Sunday, May 15, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 371

As promised, here's the handsome vintage fountain pen I mentioned we'd be featuring today. Its proud new owner is Christopher, who sent in a great write-up about the pen along with a very nice photo of it. Enjoy!

Christopher writes: "The Wahl Company had a very interesting history, and long before it became one of the largest and most successful fountain pen manufacturers in the United States, it made business machines. In fact, the Wahl adding machine, which could be attached to a typewriter, was a popular option that the Remington Typewriter Company was selling."

"John Wahl was born in 1876 and was interested in anything and everything that would make him a profit. Subsequently, in 1915 he bought a controlling share of the Eversharp pencil company, that was at the time terribly successful in the US and international market. But so were fountain pens, and Wahl knew that to produce those too, he would have to carry on to invest in a top notch pen company. The Boston Pen company was just what the doctor ordered, and by 1917 Wahl added them to his corporation. The Boston Safety Pen Company had focused on quality product and innovation design, plus owned a number of very attractive patents, including the fountain pen lever filler and the novel roller ended clip. Wahl’s pencils, under the Eversharp banner, were all metal as were his early pens which came on the market in 1921, in both silver and gold. Still, and at that time, vulcanized rubber was in fashion, so Wahl turned to, and in July of 1922 bought, the Washington Rubber Company to accommodate the manufacture of hard rubber fountain pens.

Unfortunately, his acquisition of the rubber department was rather late in the game, because the DuPont Company was at that time offering both the Parker Pen Company and Sheaffer a plastic which was both lighter and came in a more colourful range of finishes, than the old standard hard rubber. Wahl prevailed and although the company did eventually turn to plastic for their pens, for a period they produced top quality hard rubber pens and pencils in a variety of attractive colours."

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

"In 1921, Wahl introduced a nib which would stand up to a lot of hard use and continue to write smoothly and consistently. It was branded the ‘Signature’ and applied to various Wahl pen models. Then in 1925, the company came out with the ‘Signature Pen'. It was a hard rubber flat top available in a number of different sizes and colour finishes. But unlike the previous Wahl pens, which sported the Signature nib, the Wahl Signature Pen had a special id branding on the cap, just below the top.

Personally, I was thrilled to score the largest oversized Wahl Signature pen in a stunning red hard rubber finish with gold filled fittings and a big number 6 Signature 14K gold nib. This is, to my mind, an outstanding pen for any vintage pen collector and ticks all the boxes when it comes to what is best in a good writing instrument. The finish is more toward a pastel orange and the long barrel comes with a lever filler. The nib I would have to say has medium flex but writes smoothly laying down a consistent flow of ink on paper. Needless to say, I am totally sold on this pen and thank you Mr. John Wahl for your most noteworthy efforts."

(Christopher mentioned the "special ID branding" of this model. If you left-click on the photo of the pen, then right-click & select "open image in new tab", and then left-click again you can see the "Signature" imprint that's just below the top of the cap)

What a fantastic vintage pen! Congratulations, Christopher, on your new acquisition and thank you for sharing it with us :)

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