Showing posts with label SSS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SSS. Show all posts

12 August 2014

Bulb Fillers

On the Chronicle describing the Surat pen, I mentioned that the bulb filling system was well known in Japan. That system, let us remember, consists in an ink deposit ended with a flexible rubber sac, and with a breathing tube inside.

From top to bottom, a Worla, a Surat (a Nakahara system, but that is a variation of the bulb system), a Tomei, and a SSS.

Today I am showing some examples from mostly unknown companies: Tomei, Worla, Meizen. The much better known SSS and Sailor also manufactured this filling system. And many others as well, most likely.

A Meizen pen in red urushi. This model was made after 1953, as the nib is marked with the JIS logo. Meizen was a brand active in Tokyo until the late 1950s or early 1960s.

A Sailor bulb filler from the early 1950s.

Albeit there are few, if any, indicators of the age of these pens, it is reasonable, given the construction style, to assume they were made around 1950.

Pilot Vpen – Diamine Graphite

Bruno Taut
Shinjuku, July 23rd 2014
etiquetas: Tomei, Worla, Meizen, SSS, Sailor, Surat, soluciones técnicas.

11 March 2012


Despite being mostly unknown outside Japan, SSS pens was one of the leading manufacturing companies in Japan before the Second World War. “The only perfect pen in the Orient”, such was its motto, stopped its production in the 1950s.

Nowadays, SSS pens are relatively easy to find in the second hand market in Japan. They are not regarded as high quality, and their prices are affordable.

The pen I am showing here is a small one. It implements a size 1 nib made of steel and is gold plated. Its most interesting feature is the filling system—a blow filer. The pen tail unscrews from the barrel to allow access to the top part of a rubber sac. Inside it, a snorkel eases a more efficient filling.

The pen combines plastic and metal as the construction materials. It is well made and does not look cheap. Its price, the sticker says, was JPY 350. My estimation is that this pen was made after the War, in the late 1940s or early 1950s.

The size 1 nib made of steel. The inscription reads "S. S. S. / RUSTLESSPEN / IRIDIUM / POINTED / -<1>-".

These are its dimensions:
Diameter: 9 mm.
Length closed: 124 mm.
Length open: 108 mm.
Length posted: 143 mm.
Weight (dry): 8.4 g

(Muji aluminum pen – Diamine Teal)

Bruno Taut
March 7, 2012
[labels: SSS, soluciones técnicas]

29 June 2011


Mr. Asashirô Hosonuma’s jewelry company Kinkôsha started in the pen business by producing high quality nibs for other companies around 1911. Some years later, the company was renamed as Hosonuma Shokai and included pens in its catalog under the brand SSS, San-essu, "three S" in Japanese.

This brand became one of the top three in Japan before the Second World War, together with the Japanese Swan and the well-known Pilot-Namiki. But the company disappeared in the 1950s unable to compete in the post-war Japanese market, overflown with pen companies.

This hard rubber pen is a nice example of a 1930s pen by SSS. It uses a shut-off system to seal the eyedropper ink deposit—all very Japanese.

Inside the barrel, the conical seal of the shut-off valve.

The nib is made of steel due to the war restrictions (the Sino Japanese war had started in 1931) in the use of gold. This led to the creation of the so called shiro nibs (shiro means "white" in Japanese). As many of them, this one is fairly flexible and has a very fine point.

The engraved clip.

The flexible shiro nib in size 4.

The brand name is engraved on both the nib and on the barrel. The clip sports the company logo.

The pen dimensions:
Diameter: 13 mm.
Length capped: 132 mm.
Length uncapped: 116 mm.
Length posted: 160 mm.
Weight: 16.8 g (empty).
Cap weight: 6.1 g.

It is not difficult to find SSS pens in the second hand market in Japan.

(Pilot Capless, 14 K gold F nib – Montblanc Irish Green)

Bruno Taut
June 27, 2011
[labels: Japón, SSS]

PS: I am having serious troubles uploading images to this blog server. Blogger is certainly NOT what any blogger expected.