As this the maker, most of what I offer here is speculative, rather like trying to discover the meaning in Neanderthal grave-goods. I take the name from the point, which is stamped “Orbit Special Pen”. This, and only this, suggests something made in the late 1950s or early ’60s, since the Space Race caused a lot of stuff to get vaguely suggestive labels (in much the same way as there’s a lot of “cyber-” and “nano-” stuff around now).
Apart from that, the materials push for a dating in the 1940s, when plastics were new, exciting, and given to shrinkage, while the shape something one might have seen any time after about 1935. The extremely imitative black jewel in the picture follows Parkers, and the clip is rather like a “sword” clip used in Japanese pens of a similar vintage (before you get too perplexed– think tsurugi rather than katana) which may reinforce the notion of Pacific Rim production. Use of the word “Empire” on the impression gives one the idea that it was made before the late 1940s, when England began to dismantle its empire, and that it was almost certainly not made in England but hoped to be sold there.
Now, I feel I may have offended Australian pride, something I would never wish to do. If you want to give me a lesson in the indigenous pens of great southern continent, you need merely write and you’ll find a willing student.
Production Run: c. 1935 – c. 1960
Cost When New: Cheap.
Size: 10.9 cm long capped, 12.8 cm posted, 9.9 cm uncapped.
Point: Plated steel (the plating has since been polished away).
Filler: Lever, capacity approx. 0.5 ml.
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