Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Capless (1924)

About forty years before the first Pilot Capless had been released (1963), a small company by the name of Capless Kogyosho released an original pen with the name of “The Capless”. The owner, Shôsuke Hatano, had filed the corresponding patent on the previous year, and started the advertisement campaign claiming it was “The World’s Novel Invention”. The actual marketing of The Capless started in 1924. This was the first time ever in which that name was used.


This pen came in a variety of finishes. The one on display today is silver overlaid over an ebonite core. This was a beautiful and luxurious looking pen. However, in a pen like this, the most interesting aspect of it is lies in the internal mechanics. To release the nib, the user must first open manually a small window to allow the nib in and out of the body. Only then, the nib could be slide off by means of a lateral lever attached to the nib unit.


The pen is clearly labeled with the brand "The Capless". On the picture, the window for the nib, now closed.


The Capless with the nib released. This is a replacement nib.

But the pen also shows some sort of cap, albeit very smoothly coupled to the body. Opening it we have access to nib and feed, and to a guiding bar. Seen like this the pen strongly resembles a regular capped pen and, in fact, preserves the basic structure of such—cap, section and barrel. Only that guiding bar revealed some unusual features.


The Capless, paradoxically, uncapped.

Regarding the filling system, there were few options and the time, by the mid 1920s, and using an eyedropper was the easiest option. So, to ink this pen, the now visible section had to be unscrewed from the barrel, as shown on the picture.


The pen with the section detached from the barrel, ready to be filled with ink.

The pen shown in this Chronicles has a replacement nib. These “The Capless” are very rare pens and we couldd not be very demanding on their condition. Mr. Masamichi Sunami and Mr. Andreas Lambrou reported on this pen in their book Fountain Pens of Japan (ISBN: 978-0-9571723-0-2). Interestingly enough, it is covered in the chapter on Pilot pens.

My thanks to Mr. Sugimoto.


Pilot E-300 (1969) – Wagner 2008 ink

Bruno Taut
Yokohama and Machida, July 2013
etiquetas: soluciones técnicas, Pilot, Capless, Capless Kogyosho

1 comment:

Michel de Montreal said...

Wow, this pen is gorgeous. Reminds me of the Waterman pens with silver overlay.
Thank you for sharing :-)

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