Jump to content


Photo

Sheaffer Military Balances


  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 matt

matt

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 1,371 posts

Posted 03 December 2011 - 06:13 AM

David's thread on jeweler's band Military Balances got me looking for a picture of the basic 4 models: $10 Valiant, $8.75 Vigilant, $5 Defender, and $4 Commandant. Dennis Bowden, bless his soul, sure could pack a lot of info into one picture and still keep it simple:

Posted Image

And at the bottom of this thread http://www.fountainp...identification/ is a photo of the Service Autograph.

#2 david i

david i

    ADVISOR

  • ADVISORS
  • 7,515 posts
  • LocationEast Coast USA

Posted 07 December 2011 - 01:46 AM

Hi Matt,

Sheaffer's military clip Balance Skyboy series carried same price for pen and pencil as otherwise similar smooth-clip white dot Valiant.

$10 for the pen. $4 for pencil.

I happen to have a stickered pencil lying about so I shot it. This one was not done in flat catalogue style in the light bucket, which is the technique that allows for my easy montage of all pens ever so shot. I did htis one in the light box, which gives nice oblique shots. Still, I managed to approximate the angle and did cut out the second image, giving a montage of two views of the same pen, with a real background preserved.

Posted Image



regards

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

Posted Image

#3 Ray-Vigo

Ray-Vigo

    greenhorn

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 20 posts

Posted 07 December 2011 - 04:32 AM

David's thread on jeweler's band Military Balances got me looking for a picture of the basic 4 models: $10 Valiant, $8.75 Vigilant, $5 Defender, and $4 Commandant. Dennis Bowden, bless his soul, sure could pack a lot of info into one picture and still keep it simple:

Posted Image

And at the bottom of this thread <a href='http://www.fountainp...identification/' class='bbc_url' title='External link' rel='nofollow external'>http://www.fountainp...identification is a photo of the Service Autograph


It looks as though the far left one has a "turned up" nib. I actually think these turned up tip nibs you sometimes find on mid 30s-early 40s Balances are among the very best. I actually am more likely to buy a pen now with one of them compared to another pen, all else being equal.

#4 david i

david i

    ADVISOR

  • ADVISORS
  • 7,515 posts
  • LocationEast Coast USA

Posted 07 December 2011 - 04:00 PM

Hi guys,

We've had bit of back and forth on Zoss List regarding the military Balances.

I'd like to address couple points and offer some image montages.

First, there were Skyboy variants offered as well, though they were priced and sized the same as the large white-dot Valiant and appear to be more a quirk of offering (something to appeal to those enamored with flight?) rather than higher tier pen. Be careful if anyone casually tosses about notions that Skyboy military pen was a higher line offering, something "super deluxe" or what have you.

Second, the Skyboy variant indeed was trumpeted for having a Flo-Rite fluid control to "compensate" (note that compensate can be seen as an ambiguous term) for altitude and temperature changes. However, what is perhaps less well known in the hobby community is that this so-called Flo-Rite mechanism was not treated as unique-to-Skyboy by Sheaffer, but rather was touted as being present (in 1941) in either all Sheaffer pens, or-- depending on one's reading of the text-- at least all pens with Feather Touch nibs.

Third, I hypothesize that the Flo-Rite fluid control is nothing new or special when it is cited in 1941, but is just Sheaffer putting a spin on its basic nib/feed/filler mechanism for advertising purposes, supported by the notion that all Sheaffers have (and previously had) this thing. I would appreciate if anyone can point out that i am mistaken on this point and if Sheaffer did tweak some element of the pen around 1941 to make it work better (flood less? Sheaffer doesn't say...) with altitude change.

Two images are presented below.

The first shows the Skyboy Military Balance line, noting again that prices are identical to that of the the non-Skyboy Valiant.

The second shows the other four Military Balance lines, noting that all Sheaffer pens (or is it all Feathertouch Sheaffer pens or all Military pens... i suspect "all Sheaffer pens") have the Flo-Rite mechanism, whatever that is, assuming it is... anything at all ;)

Posted Image


regards

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

Posted Image

#5 david i

david i

    ADVISOR

  • ADVISORS
  • 7,515 posts
  • LocationEast Coast USA

Posted 07 December 2011 - 04:40 PM

Here are some points to consider about Military Balance

So lets get the key points-- as far as I have awareness of them-- in play, for subsequent consideration. Suspect this will become a pen profile soon.

1. Military Balance was catalogued at least in 1941. I have vague recollection of adverts showing them later.

2. There has been some debate amongst the semantically inclined as to whether Sheaffer formally considered these to be Balance pens (vs being just Sheaffer pens that look enough like Balance that collectors lump them with Balance). I am content to consider the pens Military Balance or military-clip Balance, though am amenable to counterpoints.

3. The documented pens have barrels a bit shorter than non-military long-standard and long-slender non-military pens, but not as short as the short non-military pens. Intermediate length barrels. Caps might be "stubby" length, I must check.

4. The 1941 catalogue shows five models, and among them two sizes appear, standard and slender. Shown are SKYBOY-- part of Sheaffer's 1940-41 (?later?) Skyboy line not limited to military pens, VALIANT, VIGILANT, DEFENDER and COMMANDANT. Also known is an Autograph (Service Autograph?) variant with solid gold trim. I am told there is Sheaffer documentation for such pen in black, though I've not seen it. I also have seen an apparently off-catalogue Carmine Autograph.

5. Skyboy appears not to have been considered a "Super Deluxe" pen by Sheaffer and indeed in the military line the Skyboy pens were priced the same as the non-Skyboy Valiant, the other large white-dot model

6. Skyboy and Valiant are white dot standard girth pens. Vigilant is the slender white-dto pen. Defender appears to be a standard girth non-white dot pen with feather touch nib. Commandant is a third tier pen, slender, with #3-nib.

7. Skyboy pens are marked "Skyboy" on clip. Valiant, Vigilant and Defender have smooth clips, maintaining a parallel with the radius-clip 1st and 2nd tier non-miltiary Balance. Commandant is marked "Sheaffers" on the clip, in keeping with third tier non-military pens from this era.

8. Initial catalogue appearance indeed touts a "Flo-Rite" mechanism for the Skyboy variants, but the same catalogue makes clear that Flo-Rite is not found uniquely in that line, but arguably is found in all Sheaffer pens from this era (from all eras?), meaning its presence in Skyboy has no import for differentiating Skyboy from other military-clip Balances. Rather, Skyboy is just one amongst many Sheaffer models with that mechanism. Too, it is not clear that Flo-Rite references anything new or specific, other than being a marketable name for Sheaffer's generic construction of pens. Information is invited.

9. I had thought that like the white dot smooth clip pens found both standard and slender (Valiant and Vigilant, respectively), that the non-white dot 2nd tier feather touch nib pens were found both sizes, though the 1941 catalogue shows only the standard girth Defender.

10. Off catalogue items? I've seen couple (own one) Military pen done based on full length Balance stock, thus making it an extra-long Military Balance. I've seen a a Carmine Autograph. I've seen black Auotgraph, not shown in 1941 catalogue, but which i vaguely recall hearing was documented. Info invited.

11. All told, the 1941 catalogue shows five models spread between two sizes. Autograph adds a sixth, assuming found only one size.

12. No fourth-tier (Junior) Military Balance is known to me

13. Four colors were offered, Black, Golden Brown, Carmine and Marine Green, noting that Marine Green is not mentioned in the 1941 catalogue.
David R. Isaacson MD. Website: VACUMANIA.com for quality old pens with full warranty.
Email: isaacson@frontiernet.net

Posted Image

#6 david i

david i

    ADVISOR

  • ADVISORS
  • 7,515 posts
  • LocationEast Coast USA

Posted 07 December 2011 - 06:04 PM

While the line between "variant" and "model" can be a bit hazy, I nonetheless need to amend my model list for Military Balance, or at least the variant list, when accounting for off catalogue variants.

I had mentioned five models from the 1941 catalogue, six counting Autograph not so shown.

1) Autograph (solid gold trim)
2) Skyboy (white dot standard pen, skyboy clip)
3) Valiant (white dot standard pen, smooth clip)
4) Vigilant (white dot, slender pen, smooth clip)
5) Defender (non-white dot, standard pen, smooth clip)
6) Commandant (non-white-dot, slender pen, "sheaffer's" clip).

I had forgotten (odd, since I posted image of the most of these seen together), the "Jeweler's" cap-band pens, those with wider-than-normal milled cap-band. They are found with wider and narrower versions of this band.

Here is image of mine. All wide-band

Posted Image


This one with narrower jeweler's band, was posted by Gerry Berg, the first of this sort I've seen, and likely representing a third-tier Military Balance rather than the 2nd-tier pens which are in my image. I have yet to see a white dot jeweler's band military pen.

Here is Gerry's pen


Posted Image


As different model names have cropped up for non-military pens with this cap-band, it is possible then that Sheaffer considered the Jeweler's Band Military pens also to be different models
David R. Isaacson MD. Website: VACUMANIA.com for quality old pens with full warranty.
Email: isaacson@frontiernet.net

Posted Image

#7 david i

david i

    ADVISOR

  • ADVISORS
  • 7,515 posts
  • LocationEast Coast USA

Posted 08 December 2011 - 04:21 PM

Here is an off-catalogue, anomalous extra long Military Balance, basically being a militarized non-military long thin WD Balance Sovereign. I suppose that makes this a Long Vigilant.

Here's the therad originally done for this pen: CLICK for Thread about Extra Long Military Pen

Posted Image


Next to a regular black Vigilant (slender white dot military pen)

Posted Image

regards

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

Posted Image

#8 matt

matt

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 1,371 posts

Posted 08 December 2011 - 06:45 PM

Good discusssion here of the Military Clip, plus the response on Zoss to Jonathan Veley's military-clip pencil blog entry http://leadheadpenci...maybe-five.html. Great shots of pens and catalog pages.

But, it seems too few people care about pencils because no one confirmed or disproved Jonathan's theory that only one pencil was paired with the Valiant, Vigilant, and Defender pens. And no one addressed that his green pencil has a slightly skinnier cap band or that his carmine pencil is noticably longer. Normal manufacturing tolerances/production changes (green was added to the series later) or different models? Are military clip pencils also shorter, same as the pens, and could Jonathan's longer carmine pencil be a mate to David's anomalous Sovereign-length carmine Vigilant shown above or just an oddity?

Jonathan's conclusion is based on the fact that the Skyboy pencil sold for $4, the same as his 4 plain-clip military pencils (the Sheaffer-clip Commandant pencil sold for $3), even though the Valiant, Vigilant, and Defender (V,V,D) pencils had different "catalog codes." Are the "catalog codes" useful for anything? The V,V,D pencil codes are all different, but they all start with ATxxx; does that prove they are all the same pencil? The V,V,D pen codes all start with ATxxx and we know there 2 different sizes, 2 different-width cap bands, and 3 different nibs. In this thread, Roger Wooten points out that these 5-character codes are telegraphic codes and says they are inconsistent from catalog to catalog:

http://www.fountainp...fer-autographs/

"Telegraphic code" also shown in this low resolution scan, I think from FPN:

Posted Image

What is needed are the model code(s) for the pencil. David's photo above provides "HYS" for the Skyboy. What are the model codes for the Valiant, Vigilant, Defender, and Commandant pencils? The model codes for the pens (from the Pen Sac Co catalog and the plunger rod list in the Workbook) are

Valiant 74H lever fill, 74WH vac-fil
Vigilant 73H, 73WH
Defender 5H, 5WH
Commandant 3H, 3WH

The military clip catalog pages pictured above only show the telegraphic codes; are there pencil model codes in the Workbook? I should be able to answer my own question, but I don't own a copy of the Workbook yet....

If one pencil sufficed for the Valiant, Vigilant, and non-Lifetime Defender pen, it and the Sheaffer-clip pencil for the non-Lifetime Commandant also represent a styling change: previously, the "correct" pencil for a non-Lifetime Balance pen lacks a cap band.

Edited by matt, 08 December 2011 - 06:55 PM.


#9 david i

david i

    ADVISOR

  • ADVISORS
  • 7,515 posts
  • LocationEast Coast USA

Posted 08 December 2011 - 07:26 PM

Good discusssion here of the Military Clip, plus the response on Zoss to Jonathan Veley's military-clip pencil blog entry http://leadheadpenci...maybe-five.html. Great shots of pens and catalog pages.

But, it seems too few people care about pencils because no one confirmed or disproved Jonathan's theory that only one pencil was paired with the Valiant, Vigilant, and Defender pens. SNIP


Hi Matt,

With respect to you, I found John's blog post to be a bloody disaster, using hyperbolic verbiage and inaccurate description. You likely gathered that from my response on Zoss ;)

To a neo, it could serve to confuse as much or more than to enlighten. It does serve as a basis, I suppose, for discussion.

I make no claims to expertise in Sheaffer Balance, though... I have handled my fair share and do think about them now and then ;)

My primary objections were to claims in the blog that the military pens marked "Skyboy" were 'super deluxe' models or were marketed that way by Sheaffer, and to claims that Sheaffer's claimed flight-friendly features of Skyboy were special to that line.

As to apparent surprise one might have that Sheaffer perhaps paired the same pencil with a couple or three different pens, I offer the following.

Sheaffer has a long history of pairing a common pencil with different pens. There. I said it.

Peeking at catalogue, for example, Sheaffer paired the same pencil (down to same code) with, ready...

  • Statesman (Standard Girth, white dot pen)
  • Admiral (Standard Girth, non white dot pen)
  • Sovereign (Slender, white dot pen)
It does not shock me that for military clip pens, one would then see the same pencil, priced the same in catalogue (albeit with different model code shown), for three pens that are
  • Standard Girth, white dot pen
  • Slender Girth, white dot pen
  • Slender Girth, non-white dot pen
The cadence is similar, if not identical ;)

Really, I didn't see much to consider that the pencils should be different. How would they have been different? There are not white-dot pencils this era. The clips, too, are the same for the three lines of pen.

Now, that said, I could be wrong about all the above; if different pencils are found I will happily modify my stance based on appropriate counter points offered. But, the presence of a single matching pencil for three 1st and 2nd tier pens is in the zone of behavior Sheaffer showed for non-military Balances.

If one pencil sufficed for the Valiant, Vigilant, and non-Lifetime Defender pen, it and the Sheaffer-clip pencil for the non-Lifetime Commandant also represent a styling change: previously, the "correct" pencil for a non-Lifetime Balance pen lacks a cap band.



Could be. The single matching pencil to three different first and second tier non-military Balance had cap-band. The third tier Craftsman was matched with a bandless pen. The "300" marked pen for military-clip pen though does appear to have a band. So it goes. Sheaffer did what it did. Eventually the White Dot was placed on pencils, not the case during the era we discuss.


And no one addressed that his green pencil has a slightly skinnier cap band or that his carmine pencil is noticably longer. Normal manufacturing tolerances/production changes or different models? Are military clip pencils also shorter, same as the pens, and could Jonathan's longer carmine pencil be a mate to David's anomalous Sovereign-length carmine Vigilant shown above or just an oddity?


I don't have full explanations. Military pencils are shorter than non-military pencils iirc. An anomalously long pencil indeed might match the recognized anomalous pen of that sort.


I am not at all certain the green pen shown has a thinner band. Green pencil is not lined up perfectly with the others, and I cannot comment if there is angle giving some foreshortening. If it truly has different width, that would be food for thought.

I cannot comment on nuances of interpretation of catalogue codes, as I have not pursued that information to date. The codes mentioned in the Sheaffer Workbook 1947 are different iirc from catalogue markings. Think someone claimed the workbook codes are not model codes per se, and that might be so.

Thoughts on all this?

regards

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

Posted Image

#10 Jon Veley

Jon Veley

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 169 posts

Posted 08 December 2011 - 10:10 PM

Sheaffer has a long history of pairing a common pencil with different pens. There. I said it.

. . .

Thoughts on all this?

regards

david


Yeah. That's what my entire blog post was about in the first place. Glad you've finally come around to agree with me.

#11 david i

david i

    ADVISOR

  • ADVISORS
  • 7,515 posts
  • LocationEast Coast USA

Posted 08 December 2011 - 10:32 PM

Yeah. That's what my entire blog post was about in the first place. Glad you've finally come around to agree with me.


How silly. Once again you mix a casual factual situation with grandiose misinterpretation. Typical

I quite agree with anyone- including you- who says/said the cited comment regarding Sheaffer matching one pencil to more than one pen in some cases, as has been the case for me over the years. Basically, we "agreed" on this point, years before you first even noticed this point. Happy to share that factual situation with you.


There was no "finally" or "coming around" involved. That is delusion.

Your blog post of course was not "entirely" about that rather small and fairly well recognized point.

All the stuff you got wrong still is wrong, as per prior notes here. You know, the other things that contributed to what actually was the "entire" post.

regards

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

Posted Image

#12 david i

david i

    ADVISOR

  • ADVISORS
  • 7,515 posts
  • LocationEast Coast USA

Posted 09 December 2011 - 03:07 PM

Here's something fun.

Posted Image


regards

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

Posted Image

#13 Teej47

Teej47

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 527 posts
  • LocationSpokane, WA

Posted 09 December 2011 - 05:56 PM

Here's something fun.

Posted Image


regards

David


Interesting that it's a flat ball clip... but maybe that has to do with the July, 1940 date. This leads me to ponder just exactly when the radius clip came along? Was the radius clip perhaps actually a retooling of the military clip, not the other way around?

Am I a heretic for asking outside-the-box questions?

Tim
The only sense that's common is nonsense...

#14 david i

david i

    ADVISOR

  • ADVISORS
  • 7,515 posts
  • LocationEast Coast USA

Posted 09 December 2011 - 06:33 PM

Interesting that it's a flat ball clip... but maybe that has to do with the July, 1940 date. This leads me to ponder just exactly when the radius clip came along? Was the radius clip perhaps actually a retooling of the military clip, not the other way around?

Am I a heretic for asking outside-the-box questions?

Tim


Hi Tim.

That could be artistic license... or not. Maybe final plans changed in parallel to patent application.

The radius clip appeared in the top two tiers of conventional Balance and first appeared in 1935, well predating the military style pens.

I suspect no pen board could thrive without questions, so I wouldn't too much worry about asking them ;)

regards

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

Posted Image

#15 david i

david i

    ADVISOR

  • ADVISORS
  • 7,515 posts
  • LocationEast Coast USA

Posted 06 February 2012 - 03:57 AM

A nice military clip Balance set. Note the clip.


Posted Image



regards

david

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

Posted Image

#16 MacKozinsky

MacKozinsky

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 56 posts
  • LocationPoland, Warsaw

Posted 14 February 2012 - 12:20 PM

Thanks for this topic:D Hope it's ok to add an ad B)- a small piece of the puzzle.

1. Military Balance was catalogued at least in 1941. I have vague recollection of adverts showing them later.

Life Magazine, 25th May 1942. Google books is the owner of the picture, also a place where the date can be easily verified:

Posted Image

As for the Patent document brought by Teej47, there are some other of which a pen, produced and one that we can see to exist is yet to be found? Like this "safety shut-off solution" I suppose?
As for the Skyboy above (:P) is the "how to fill" instruction regular, like for any other Balance pen? 7 seconds and the rest the same? Are there any 'Skyboy-only' differencies?

TIA for the answer,
Mac

Edited by MacKozinsky, 14 February 2012 - 12:34 PM.

The fundamental substance is air. The soul is air; fire is rarefied air; when condensed, air becomes first water, then if further condensed, earth, and finally stone...


#17 david i

david i

    ADVISOR

  • ADVISORS
  • 7,515 posts
  • LocationEast Coast USA

Posted 14 February 2012 - 04:58 PM

Thanks for this topic:D Hope it's ok to add an ad B)- a small piece of the puzzle.

1. Military Balance was catalogued at least in 1941. I have vague recollection of adverts showing them later.

Life Magazine, 25th May 1942. Google books is the owner of the picture, also a place where the date can be easily verified:


As for the Patent document brought by Teej47, there are some other of which a pen, produced and one that we can see to exist is yet to be found? Like this "safety shut-off solution" I suppose?
As for the Skyboy above (:P) is the "how to fill" instruction regular, like for any other Balance pen? 7 seconds and the rest the same? Are there any 'Skyboy-only' differencies?

TIA for the answer,
Mac


Hi Mac,

Welcome... and thanks for confirming my vague recollection that military pens (and apparently, original Tucky) were advertised after 1941. How much represented active production (into the Triumph era?) vs active liquidation of earlier production... i cannot say, of course.

I'll have to review the instruction sheet when set returns from restorer, but would not be surprised if it is a generic filling sheet or if instructions do not vary from others, if the sheet is specific to Skyboy.

Original catalogue trumpets some features for Skyboy, but mentioned same for other pen f the line.

That patent you mention for a Sheaffer ink shutoff-- something well known for Wahl-- is news to me and is fascinating.

I've added that as a fresh thread, though it will be couple days until I can add image.

here is link to Sheaffer Ink Shut Off Patent FPB Thread

Thanks for sharing.

regards

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

Posted Image




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users