Swan Nib Types

I mentioned to Jens that I had seen a large list of the types of nib offered by Mabie Todd in years gone by. I had a search through my collection of Mabie Todd advertisements but no luck. I did find this one. Interesting, but it doesn’t show nearly as many as the one I had seen.

Note that in those days nibs were known as points. There’s at least one contributor to the pen groups who insists upon still referring to them as points. I feel that’s a bit affected. After all, many things have points but only pens have nibs.

Paul Leclerc has pointed me in the direction of a small 1951 nib chart on page 278 of The Swan Pen by Stephen Hull. It adds Eternal, Callighraph, Philatelic and Shorthand.


7 thoughts on “Swan Nib Types

  1. I realise that I may be treading thin ice here, but perhaps one could say that a nib has a (fine, broad, stub…) point, i.e. the latter term refers to the extremity of the nib which (in the case of fountain pens) is mostly covered with tipping material. The point (in terms of its size and extent of polishing/smoothing) in combination with the nib type (firm, soft, flexible etc.) largely defines the writing experience. Just a thought. Hans Gilliams


  2. I’ve had a few “coarse” nibs (2nd left, top row on page 27 of the 1921 catalogue) in my time, not all Swans by any means.

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