Showing posts with label Nobel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nobel. Show all posts

31 August 2019

Kubo's Pens

Kubo Kohei stands nowadays as the sole maker of nibs in Japan not associated with a pen maker. And this in itself is an interesting fact that deserves a separate reflection. But today I want to speak about some of the operations in which nibmeister Kubo has participated.

As of today, other that the nibs one could order directly from him, it is possible to find Kubo nibs on pens Tohma, made by Toma Kiyotaka of Pen Cluster, and on some models by Iwase Seisakusho, albeit its activity seems currently suspended.

A Model N by Iwase Seisakusho with a nib by nibmeister Kubo.

But nibmeister Kubo has a long history in the pen industry in Japan. Two brands associated with Kubo were Nobel –or Nobel's, as he likes to call it-- and Elliott.

The Elliott company was founded by former worker of SSS Uesugi Yoshizaku around 1936 or 1937 in the Kita Ward in Tokyo. Around 1960, Kubo's uncle bought the company and Kubo Kohei started working on it. The engagement with this brand lasted until around 1980.

An Elliott ad in the 1950s.

On top, a pre-Kubo Elliott pen from 1950s. Bottom, an Elliott pen that looks like a Nobel pen.

In parallel, at least during the late 1960s and 1970s, Kubo Kohei also worked on his own brand Nobel. For those pens, he used injected plastic for the bodies and adopted Platinum cartridges and converters as filling mechanisms, as was the common practice among small companies of the moment.

Two Nobel pens: the "Super Gold" model on top; and a pocket pen. Both were made by Kubo Kohei. They use Platinum cartridges.

Kubo's music nibs for his Nobel pens (::1::, ::2::). NK stands for "Nobel Kubo".

So these are some of the nibs and pens made by nibmeister Kubo. However, they are not easy to find in the market.

My thanks to Mr. Kanesaki, Mr. Sugimonto and Mr. Sunami.

Note (Sept 1st, 2019): I have changed some of the original pics form some others with better quality.

Pilot Custom 74 – Wagner 2008 (Sailor)

Bruno Taut
Nakano, August 30th 2019
etiquetas: Nobel, Elliott, Nobel, Tohma Pens, Iwase Seisakusho, nibmeister Kubo Kohei

16 October 2018

Anonymous Music

My latest acquisition is an anonymous pen with a very non-anonymous nib. And this combination make the whole pen all the more intriguing, and, for some, appealing.

The pen, in essence, is a Japanese eyedropper, made of ebonite with a very discreet maki-e decoration –a "tanzaku" (poem cards) pattern. The clip is of the teardrop shape, just like many Ban-ei pens.

An anonymous pen. Other than the inscriptions on the nib, the only text on it says R14K, and is on the cap ring. The very discreet maki-e --a "tanzaku" pattern-- is not signed.

And this clip, together with the overall shape of the pen and the shape of the section, and even the geometry of the ebonite feed point out at Ban-ei (Sakai Eisuke) as the master mind behind it. However, this idea is nothing but a guess, although this pen is very likely to have been made in the 1960s at Asakusa area in Tokyo.

A Ban-ei pen (top) and the anonymous pen with an interesting nib. Note the similarities in the shape. The Ban-ei pen is larger in all dimensions.

Feeds and sections of the pens on the previous picture: Ban-ei on top, anonymous on bottom. This geometry of the feed was very common in Japan from the 1960s till well into the 1990s on smaller pen makers.

The comes the nib—a beautiful music nib perfectly identifiable as made by nibmeister Kubo Kohei. In fact, the nib inscription NK stands for Nobel Kubo, where Nobel is one of the brands Mr. Kubo created during his career as nib maker. The nib is likely to be a replaced unit, but it could also show the origin of the pen itself. Then, is this a Nobel pen? Many a Nobel pen were anonymous –no brand name was imprinted on the pen--, but ebonite was not a typical material on that brand as Mr. Kubo doesn’t work with the lathe.

The music nib by Kubo Kohei. It is made of steel and is gold plated. The inscriptions read " STANDARD / NK / (JIS mark) / IRIDIUM / < 3 > / NPK ".

All in all, not much we know for certain about this pen, but the nib, and the unpretentious decoration make it most interesting.

These are the dimensions of the pen:

Length closed: 138 mm
Length open: 119 mm
Length posted: 166 mm
Diameter: 13.7 mm
Weight: 16.7 g (dry)
Ink deposit: 2.3 ml

And the search for information continues…

Twsbi Eco with Kubo music nib – Aurora Black

Bruno Taut
Nakano, October 16th 2018
etiquetas: nibmeister Kubo Kohei, maki-e, Ban-ei, Nobel, marca desconocida, plumín, plumín musical

10 February 2014

Torion Nib, by Kubo Kohei

Many different elements already mentioned on these Chronicles come together today by the hand of a very interesting nib.

At some point I spoke of the brand Push, owned by the company Tanaka Daigen Do, from Osaka. This company is still active today, but its pen production was stopped by the late 1960s.

A Push pen, by Tanaka Daigen Do, in celluloid.

On another text, I described the nib of the Pilot Justus, now well known after the release of the Justus 95 model. These nibs –old and new— can be adjusted in their flexibility by means of a sliding plate moving up and dawn on their backs. Fellow blogger KMPN provided additional information on the actual patent of these nibs (US patent US4347011), invented by Yanagita Shikichi (柳田清吉). This invention connected the Pilot Justus with the much older adjustable nib of the Wahl-Eversharp pen. On this case, the flexibility was limited by a zipper-like plate that kept the tines more or less together. This mechanism was patented in the US in 1932.

New and old Justus, side by side.

The Wahl-Eversharp nib patented in 1932.

Finally, on a third text, the protagonist was nibmeister Kubo Kohei, an old master still active in Tokyo. In the past, Mr. Kubo had worked for a number of pen companies –Elliott, Nobel— and ended up owning the later of them.

A music nib by nibmeister Kubo.

So, what do we have for today that combined all these elements?

The following is an adjustable nib in the fashion of the old Wahl-Eversharp unit. It was made by Mr. Kubo Kohei for the brand Push, as can be read on the nib. Its material is stainless steel, and was manufactured in the late 1930s.

The back of the nib shows that the feed had to be very special in order to allow the zipper to limit the flexibility of the nib.

The inscription on the nib: "PUSH" / TORION / PEN / 4".

Needless to say, this is a copy of the Wahl-Eversharp nib for the Japanese market. It is questionable whether the American company ever got to know about its existence.

My thanks to Mr. Sunami.

Kato Seisakusho 800F – Sailor Yama-dori

Bruno Taut
Yokohama, January 10th, 2014
etiquetas: Push, Pilot, plumín, Nibmeister Kubo, Wahl-Eversharp, Elliott, Nobel

08 January 2013

Honest 66 Cartridge

In 1956, Platinum introduced the ink cartridge in Japan. To do so, the company marketed a modified version of the model Honest, an aerometric filler, under the name Honest 60, and the cartridge was labeled as Honest Cartridge. Many a pen brand adopted it for its pens and thus it became a standard. That was the case, for instance, of Mitaka and of Nobel’s, the later being another brand worth to write about.

The picture shows the initial Honest 60 cartridge, on top, and the current Platinum cartridge, on bottom. Note the differences in the area where the cartridges attached to the section.

That initial cartridge immediately went through some minor changes in the opening. By 1960, a further evolution of the Platinum pen, now called Honest 66, provided a larger and longer barrel where a bigger cartridge could fit. That was the Honest 66 cartridge. Unfortunately, this was short lived, and only the smaller version is available today.

Both cartridge/converter Platinum Honest pens. The Honest 66 (1960) on top, and the Honest 60 (1956) on bottom. The nipple of the former is well inside the section, thus allowing more room for the longer cartridge.

Both cartridges and the current converter. This has a capacity of 0.6 ml (0.53 ml according to the Platinum catalog).

The Honest 66 cartridge had a capacity of 1.7 ml, while the regular Platinum cartridge only holds 1.2 ml.

Pilot 53R in red celluloid – Pelikan 4001 Royal blue

Bruno Taut
Yokohama, January 6th, 2013
etiquetas: Platinum, conversor, Mitaka, Nobel

14 September 2011

Kubo Kohei

To my friend Noritoshi.

Music nibs are a favorite of mine, as could easily be understood from these Chronicles. So, it is not difficult to imagine how delighted I became when this friend gave me this present.

The imprint on the nib is as follows: "STANDARD / NK / JIS logo / IRIDIUM / -<2>- / NPK".

This music nib is engraved with the Japanese Industrial Standards logo and, besides some other information, the initials NK. They stand for Nobel Kubo. Nobel was a pen brand owned by pen master Kubo Kohei (久保幸平) —my friend´s mentor— about which not much information can be found. Kubo Kohei was also involved in the better known brand Elliott, active between 1930s and 1950s, and based in the Kita ward of Tokyo.

A Nobel pen, model Super Gold. A cartridge/converter pen from, probably, early 1960s.

An Elliott in celluloid. This pen´s filling system is a blow-filler or nakaoshi-shiki in Japanese.

This size 2 music nib is made of steel and is slightly flexible. Its point is, surprisingly, quite symmetric and barely shows any line variation unless some pressure was applied. This nib could easily pass as a medium-fine or medium point.

The Twsbi Diamond 530 with the steel music nib.

The nib point is very thin despite the three tines.

This text was written with the NK music nib attached to the Diamond 530. Barely any line variation unless some pressure was applied, as ca be seen at the bottom. Then, the ink flow increases and so does the drying time.

I have attached it to a Twsbi Diamond 530 —remember, the box had already been open— and the results are very pleasant. This nib matches quite well with the Twsbi feed and the resulting ink flow is quite generous, which is very convenient for the demands associated to two slits and to the limited flexibility. Limited, I said, but needed to create any line variation with this nib. At the same time, this ink flow contributes to the overall smoothness of the well made and attractive nib.

(Twsbi Diamond 530 with NK music nib – Diamine Evergreen)

Bruno Taut
September 13th, 2011
[labels: Twsbi, Nobel, Elliott, plumín]