Friday, October 19, 2012

Kraker: a look inside

Krakers are uncommon pens, and mottled hard rubber examples are every bit as hard to find as their Sheaffer brethren. This one recently came to us in unrestored condition, rather dirty but well preserved.
The one area of damage was the section, which had some rather aggressive plier marks. Someone clearly had a hard time opening up this pen -- and the reason became apparent once we had the pen apart.
Look at the picture above, and you'll see that the part of the section that fits inside the barrel mouth has a shallow, round-bottomed slot. This mates with a raised, round-topped rib inside the barrel mouth, visible below (click on the images to enlarge them, if these features are hard to make out). Those who like to twist sections when extracting them could find themselves in trouble with this design, and even with a standard straight wiggle-out, the rib-and-slot construction makes the joint more resistant to manipulation.
In compensation, the barrel mouth is not so easy to break as one might think. Though it is hard to see in the picture, the mouth is metal-lined. This is a construction method best known from Wahl-Eversharp pens of the later 1920s and 1930s (though not used on all their models), but very much the exception on hard rubber pens of this era.

NOTE: Although Walter A. Sheaffer later had harsh words for his former partner, George Kraker's contribution to the initial success of the Sheaffer pen company was considerable. You can read more about the story here.

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