I’ve written about the Blackbird Fount Pen before. The search box above will find it. The Fount Pen comes as either an eyedropper filler or a lever filler and it is possible that these systems overlapped. Which leads me to the next point about the eyedropper filler: it can only be dated within a fairly wide timeframe. I have adverts showing the pen available in this form as early as 1913. That’s not to say it wasn’t in production before then. It was a popular pen and remained available well into the nineteen twenties. The last of them bore a Blackbird logo on the barrel.
The Fount Pens appear to have been made from very good black hard rubber. Despite having been faced with the same vicissitudes as other pens of this date those I have handled have retained their blackness and their shine. As with all Mabie Todd pens of this period, the threads and the fitting of the cone cap are excellent. Though, as a pen with no metal trim at all, it is clearly intended to be sold at a lower price than the Swan, quality has not suffered.
The pen doesn’t show its age but, unsurprisingly, the box does. It’s thoroughly scuffed but structurally sound. The once bright colours have faded. The filling instructions and guarantee are present, quite brittle with age. The eyedropper-filler is included but the bulb has perished.
It’s a hundred-year-old pen, give or take a year or two and it remains eminently practical for everyday use.