Posted 25 February 2012 - 01:58 PM
Camel Pens were located on Central Avenue in Orange NJ until they were purchased by Wearever. My grandfather also had a factory in that area (Shiman Jewelers) and I'd like to think that the two owners might have known each other and might have done business together.
At first, I really didn't find a whole lot of beauty in the pens, it felt more like an interest born out of some sense of family connection. However, as I've found cleaner and nicer camels, I've begun to appreciate them for their quality and beauty of the celluloids.
At one point, the prices really spiked on Ebay - they were selling for $350 and more! My last win I took for $120 which is much more palatable.
I might even think about restoring them now into button fillers (they used to use ink pellets that were supposed to mix with water allowing soldiers to bring ink with them to the front lines).
Please join the Mabie Todd Swan project where I am trying to sort out the undocumented mess that is American Mabie Todd's from the 1930's. The last pens that MT seemed to advertise were the "Eternal" pens, and then the company put out a wide range of different styles, shapes, sizes and filling systems before eventually closing up shop. I invite you to post your pictures of your American pens
Posted 25 February 2012 - 03:53 PM
Camel restoration is straightforward but can be a little more of a pain than other button-fillers, which is one big reason I too thought some of the eBay prices were excessive for unrestored examples. Instead of using a standard button-filler pressure bar assembly, there's a bar-and-spring mechanism where the spring is inevitably rusted and broken. It has to be remade from flat spring stock, and a "T" ground into each end. Then there is the button, which in most cases is also an ink reservoir that screws apart. Getting the threads free can be delicate work, though, especially on the red hard rubber buttons.
By the way, not all ink-pellet pens (or the ink pellets themselves, for that matter) were marketed for military use. This was particularly the case for the Camel, which was produced when America was still firmly isolationist and its military a tiny fraction of what it would be only several years later. I've never seen a Camel with a military clip, either!
Posted 03 July 2015 - 08:55 PM
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