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Sheaffer history


Sheaffer had been one of many iconic US pen businesses, founded and very long based in Fort Madison, Iowa. Sheaffer created the lever filler that was dominant through the fantastic age of water fountain pens and produced considerable pens like the Balance, the Touchdown, plus the PFM.

Sheaffer was among great fountain pen organizations in the past and contains always had a penchant for technological innovation in water fountain pencils.

Early Sheaffer

Sheaffer had been founded by Walter A. Sheaffer (a jeweler) and his partners in 1912 to help make pencils constructed with their complex lever-fill design. The lever fill system proved to be well-known and ended up being eventually used by all of the major manufacturers in several a little variations designed to take advantage of loopholes in Sheaffer's patent.

During the early many years, the styling of Sheaffer pencils ended up being similar to most other manufacturers. That's since there isn't all that much you can do with black colored hard rubberized.

In the 1920s, Sheaffer launched lifetime warranties into the appropriately called Lifetime pens. These were a lot more pricey than contending pens (and Sheaffer's very own non-Lifetime pens) but turned out to be well-known anyway.

Radite and Balance

In 1924, Sheaffer launched pens created from "Radite" (an earlier modern-day plastic), also known as celluloid or cellulose nitrate. Unlike difficult rubber, that could simply be manufactured in drab black or red, Radite can be produced in many colorful colors in wild swirling habits. Compared to difficult rubber pens, these were spectacular.

For contemporary enthusiasts, one regrettable and unanticipated flaw in Radite was your gases that were gradually released by rubberized ink sacs discolored the gorgeous synthetic from the inside. Most surviving examples of Sheaffer Radite pens are tarnished to differing degrees as a result. Jade-green pens without any discoloration fetch considerable prices at auction.

One of many pens created using this new compound, the most important inside Sheaffer range was the total amount, introduced in 1929. Prior pens were typically cylindrical in shape with squared off stops. The total amount ended up being much more torpedo-shaped, with rounded tapered finishes and had been marketed as an even more ergonomic pen. Many variations about this shape were used and contemporary obtaining nomenclature often identifies all of them as Balances.

Brand New Filling Systems

After World War II, Sheaffer introduced a new stuffing system. The Touchdown device utilized environment pressure from a plunger tube to compress the ink sac; whenever plunger hits the end, stress is circulated through microscopic holes and the sac reinflates. It was cleaner completing done right; the Touchdown device is more durable and far much easier to fix than many other vacuum cleaner fill mechanisms.

Numerous pens would utilize the Touchdown process from 1949-1963, like the countless variations regarding the initial Touchdown and Thin Model. The Touchdown method would continue in production into the 1990s, ending with the Touchdown converter process inside Sheaffer Legacy.

An important variant into the Touchdown design could be the Snorkel design, which was a Touchdown process with one more retractable ink tube. Rotating the end cap extended a needle-like tube which may be dipped in ink, keeping all of those other pen wash. The Snorkel was introduced around 1955 as well as that time replaced most of the Thin Model lineup.

During the 1960s cartridges took over the water fountain pen globe. Although Sheaffer would not create the cartridge, they made zillions of inexpensive cartridge pencils for the college marketplace, variants which are nevertheless in manufacturing today.

The Inlaid Nib

The inlaid nib is a characteristic of Sheaffer design and it has experienced almost continuous usage because the introduction associated with the PFM. The inlaid nib has been utilized in lot of pen lines, grouped right here loosely in chronological order:

  • PFM (1959-1968)
  • Imperial (1961-70s)
  • Lightweight I and Compact II (1960-1964)
  • "Dolphin" 500/800/1000 (1962-1964)
  • Triumph 330/44x series
  • Targa (1976-1995)
  • Victory Imperial (1995-1998)
  • Legacy (1995-1998) and Legacy 2 (1999-2003)
  • Legacy Heritage (2004-2006)
  • Intrigue (2000-2005)
  • Valor (2006-current)

The inlaid nib is a distinctive Sheaffer design; hardly any other producer features used it in the same manner or on almost as numerous pens.

Sheaffer These Days

In 1997, Sheaffer was acquited by Bic (yes, that Bic, the manufacturer of disposable ballpoints). Bic began going operations offshore. In 2008, the historical plant in Fort Madison had been finally power down (it absolutely was originally scheduled for closure in 2006, but a skeleton team remained for the next few years; rumor has actually it there were difficulties in outsourcing production of the inlaid nibs for Valor), with it the past regarding the big pen businesses ceased is American.

We anticipate that Bic keeps the Sheaffer title around for deluxe pens, and hope that Sheaffer keeps similar standards of quality and innovation which have distinguished it before.

In america, Sheaffer is amongst the simplest brands to get. Sheaffer pencils are incredibly common and can be found every-where. An instant look into e-bay along with other internet based auction sites frequently shows more Sheaffer pens offered than the rest of the major brand names come up with. Performing a search is a little trickier as no body can spell Sheaffer precisely (Scheffer, Schaefer, Shaeffer, an such like). This might be made all the more puzzling because of the undeniable fact that Sheaffer is normally printed close to the pen it self.

However, the extremely broad option of Sheaffer pens makes a lot of them far less collectible. The essential collectible pens will be the 1929-30s classic Balance (especially colors which are harder to find in good condition, like Jade or Pearl or the notoriously rare Blue and Black), the 1950s PFM (Pen for males), and their really early and limited production models.

This not enough "collectibility" and stratospheric costs can actually be an edge for a collector on an inferior budget. A Snorkel or Imperial can usually be had for well less than modern good pens. The low end Touchdown and cartridge pencils are obtainable quite cheaply besides. In the event that you intend to earnestly make use of your collection and employ it difficult, Sheaffer is a good choice.

Sheaffer Self-Filler?, c.1918-1924, 14k Sheaffer no. 3 nib, gold-fill (or plate) over metal, lever fill

I believe this can be a classic Seaffer Self-Filler, once the shape and engraving are more or less right, but this pen includes no Sheaffer markings aside from the nib. The pen is within instead rough shape, with worn plating or silver fill, a couple of dents, and a missing lever, but it is in addition almost a century old.



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