19 June 2012

Transitional or Else

ADDENDUM (July 14th, 2012)

There are several corrections to be made to this text:

1. This pen is not a frankenpen. Save the logo on the barrel –the N encircled by the lifebuoy— everything matches the date engraved on the nib—1950. That is especially correct for the filling system.

2. This pen is not an eyedropper, as I mistakenly said. It implements the A-shiki (A-式), a pulsated plunger filler, system developed by Pilot in the late 1940s.

More information on the chronicle entitled A-shiki (A-式) of July 14th, 2012.

1938 was the year in which Namiki Manufacturing Company Ltd. changed its name to Pilot Fountain Pen Company Ltd., and, at the time, the letter N of the logo –the N encircled by the lifebuoy— was replaced by a P. So, this detail was an easy element to date a Pilot pen. Or so the theory went. But there are also anomalies.

The pen, capped. Note the modern looking clip.

Today’s pen is a Pilot made of green celluloid. The filling system is eyedropper with a sealing valve manned by a metallic knurled tail knob. As was the case for a previously described Pilot, the knob thread is cut on the inner side of the barrel.

LinkThe pen, open. The engraving on the barrel reads as follows: "PILOT / THE PILOT PEN (N logo) MFG. CO. / MADE IN JAPAN". That on the nib says "STANDARD / PILOT / -<3>- / MADE IN / JAPAN". The date stamp is engraved on the reverse.

Another interesting feature is the structure of the sealing device. This time rod connected to the tail knob has a plastic sheath that actually seals the ink deposit to the section. This sheath can be removed from the rod when the barrel is detached from the section, as can be seen on the pictures.

On the left hand side, the metallic knob shows its thread. It screws on the barrel by means of a thread cut on the inner wall. On the right hand side, the sheath that actually seals the ink deposit.

The sheath, in yellowish plastic, connected to the section.

The pen, according to the sticker, cost JPY 150, and it shows that the pen belonged to some time after the Second World War. But the engraving on the barrel shows an N in the lifebuoy as the logo. The pen clip also shows some more modern design, similar to that in the Pilor Super series from the late 1950s, that departs from the usual clips in pre-war pens. The nib, finally, provides key information: it was manufactured on April 1950 (450).

The pen, disassembled.

The, what do we have here? Some would say that this is a frankenpen made up of different parts from different times. But the only anachronic sign is the logo on the barrel. The rest –price, nib, sheath in the sealing valve, clip, metallic knob— are consistent with the nib date of 1950. A frankenpen is no longer such is that was the way it went out of the assembly line, and in making this pen Pilot might have used old parts —the barrel— still available at those times of scarcity.

All this is mostly speculation, and no certain answer can we now conclude other than dating the nib, just the nib, in 1950.

These are the dimensions of this pen:

Diameter: 13 mm.
Length closed: 131 mm.
Length open: 120 mm.
Length posted: 157 mm.
Weight (dry): 16.5 g.

Pilot Custom Heritage 91 – Wagner red-black ink

Bruno Taut
June 16th, 2012
etiquetas: Pilot


FPGdan said...

Wow, very cool! I had no idea anything like this even existed. I really like that v-shaped breather hole in the nib!

Bruno Taut said...

Those V-shaped breathing holes were quite common in Japanese steel (shiro) nibs around the wartime, and I have shown some examples on these texts. They work well in adding flexibility to the nib.

Thanks for commenting.


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