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Large Lever-Filler

Maker: Imperial

We have here, I think, an unusual case of a major manufacturer lifting a name from a third-tier pen maker.  Sheaffer made the name Imperial famous with its line of pens with elegant inlaid points.  This pen is not one of those, but a pen of an earlier style made by a company called Imperial.  This presents something of a conundrum for researching the pen online, since pretty much all of the material one finds is about the Sheaffer model rather than the low-key manufacturer.

So, what do I have to contribute?  A single datum, really.  If this pen is typical of their production, Imperial tried to live up to the name while sticking to a budget.  Apart from simple bigness, the pen is well made and the fittings seem to be resisting wear quite well.  The point, which was is marked “Warranted” and almost certainly made out of house, is a pleasant semi-flex number– no good for carbons, but nice to write with.  The failings are small, too, as the most notable one is an amazingly stiff pressure bar, which seems to threaten the lever on each filling.  The feed is a pretty primitive item, too,  without a ridge or comb in sight to help control ink flow.  I hope that this was not a pen they tried to charge a lot for, and I don’t expect it was– if they had pretentions of greatness, there’d be more evidence of them left to find.  Heck, even Wearever is more accessible, and their pens are marginal indeed compared to this one.

Production Run: An almost pure guess; c. 1940 – c. 1955

Cost When New:  Um… cheap?  Yeah.  Cheap.

Size: 14.0 cm long capped, 17.1 cm posted.

Point: 14k gold.

Body: Likely polystyrene.

Filler: Lever.  I sold this pen long before checking capacity occurred to me, but it should be in the area of 1.0 ml.

An Imperial pen. Which empire is an open question. This image is not to scale with other portaits.



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