Swan Safety Screw Cap 4

Mabie Todd never rested on its laurels. The long success of the company was largely due to its constant determination to improve. One example of that is the increasing efficiency of the eyedropper filler. The apex of that range is the Safety Screw Cap, the last big seller before the introduction of the lever filler. It became evident that people wished to carry their pens with them wherever they went. The major difficulty was the danger of a large quantity of ink escaping into shirt and jacket. Such ideas as the bayonet closure were not reliably successful. The Safety Screw cap finally solved the problem. Using a fixed or accommodation clip, held vertically in the pocket, nib up, the SSC came as close as it was possible to protecting clothes from accidents.

Feeds had also been improving, leading to the ladder feed used in this pen. It was such a good method of transferring ink from the reservoir to the nib that it remained unchanged until the demise of Mabie Todd.

The SSC was a huge seller and it remains widely available today, mostly with the No 2 nib, a comfortable and efficient pen. The larger versions are much less common. I was fortunate in obtaining a very nice version of the No 4. The pen measures 13.5cm capped. It is in excellent condition more than 100 years from its manufacture. The large No 4 nib is very flexible.


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