The Mabie Todd Pen Company dates back to the 1840s, and as a result, the company is one of the oldest developers of writing equipment. Initially, Mabie Todd was involved in the production of gold nibs and pencils. In 1860, the organization became Mabie, Todd & Co., and it established itself in New York City. Later, in 1873, the company became Mabie, Todd & Bard, and it continued to produce high-end pens, pencils and accessories. The Calligraphic was the company's first fountain pen, and Mabie, Todd & Bard introduced it to the market around 1878. To make the pen, the company used patents from pen innovator William W. Stewart. In 1884, Mabie, Todd & Bard opened an office in London. By 1890, the company had released the Swan fountain pen, which featured overlay eyedroppers that pen experts consider some of the most eye catching and ornate of the era.
The company switched back to the name Mabie, Todd & Co. around 1907. It also began producing pens in Britain about 1909. The company's British division took off, and in the late 1930s, Mabie, Todd & Co. stopped making pens in the United States. In fact, the Swan pen became known as "the pen of the British Empire." Following World War II, the company continued to prosper. However, once the ballpoint pen was introduced, Mabie, Todd & Co. was unable to remain in business and stopped production during the 1950s.
Collectors can buy early Mabie Todd pens. For instance, dip pens from 1877 are for sale. Examples include a green marble celluloid dip pen that features an Aikin Lambert solid gold nib, which is 12.3 cm long. The Mabie Todd Swan eyedropper model is another early collectible to consider purchasing. The pen is 13.4 cm long and features a barleycorn pattern. Furthermore, the edition's base is classic gold, and collectors may find versions that date back to 1890. Keep in mind that vintage pens are often personalized by the writing device's first owner.
The company produced classically beautiful pens like the sterling silver Mabie Todd dip pen featuring leaves and flowers. The company manufactured the pen in 1890, and the model features high quality die stamp finish work. In fact, Mabie Todd hired artisans to complete the pen's production by hand. It is 16.2 cm long and includes a John Holland nib.
When collectors locate the Mabie Todd Swan Military Safety Pen, they'll have a model that the company released in 1918. The pen's base is gold-filled overlay, and the style has an ink tablet that collectors can access by a screw cap made from black hard rubber. The pen style is rare.
Some Mabie Todd writing device sets are on today's collectible pen market. For instance, collectors may have the opportunity to buy a Swan set, which features a pen and pencil. The company released the set in 1928, and collectors should look for the embossed date on the writing devices. The company made the lever filler pen in 18-karat gold, and when collectors purchase a set, it will likely include its original gift box.
If collectors need a colorful vintage pen model in their collection, then they should look for the Mabie Todd Swallow combination pen. The writing device's base features red and amber pearl as well as gold-filled trim. The company introduced the model in 1932, and it measures 15 cm long. The device has a bulb filler and a pencil mechanism that retracts and propels. Most pen and pencil combinations are available with the original gift box.