Glossopedia of Pen Terms

(This page revised February 25, 2013)

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J
J The best known and most popular family of pens produced by Esterbrook, made in four sizes ranging from the diminutive C and CH “purse pens” through the SJ (Short J), LJ (sLender J) to the J itself (illustrated here). Read a profile of the J family here. See also Esterbrook.
Fountain pen
Jack-Knife Safety Parker’s name for its screw-cap pens; introduced in 1910 as an eyedropper filler (upper illustration below), fitted with a button filler in about 1915 and a washer clip in about 1916 (lower illustration below), and phased out beginning with the introduction of the Duofold in 1921. Read a profile of the Duofold, in which there is some information on the Jack-Knife Safety, here. See also Duofold, Turban Top.
Fountain pen
Fountain pen
Jade Jade GreenJade Green A celluloid color offered on Sheaffer’s pens 1924–1932 and on Parker’s and other makers’ pens during the same general period; a marbled or mottled semitranslucent green as shown here. Sheaffer’s Jade underwent changes during the period; the earliest version was noticeably less vibrant (illustrated near right) than the final version (far right), and there is thought to have been a third version that fell between the extremes.
Jaxon (Jaxon Pen Company) A pen company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Known only by extant examples of The Jaxon Pen (illustrated below), which bears the October 29, 1901, date of Conklin’s Crescent-Filler patent. Except for its imprint, the Jaxon Pen is identical to Conklin’s Conklinette. Conklin almost certainly made the Jaxon Pen for the latter company. See also Conklinette.
Fountain pen
J-bar See pressure bar.
Jefferson See Kahn.
Jet Flighter See the historical note at Flighter.
Jet-O-Matic See Ventura.
jewel Celluloid jewelA decorative bit of metal, plastic (as shown here, a celluloid Vacumatic jewel), or (rarely) semiprecious stone applied to one or both ends of a pen; frequently surrounded by a tassie. See also bullseye, cabochon, tassie.
Jeweler’s band A cap band designed to be used on pens that were intended for sale by jewelers rather than the usual pen and stationery stores. The most common jeweler’s band has several closely spaced parallel grooves around its circumference, with a blank rectangular area on one side for use as an indicia; other designs lacked the indicia or had the grooves oriented longitudinally instead of laterally. The band illustrated here is on a Parker striped Duofold; the grooves on this band are so close together that they appear in this image as a darkened area adjacent to the indicia. See also indicia, milled band, Stacked Coin band.
Jeweler's cap band
JiF Jif-Waterman, a French company founded in 1926 (and named for its founder Jules Isidore Fagard) for the purpose of manufacturing L. E. Waterman pens locally in Europe. JiF became the sole holder of the Waterman name when Waterman’s English plant shut down in about 1970. See also Waterman, L. E.
Jiffy  1  (Jiffy Fountain Pen Company) A fountain pen manufacturing company located in Sioux City, Iowa; founded in 1916 to produce, job, and retail pens, with William A. Houston assuming the presidency. Jiffy was one of several companies in which Houston was involved until his death in 1935.  2  (U.S.A. Jiffy Fountain Pen Company, Inc.) A fountain pen manufacturing company located in Dover, Delaware; founded in 1925 by C. E. Craig, J. M. Townsend, and A. L. Raughley. The company is known to have been in business through 1930 but probably failed shortly thereafter during the Great Depression.
John Hancock See Pollock.
Johnson  1  Paul W. Johnson. See Bay State (especially definition 2).  2  (August Johnson & Company) A pen manufacturing company located in Chicago, Illinois. Founded c. 1891 by August Johnson, the company produced gold pens (dip nibs) and fountain pens. Before 1905, the company’s fountain pens were ordinary eyedropper-fillers; in that year, Johnson patented a well-designed sleeve filler (illustrated below, top three). In 1921, Johnson, the only principal, decided to quit the pen business and sold his company’s plant and assets to the newly founded Utility Pen Company. See also Utility.  3  (E. S. Johnson & Company) A pen manufacturer located in New York City; founded in 1848 by Ephraim S. Johnson. The company was later incorporated, but Johnson succeeded his own company in 1897 and was in turn succeeded a year later by his sons E. S. Johnson, Jr., and D. W. Johnson. E..S. Jr. withdrew before the end of 1898, and D. W. continued the business with the same product line. The original company was founded to produce gold pens (dip nibs) and holders, later expanding into the manufacture of jewelry. It remained in business at least as late as 1921. Shown below (bottom) is a pre-1900 E. S. Johnson dip pen.
Fountain pen
Fountain pen
Fountain pen
Dip pen
jointless Term for an eyedropper-filling pen with no removable nozzle (gripping section), typified by the Jointless models that Parker introduced in 1898 (U.S. Patent Nº 622,256). Shown below is a Parker Jointless Nº 020 that is imprinted for use as a promotional giveaway. To fill a jointless pen, the user removed its nib unit (an assembly comprising nib, feed, and a hard rubber collar holding the two together). The design’s purported advantages over ordinary eyedropper fillers (with nozzles that unscrewed for filling) were that there was no exposed joint to leak onto the user’s hand or clothing and that there was less risk of breakage during removal and reinstallation of the nozzle. See also eyedropper filler, middle joint, Rider.
Fountain pen
Fountain pen
Jotter A ballpoint pen introduced by Parker in January 1954 and still in production. Parker’s engineers had learned from others’ failures, and the $2.95 Jotter (first-year model shown below) was an instant success. It had a much greater capacity than its competition, it was offered with a choice of point sizes, and its mechanism rotated the refill 1/4 turn each time the point was extended in order to equalize wear on the ball tip. In 1957, Parker created the T-Ball Jotter by fitting the refill with a textured ball made of sintered tungsten carbide for better ink transport and longer life. See also ballpoint, BiC, CA, Rocket.
Ballpoint pen
JoWo (JoWo Berliner Schreibfeder GmbH; pronounced YO-vo) A nib manufacturer located in Berlin, Germany; founded in 1852 as Heintze & Blanckertz to produce linoleum cutters (for linoleum block printing) and steel pens (dip nibs). The company was the first German manufacturer of steel nibs, and beginning in about 1913 had its own rolling mill. Partially destroyed by the bombing of Berlin during World War II, the factory was rebuilt and the company nationalized as VEB Berliner Schreibfeder in 1949. In 1953, VEB began producing butterfly nibs for fountain pens, and in 1955, tipped nibs. In 1994 the company went bankrupt but was reconstituted by two long-time employees, Joachim Hildebrand and Wolfgang Lemme, using the first two letters of each man’s name to form the company name. Today JoWo produces both steel and gold nibs of high quality. Many JoWo steel nibs are marked IRIDIUM POINT GERMANY; but this mark has been tainted by being used in a deceptive fashion on Chinese copies, and it is less used on authentic German nibs than it once was. See also Bock, butterfly nib, IRIDIUM POINT GERMANY, Schmidt.
Juco See Ullrich.
Junior A pen model, sometimes but not necessarily smaller in size than the “standard” version, featuring reduced trim and a lesser price. Sheaffer’s Balance Junior was smaller than many of the more expensive Balance models and had chrome-plated furniture instead of gold filled. Parker’s Vacumatic Junior was in some cases smaller than other models but was most notable for having two narrow cap bands instead of the three narrow bands of the Vacumatic Standard or, later, the single wider band of the Vacumatic Major. See also Sheaffer names.

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