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Maker: Pelikan.

By the start of the 1950s, Pelikan may be said to have gotten its legs back under it.  This model is rather more like the previous 100, and even more like the preceding Ibis, than it is like the 400, which was Pelikan’s equivalent of a Tarzan-yell challenge to the rest to the world’s pen makers.  The 140 was more of a friendly announcement that they were not going to abandon the reasonably-priced end of the market.

Like pretty much any Pelikan made after they gave up on cork as a piston seal, this is a highly reliable pen except in one particular.  The threaded collar which holds the point and feed (and which allows easy swapping of points, in the same manner as Esterbrook, but rather more model-specific), is given to crazing and falling to bits.  Some pen repairers (not me) are able to fabricate new collars.  I understand that Pelikan can also be convinced to do this, but it’s a lot easier for people living in Germany than others. Update: There is a commercial replacement collar available from Custom Pen Parts in the UK; you still need a little manual skill to open the inner diameter up to admit point and feed, since it’s not meant specifically for this model, but it’s certainly easier than making one yourself.

Production Run: 1952 – 1965

Cost When New: The advertised price in 1956 was 16.50DM, which was about the same at that time as $4.00 (for modern value, try this calculator, but that’s quite a bargain).  The price was the same in the 1964 catalogue. Update: I have been told, without any details, that the Deutschemark was artificially undervalued for a long time after the war; prices on exported pens were probably more in line with those of similarly-featured competitors, but the price and exchange right above are more or less right in Germany.

Size: 12.5 cm long capped, 14.1 cm posted, 11.2 cm uncapped.

Point: 14k gold

Body: Here again I’m at a stand; I want to say celluloid based on looks and a single unconfirmed (but reputable) source, but given the time of production some other petro-plastic is more likely.  I’m not going to hold one over a candle to see whether it explodes or just melts to find out. Update: I reconsider my stance on this, since some modern Pelikan barrels are still made from celluloid– it’s likely celluloid acetate, given the lack of suggestive smell.

Filler: Piston, capacity approx. 1.0 ml

A dreadfully brassed example of the Pelikan 140. This is essentially what comes to my imagination when someone says “Pelikan”.



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