Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Dating a Waterman instruction sheet

George Kovalenko has been trying for some time to pin down exactly when Waterman first offered pens in red hard rubber. He has managed to narrow down the likely point of introduction to somewhere between November 1906 and February 1907, as is explained on his pen history blog. So when the pen below crossed my path, the instruction sheet accompanying it caught my eye as fitting neatly into this chronology.

The pen is a smooth 0512 1/2, in a Christmas box with a gift inscription dated 1910. The instruction sheet gives much space to promoting the new "Clip-Cap", and from the way the clip is represented and from the range of materials offered, the date must be right around 1906.

This is also consistent with the listing of spare parts on the same sheet, shown below. Parts are listed as plain, chased, or mottled -- Cardinal is not mentioned. Both #3 and #7-size pens are still in the lineup, as are the desk pens (eyedroppers with long, tapered barrels, too long to be carried in a pocket).

Intriguingly, the parts list includes two models I have never seen nor heard of, oversize taper-caps in #7 and #8-size.

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