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Dollar Pen

Maker: Evans

The primary attribute of this pen is the filler.  A hump filler is to a crescent filler much like a small sphere of dough is to a doughnut; rather than an open crescent with a locking ring on the inside, it has a small closed (roughly) crescent-shaped protrusion with a locking ring aside it.  This very small difference is apparently enough to dodge patent-infringement lawsuits.  It was designed by a chap named William Welty in 1906, who got sued over it by the Conklin pen company– the suit was decided in his favour.

The Welty Pen Company became Evans in 1915, after funding appeared from a fellow of that name, and this pen was produced for the next two years or so as a sort of Volkswagen (in the original sense of the name) of pens– at a dollar, the price stamped into the barrel, it was within the reach of most people who wanted a pen.  Apart from the reasonably reliable filler, there is not much here to shout about.  It’s small, and thus has a limited ink capacity, the point is the sort of thin thing that Sheaffer’s Lifetime line was a response to, and the slip cap lacks even an inner cap to prevent point drying.  It is a sort of exemplar of the early cheap pen– not demonstrably bad, but nothing to write home about.

Subjectively speaking, this is far and away the most elderly pen I own; it may not be chronologically the oldest, but it feels old in the hand, like something made of air and nostalgia rather than rubber.

Production Run: c. 1915 – c. 1917

Cost when new: $1.00 (for modern value, try this calculator)

Size: 13.9 cm long capped, 16.9 cm posted, 11.9 cm uncapped.

Point: 14k gold

Body: Chased black rubber.

Filler: Hump, capacity approx. 0.6 ml.

The Evans Dollar Pen. This one has a medium point with some nice flex characteristics which empty the reservoir in no time.



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