Thursday, May 28, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 20

Back to vintage pens we go now! This newest acquisition belongs to Christopher R. and it's a vintage Webster flattop fountain pen:

(all photos courtesy of Christopher ~ please click on images to enlarge)

In his own words:"While doing my due diligence on the Webster Skyrocket (which I did bring to one of our past meetings for show and tell), I discovered that Webster was not the company which made these Webster pens, because they were in fact, house brand pens produced by the National Pen Company out of Chicago for Sears Roebuck. Much like Parker producing some of the Diamond Metal pens also for Sears. What I did not know at that time, was other than the leading pen manufacturers like Parker, the National Pen company did produce quality fountain pens as well as the lower grade third tier contenders."

Christopher's memories of seeing pens in a well-known department store:"Although it was quite a while ago, I do remember going to the local Sears Roebuck department store, which was about 20 minutes from my grandparents house in Short Hills, NJ. I guess the reason why this has stuck in my mind, is due to the fact that my stepgranny, Martha, always would buy me the breakfast cereal of my choice. But I should add that these cereals were not my favourites because of how good they tasted, but more for the premiums that were inside. Sometimes they were plastic toy soldiers, sometimes they were these small underwater bathtub toys like plastic submarines or navy divers, propelled below the surface by baking soda. I just loved these toys, wrapped in clear plastic bags located deep in each box of cereal. But the good news was that the manufacturer usually advertised what kind of premium was inside the boxes, on the outside of the box. But it was on one of those shopping visits to Sears that I also recall seeing their pens. Now to this, what I remember was that the nicer pens were on display for sale in revolving countertop cabinets, while the cheaper pens were in clear divider trays, with maybe twenty or thirty pens in one slot. At the front of each slot was the price and you could just take any one of these pens and bring it up to the checkout to buy. I also remember how nice the attendants were to kids back then. In some of the places that my grandfather took me to, while we were in New York, they would give me a sucker. Definitely a different story these days!"

He continues: "Anyway, back to my Webster. I was surprised with both the quality on the Webster Skyrocket and now on this Webster Big Red. The Webster is longer than both my other senior Big Red style pens. And I should add that my Parker Big Red is a Canadian Parker and somewhat longer than the US one Chris and I picked up back East and sold (see photo below). It is also a tad longer than my Big Red Eclipse also shown in the attached photo of the three pens."

"The actual length (of the Webster) posted is 7 inches, capping back to 5 ½ inches. It’s funny, but when I see these pens together, I realize just how much I like Big Reds! Otherwise, this pen really falls under the quality banner from the National Pen Company. In fact, it took to polish like nobody’s business. The fitting are definitely 14K Gold filled and the big Warranted nib, having knocked it out to clean and polish, is most certainly also 14K gold with good flex and my what a great writer! So overall a pen well worth adding to my collection and I will be using it in my pen line up for next week."

Many thanks to Christopher for sharing his memories and pen photos with us!

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