Friday, October 11, 2013

Stylomine 303 self-filling safety

After an absence of too many years, I was back in Europe last week for the Hamburg and London pen shows. Travel is broadening when it comes to collecting, too. Had I never left the USA, I would probably never have learned about the pen featured here -- nor, finally, have had the opportunity to acquire one.

While to all outward appearances a normal black hard rubber French safety, it is nothing but. Instead of a turning knob at the end of the barrel, there is a blind cap. Turn it counterclockwise -- the opposite direction the end knob of a safety is turned -- and the nib extends from the barrel. Keep turning, and the blind cap comes off, revealing a rubber bulb. No eyedropper required: this safety can be filled from a bottle by itself. Note that the barrel threads are set back from the barrel mouth more than is usual, allowing the mouth to be dipped into ink for filling without getting ink into the threads.

As far as I know, these pens were sold almost entirely in France, yet they are very rare even there. A solution in search of a problem, perhaps -- but a wonderful bit of gadgetry! Coincidentally, a European pen friend was able to acquire another example just a couple of weeks ago, in mottled hard rubber with a gold filled overlay.


Anonymous said...

Thank you. I have always been faintly attracted to Stylomine but your blog entry has made it stronger. Fascinating mechanism indeed.
PS: Is the cap lip shortened or the clip not original to the pen?

David said...

It is relatively uncommon, but there are pens such as this with clips that extend past the cap.