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Artist’s Safety Pen

Maker: Art Brown (but not really)

This is a rather later example of the safety pen.  I say this not because of any known date on it, but because of the efforts to emulate other pens of a known era.  The clip looks very like a 1940’s Waterman, while the conical jewels at either end are very like what high-end Parker Vacumatics were wearing in the late ’30s and early ’40s.  I will admit to a bit of confusion about the exact dating– if the clip is in fact meant to look like a Waterman, it almost has to be 1940s, but as it’s made in Japan and being retailed by an American store, it also certainly can’t be from any point between 1942 and 1945.  I have seen pictures of this pen with the clip marked “BOSEN”, but that hasn’t produced any real leads.  Assuming I’m anywhere near the correct date, this is a very late manifestation of a mechanism that most companies had abandoned by 1930.

There are no hints on the box as to precise date.  Since Art Brown is still a going concern, I suppose I could write them and see if they still have records, but it’s more fun and less effort to speculate (update;  well, that stopped being true in 2013).  Also a point of speculation is why the box calls this pen, which even by 1935 was desperately outdated technology, an “Artists’ Pen”– my currently competing theories are: it was cheap enough for an artist to afford (the $4.95 on the box is in ball-point, and obviously not contemporary with the pen); artists have an awareness of their tools and won’t hold it the wrong way up during the dangerous transitional moments; nobody thinks twice about an artist who’s covered in ink.

Production Run: Updates as they occur– somewhere between 1930 and 1950.

Size: 12.0 cm long capped, 14.8 cm posted, 11.7 cm uncapped and deployed (9.9 cm with the point run in).

Point: It’s stamped “Highgrade Superior Ideal Pen”, so it must be good, but I rather think it’s plated steel.

Body: Celluloid.

Filler: Eyedropper, capacity approx. 1.5 ml.

A small black pen with a gold (tone) point

The Art Brown Safety Pen

With the point run in, you can tell there’s no ink in it– because it would all be coming out now.

Not exactly a “presentation box”, but it’s neat all the same.

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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