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Leftover rod stock


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#1 matt

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 09:01 PM

Early Sheaffer vac-fil pens have an interesting "gothic arch" look to the blind caps because they are made of small square rods of colored celluloid with a thin black layer between each square. The vast majority of blind caps and desk pen tapers are made from a sheet of striped material wrapped/stretched over a black core. Sheaffer must have had a bit of this early rod stock left over as evidenced by packing units made of it, which Gerry Berg has posted here or on Zoss, and by this wild desk pen that was on ebay last week (sadly, my bid came in 3rd).

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To me, this pen is about as late as one can get in Sheaffer's celluloid era. There's the non-Lifetime serial-numbered nib, the visulated section internal-tube filler, and the opaque barrel. (The first internal-tube fillers had barrels w/ about 3/8" of transparent barrel stripes - the remainder of the barrel interior is painted black, then the entire barrel interior is painted black, then the 3rd variation is opaque plastic, as above, same as the cap material.) Someone also appears to have made the decision to use up the leftover blind cap rod stock at this point; might as well, if the switch was being made to injection molded plastic.

I think I've also seen this plastic used on pencils, but they were earlier, pre-WWII, if I recall the clips correctly.

#2 ogwen

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 08:54 AM

Cool pen! Thanks for posting that.

More leftover rod stock usage which shows the construction of the celluloid blank:
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It came from this Tucky:
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I love finding little surprises like that!

--Jody

#3 Gerry Berg

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 04:28 PM

Backing washers were made in nearly all the striped barrel colors of the late 30s. I've yet to find one in roseglow. Sheaffer used also some solid colors that were not from barrel stock including coral, white, and clear. Similarly, Sheaffer used barrel rod stock for packing units as well, though I've never seen a carmine one. There are even examples, though rare, of closing nuts made from striped barrel rod.

For those "completionist" collectors out there, this opens a whole new universe of obsession!

#4 Gerry Berg

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 04:40 PM

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I think I've also seen this plastic used on pencils, but they were earlier, pre-WWII, if I recall the clips correctly.


Sheaffer made blind caps from that kind rod. It created a similar patter which, like your "gothic, I have termed "cathedral weave". Some time in the early 40s, however, blind caps were made differently so that, though striped, they did not have the beautiful "gothic cathedral weave".

#5 matt

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 05:53 PM

The striped backing washer reminded me of one more place to check: inside plastic-capped post war Triumph-nibbed pens. They don't have traditional inner caps that seal against the end of the section. But there is a disk of plastic towards the end of the cap that seals off the clip spring and clip opening in the cap. I've got one where the disc is a slice of that same striped blind cap material. (The metal capped pens seem to have a metal inner cap to seal off the clip.)

#6 Gerry Berg

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 03:03 PM

Sheaffer also made plastic parts from stock that was not barrel rod. This hard backing washer and closing nut, taken from a post-War Triumph Crest, are from solid coral-colored plastic.
Any idea from what other Sheaffer product these were made?

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#7 Roger W.

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 06:05 PM

Sheaffer also made plastic parts from stock that was not barrel rod. This hard backing washer and closing nut, taken from a post-War Triumph Crest, are from solid coral-colored plastic.
Any idea from what other Sheaffer product these were made?

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Could be from Lumarith.

Roger W.

#8 matt

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 09:17 PM

Lumarith, known for its bright colors is cellulose acetate. Smells like vinegar instead of camphor. This link says Lumarith becomes "disastrously" warped when submerged in water. http://www.decolish....tml<br /><br />Looks like polyethylene to me, which went into commercial production in 1944.

#9 Roger W.

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 09:42 PM

Lumarith, known for its bright colors is cellulose acetate. Smells like vinegar instead of camphor. This link says Lumarith becomes "disastrously" warped when submerged in water. http://www.decolish.com/Celluloid.html

Looks like polyethylene to me, which went into commercial production in 1944.


Matt;

I mention Lumarith as there is a rod of it in the Sheaffer museum. Based on its trademark date it may have been used to produce late pygmys. I don't know that a small disk would end up becoming that warped but the backing washer was intended to stay dry and a locking nut wouldn't be likely to warp at all even though it would be in ink all the time. Some pygmys deteriorate in strange ways so they are likely made of other materials than CN.

Roger W.

#10 Gerry Berg

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 09:53 PM

Matt;
I don't know that a small disk would end up becoming that warped but the backing washer was intended to stay dry and a locking nut wouldn't be likely to warp at all even though it would be in ink all the time.
Roger W.


Both a backing washer and the closing nut are under a lot of stress in a well-used plunger-filler pen and would spend a lot of time submerged in ink. Whatever plastic it is, it would need to stand up well to water.
Gerry

#11 ashbridg

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 10:05 PM

It’s amazing to see a desk pen with a giant blind cap.

Just for comparison here's a Balance blind-cap from two different angles: this late 1930’s pen has Gerry’s cathedral weave in an overlapping matrix:
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Another view of the same pen emphasizes the arches nested in graduated layers.
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Ashby

#12 Roger W.

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 10:08 PM

Both a backing washer and the closing nut are under a lot of stress in a well-used plunger-filler pen and would spend a lot of time submerged in ink. Whatever plastic it is, it would need to stand up well to water.
Gerry


I disagree - the nut and washer are made out of plastic after all and not metal - can't be that stressful.

I find Matt's article interesting in that they say Lumarith was introduced in 1927. The trademark was applied for May 16, 1929 and Celluloid Corp. states it was in use from March 28, 1929. The earlier date would allow all cherry red pygmys to be made out of this material whereas the later date would allow only for late production as it seems unlikely that pygmys were made for more than just a few years though it is possible.

Roger W.

#13 david i

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 10:28 PM

It’s amazing to see a desk pen with a giant blind cap.

SNIP

Ashby



Hi Ashby,

Might be a semantic issue, but that is not a blind cap. It is the taper of the desk pen. Some old pens used black tapers, but "matching" tapers appear often as well. The interesting thing of course on this one being it has the cross-hatched plastic instead of simple lines reflecting the barrel.

regards

David




David R. Isaacson MD. Website: VACUMANIA.com for quality old pens with full warranty.
Email: isaacson@frontiernet.net

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#14 ashbridg

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 10:54 PM

Hi Ashby,

Might be a semantic issue, but that is not a blind cap. It is the taper of the desk pen. Some old pens used black tapers, but "matching" tapers appear often as well. The interesting thing of course on this one being it has the cross-hatched plastic instead of simple lines reflecting the barrel.

regards

David

Thanks David. Semantics is everything. I love the pattern on this taper. These pens come up on eBay every now and then, but they always go high (relative to what I'm willing to pay). Maybe one day...
Ashby

#15 ogwen

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 06:32 AM

Sheaffer also made plastic parts from stock that was not barrel rod. :snip:


This wartime Triumph has a lovely blue feed collar (and I have found several different colors used for this part), but most interesting to me was the clear upper seal found in the pen's packing unit. It is a stiff, but flexible plastic of some sort. I don't know how useful it would have been as a seal, but maybe they figured the first seal (which is made of the usual rubber) would do the job.

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--Jody

#16 Gerry Berg

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 11:05 AM

This wartime Triumph has a lovely blue feed collar (and I have found several different colors used for this part), but most interesting to me was the clear upper seal found in the pen's packing unit. It is a stiff, but flexible plastic of some sort. I don't know how useful it would have been as a seal, but maybe they figured the first seal (which is made of the usual rubber) would do the job.
--Jody


Thanks, Jody. I've seen those feed collars in red, white, and clear as well. The red here, however, is completely opaque, unlike the translucent red of the nut and backing washer above. I have not yet seen internal parts made of the blue.
G

#17 Roger W.

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 03:48 PM

Thanks, Jody. I've seen those feed collars in red, white, and clear as well. The red here, however, is completely opaque, unlike the translucent red of the nut and backing washer above. I have not yet seen internal parts made of the blue.
G


The blue for the pygmys may very well be casein now that is a plastic that would not tolerate wet conditions at all.

Roger W.

#18 ashbridg

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 01:33 AM

Here's a red one I found in a pen like Jody's. Surprises like that are fun.

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Ashby

#19 matt

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 03:19 PM

Here's a pencil currently being offered by Rob Morrison with both cap and barrel made from similar rod stock as cathedral weave blind caps. Note that the stripes do not get thinner or twist towards the tapered ends as they do on cap/barrels made of wrapped material. I really like the wood-grain effect.

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