26 April 2016

Sailor's Plunger

Plungers are old and new, particularly in Japan. Some of the first fountain pens arriving in this country were Onoto plunger fillers, and the well known Japanese eyedropper system (::1::, ::2::) of storing ink in the pen is a simplification of the original Onoto system.

However common the Japanese eyedropper is, Japanese companies continued making plungers for some of their models. Pilot’s examples, the P type, are well documented, but these are by no means the only ones.

This is a Sailor, not an Omas.

The clip is clearly signed as Sailor.

Sailor also made some, and such is the case of the pen on display today. It is a small celluloid pen made around 1935. The nib, not that big, is labeled as being a size 20.

The size-20 nib. The engraving reads "14 CR GOLD / Sailor / REGISTERED / PATENT OFFICE / -20-".

These are the dimensions of this pen:
Length closed: 124 mm
Length open: 112 mm
Length posted: 151 mm
Diameter: 11 mm
Weight: 15.2 g (dry)

The plunger, half retracted.

The basic problem of this filling system is its vulnerability. It is very fragile and prone to break down due to failures in the plunger seal.

The plunger, disassembled.

My thanks to Mr. Sugimoto and to Mr. Mochizuki.

Pelikan M800 – Tomiya Tomikei Blue (by Sailor)

Bruno Taut
Nakano, April 25th, 2016
etiquetas: Japón, soluciones técnicas, Sailor, Pilot, Onoto


Saltire Turquoise said...

If the ink 'shut off' seal only needs under a few mm of travel to be fully open and away from the end of the feed, why does the 'plunger' extend so far out of the body of the pen?

Not reserved to this model, but most of the Japanese eye-droppers. Can anyone offer advice?

Bruno Taut said...

Because you need to empty the whole deposit of ink in order to fill it with ink.

Now, the case of Japanese eyedroppers is different. In this case you do not need suck a long movement to operate the pen, but removing (retracting) the sealing valve allows for an easier fill in many a pen--in those with narrow barrels, in fact.

Hope this helps, Saltire Turquoise. Thanks for passing by and commenting.


Saltire Turquoise said...


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