaner and then some scrubbing with a bottle brush. It came up well. I’ve done several of these things and they usually clean quite well. I wonder whether there was sharing of information on the subject of bulb fillers between Mentmore and Langs as their designs are very similar. Your button filler may an Auto-Tank. I have one of these.

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