Jump to content


Photo

Typhoo promotional pens & WHSmith pens


  • Please log in to reply
19 replies to this topic

#1 Inkysloth

Inkysloth

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 166 posts
  • LocationLondon, UK

Posted 29 April 2013 - 11:07 AM

Hi all,

I've been looking at the Typhoo promotional pens when they come up on Ebay (and restraining myself with difficulty!), and I was wondering who made them, given Typhoo was a tea company, and I can't imagine they had a side-factory turning out fountain pens.

I understand there were a lot of "no name" pen manufacturers around, but also that the bigger pen companies would make pens to be branded with other names.

I also have a WH Smith cap knocking about (that came on a Sheaffer) and wondered similar, that although WH Smith was (and is) a stationery seller, I'd have thought they'd just rebrand another company's pens rather than make their own.

So - does anyone have any ideas? Or pointers for where I might start to research this?

best wishes all

Robin
My prints and cards: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Inkysloth

#2 vintage penman

vintage penman

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 400 posts
  • LocationCambrian Mountains - Wales

Posted 29 April 2013 - 11:17 AM

Hi all,

I've been looking at the Typhoo promotional pens when they come up on Ebay (and restraining myself with difficulty!), and I was wondering who made them, given Typhoo was a tea company, and I can't imagine they had a side-factory turning out fountain pens.

I understand there were a lot of "no name" pen manufacturers around, but also that the bigger pen companies would make pens to be branded with other names.

I also have a WH Smith cap knocking about (that came on a Sheaffer) and wondered similar, that although WH Smith was (and is) a stationery seller, I'd have thought they'd just rebrand another company's pens rather than make their own.

So - does anyone have any ideas? Or pointers for where I might start to research this?

best wishes all

Robin


Ty Phoo pens were made under contract by various makers at various times, primarily Summit / Lang and possibly Wyvern. WH Smith pens were often made by CS and also Burnham although there were others. I'm sure there are people on this board with far greater knowledge of these than me.

#3 Deb

Deb

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 295 posts

Posted 29 April 2013 - 11:35 AM

I think Vintage Penman covers it well. The earliest Typhoo Tea pens, the black chased hard rubber ones, were clearly quite cheaply made and compare closely with other advertising pens of the time. The next ones, the mottled hard rubber pens, are much better made. I've had quite a few over the years and there are subtle differences in cap and barrel proportions and in the material used. Some replicate wood rather well, others have an amorphous pattern and I have one with a barrel that is a true ripple pattern. It's my belief that these minor variations reflect different companies working to the same specification. The last ones which were essentially bulb fillers of the Auto-Vac type were certainly Lang products.

#4 AndyR

AndyR

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 525 posts

Posted 29 April 2013 - 11:50 AM

Hi all,

I've been looking at the Typhoo promotional pens when they come up on Ebay (and restraining myself with difficulty!), and I was wondering who made them, given Typhoo was a tea company, and I can't imagine they had a side-factory turning out fountain pens.

I understand there were a lot of "no name" pen manufacturers around, but also that the bigger pen companies would make pens to be branded with other names.

I also have a WH Smith cap knocking about (that came on a Sheaffer) and wondered similar, that although WH Smith was (and is) a stationery seller, I'd have thought they'd just rebrand another company's pens rather than make their own.

So - does anyone have any ideas? Or pointers for where I might start to research this?

best wishes all

Robin


Early WHS pens and stylos were made by George Shand up to the time he sold his business in 1914 and either supplied directly to WHS, or via Conway Stewart. George Shand is yet another of my obscure interests, a really important but virtually unknown name in the development of the UK pen industry and I have an interesting (hopefully!) article for the WES Journal underway about his career. Thereafter, they would have been made by CS themselves in their Southwark Street works until they opened the first of their bigger factories in Shoe Lane, c.1921. Their best known model names at this time were the Seal (for gold nibbed pens) and Kingsway (for ink pencils) and CS would have made these well into the 1930s but probably not thereafter. You'll find a few images of these various models in Steve Hull's book 'Fountain Pens for the Millions' (currently available at a special price of £40 from Writetime)!

Andy



#5 david i

david i

    ADVISOR

  • ADVISORS
  • 7,515 posts
  • LocationEast Coast USA

Posted 29 April 2013 - 01:36 PM

Interesting thread, Gents.

It's nice to know that even while I harbor a hint of conceit that I know a thing or three about old pens, that still there remain plenty of pens and plenty of pen history of which I've never heard :)

best regards

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

Posted Image

#6 Inkysloth

Inkysloth

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 166 posts
  • LocationLondon, UK

Posted 29 April 2013 - 05:16 PM

Ty Phoo pens were made under contract by various makers at various times, primarily Summit / Lang and possibly Wyvern. WH Smith pens were often made by CS and also Burnham although there were others. I'm sure there are people on this board with far greater knowledge of these than me.


Ace! Thank you - that's a good start, it's a lot more than I knew 10 minutes ago :)
My prints and cards: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Inkysloth

#7 Paul M

Paul M

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 140 posts

Posted 29 April 2013 - 06:45 PM


Ty Phoo pens were made under contract by various makers at various times, primarily Summit / Lang and possibly Wyvern. WH Smith pens were often made by CS and also Burnham although there were others. I'm sure there are people on this board with far greater knowledge of these than me.


Ace! Thank you - that's a good start, it's a lot more than I knew 10 minutes ago :)

If you look at the company history part of my summit website (www.summit.ch944.net) you will see details of the Typhoo bulb-filler as they were advertised on the back of tea cards.


I believe this to be an example (note they did not carry the Typhoo name / slogan of the earlier models):

Posted Image



#8 Paul M

Paul M

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 140 posts

Posted 29 April 2013 - 06:50 PM


Hi all,

I've been looking at the Typhoo promotional pens when they come up on Ebay (and restraining myself with difficulty!), and I was wondering who made them, given Typhoo was a tea company, and I can't imagine they had a side-factory turning out fountain pens.

I understand there were a lot of "no name" pen manufacturers around, but also that the bigger pen companies would make pens to be branded with other names.

I also have a WH Smith cap knocking about (that came on a Sheaffer) and wondered similar, that although WH Smith was (and is) a stationery seller, I'd have thought they'd just rebrand another company's pens rather than make their own.

So - does anyone have any ideas? Or pointers for where I might start to research this?

best wishes all

Robin


Early WHS pens and stylos were made by George Shand up to the time he sold his business in 1914 and either supplied directly to WHS, or via Conway Stewart. George Shand is yet another of my obscure interests, a really important but virtually unknown name in the development of the UK pen industry and I have an interesting (hopefully!) article for the WES Journal underway about his career. Thereafter, they would have been made by CS themselves in their Southwark Street works until they opened the first of their bigger factories in Shoe Lane, c.1921. Their best known model names at this time were the Seal (for gold nibbed pens) and Kingsway (for ink pencils) and CS would have made these well into the 1930s but probably not thereafter. You'll find a few images of these various models in Steve Hull's book 'Fountain Pens for the Millions' (currently available at a special price of £40 from Writetime)!

Andy


I understand this pen to be a WHS syringe filler made for WHS by Shand. Below this I have added a shot of a large WHS advertising board that shows their link with the Seal Pen:


Posted Image

Posted Image



#9 AndyR

AndyR

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 525 posts

Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:05 PM

Paul's pen is certainly a Shand design, you can tell primarily by the plunger finial. I have a nice example as well, with a leaflet but no box unfortunately. The slightly earlier WHS Shand design is as the top one on the picture below, though this particular example is not marked, in any case the same design was produced for many different customers.

Posted Image

The tiny pen is also a Shand, an absolute little poppet of a syringe filler but not a WHS.

The Seal poster is great, a recent ebay purchase I think? I was very tempted too when I saw it. Note the Kingsway address at the bottom giving the name to their Kingsway ink pen.

Andy

#10 Inkysloth

Inkysloth

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 166 posts
  • LocationLondon, UK

Posted 29 April 2013 - 09:05 PM

*attempts to soak up information* *head explodes*

Seriously, the breadth of knowledge on here is fantastic! Thanks so much for all the information.

Best wishes all

Robin
My prints and cards: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Inkysloth

#11 philm

philm

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 184 posts
  • LocationMinnesota

Posted 30 April 2013 - 12:31 AM

For reference purposes, here are the backs of some Ty phoo tea cards, showing a few different and later models ~

Posted Image

and an earlier mottled version ~

Posted Image

Posted Image

Thank you all for the background.

Phil

#12 Deb

Deb

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 295 posts

Posted 01 May 2013 - 03:01 PM

Here's a later Seal Pen that resembles the one in the above advertisement, even to the pattern of the BCHR.

Posted Image

#13 Paul M

Paul M

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 140 posts

Posted 01 May 2013 - 09:22 PM

Paul's pen is certainly a Shand design, you can tell primarily by the plunger finial. I have a nice example as well, with a leaflet but no box unfortunately. The slightly earlier WHS Shand design is as the top one on the picture below, though this particular example is not marked, in any case the same design was produced for many different customers.

Posted Image

The tiny pen is also a Shand, an absolute little poppet of a syringe filler but not a WHS.

The Seal poster is great, a recent ebay purchase I think? I was very tempted too when I saw it. Note the Kingsway address at the bottom giving the name to their Kingsway ink pen.

Andy


I might as well chance my luck here by saying I would also have a very charming little poppet, except mine has a significant chip out of the cap rim.

If anyone has a spare tiny cap knocking about please get in touch




#14 AndyR

AndyR

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 525 posts

Posted 02 May 2013 - 07:11 AM

I might as well chance my luck here by saying I would also have a very charming little poppet, except mine has a significant chip out of the cap rim.

If anyone has a spare tiny cap knocking about please get in touch


Actually, I have to 'fess up here to say the cap on mine also has a split (though no missing material) and needs to be handled with care! So I have no spare, unfortunately.

I also have an identically styled eyedropper that is even smaller, about two thirds the length and slimmer (5.9mm as opposed to 6.7mm barrel diameter). I'd like to think that is a Shand as well - pens as small as these surely must have only been made for novelty value and to prove how adept the manufacturer was. Strangely the cap on that is fully intact, though such a tight fit that I won't risk putting it fully on any more.

Andy

#15 Peterg

Peterg

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 130 posts

Posted 02 May 2013 - 11:54 AM

For reference purposes, here are the backs of some Ty phoo tea cards, showing a few different and later models ~

Posted Image

and an earlier mottled version ~

Posted Image

Posted Image

Thank you all for the background.

Phil


The third pen on the Typhoo cards looks more like a Mentmore product to me than Langs, from its small nib and the clip.

#16 Paul M

Paul M

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 140 posts

Posted 02 May 2013 - 04:48 PM

Hi Peter

"The third pen on the Typhoo cards looks more like a Mentmore product to me than Langs, from its small nib and the clip"

How novel it is to be debating Summit / Lang items on an international platform :)

I would have agreed with your observation regarding the last of the three pens, but I had this niggling recollection of having seen the same clip on a Summit product.

My memory was (unusually for once) correct - The picture below is of The Slik pencil, the model name that was used initially for what eventually became the Auto-Vac. I imagine this is probably slightly pre-dates the pens shown on the card, and hence a reasonable assumption would be they were using up surplus old stock on the cheaper advertised pen:




Posted Image



#17 Peterg

Peterg

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 130 posts

Posted 04 May 2013 - 10:47 AM

Had I known that I was up against someone who was at the Summit of his profession Paul, I would have added the chamfer on the bottom of the cap too!
Regards, Peter.

Down at Brooklands on Monday for the Emergency Services Day show. Come and see the Bantam on show! I use it for emergency deliveries of blood.

#18 liapuyat

liapuyat

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
  • LocationPasig, Philippines

Posted 03 July 2013 - 11:20 AM

I understand this pen to be a WHS syringe filler made for WHS by Shand. Below this I have added a shot of a large WHS advertising board that shows their link with the Seal Pen:


Posted Image

Posted Image



Here's my The Seal Pen with the WHS logo on the nib and the lever:

Posted Image

Posted Image



Posted Image

#19 Paul M

Paul M

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 140 posts

Posted 03 July 2013 - 08:17 PM

Hi liapuyat that looks like a nice example.

I think these checker pattern models came with barrels of noticeably varying length, with every other part seeming to be pretty standard.



#20 AndyR

AndyR

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 525 posts

Posted 03 July 2013 - 09:26 PM

Hi liapuyat that looks like a nice example.

I think these checker pattern models came with barrels of noticeably varying length, with every other part seeming to be pretty standard.


The interesting part of this picture is the boxed lever - atypical of CS but not unknown in their own brand pens of the mid 1920s, probably before the introduction of their locking lever system in 1925. Still likely to be of CS manufacture at this time?

Andy




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users