(This page revised November 30, 2012)
|Introduction A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z|
[ Reference Info Index ]
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|Ullrich||(J. Ullrich & Company) A pen manufacturer located in New York City; founded in the late 1880s, the company operated into the 1920s and was a prolific maker of hard rubber and gold-filled overlay stylographic pens under names such as Independent, Juco, Kompeter, Star, and Vulcan.|
|Ultra Giant||A huge BHR cone-cap eyedropper-filling pen made by Parker, larger than the Red or Black Giant, fitted with a Nº 12 nib and a compartment in the barrel within which is space for a small pen; known examples have a tiny RHR pen in this compartment. The Ultra Giant is literally too large to use and may have been produced as a salesman’s sample. In 1998, Bexley produced an Ultra Giant limited edition of 25 sets complete with a small pen inside the larger one. See also cone cap, giant.|
A left-handed person who positions his or her hand and the paper so that the hand passes across clean paper below (under) the line being written, as shown below. See also overwriter.
|Union||(Union Fountain Pen Company, Inc.) A Morrison lower-line subsidiary (1910-1940s). It was in this company’s operation that Morrison fell afoul of a Federal investigation regarding lifetime guarantees; the result was a Federal Trade Commission ruling prohibiting the offering of a warranty if a fee was charged unless the fee was described in type the same size as, and in close proximity to, the warranty statement itself.. See also Morrison.|
(later renamed Check) A chasing pattern used by Wahl on chased hard rubber and metal pens, with groups of three longitudinal lines bridged by a continuous run of chevrons and separated by plain surface. Shown here is a close-up of the Unique pattern. Modern reference sources often mistakenly identify this pattern as Dart. See also Dart.
(Universal Fountain Pen & Pencil Company) A pen company located in Brooklyn, New York; founded in 1945 to supply low-priced writing instruments to department, stationery, and drug stores. Universal began by making fountain pens and mechanical pencils, expanding to the production of stylographic pens and, in the 1950s, ballpoints. Pen prices ranged from $1.00 for the Buck range of fountain and ballpoint pens (introduced in 1952) to $3.95 for the company’s top-line Uni-Flow fountain pen. The company was in business at least into the 1960s. Shown below is a V-250 fountain pen, a remarkably well made pen for its time, notable for its semi-hooded nib and polished ribbed aluminum cap.
|untipped||Describes a nib made without the addition of a hard alloy at the tips of the tines to reduce wear. See also nib, tipped, tipping material.|
(pronounced oo-roo-shee; also known as Chinese Lacquer) A remarkably durable and very glossy natural lacquer coating made from the sap of the urushi tree (native to Japan, China, and Korea). The principal ingredient is urushiol, an organic oil toxin (found in plants of the family Anacardiaceae) that hardens by absorbing moisture from the air. Urushi can be colored with pigments or dyes, as illustrated below on an ebonite pen, and it is also used as the substrate and binder for decorative techniques such as maki-e. The reddish color on the pen shown here is intentionally uneven, and it will fade with age to become redder. See also lacquer, maki-e.
(Utility Pen Company) A pen company located in Chicago, Illinois; founded in 1921 by E. J. Ontertag, G. T. Watson, and W. R. Latcham, to purchase the plant and assets of August Johnson & Company when Johnson, the only principal, decided to go into the diamond and emblem business. In 1923, the Utility company received a corporate charter; the incorporation papers indicated that its business was to manufacture and sell pens and related products. Records I have found for the company do not extend past 1929. Utility pens were lever fillers, and at least some models (including the pen shown below) were definitely made by Wahl. See also Johnson (definition 2).
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.”)
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