29 April 2012

Three (Japanese) Swans

Nobuo Itô's Swan become the most successful pen company in Japan around 1920. Its strategy was simple—copy the looks and style of the pens made by Mabie-Todd in England under the name Swan, the real Swan, and let the Japanese government protect you from foreign legal disputes. As we have already seen, even the logos were blatantly similar.

Three Japanese Swans.

This company, though, was deeply affected by the Second World War –its production plant was destroyed—and finally it ceased its activities in the early 1950s, unable to compete with the myriad of pen operations active at the time in Japan.

Their nibs are not completely the same. Note the differences in the breathing holes.

Neither are their feeds the same.

The three pens I am showing today belong to the later period of the company. They are made of celluloid and are quite transparent—the sac and the nib can be seen through the barrel and the cap. Their filling system is a lever filler. The nibs are made of steel, partially gold plated, and are quite rigid.

The engraving on the nib reads "Swan / Manifold / Fine / Swarosmine / (Swan logo)".

They are not exactly the same in terms of dimensions and nib design, as can be seen on the pictures. These are their dimensions:

Length closed: 124-126 mm.
Length open: 112-114 mm.
Length posted; 149-154 mm.
Diameter: 12.5 mm.
Weight (dry): 13.0-13.7 g.

The Japanese text just says Swan fountain pen.

The original price of these pens were JPY 350, as can be read on their original stickers.

Platinum pocket pen in striped steel – Platinum Brown (cartridge)

Bruno Taut
April 28th, 2012
etiquetas: Swan Japan


anele said...

Muy bonitas. Me gustan porque me gustan las cosas antiguas y éstas tienen aspecto de viejas (como ves, mis argumentos no son nada ortodoxos, je, je).

Bruno Taut said...

No todas las cosas viejas son dignas de ser guardadas. Hay muchas plumas, o muñecas, o relojes viejos que solo son dignos de ir a la basura.

Gracias por comentar. Ortodoxos o no, tus comentarios son mucho más de lo que otros hacen...



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