Over the years, many pen innovators have left their mark. Today, pen collectors will find old and new writing devices from manufacturers like Fisher, Paper Mate and Wearever.
Once men began venturing into space, Paul Fisher realized that astronauts would have trouble using traditional pens when they left the earth since the atmosphere in space is a freezing cold vacuum. As a result, the pen designer began working on a model that astronauts could use. In 1967, he succeeded with the Fisher Space Pen. It features a sealed pressurized cartridge, which became instantly popular with the era's pen consumers. Paul Fisher also invented the first universal ink refill that consumers could use in most ballpoint pen models.
NASA tested the Fisher Space Pen for 18 months before sending it into space. Today's astronauts continue to use the pen model, and collectors will surely enjoy using one in the Earth's atmosphere. The pen's unique style caught the attention of the New York Museum of Modern Art, and consequently, the museum has exhibited the Fisher Bullet Pen for many years.
Fisher pens are frequently used in extreme conditions. For instance, ski patrols, law enforcement agencies, search and rescue groups and the military often stock their vehicles with the company's pens. The pens are famous for allowing people to write at unusual angles, underwater, in cold or hot conditions and even upside down.
The vintage pen market frequently features classic Fisher Space Pens for sale. For instance, collectors are likely to find the NASA underwater model. Some sellers include the original case with the vintage pen. The writing unit features a silver base, and the company constructed the pen with blue medium ink. It is 5-1/4 inches long.
In 1969, Fisher released a pen and pencil set. Collectors may have the opportunity to purchase the item with its original box and instruction booklet. However, some models feature personalized engravings. The company constructed both writing devices in the set with a silver base.
Today, pen collectors can buy new Fisher pens like the Fisher Space Pen Lacquered Brass Bullet Ballpoint model. The edition features a cap that slides on and off as well as a lacquered base. The pen's ink is classic black, and it will arrive in a moonscape gift box.
The Fisher Shuttle Space Pen series is a new edition that will likely become a future collectible. The company manufactures the series in solid chrome and chrome with a gold or black pattern as well as black matte with gold enhancements. At 5 ¼ inches long, the pen is a comfortable size. The writing device also has a handy pocket clip, and it will arrive in a gift box with a protective sleeve.
The Wyvern Company began producing black hard rubber eyedroppers as early as 1896. In 1928, the company had expanded and was developing gold nibs for other manufacturers. Wyvern experimented in the pen industry in various ways. For instance, at one time, the company imported pens. It also assembled pens from parts. Wyvern finally began producing its own writing devices. In the late 1920s, the company manufactured nibs, and during the early 1930s, Wyvern hired a technician from Germany who helped extend the company's product line into pencil development.
Wyvern produced nibs for other pen companies and caused many in the industry to develop their own writing devices with 14-karat gold nibs. Wyvern also made pens for other companies and developed numerous promotional pens. The company continued manufacturing writing devices until the mid-1950s. Throughout its construction years, Wyvern created a wide range of writing devices. Therefore, collectors have the chance to accumulate a variety of the company's pens.
Collectors will locate unique Wyvern pens as the company experimented with different exterior materials such as hard rubber and leather. In fact, the leather models were made from crocodile skin, lizard skin and pig skin. The leather editions were popular with wealthy clients and raised the company's reputation. When attempting to identify a Wyvern pen, look for the company's dragon logo. Furthermore, Wyvern's sturdy construction has ensured that many of the company's pens are on the vintage pen market.
The company's early eyedropper and safety pens are rare. Therefore, collectors may consider looking for these styles when they intend to improve the value of their pen collection.
In 1928, Wyvern produced the Ripple Red Hard Rubber fountain pen. The model features a 14-karat gold nib and hard rubber base that has a swirl brown and black pattern. Collectors should look for the gold enhancements, which include a gold ring around the bottom and the top of the cap. It also features a gold clip.Wyvern manufactured a rare 9-karat gold overlay pen in 1932. The pen model features a 1-karat gold medium tipped nib and black embellishments around the bottom of the cap and the end. In addition, the base has a braided pattern and includes the company's logo.
In 1949, the company introduced the Perfect Pen, which is a fountain pen that has a green and black marble base. The writing device's nib is 14-karat gold, and it has a gold clip and ring around the lower section of the cap.
Collectors may be fortunate enough to locate a Wyvern 303 Fountain Pen with an olive green base. The model features gold fill trim and a 14-karat gold medium tip nib. The pen's clip has metal enhancements around the base to provide visual appeal. In 1955, the company released the Wyvern Perfect Pen 60. Collectors will surely enjoy owning one of the company's classic black pens. Furthermore, it features a 14-karat gold nib and gold fill trim.
In the 1930s and '40s, pen manufacturers added the term "Durium" to fountain pen nibs that they did not tip with gold or silver. The name describes the stainless steel material used for the nibs and is meant to sound fancier than it is. Some manufacturers even used the term "Durium Tipped" on their nibs to mimic the "Iridium Tipped" branded nibs found on other writing devices.
The Eagle Pencil Company manufactured both pens and pencils. Leopold Illfelder and Daniel Berolzheimer originated the company in 1856. Initially, the company was called the Vera-Bleistift-Fabrik, and it was located in Furth, Germany. Daniel Berolzheimer died in 1858, and in 1861, the company started a branch in New York City with Daniel's son Henry. Later, Henry became partners with his brother Martin along with Joseph Reckendorfer. Eagle incorporated in 1883 after Reckendorfer died. However, several members of his family retained control of his shares of the company. In fact, over the next few years, members of the Reckendorfer family served as president of the company and on the corporation's board of directors.
After the business became the Eagle Company, it released the cartridge-filling pen in a simple design during 1890. The cartridge-filling pen had a brass nib, and Eagle added a glass cartridge pressed onto a gum rubber nipple that was included in the hollow area of the pen. The company created a number of innovations such as patented sleeve fillers, matchstick fillers and spoon fillers. Eagle also introduced the hard rubber eyedropper and the twist filler. In the '30s, the company released the Eagle Prestige. It was one of the company's most respected pens, and it featured a bar located under the blind cap for filling. Some editions under the Eagle Prestige line have vent holes in the barrel to circulate air between the exterior barrel section and the interior ink container.
Collectors can add classic Eagle pens to their writing device collections. For instance, the company made an art deco version that features a brightly colored base with pink, white and black. An ornate band embellishes the cap, and the clip is silver. The edition has a lever-filling device and is 5 inches long.
The Eagle ribbed gray fountain pen is another vintage collectible. The edition features a lever ring and a tight clip. At 5 3/8 inches long, the pen is the perfect size. Also, the company name is on the ribbed section of the cap.
Collectors may have the opportunity to buy Eagle's classic dip pen and pencil set. The vintage dip pen features a red base, and the pencil is two sided. One side of the pen is red while the other is blue. Furthermore, collectors may be able to buy the set in its original box.
During the 1930s, Eagle launched the Epenco line, which was a less expensive writing device line. The company introduced Epenco because of the economic problems that arrived with the Great Depression. The affordable pens featured steel nibs and cartoon characters like Popeye and a Moon and Stars design. In 1969, the company merged with several other organizations to become the Berol Corporation.
Collectors can buy vintage Epenco pens. Models include the pen and pencil combination, which features a stylish gray and white base as well as a silver clip with the name Epenco embossed on it. For convenience, one side of the writing unit features the fountain pen while the other side has the pencil.
Epenco's red marble fountain pen is another collectible to consider adding to a writing device collection. The pen model features gold enhancements around the bottom of the cap. The clip is also gold.
The company made a fountain pen that features a camouflage green design. It measures 4-3/4 inches long and has the Epenco name embossed on the metal clasp. The nib is silver, and it features the name Epenco New York engraved on it. Other base styles include pearl green and zebra.
David Kahn began the Wearever Pen Company. He immigrated to America during the 1800s, and when he first arrived to the country, he became a jewelry maker. After receiving many orders for elaborate pencil cases, he decided to produce and market his own pencils. Later, he began manufacturing fountain pens.
The company's official name was David Kahn Inc., and Wearever was one of its most popular lines. However, people frequently called the company Wearever, and the name stuck. The first time that the company used the Wearever brand was around 1918 for its classic black hard rubber fountain pens. During the early 1900s, the pen industry was competitive, and each writing device manufacturer was determined to produce the world's most ornate and stylish pens. However, Kahn discovered that there was money to make by constructing affordable writing units.
In the 1920s, Wearever developed flattop pens that featured gold plated nibs. Furthermore, the company sold the model for a fraction of the price that other large pen companies were charging for their writing devices. To ensure that the cost for Wearever pens remained affordable, the company rarely sold its writing devices individually or in boxes. Instead, Wearever sold pens on cardboard displays. It also marketed pens in bulk.
Later, Kahn decided to offer his customers a higher-grade pen and introduced the Pioneer model. The pen edition featured a similar look and quality to the company's original writing devices, but it included options like gold plating or 14-karat gold nibs. Both of the company's models offered vibrant colors, and the quality of the writing units improved over time.
David Kahn visited Germany during the late 1920s to investigate new technology such as the injection molding machines that pen designers were making there. Kahn purchased the machines and transported them back to the United States to use during his production. As a result, the company was the first one in the U.S. to construct an injection molded writing unit. Before Kahn began using the equipment, pen companies in the United States produced their writing devices from rods or tubes. With the machine, Kahn could make pens in new colors and shapes. He could also make them faster and for less money.
The company grew during the 1930s, and in those years, it added a new nib style, which was a gold nib that was surrounded by a steel frame. With the new nib, the company was able to offer its customers a product that featured gold for a lower price. Also in the 1930s, Shirley Temple signed an advertising contract with Wearever.
In the 1940s, the company produced collectible models such as the Deluxe, Deluxe 100, Zenith and the Pacemaker. The models included a 14-karat gold plated nib, and later, Wearever added a button filler to the writing devices. In 1945, Wearever increased the quality of its ballpoint line, and the following year, the company was selling a ballpoint pen for $3.
The Pennant pen was Wearever's most popular pen from 1950 until 1962. The model is the classic drugstore pen that consumers could buy for $1. Stores would display them on racks next to the cards or on countertop carousels. When ballpoint pens began selling vigorously during the 1950s, it negatively affected many top fountain pen companies. However, Wearever continued to prosper in the industry until the year 2000. At that time, the company shifted its production focus to household products.
Collectors will find many classic Wearever pens on the vintage writing device market. For instance, the Deluxe 100 Brown Striped Celluloid Fountain Pen is a traditional writing device that will add value to a collector's assortment of fountain pens. The company manufactured the pen during the 1940s, and it features a screw on cap. The base has varying shades of brown, and Wearever made the writing device in the United States. It has a gold colored fine nib and uses a level ink filling system. Collectors will appreciate the pen's gold enhancements around the lower section of the cap and on the base. The pen's clip is gold, and it has the name "Wearever" embossed on it lengthwise.
The Pennant Cartridge Fill Fountain Pen is another writing device for collectors to consider buying. The base is green, and the pen has a steel nib as well as steel enhancements on the cap and base. Collectors will need to buy Wearever ink cartridges to use the pen.
Pen collectors have the opportunity to use and admire classic writing devices that have shaped today's pen industry. Furthermore, collectors will gain the expertise to recognize modern pens that will likely become tomorrow's collectibles.