Keeping in mind that I am but a Hack Amateur Newbie Sheaffer collector, I do have a fair number of the critters in my collection, and I have tossed out the occasional article about the Balance (Stylus Annual 2012 on general collecting of Balance and Spring 2012 PENnant about Canadian Balance quirks). I have handle on general eras but often draw blank on specific key dates in the Balance universe. I'm a bit better with Parker's Vacumatic. Figuring it would serve me and others well to create an easy reference for Sheaffer Balance collecting, a timeline, I'd like to take stab at that here, and invite input from one and all. We can add final appearances into the text. Let's try for details (month, date, etc) where possible.
I will post a list of events and a list of resources. As contributors help clarify dates, the core list in the original post will be updated, such that we won't have to reprint the list multiple times as this thread (I hope) evolves. Comments will be preserved and credits maintained via those comments. I have a number of dates on hand though will not put all I believe I know into the first presentation. Please peruse the list. Add to dates (and provide sources for your beliefs, whether hearsay or a specific advert). After the initial two lists (events then paper sources), I likely will add in a yearly timeline which puts the events into a straight annual context. I've tried to make the events list reflect general evolution of the series, but if it turns out the order is wrong (say, a certain clip appears before a certain color), the list can be rearranged.
Balance Patent: 1928
First Balance Advert: 1929
First Balance Catalogue 1930
First Appearances of Early (found in the 1930 Catalogue) Colors
- Black and Pearl
- Marine Green #1 (mottled)
Switch from Long Barrels (on standard and OS) to typical Barrel.
Switch from Long humped clip to short humped clip
Switch from pinned lever to internal lever ring Nov 1930
First Appearance of Blue (marbled) 1931
First Appearance of Two Tone Lifetime Nib Mentioned in end of 1931/start of 1932 (as per Mac's reference Dec 29 '31 vs Jan 2 1932 copyright citation )
First Appearance Gray Pearl #1 (gray with red veins) 1933 or earlier. Mentioned in the 1933 order-form supplement to the known 1930 catalogue
Switch from 5-30 nib to two tone Feather Touch #5 nib At latest October 1933, as FT #5 nib shown in desk pen catalogue. Did all pens change at same time?
Switch for 3-25 nib to #3 nib At latest October 1933, as #3 monotone nib shown in desk pen catalogue. Did all pens change at same time?
First Appearance Ebonized Pearl 1934 (mentioned as "introducing" in a Jan 1934 Brochure)
- Brief text (no image) mention of Autograph version in 1935 catalogue
- Survived to the 1938 catalogue
First Appearance Feather Touch # 7 nib 1934
First Appearance flat-ball clip mid-late 1934
Intro of Plunger Filler to Balance, proper.
First Appearance Grey Pearl (mottled gray-pearl/black) (not to be confused with the earlier Gray Pearl #1 or the later Gray Pearl #2 mid- late 1934
First Appearance of red Loaner pen
First Appearance Radius Clip 1935
First Appearance Truncated Junior (non-Balance) Shown in 1935 catalogue. But known in blue (a color introduced for Balance in 1931). Earlier appearance then?
First Appearance of Balance (not truncated) Junior
First Appearance of visualated gripping section
Switch from long radius clip to short radius clip on short-slender Balance
First Appearance Striated Colors (with breakdown by color) 1936-1938
- Rose Glow 1936
- Golden Brown
- Marine Green (#2) Striated 1937 (catalogue)
- Gray Pearl #2 (not to be confused with the earlier Gray Pearl #1 or the earlier Grey Pearl) 1937
- Carmine (red stripe) 1938
First Appearance of price codes on barrel 1937-8 (unproven)
First Appearance of final recognized model names (not just codes). 1938 (names of a sort appeared in the 1937 catalogue)
First Appearance mlitary-clip Balance 1941
Final Catalogue appearance Balance 1941
Late Advert Appearance for Balance (during Triumph 1942+ era)
Paper Resources (catalogues and key brochures)
1933 price list insert to 1930 catalogue
1933 desk pen catalogue
1934 (Jan) dealer brochure
1947 (retrospective) workbook
1948 (retrospective) workbook
OK. Have at it. If there is no interest, we can always delete.