Saturday, April 29, 2023

What's in a name? The Moore Fingertip

Collectors have long wondered about the naming of the Moore Fingertip. The streamlined nib assembly echoes the aesthetics of airplanes and rockets -- so why "Fingertip" (or "Finger Tip")?

Nearly thirty years ago I completely took apart a Fingertip nib assembly, and it immediately struck me that the "fingertip" reference might well have been to the design's feed. You don't really see it from the patent drawings, so I've been waiting until I had another Fingertip apart so I could finally photograph the parts properly so viewers can judge for themselves.

A few caveats: Moore ads don't explain the Fingertip name, nor does the utility patent despite its unusually discursive descriptive text. For now this is a bit of a guess: that at some point in the design's evolution, the resemblance of the feed's narrow end to a fingertip pressing against the underside of the nib was noted and the name stuck.