Mabie Todd Swan 3160 Oblique Stub

I’ve written about the Swan 3160 before but this pen makes it necessary to write about it again. 3160s are fairly common – as the cheapest of the Swan range I expect that they sold in considerable numbers. They’re great pens to write with but they are not my favourite to restore because of the screw-in section which can be awkward. I’ve never seen the benefit of a screw-in section in a lever fill pen.

Anyway this pen is special because of the nib, which is a gently oblique stub with some flexibility – a truly lovely nib. I’ve had many Swan stubs over the years but this is the first one by Phillips of Oxford.

Perhaps this nib was a replacement for one that was damaged, or it might have been that the owner had a yearning for an oblique stub and had his nib changed. As it has “Phillips Oxford” on it, we know that the nib would have come from Mr Brown who took over Marrians the nib makers and supplied Reg Phillips. It’s not impossible that this pen was made up from a barrel and cap which was part of the stock that Phillips took over when Mabie Todd went out of the fountain pen business, effectively a “new” Mabie Todd Swan 3160 from around 1960.

The information comes from Stephen Hull’s magnificent The English Fountain Pen Industry 1875 – 1975.


4 thoughts on “Mabie Todd Swan 3160 Oblique Stub

  1. love the script of that word Phillips, on the nib – I have a few of these nibs and they are usually very good, though I don’t have a semi-flex oblique stub, yet:-)

    I’m going to disagree with your thoughts re the benefits or otherwise of threaded sections, Deborah, whether for l.f. or leverless My feelings are that with non-threaded sections there is a greater danger of their removal causing cracking to the barrel wall, as their fitness for purpose depends on a tight fit and removal requires substantial torsion and pulling, even after use of hair dryer. Re-assembly has also been my undoing, so to speak.
    Threaded jobs on the other hand appear to have thicker walls and their removal requires an even and unidirectional movement to unscrew, though they may well need the hair dryer to start with.
    Presumably b.f. pens need the screw section since the bar presses heavily against the lower end of the collar immediately under the threads.

    I like the wide diameter ‘collar’ at the forward end of the section – it has a good old fashioned appearance, and I love old fashioned:-)

    All in all a good pen, and very much agree with your sentiments re Steve Hull’s book.

    1. Leverless has to be press fit. Screw fit couldn’t work with the large sacs Leverless pens need. As regards lever fill pens, I’ve never had trouble with press fit sections. Button fillers without hanging bars need screw fit sections.

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