Posted in Pens, Restoration, Stories

Gold Starry pens “le stylo qui marche”

Company Backstory

Gold Starry can trace its origins back to 1909 with the marketing of Conway Stewart fountain pens in France, under the Gold Star brand name. This resulted in a trademark violation, thus in 1912 the name was changed to Gold Starry, staying true to the English origin of the pen. The first pens sold by Gold Starry were black hard rubber or mottled safeties. These pens were eyedropper filler safety fountain pens, identified by two digits (models 36 & 39), indicating the price in francs.

At the beginning of the 1920s, fountain pen production began in a pavilion on the outskirts of Paris. Gold Starry became a wholly-owned French pen manufacturer, thus ending the import of English pens. The company adopted the slogan “le stylo qui marche” (the pen that works).

During the war, the company suffered through the occupation, having an English brand name only made matters worse. After the war, quality issues plagued production and market share fell with the introduction of the ballpoint pens. Gold Starry responded by introducing cartridge fountain pens and participating in 1959 consortium for the production of the “Visor Pen.”

Gold Starry managed to survive these crisis periods by supplementing their production lines, entering the world of luxury office accessories (with calendars, rulers, letter openers) and a successful line of luxury ballpoint pens, all produced using gold-plated metal. World events intervened yet again, this time the company felt the effects of rising gold prices, thus their products being prohibitively expensive. This crisis proved too much and Gold Starry was shuttered in 1980.

Model 256, retractable eyedropper

In 1925, Gold Starry introduced the 256 and the 257 Loaded safety models. On the barrel of each is engraved their trademark star, dotted rings on the clipless cap and barrel. This pen and the 257 model are unique in that on the barrel is imprinted “Manufacture Francaise,” while later models spelling is “Fabrication Francaise”

The Eyedropper Filler System

Has been around since the earliest years of fountain pens, and is pretty simple. There are 2 methods used to fill an eyedropper pen: the section is removed from the barrel and an eyedropper is used to squirt ink into the barrel, afterward the section is reinserted in the barrel. It is very important that the section is securely inserted in the barrel.

To fill a retractable safety pen, the nib is retracted, again ink is squirted into the barrel using an eyedropper. In both cases, the barrel must always be in the upright position, otherwise the ink will pour out the open barrel – duh.

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