Sheaffer Balance Fountain Pen
Fountain pencils regarding the teens in addition to 20s arrived in many styles, but all retained exactly the same basic cylindrical form with blunt stops. Sheaffers introduction of radically streamlined Balance in December 1928 changed this overnight. This new pen's profile was covered by USA design patent 78, 795 (submitted November 21, 1928, given Summer 18, 1929). Other pen companies rushed to streamline their products or services also, though many settled for a less radical method Parkers redesigned Duofold, with only minor tapering and level finishes, had been typical.
The first Balance pencils had a distinctly asymmetrical teardrop-like type, with a quick area and a long tapering end at the conclusion of the barrel (see image above). Immediately after ward, the barrel end was handed a faster and blunter cancellation that more closely coordinated the profile regarding the cap top; and also this paid off general size, even though an extended area ended up being followed as well.
The brand new range was extensively advertised (follow this link to see a 1931 ad), and product sales had been powerful right from the start. The earliest models would be the most challenging locate, especially undiscolored instances in colors such as jade-green which are particularly prone to darkening. 1st several years additionally saw a selection of interesting products which are now actually quite desirable, including mini vest pocket size pencils and pencils, golf pencils, convertible desk/pocket pencils, pens with telephone dialer ends, and boxed units with matching pocketknives or any other accessories. Advertisements from the mid-1930s on had a tendency to emphasize title "Balance" less, favoring instead model names such as for instance "Lifetime" and "Feathertouch". These model names (along with different design numbers) had been held over to the Balances successors, the metal-capped Crest of belated 30s while the Triumph and its own open-nibbed siblings of 1940s, using their stubby, sausage-shaped pages and their particular steel or metal-lined limits causing some confusion about precisely as soon as the Balance range ended up being discontinued.
The pen on far right is a red-veined grey pearl Balance from c. 1933. Note the humped clip using the circular basketball, which will be not quite as long as the initial clip of 1929-31 (see top picture).
The pen when you look at the center is an oversize Balance in marbled green and black, online dating to c. 1935. It is an uncommon Autograph model, with solid 14K silver clip and cap musical organization. This additionally the pen to its left carry the humped video because of the flattened ball, utilized from c. 1934 on.
The leftmost pen is a plunger-filler in marbled grey pearl and black, dating to c. 1935.
A far more streamlined video with only a vestigial flattened basketball no hump is available on Balance pens from c. 1936 on (see set below).
Balance pens were well-crafted and endure in good sized quantities. They truly are good practical users, with nibs which are regularly smooth authors (Sheaffer metallurgy was an industry leader inside 30s). Freedom is very much the exception, but as are nibs broader than medium-fine. Reconditioning of lever-filling Balances is straightforward, but plunger-fillers require special actions. When purchasing a reconditioned plunger-filler, make sure that its packing unit happens to be correctly changed: a favorite but distinctly inferior stopgap should jam a stiff rubber washer within the barrel. One weakness typical to all Balances is a thin limit lip. To stop formation of hairline splits, many users avoid posting the limit on barrel end when writing.
Clip variations are discussed above; clipless models with ringtop fitting were also supplied, including bigger sizes. Balances came in a range of sizes, using the biggest usually being the scarcest & most desirable. Original colors supplied included jade-green, black colored and pearl, and black colored. Various other marbled finishes were shortly added, including red-veined grey pearl; green pearl and black colored; grey pearl and black; blue, white and black colored (uncommon); and ebonized pearl (black with inlaid flakes of abalone shell). Probably the most commonly-found Balances, but are the ones with longitudinally striated pearlescent colors, including purple, grey, green, brown, and pink ("Roseglow").