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Hard rubber button filler

Maker: Long Life.

As with the pen’s maker, I find this pen a bit of an enigma.  The person who sold it to me declares it to be a Chinese-made pen from sometime in the 1950s, and as they live in that part of the world and have little in the way of profit motive to make stuff up (look at how little I paid for it), I could and should accept that.  The point and feed are certainly consistent with low-end American pens of that time, particularly Esterbrooks; it in fact looks quite a lot like a J Series in profile.  However, it is still very rubbery-smelling, and that sort of thing usually fades after a decade or so.

The reason I bought it, blank mystery that it is, is that it is an interesting late example of black hard rubber, it has an attractive double-jewel decoration, and I rather dig button fillers.

Update: a reader sends me this information, which at very least confirms the company name, and which I find quite helpful in toto

  • Chinese characters on the clip means “long life”.
  • Chinese characters on the point means “super”,”long life” and “factory of long life”.
  • “super” indicate the size is “super fine” or “extra fine”.

I am also in awe of the ability to make out the impressions so well from my marginal photographs.

Production Run: I’ll say the 1950s for now, unless you tell me otherwise.

Cost When New: No clue, unless it is new.  In that case, it cost me $10.

Size: 12.4 cm long capped, 15.3 cm posted, 11.4 cm uncapped.

Point: Steel

Body: Hard rubber.

Filler: Button, capacity approx. 0.7 ml

It certainly looks like pens of the early 1950s… or the 1940s.

Love that double-jewel look! I’m also intrigued by the slightly matte finish of the rubber, as I can’t decide if it was that way from the start or if this is a sign of oxidation.

Some day I’ll sit down with an on-line stroke-counting Chinese dictionary and figure out what this actually says (or, I’ll look at the updated material above).

The point impression is definitely in Chinese. Assuming that the Kanji I’ve looked at hasn’t departed too much from the Chinese, there doesn’t appear to be a size indication involved. I am willing to be proven wrong in this (and so I was, as shown in the update).



If you are relying on the preceding information to win a bet or impress a teacher, you should read the site’s scholarly caveat. Remember, this is the internet, and it’s full of bad information.

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