Posted in Restoration

Stylograph Black

Stylographic pens, sometimes called “stylos”, have a writing tip made of a metal tube with a fine wire inside to regulate ink flow. Stylos were the first mass-produced fountain pens to achieve broad market success. Duncan MacKinnon, a Canadian druggist patented his “ink pencil” in Canada in 1875, followed by Alonzo Cross patenting his “stylographic pen” which held its own ink in 1880.

Company Back Story

The Inkograph Company aka Ink-O-Graph, is a pen manufacturer founded in 1914 by brothers Joseph and William F. Wallace of New York City. The company produced Inkograph stylographic pens, Leadograph mechanical pencils, and Wallace fountain pens. Their products were retailed primarily by F. W. Woolworth & Co. In the 1930s, the company introduced its own brand of open-nib pens under the Ink-D-Cator brand. After Parker released the “51”, Inkograph followed suit. Inkograph was purchased in 1952 by the Risdon Manufacturing Company of Naugatuck, Connecticut, continuing operations into 1962.

My Pen

Is a black celluloid Model 70-200 dating from the 1940s. It is a lever-fill model with a weighted gravity feed wire. When the wire comes in contact with the paper, it is pushed inward allowing the ink to flow. The wire assembly is weighted at the opposite end and should move freely, but it doesn’t move at all. Spoiler alert, this becomes an adventure.

Infographic 70-200

The pen looks good in this picture, all accents – cap clip, cap ring, and lever are gold plated showing little to no brassing.

Refurbishment

I made an effort to ascertain if it was made of celluloid acetate, celluloid nitrate, a resin, or even ebonite. I’m settling on celluloid nitrate as there is a faint tell-tale odor. Using a Sunshine cloth, the pen received a good surface cleaning. The gold plate polished up nicely without removing any finish.

After a working the cloth, I realized the “stuff” on the pen was still … on the pen. SURPISE! It appears to me that the finish has been damaged resulting in a pitted surface and discoloration. +#$%&*

Since the wire is stuck and protruding from the tube, I removed the tube/nib assembly from the section. Discovering that the weighted wire structure is broken free of the weight which is lodged in the section. It is possible that by removing the tube/nib assembly I am responsible for the damage, but there was no other way. I removed the wire from the tube, it is bent but repairable.

Next, I removed the section from the barrel. SURPRISE! Someone had installed an ink sac that was a fraction of the length needed to reach the pressure bar. Not to mention it was rotting. With the ink sac removed, access to the weight was easy.

Using a thin screwdriver inserted into the section from the ink side I pushed out the weight and SURPRISE! The weight was coated in a plastic shell, which had split repeatedly and now gave off an odor reminiscent of vomit. Fortunately, a little soap and water eliminated most of the odor. I was successful in sanding down the malformations created by the splits in the plastic coating. The weight was not perfectly shaped but almost free-flowing within the section. SURPRISE, a large portion of the plastic covering broke off. @#$%&*

What all this means is I have not finished my refurbishment. I will probably leave the surface issues as is, but I am considering recoating the weight. Here lies my issue. What do I coat it with that I can be comfortable will not damage the writing wire, dissolve in ink, or damage the section? The latter I believe is celluloid acetate or a resin.

Vital Statistics

  • Capped length 119mm
  • Uncapped length 111mm
  • Barrel diameter 12mm
  • Cap diameter 13mm
  • Weighs in at 16g
COPYRIGHT © 2021-2022 DANNY WATTS and CHRONICLES OF A FOUTAIN PEN.

Author:

I'm a loser as my wife likes to tell me, I enjoy researching dead cousins and playing with fountain pens.

8 thoughts on “Stylograph Black

    1. Thank you for the comments. Pen manufacturers dating all the way back to 1900 have always been proud of their pens and where they were made. I use a Parker dating back to 1928 on a daily basis. On the side of the pen is basic info, the manufacturer, a logo, and Janesville, Wis. Vintage pen nibs usually indicate where they were made, NYC was a popular place back in the day.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That makes tweo of us – I’ve learned a lot playing with them. Back in the day they made stuff from some amazing things including milk proteins, tire rubber, tree fibers (these are highly flammable). It has been educational.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Good to read you are getting to know your ‘tell tale’ signs from ongoing renovation applications. Those styles? Even though more modern than your vintage ownerships, I have never had one that worked under my own application. The graphos pens, Rotring and Pelikan, are my faves for steering away from general fountain pen models. Great read as always. The odours involved sound like a mask is in order. But then you wouldn’t build on your olfactory ‘tell tale’ signs to add to your knowledge mind book of newly found and now future recognisable materials. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

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