What's new
  • The Annual Sue Moore Auction is now running from 19 - 21 October. Every year proceeds from this auction and all monies raised go directly to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Please take a look at the items that are available this year, as there is sure to be something of interest to everyone!

Esterbrook dipless desk pen

proxy.php


I got this in the mail today, and I thought I might show it here, as some of you may have not seen this type of pen design before. I hadn't until recently, anyway.

Basically it is a dip pen, except it has a collector/feed under the nib. The base of the set comes apart and you fill it with ink, just like an ink well.

proxy.php


In the top part of the base is a reservoir containing little rods of clear nylon. This reservoir rests in the ink, and the rods suck up ink into the reservoir by capillary action.

proxy.php


When you place the pen in the base, the nib nestles into the rods, and capillary action again goes to work, sucking ink into the pens collector.

The base is therefore sealed enough to (hopefully) prevent spills, evaporation, and dust getting into the ink.

I tried the pen by just dipping the tip of the nib into an ink bottle for about ten seconds, and was able to write this page. The ink flow was still going, so I don't know how long you could write before having to recharge the nib in the base. Plenty long enough for stuff that I write, I'm thinking.

proxy.php


proxy.php


A pretty neat design.
 
Last edited:
I don't think they are that rare. There is a bit about them on the net. I found this one on Aussie ebay and yoinked it because it looked in good condition, and it was cheap enough that I could justify buying it just to satisfy my curiosity.
 
That is a great looking set-up. How does it write?

It writes just fine. The nib is possibly a little scratcher on the paper than the gold nibs on my better Parker 51's or Vacs, but certainly nothing to complain about. It lays down a thin, even line, with no skipping or anything like that.

Remember, these pens were favoured by many US senators and presidents, and there are a lot of pictures of them using them to sign important stuff. They ain't junk or a novelty.

proxy.php


proxy.php
 
Last edited:

nemo

Cheaper than ink
They're not rare, but you don't see many in that condition and usually they're missing the pen. The nibs can be swapped out.

Truman's using the standard desk pen, Johnson has a handful of the dip-less. Great pics!

Really nice score, David.
 
Thanks. It wasn't NOS. The reservoir sticks and feed were gummed up with dry ink. But it was an easy job to clean and get working again with a bit of ammonia and running water. It's all like new now.

Now I just need a larger desk.
 
Nice stuff!

I've thought of getting a desk pen but don't really need it it... If I come upon a base for a song I might. There are so many lever fillers out there it might happen some day. :)
 
I was trying to work out why LBJ had so many pens. I thought he might be playing darts with them, or something.

Nope, he signed the '64 Civil Rights Bill, using 72 of the things, and then handed them out to important people in attendance, including Martin Luther King. Found this vid.

 
Last edited by a moderator:
I've seen many of them in the wild, but none in that good of shape. I found one once that looked like an Estie 8-ball that was suspended between two arms so it swiveled forward and backward. Definitely Esterbrook marked and I've never seen another or a photo of one like it. Course they wanted around $275 for it.
 
Top Bottom