Blackbird 5241

Prices are high just now. It’s hard to find a decent Mabie Todd pen at a reasonable price. I shouldn’t be too downbeat about it, though, as I managed to capture this marbled green Blackbird during Christmas week. It arrived today, and a charming little pen it is.

The Blackbird was a pen for everyone but it was especially a school pen. This model was launched in 1943, during the dark days of war. Troubled times even for a child. It may have accompanied its young owner in evacuation, to live with strangers and attend an unfamiliar school.

This range of Blackbirds was known as “austerity pens”, part of the restricted models permitted while much manufacturing was diverted to munitions production. Quality remained as high as ever, with close attention to detail such as the black discs closing off cap and barrel and the tiny Blackbird image on the clip.

Despite its nearly eighty years the pen is in very good condition. The green marbled pattern remains as bright and contrasty as ever and the chrome plating is good.

The nib is medium and semiflexible.


6 thoughts on “Blackbird 5241

  1. Dear Deb,

    that’s a nice one, was on my watch list…
    I have a darker one here, like a 41 color, but no number on it. Obviously used by Royal Air Force staff as an engravemend says.
    Indeed very well made even in war times – and the nibs are as great as before.

    Best wishes

      1. Hi Deb,

        yes, the nib is a very good stubbish tuned-up medium.
        But strangely in #1 size… the pen has the same dimensions like a BB2/60.


      2. That sounds like a very good nib. I think that’s the size the nibs are in those pens. Mine is small too. Really nib size doesn’t matter a bit. In the discussions about nib-swapping in modern pens they always seem to want the biggest nib. It doesn’t matter – a big nib doesn’t write better than a small one.

  2. In fact, jumbo-size nibs that sometimes are fitted on pens to justify eye-watering prices make it more difficult to control the pen. With such a nib, I have no other choice but to position my index finger very close to the nib, sometimes even beyond the edge of the section…resulting in inky fingers of course.

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