If you want to stop reading at the end of this sentence, I can summarize this pen: adequate. The Pennant was Wearever’s popular pen in the 1950s, and as was their regular practice they found the exact balance of cheapness of build and cost to the buyer that kept anyone from feeling that they hadn’t got their money’s worth out of the thing and kept the pace of sales brisk. This is the very balancing act which Parker failed with the Reflex a half-century later, and at much the same price-point.
Unlike their usual act of chasing one of the big makers with a low-cost look-alike, and it seems the Pennant was more of a direct challenge to another low-cost maker: Esterbrook. While the Pennant did not look much like the J Series pens, the points were marked with numbers and width grades in a manner very similar to Esterbrook’s. They were also sold as having interchangible points, although the “unit” was a complete section with a sac attached; the intentional ease of dismantling this offered makes repairs relatively easy on the Pennant, if one is actually moved to repair such a thing.
Fitted with Wearever’s slightly horrid plastic feed, this pen’s performance is not up to the same level as Esterbrook’s, but not enough so that it is a crippling handicap. The points are smooth enough, and in many cases have a little metal bar over the slit which adds visual interest; it seems it was meant to slow drying out, but that’s an extremely optimistic thought. They are, I’ll grant, a relatively hardy pen, and will stand a fair amount of abuse and remain functional. Cosmetically, the thin, soft aluminum wrapper on the cap is frequently scraped and corroded into hideousness; this doesn’t affect how it works, but it does reduce willingness to be seen using it.
Update: I have had it pointed out to me that for a long time I have been misidentifying what appears to be a cartridge-filling version of this pen as a cartridge-filling version of this pen– it isn’t. That pen is called the Saber, and I apologize for promulgating an error for as long as I have.
Production Run: c. 1950 – c. 1963.
Cost When New: $1.00 (for modern value, try this calculator).
Size: 14.0 cm long capped, 15.8 cm posted, 12.4 cm uncapped.
Filler: Lever, capacity approx. 0.7 ml
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.