Showing posts with label Steady. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Steady. Show all posts

22 March 2017

Onoto Type by Sakai Eisuke

Ban-ei pens have shown up several times on these Chronicles and the basic data are is well known. But the devil is in the details: Sakai Eisuke and his team did not leave much information behind and any pen can be a source for more knowledge.


The following pen seems to have been made in the 1960s. It is an “Onoto-type” pen, so popular in Japan even nowadays. On the information sheet accompanying we can read that this is a pen inspired on the Onoto model of 1918, with a plunger filling system. Needless to say, the Japanese pen does not use any self-filling operation but the very dear Japanese eyedropper system (::1::, ::2::) derived from the old Onoto plunger.


On this picture, both threads of the ink deposit and of thr shut-off valve are half unscrewed.


This pen is designed to be posted, although the final length is quite long--180 mm.


Classical design of the section of an "Onoto-type" Japanese pen.

The information sheet also states that the pen is the work of just two people—Kabutogi Ginjiro, nib, and Sakai Eisuke, body. And the two other regular actors of the Ban-ei group, Tsuchida and Takahashi, are absent, which points out at the idea of this being a precursor of what later would become the Ban-ei/Tsuchida brand of pens. But, to what are we calling Ban-ei or Tsuchida pens?


The information sheet signed by Kabutogi Ginjiro (兜木銀次郎) and Sakai Eisuke (酒井栄助).

The nib, made of 14 K gold, is engraved with the name of one of the Kabutogi’s registered brands—Steady: “K14 / Steady / Special / Perfect / -<3>- / Pen”.


The Steady nib made by Kabutogi Ginjiro (JIS no. 3233, although there is no JIS mark on this nib).

These are the dimensions of this Onoto-style pen:

Length closed: 147 mm
Length open: 142 mm
Length posted: 180 mm
Diameter: 11.0 mm
Weight: 11.8 g (dry)
Ink deposit: 2.8 ml

This particular pen was commissioned by Seibu Department Stores in Tokyo.


The weak point in the Japanese eyedropper pens--the point where the rod operating the shut-off valve enters the ink deposit.

The weak point of this pen is the back seal between the valve rod and the ink deposit. This is the main source of problems in Japanese eyedropper pens.


Sailor Profit, Naginata Togi – Tomikei Blue.

Bruno Taut
Nakano, March 21st, 2017
etiquetas: Ban-ei, Kabutogi Ginjiro, Steady, Onoto

14 May 2013

More GK

GK stands for Ginjirô Kabutogi. Or, Kabutogi Ginjirô (兜木銀次郎) in Japanese—family name first. We saw those letters imprinted on a couple of Ban-ei pen nibs, and those letters were, in fact, the only real identification of those pens.

On this things were different. For one, the pen is labeled with the name DIA on the clip and on the nib. In this case, two other signs showed that nibmeister Kabutogi was involved—the brand Steady and the number 3233, which was the Japan Industrial Standard associated to pen operations Steady and Ideal, owned by Kabutogi.


The pen clip. Rolled 14 K gold, and labeled as DIA.


The inscription on the nib reads "Steady / DIA / LIFETIME / 14K / JIS logo / 3233".

Lambrou and Sunami describe Diamond as a family business founded in 1948 in Ôsaka by Shibata Tetsuo. The production of fountain pens, under brand names Diamond and DIA, was greatly improved in 1957, when Nishikawa Noburu, skilled craftsman and pen maker, joined the company. However, the pen production ceased by mid 1960s.

Most Diamond pens were made of celluloid or of lacquered ebonite. Today’s pen belongs to the second group, and it is decorated with a maki-e technique called togidashimon. On it, different colored layers are applied to the surface, and are later cut or polished to reveal a colorful pattern in oval shape.


The barrel shows the colors of the different layers of lacquer applied on the pen. This maki-e technique technique is called togidashimon.

These are the pen dimensions:
Length capped: 144 mm
Length open: 128 mm
Length posted: 172 mm
Diameter: 14 mm
Weight (dry): 21.6 g

The pen, in this case, is an eyedropper filler with shut-off valve. Lambrou and Sunami, in their book Fountain Pens of Japan (2012, ISBN: 978-0-9571230-0), show a very similar pen, albeit with a different filling system—a lever filler. They date it in 1957.


My thanks to Mr. Chen and to Mr. Furuya.


Pilot Custom Grandee, music nib – Gary’s yellow-black iron-gall ink

Bruno Taut
Yokohama, May 14th 2013
etiquetas: Diamond, nibmeister Kabutogi, Steady

10 May 2013

Ultra (IV)

Kabutogi Ginjirô (兜木銀次郎) is no alien to these Chronicles. His presence in the pen industry in Japan seemed to be more of a reliable supporting actor than playing a leading role. His nibs were either inconspicuous, almost anonymous, or passed as copies of some other designs.

The following inlaid nib belongs to the second category:



The pen carries no name other that a very generic “Super De Luxe” imprinted on the cap lip. But it certainly follows the style of the Pilot Super Ultra 500 of Shigeki Chiba, and does it beautifully. This time, contrary to most non-Pilot Ultra models, the nib is truly inlaid and extends itself along the section and fully around it.


The imprint on the nib read "Steady / K14 / JIS logo / 4622". 4622 is the JIS registry number of Kabutogi's pen operation Seilon.


It is engraved with one of the pen brands associated to Kabutogi –Steady— together with the JIS registry number 4622. This belonged, as well, to Kabutogi Ginjirô, but in connection to another pen brand: Seilon.

The pen uses Platinum-proprietary cartridges which were a de-facto standard in Japan by the late 1950s and 1960s (see the Chronicle on Mitaka). Platinum, may we remember, had been the first Japanese company to produce ink cartridges.


Some units of this pen were manufactured for the department store Daimaru.

These are the dimensions of this pen:
Length capped: 145 mm
Length open: 131 mm
Length posted: 164 mm
Diameter: 11 mm
Weight (dry): 13.7 g

My thanks to Mr. Furuya.

Platinum 3776 (1978 model) – Platinum Blue-black

Bruno Taut
Machida, May 17th, 2013
etiquetas: Steady, Seilon, nibmeister Kabutogi Ginjirô, Platinum, Pilot, marca desconocida, plumín