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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.  Also a point of speculation is why the box calls this pen, which even by 1935 was desperately outdated technology, an “Artists’ Pen”– my currently competing theories are: it was cheap enough for an artist to afford (the $4.95 on the box is in ball-point, and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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