Friday, August 21, 2015

A unique Moore self-filler

When I first saw this pen at the DC show, I assumed it was a Grieshaber. The knob at the end of the barrel, the chunky cap with a fancy extra-wide band, all are distinctive features of Grieshaber hump-fillers. So much so, that when I was informed it was in fact a Moore, my initial reaction was disbelief.

Yet the barrel imprint leaves no doubt about it, and though the nib seems outsized, it too is Moore-marked.

Whereas the Grieshaber hump-filler (produced under US patent 956895 of 1910) uses an end knob to lock the hump to prevent accidental actuation of the attached pressure bar, this pen's end knob turns in place to actuate a rotating cover plate. This Moore is a sleeve-filler, with a rotating internal sleeve akin to that used by Century, as covered by Mooney's US patent 879,296 of 1908 -- the difference being that Century attached the sleeve to a rotatable section instead of a rotatable end knob. And though I have not been able to track down a patent, I have been able to find a Grieshaber sleeve-filler with the very same arrangement, though with cap and barrel proportioned more conventionally. On balance, it seems certain that this Moore was made by Grieshaber, an experimental venture into self-fillers for a company built on safety pens.


I have collected Moores for many years, concentrating on unusual mechanisms and configurations. Models that others marvel at -- Twistouts, ink-pellet pens, stylographic safeties, safety-like sleeve-fillers with sliding sleeves, cutaway demonstrators -- I've seen and owned them all. This Moore, however, is something completely new to me, and a wonderful reminder of how many discoveries remain to be made in our field of collecting.


David Johannsen said...

As I, too, love both Moore's and obscure and eventually unsuccessful filling mechanisms, this post was a delight to read. Like you, I feel that it's these discoveries that make the hobby a delight - I know that, no matter how long I stay in the hobby, I will again see something that I hadn't previously suspected. For me, it was several years ago that I came across a Century (Whitewater, Wisc) marked pen that used the Welty/Evans hump filler - sadly, I could only manage to be the runner-up on the auction. Again, thank you for posting this discovery.

David said...

Was that Century mottled, by any chance?

David Johannsen said...

I was only the runner-up at eBay and it was several years ago, but my recollection is that the pen was black chased HR.

David said...

I have a mottled example, bought on eBay December 2002.

David Johannsen said...

It could be that my memory is flawed, but I'm sure that the auction in which I missed out was later than 2002 (I was still pretty new to the hobby in 2002). I would love to see a photograph of your pen at some point.