Thursday, November 11, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 283

In honour of Remembrance Day, I took some photos of a recent acquisition - a vintage Sheaffer's doctors/nurses set - with my husband's grandfather's WWII medals and his grandfather's uncle's WWI memorial plaque:

(~ please click on images to enlarge~)

Large bronze memorial plaques like this one were given to the next-of-kin of all British Empire service personnel who died as a result of World War I. It is said that 1,355,000 of these plaques were issued. This plaque was given to the family of my husband's grandfather's uncle, who was in the Royal Navy and perished in 1917 at the age of 24.

These war medals were given to my husband's maternal grandfather, who enlisted in WWII at the tender age of eighteen. He served aboard several destroyers in the Royal Canadian Navy.

Now, let's take a little closer look at this nice vintage Sheaffer set (which I acquired from a seller in Nova Scotia, via eBay), which consists of a fountain pen and matching mechanical pencil...

I'm not sure if it's a vintage Sheaffer doctors set or a nurses set because it didn't come with its original packaging, but a doctors set in this particular model was mentioned on The pen's filling mechanism is definitely Sheaffer's Touchdown-filling mechanism, and this one is the "Tip-Dip" version which doesn't require that the entire nib be submerged in the ink bottle (which, in turn, made for less-messy filling). The 'Tip-Dip' filling system was used in Sheaffer 'Cadet' and 'Craftsman' fountain pens from 1953 to around 1963.

Mine is a Sheaffer Touchdown 'Cadet' set made of white injection-molded plastic, but the pen's nib has an open Sheaffer 14K gold nib (marked 'Made in Canada" and "33") and 'Cadet' models only came with stainless steel nibs. Because of this, I suspect the pen is a 'Cadet' with an upgraded 14k nib. The Penhero article (link above) mentions that early 'Cadet' pens had black sections but later ones had matching sections, so mine appears to be one of the later versions. 

I haven't been able to find any advertising for Sheaffer doctor/nurse sets, but I came across a few photos of them online. Complete sets consisted of: a white fountain pen with matching white mechanical pencil, and a thermometer encased in what looks like the fountain pen body (also white).  

The pencil in my 'Cadet' set is very slim, but elegant, and uses a twist-action to propel and retract the lead inside. The fountain pen's nib-trim mismatch doesn't bother me at all--it's still a lovely pen...and it's part of a set that seems quite difficult to find--I've only found three similar sets/pens online (including fellow VPCer Christopher's Sheaffer 'Admiral' nurses fountain pen featured here on our blog). There's a bit of pitting to the pencil's clip, and the pen has a couple of very small cracks near its clip; otherwise, my set is in very good shape. All in all, a great find from Eastern Canada, and one I'm extremely pleased to have in my vintage Sheaffer collection.

(~ photos & review by Maja ~)

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