I’ve written about the Swan 3250 on several occasions, some of them quite recently. So what more is there to say? More of that later.
These pens were made soon after the end of the war, and many of them survive today. There are probably many factors adding up to that survival: the robust nature of the material that cap and barrel are made from, the respect they were treated with and the fact that they were forgotten in a drawer for years.
3250s are generally unremarkable, as is this one, at least until the nib is applied to the paper!
Though it is sometimes said that there were few fully flexible nibs after carbon paper became common that isn’t really true and applies more to the US than to Britain. Some degree of flexibility can be found in many British pens but full flex like this, in the post-war period, is mostly restricted to Mabie Todd and, occasionally, Onoto.
Flexible nibs are much in demand. I’ll confess that they are not especially to my taste, being a little difficult to handle over extended periods of high speed writing. I’d rather a fine firm nib but I do understand their appeal to others. They can produce some very beautiful work, well beyond my ability (as is evident!).
4 thoughts on “Mabie Todd Swan 3250 yet again!”
Deb, many factors adding up to their survival indeed; A lot, to do with design and construction as you say.
Coming as they were, from the beginning of the end of the ‘age’ of fountain pen use, many of these models could likely have been usurped as the ballpoints gained a foothold .( it must be said, as harbingers of lazy and terrible handwriting, I dislike ballpoints )
And it wouldn’t have helped much having Sunderland house nuked in the stupidity of war.
As you’ve said; ballpoints didn’t just suddenly appear, but not all that long after the 3xxx series of Swans was out , their presence was starting to cause fountain pens that were still in excellent condition to be relegated to the bureau drawers , which may be why these models are over represented in the market today.
I have a few of them in pristine condition, including a gorgeous 3260 with a flexible stub which writes perfect italic at rest, and when called upon, flexes magnificently.
The early hitory of the ballpoint is interesting in itself, particularly the involvement of the RAF.
Deborah – may I add a little to your information please. The 3250 is the dark burgundy livery – the black being 3260, and as we know there are the dark green and dark blue bodies that have their own separate colour Nos.
I mention this as it’s not always evident from pix on the screen which of these three series some of these dark colours are, though I have a preference for the green.
I have three examples of this 3250 in dark burgundy – it does look to be the case that the earlier pens with brass threads are about half an inch longer than the later examples where threads are of celluloid – there is also a difference in shape of the front of the section, and later pens – for some unknown reason – have much longer levers.
But, love that writing of this pen – and to be honest if you wanted a solidly made British f.p. you’d need to go a long way to improve on these three series.
I have much of that information in my earlier posts about this model – I didn’t want to re-write it every time. I have found that there is often a noticeable difference in size within models of the same date. I think there was a fair degree of hand fitment going on – and a good thing too.