Friday, March 4, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 336

If the handsome vintage Sheaffer ballpoint below looks familiar, it's because Christopher acquired a similar one a few weeks ago and shared it with us here on this blog. Christopher was kind enough to send in a photo of this newer acquisition, along with a write up that includes information on an adapter he recently acquired that now allows his pen to take modern refills!

Christopher writes: "In 2013, I acquired a limited edition book produced for the centenary of the Sheaffer Pen Company. In it was one whole chapter devoted to the history of the Sheaffer ballpoint, starting with their Stratowriter. This ball pen was definitely a remarkable step forward for Sheaffer. Finished in rolled gold and complete with a cap button retracting mechanism, the pen was not only smart looking but worked extremely well. The retracting mechanism had to be operated with two fingers because you had to depress it then turn it to lock. The same exercise in reverse brought the writing point back into the barrel. When released in 1946, it was more of a top end pen subsequently reasonably expensive. Still, with its smart, streamlined, space age appearance, well worth the money charged."

(photo courtesy of Christopher ~ please click on image to enlarge)

"The pen also came in an attractive presentation box, complete with working instructions. But shortly after the pen’s release, the Sheaffer company designed what they called ‘The White Shirt Guard’. This was a matching rolled gold cap that slipped over the business end of the pen, protecting the user’s shirt from any ink which might leak out of the end of the pen when at rest in a breast pocket. Then when the pen was in use, this guard could be slipped over the pen’s cap and was notched out on two sides to smoothly fit around the cap clip.

The ballpoint came with a good sized refill, which could simply be inserted into the pen when the cap was unscrewed from the barrel. Unfortunately, the Stratowriter refills were history a good number of years ago, but an adapter can be acquired on the internet, which matches the Stratowriter refill exactly but is hollow to accommodate a ‘Mini D1’ modern and current refill which works like a charm.

Sheaffer went on to adapt different models of the Stratowriter to partner up with a good number of Sheaffer’s different pen models, but the Stratowriter RA1 remains the first true Sheaffer ballpoint pen."

If you're in need of an adapter that allows modern refills to be used in a vintage Sheaffer Stratowriter ballpoint, they're currently available in two forms--one made of 3D-printed plastic that takes a mini D1 ballpoint refill, and another one made of machined brass that can accommodate a current Sheaffer ballpoint refill. Our thanks to Christopher for sharing another new vintage pen with us!

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