Glossopedia of Pen Terms

(This page revised July 12, 2013)

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E
Eagle (Eagle Pencil Company) A pen and pencil manufacturing company; founded in 1856 by Leopold Illfelder and Daniel Berolzheimer as the Vera-Bleistift-Fabrik (pencil factory) in Fürth, Bavaria, Germany. In 1861, the company opened a branch in New York City. Daniel Berolzheimer had died in 1858, so the New York office was opened by his son Henry. Henry soon partnered with his brother Martin and Joseph Reckendorfer. At some time after Reckendorfer’s death in 1883, the company incorporated; but members of the Berolzheimer family retained effective control of it, serving on the board of directors and as presidents until its 1969 merger with several other companies to create the Berol Corporation. In 1890, Eagle introduced a cartridge-filling pen (U.S. Patent Nº 426,758), a very simple design (shown below, upper and middle) that had a brass nib and used glass cartridges pushed onto a gum rubber nipple that was part of a plug in the hollow section. Eagle continued to innovate, patenting sleeve fillers, spoon fillers, matchstick fillers, and more. At some point in the 1930s, the crush of the Depression led Eagle to introduce a lower line called EPENCO. These pens were very cheaply made and fitted with steel nibs. Some of the EPENCO pens, e.g., Moon & Stars (below, lower) and the Popeye cartoon character, achieved notable success. See also matchstick, sleeve, spoon filler.
Fountain pen
Fountain pen cartridge
Fountain pen
Eberhard Faber  1  (Eberhard Faber Pencil Company) A pen and pencil manufacturing company located in New York City and, after 1872, Brooklyn, New York; founded in 1861 by Johann Eberhard Faber, brother of Johann Lothair Faber of Germany’s A. W. Faber. In addition to its several lines of wooden pencils, the company produced mechanical pencils and fountain pens of mediocre quality, of which the best known is probably the Permapoint line of the 1940s (which in 1947 was judged inferior by Consumer Reports) The Permapoint pen was designed to compete with Esterbrook pens. Like Sheaffer’s WASP Addipoint, the Permapoint had a user-interchangeable gripping section complete with feed, nib, and sac. The company was bought in 1994 by Faber-Castell USA, which later sold it to the Sanford division of Newell Rubbermaid. It is currently an element of the Paper Mate brand.  2  (Eberhard Faber GmbH) A pencil manufacturing company located in Neumarkt, near Nuremberg, Germany; founded in 1922 and purchased in 1978 by Staedtler Mars GmbH.
ebonite (also Ebonite) Hard rubber. When capitalized, a trademark currently held by Ebonite International, Inc. See also hard rubber.
Ebonized Pearl Ebonized Pearl A celluloid color offered on Sheaffer’s Balance pens 1934–1939, made by embedding flakes of abalone shell in black celluloid as shown here. See also abalone.
Fountain pen
Eclipse (Eclipse Fountain Pen Company) A pen manufacturing company located initially in San Francisco, California; moved some time before 1917 to New York City. Founded in 1903 by Marx Finstone, the company sold three major lines of pens: Eclipse at the top, Marxton in the middle (illustrated below, lower, an uncommon glass-nib pen), and Park Row at the bottom (third tier, with a name probably chosen for its similarlity to Parker.). At one time, Eclipse advertising attempted to clip Parker’s wings by pointing out that Eclipse was the world’s largest producer of red pens (below, upper, a rare bandless Eclipse). In 1925, Eclipse set up a Canadian subsidiary which in 1962 bought out the parent company. Beginning in 1929, a “child” company called Monroe sold a more luxurious line. Among Eclipse’s significant accomplishments was Finstone’s development of a method for making celluloid tube by spirally wrapping celluloid strip stock and fusing the seam (U.S. Patent Nº 1,576,588), thereby greatly reducing material cost and machining time. See also Dual Duty, Monroe.
Fountain pen
Fountain pen
Écorce Écorce pattern(also Bark; French for bark, as of a tree, pronounced roughly A-korse, rhyming with “bay horse”) Term used by Parker for a deeply incised pattern resembling tree bark on a metal pen (shown to the right). Illustrated below is a gold-plated Parker 180 in the Écorce pattern. (This pen may be a prototype; so far as I know, Écorce was not used on production-model 180s.)
Fountain pen
ED See eyedropper filler.
Edison (Edison Pen Company, Inc.) A pen manufacturing company located in Petersburg, Virginia; founded some time before 1915 as a pen repair shop. In 1915, Remmie L. Arnold became General Manager (later President), and the company soon began selling its own pens, which it assembled from parts supplied by jobbers. Among its models was a telescoping pen identical to the one manufactured by the U.S. Victor Fountain Pen Company. In 1920, the company registered EDISON as a trademark and began manufacturing its own pens; but in 1928 its trademark was revoked as the result of a lawsuit brought by Thomas Edison and Thomas A. Edison, Inc., in which the plaintiffs charged that the pen company’s use of the name was causing material financial harm to their business. Arnold left Edison in 1935 to found his own company, and the Edison company, already failing, soon went under. See also Arnold, Victor.
Eggens-Hambler (Eggens-Hambler Company, Inc.) A pen manufacturing company with offices in New York City and manufacturing facilities in Elizabeth, New Jersey; founded in 1922 by John H. Eggens and William C. Hambler, both of whom were former employees of L. E. Waterman. In 1926, the company offices moved to Newark, New Jersey. Eggens-Hambler produced primarily lever fillers of moderate quality, including some models with sterling silver or gold-filled overlays; a few miniature pens are also known. The company also jobbed pens to other companies, sometimes with nibs imprinted EHCO as were the nibs in its own pens. At some point, Hambler left the company, which thereupon began producing pens of a better quality that were marked with only Eggens’ name. The company failed sometime in the mid-1930s; in 1935, its securities were declared worthless.
EHCO See Eggens-Hambler.
18K (also 18C) A designation indicating an alloy that contains 18 parts of gold, by weight, per 24 parts of the total metal content. The same as 750. As a general rule, 18K nibs are actually inferior to 14K nibs in terms of their writing qualities. The higher gold content is marketed as a status and quality feature, but the real reason for it is that many countries have followed France’s lead in establishing laws requiring the alloy to be least 18K in order to be sold as “gold.” (This requirement’s original purpose was to prevent fraud in the jewelry trade.) See also karat, METAL.
18KR A European mark indicating 18K rolled gold. See also 18K, gold filled.
875 See Sheaffer numbers.
Eisenstadt (Eisenstadt Manufacturing Company) A manufacturer and wholesaler of silverware and fine jewelry located in St. Louis, Missouri; founded in 1853 as the M. Eisenstadt Jewelry Company, purchased and reincorporated in 1883. In 1895 the name was changed to the Eisenstadt Manufacturing Company. During the 1920s and 1930s, Eisenstadt manufactured fountain pens of good quality that featured a unique and very well thought-out “backward” lever filler (shown below) in which the lever lifted toward the distal end of the barrel instead of toward the gripping section (U.S. Patent Nº 1,531,800, by John J. Lynagh). The principal advantage of this lever design was that the lever could not become caught on the edge of the user’s pocket and cause the pen to discharge ink as the user was pocketing it. In 1929, the company added costume jewelry to its product line. It remained in business until 1981.
Fountain pen
emblem  1  When capitalized (Emblem Pen), the name of a top-of-the-line pen model introduced by Waterman in 1946 or ’47 to replace the Hundred Year Pen after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission prohibited the offering of a warranty if a fee was charged unless the fee was decribed in type the same size as, and in close proximity to, the warranty statement itself. The Emblem Pen is unchanged from the last version of the Hundred Year Pen except that it lacks the latter’s 100-year warranty. Shown here (upper) is a De Luxe Emblem Pen in white, intended as a doctor’s pen. See also Hundred Year Pen.  2  When not capitalized, a sign or symbol attached to a pen, usually on the cap. Such sigilia are usually the crests or insignia of fraternal organizations such as the Eagles, Elks, Lions, Masons, etc., and pens bearing them are generally considered to be worth more than similar pens without them. During World War II, Morrison made a pen model called the Patriot; available in versions for the various U.S. armed services, the pen bore the emblem of the particular service it was named for. Shown here (lower) is a Navy Patriot, with the U.S. Navy crest on its sloped cap crown.
Fountain pen
Fountain pen
embossing See repoussé.
Empire A strikingly attractive Art Deco cap design used during the 1940s on the Vacumatic-filling version of the Parker “51”; made by layering yellow and rose gold. Also known as Empire State, for the design’s resemblance to the profile of the Empire State Building. Empire caps are rare and highly sought after. See also gold, Rainbow, rose gold, Watermelon.
Empire cap
enamel (also vitreous enamel) A thin layer of glass that is fused to the surface of metal for decoration or protection. Enamel can be transparent (with or without a colored tint), translucent (cloudy, with or without tint), or completely opaque. The Bossert & Erhard pen illustrated here has been finished with enamel in a color called “Arctic Ice” over sterling silver guilloché. See also cloisonné, guilloché, lacquer.
Fountain pen
Endura Conklin’s name for a flat-top pen model introduced in 1924 to replace the short-lived Duragraph. The Endura appeared in variants from a full-sized clip-style model (shown below in Pearl and Black celluloid) to a small ringtop ladies’ model. In about 1930, the Endura became the Endura Symetrik, a streamlined transitional pen whose styling led the way to the Nozac. See also Nozac.
Fountain pen
engine turning See guilloché.
engraved Decorated by the removal of material in an attractive design, generally by the use of a sharp scriber or similar tool. In reference to writing instruments, usually used to indicate the application of a person’s name or initials, or a personalized dedication. The indicia of the Sheaffer’s Masterpiece Tuckaway shown here is engraved with the owner’s name, Zenobia. See also autograph, chased, crosshatched, etched, guilloché, hand engraved, indicia, roll engraving.
Fountain pen
Equi-Poised (also seen in later references as Equipoise or Equipoised) A pen model introduced in 1929-30 by Wahl-Eversharp; the company’s first design to break away from the straight cylindrical “flat-top” mold of the previous decades. The Equi-Poised line featured some of the same celluloids and, at the higher end, the Personal-Point nib and Gold Seal trademark that had appeared a couple of years earlier. Shown here is a Gold Seal Personal-Point Equi-Poised in Kashmir green. See also Gold Seal, Personal-Point.
Fountain pen
Esterbrook (R. Esterbrook & Co.) A pen manufacturing company located in Camden, New Jersey. Founded as the United States Steel Pen Manufacturing Company in 1858 by Richard Esterbrook, the company pioneered the manufacture of high-quality steel pens in the U.S.A. and competed with England’s Perry & Co. (Osmiroid) in worldwide sales. Esterbrook developed its first fountain pen in about 1920, but its most famous creation is the Model J family, which appeared in 1944. Using the user-interchangeable Renew-Point nibs that Esterbrook introduced in 1935, the J (illustrated below) became almost a household name and is today among the most popular low-priced collectible fountain pens. Relatively unsuccessful in attempts to diversify into ballpoints and felt-tip pens, Esterbrook was acquired by Venus in 1967 amid the general decline in fountain pen usage, and manufacture ceased in 1972. See also J, Osmiroid, Renew-Point, steel pen.
Fountain pen
etched  1  Engraved by the removal of material with acid; the object to be treated is first covered with a layer of a protective substance called a resist (through which is cut the design to be applied) and is then exposed to the acid.  2  Term used by L. E. Waterman to describe pens having a metal overlay decorated with a pattern that is usually either chemically etched or mechanically engraved, as shown by the Gothic pattern on the Nº 05521/2V below. See also engraved.
Fountain pen Magnifying glass
Evans  1  (Evans Dollar Pen Company) See Welty.  2  (Evans Pen Corporation) A ballpoint pen manufacturing company located in Hollywood, California; founded in 1947 by former Eversharp executives Harvey Binns and Walter Scott together with Phil Baker, who had been Master of Ceremonies on the popular radio quiz show Take It or Leave It (also known as The $64 Question), which had been sponsored by Eversharp. The first Evans model was to be called the Phil Baker Evenette, but I have found no information indicating that the company ever actually produced anything.
Everfull (Everfull Pen Company) A pen manufacturing company located in New York City; founded c. 1950 and operated briefly in the mid-1950s. Everfull’s signature product was a $2.95 lever-filling fountain pen that carried an extra supply of ink within a somewhat elongated cap (U.S. Patent Nº 2,658,479, by Mendel Fried). The design featured a cartridge that was rigged to swivel automatically into a roughly upright position to serve as a small inkwell when the two halves of the cap were separated.
Fountain pen
Fountain pen
Everlast  1  (Everlast Pen Company) A pen and pencil manufacturer located in New York City; founded in the latter half of the 1940s by Theresa Waidlinger (president), Paul Waidlinger (vice president), and Richard Waidlinger (secre­tar­y/­treas­urer). The company operated at least into the 1950s, producing third-tier and novelty fountain pens, ballpoint pens, and mechanical pencils. It was among the first to offer a fountain pen combo whose other end was a ballpoint pen rather than a pencil. Among Everlast’s novelty items were floaty pencils and a Lone Ranger Silver Bullet Pen Set (shown below); the set’s pens wrote in blue (“Lone Ranger,” for secret codes), red (“Silver,” for danger), and green (“Tonto’s Own Pen”).  2  A model produced by the Toledo Pen Company. See also Toledo (definition 2).
Lone Ranger pen set
Ever-Ready A “house brand” of fountain pens produced for the American News Company of New York City. After a successful lawsuit brought in 1897 by William W. Stewart against American News over infringement of his U.S. Patent (Nº 378,986), D. W. Lapham received Stewart’s license to make the pen for American News. The Ever-Ready pen comtinued in production through several updates, at least into the 1920s. See also Lapham.
Eversharp See Wahl-Eversharp.
Excellence Autograph See Sheaffer names.
expel See mechanical pencil.
eyedropper  1  A tube, usually of glass, that tapers to a small opening at one end and has a rubber bulb attached to the other end; used for dispensing small amounts of liquids in a controlled fashion, i.e., drop by drop. Early manufacturers often used the term filler to refer to the eyedropper supplied with an eyedropper-filling pen. Shown here is a reproduction vintage-style eyedropper of the type commonly used for filling pens.  2  (abbreviated ED) Colloquial term for an eyedropper-filling pen. See also eyedropper filler.
Eyedropper
eyedropper filler
Filler schematic
 
Filler schematic
(colloquially shortened to eyedropper, abbreviated ED) Retronym indicating a fountain pen that has no self-filling mechanism. (Until the advent of self-filling pens, the term was unnecessary.) Operates by direct filling into barrel. Most eyedropper fillers unscrew, usually at the joint between section and barrel (below, upper, D. W. Beaumel), and ink is dripped into the pen with an eyedropper. In “safety” pens with retractable nibs, the ink is dripped into the opening that is left by the retracted nib (below, lower, L. E. Waterman safety, capped and posted). When self-fillers appeared, many manufacturers referred to eyedropper-filling pens as regular models to differentiate them from self-filling models. View filling instructions here. See also eyedropper, Jointless, middle joint, Rider.
Fountain pen
Fountain pen

Fountain pen
Fountain pen
Notes:
  1. The FTC’s original 1945 ruling forbade “unconditional” warranties altogether if there was a fee. L. E. Waterman and Parker challenged the ruling, but Waterman withdrew its petition in 1946. Parker fought on, and the resulting 1948 court judgment softened the ruling as described here. (The prohibition remained on the use of the word “unconditional.”)  Return to text


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