Having written about trench pens recently I am glad to be able to show this splendid example, the Swan Military. The ink pellets are stored in the base of the barrel but unlike other examples the blind cap does not need to be removed, just slid out to allow access to the pellets.
The pen is in what appears to be in used condition. The nib is flexible and, uncommonly, is marked “Toronto”. Swan nibs issued from that city are unusual but not unknown.
As I said previously trench pens are truly rare. Some were doubtless lost or destroyed in action but I think the conclusion is inescapable that they did not sell well. The pellets did, of course, but they could be applied equally well to any pen of the time.
There is much interest in trench pens though and between that and the shortage of supply together with its fine condition this is a very valuable pen.
Many thanks to Rob Parsons for pictures and information.
2 thoughts on “Mabie Todd Swan Military”
This isn’t specifically about the Trench Pen. My father served in the Royal Navy from 1926 to 1947. During the early 1960s, as a small child, I came across the fountain pen he used to write home. It was much the worse for wear. I remember it wrote reasonably well when you dipped it although it leaked if you tried to fill it – but it had lain unused in the back of a sideboard for almost 20 years by then. I left home in the 1970s, and between then and my father’s death the pen got lost. I’ve often thought it would nice to have one. The Trench Pen is the closest I’ve seen to what I recall dad’s pen looked like, although his was a lever filler. It definitely had the chasing pattern. Was there a lever-filled version of the Trench Pen? Thank you – and thank you, too, for the blog. It’s really interesting to read about and see the Mabie Todd pens.
Interesting story, Robert. Your father’s pen, being a lever filler, would have been a little later. There were quite a few different lever pens in chased hard rubber and celluloid.