Writing instruments on this page are part of my personal collection and are not for sale. Click the magnifying-glass symbol () next to any pen to view a zoomed image for more detail.
What pens am I carrying today?The Pen That Almost Killed Eversharp
The first ballpoint I decided to add to my collection was the Eversharp CA. Original CA refills are no longer available, but it really doesn’t matter because they didn’t work anyway — which is why the CA was a disaster — so I have refitted both of my CAs to accept standard Parker ballpoint or gel refills. The Fifth Avenue version (a second-generation model, either 26 or 27) is 57/32" capped and 515/16" posted, and the Skyline version (model 25) is 51/4" capped and 51/2" posted. As long as these babies remain capped, they can masquerade as real pens. The CA happens to bear my favorite color scheme, a blue body with a silvery metal cap featuring gold furniture.
Just because I stumbled across it at a show, left it on the table, and later had someone hand it to me with a “You need this,” I’ve added this Eberhard Faber ballpoint to my collection. Interestingly, it’s a close ringer for the Fifth Avenue-style Eversharp CA, and in fact that’s exactly what it is except that it’s trimmed up a little differently with a cap designed for Eberhard Faber by Joshua G. Lippincott. It’s 515/32" capped and 67/64" posted, and I will convert it for use with modern refils one of these first days.
At 51/4" capped and 555/64" posted, my 1948 Sheaffer Stratowriter ballpoint is a perfect match for my 1949 Touchdown Sentinel fountain pen. As with the CA above, original refills for early Sheaffer ballpoints are no longer available (although they would be far more likely to work if they were to be found), so this pen has also been refitted to accept a standard Parker gel refill.
Parker’s first venture into the ballpoint game came in 1954 with the introduction of the fabled Parker Jotter. Because Parker had “taken its own sweet time” to bring a ballpoint to market, the Jotter was a success from Day 1. The Jotter has changed relatively little through the years; the most significant change happened in 1957, when Parker upgraded the refill by replacing the polished ball with one of sintered tungsten. This new ball, with its porosity and cratered surface, proved the ideal vehicle for reliable ink flow, and the T-Ball Jotter has been a Parker staple ever since. Next is my black “First Year” Parker Jotter, whose most distinctive characteristics are its “Trough” clip and fluted Nylon barrel. This black pen is 51/16" retracted and 51/4" extended. (It’s not completely original, however, because it carries a modern T-Ball refill.) My second Jotter is a Navy Gray powder-coated prototype that came to me courtesy of Ron Zorn.