In the beginning, there was 130 years pens were made of hard rubber. They usually consisted of 5 rooms in all and for all. A body, a section, a pipe and a cap, turned in ebony, and often carved and polished bars when she was black. Only the pen was made of gold. The common characteristic of these two materials is their outstanding corrosion resistance of the ink. If there are still manufactured ebonite pens, it is a rather marginal production for collectors.
Ebonite is made from vulcanized rubber. It was black or burnt orange in the early history of the pen. Soon, the two colors are mixed to reveal patterns "mottled", "woodgrain" or "ripple" according to American terminology in use in the world of collectors. Ebonite is easy on the hand. It offers excellent heat exchange and feels warm to the touch of a finger. Well polished, it is soft to the touch.It is a lightweight material, and old hard rubber pens often surprised by their very contained mass. Among the defects of hard rubber, there is its relative sensitivity to blows (especially the cap lip which can then split a microcrack) and its tendency to become dull to air and light. Polishing is often not enough to restore its original appearance, especially with regard to black ébonites that become dull brown. Just in principle to limit light exposure to reduce the risk of occurrence of such a phenomenon. Finally, we emphasize that the Ebonite is recognized by the camphor smell it gives off, especially when rubbed with a finger. This is a good way to distinguish the Ebonite celluloid. Test, you will feel!
Cellulose acetate or cellulose nitrate and camphor, this material comes in manufacturing pens in early 1920. It is Sheaffer's that will ensure wide dissemination. The new material allows mineral effects, pearlescent, making pens that use this area of real jewelry.The use of celluloid also allows manufacturers to vary the forms and it is Sheaffer's that launched the fashion aerodynamic pens with the famous Balance in 1929. Celluloid is usually turned, while the cheapest pens appeal to rhodoïd A celluloid sheet rolled to form a spiral tube and pasted with acetone. These have a tendency to deformation, in particular under the action of heat. In the 1950s, celluloid was gradually abandoned in favor of the injected resin. Celluloid is highly flammable effect, making his delicate work. Some colors are also sensitive to light and solvent ink or camphor pocket rubber and willingly fade or crystallize. With the development of limited series, celluloid reappeared in the world of pen and there are now models in this area.
They gradually replaced other materials.They are synthetic and have several advantages, particularly in the manufacturing process of the pens. Thus, the resins are less flammable than celluloid. They are heat-molded or injected, which allows to vary the forms. Thanks to a careful polishing, they reach a high degree of gloss. They are also less fragile principle that ebonite or celluloid and chemically more stable. They are therefore less subject to deformation or discoloration as celluloid. If they have not yet reached the aesthetic perfection of some celluloid, they offer great variations and a wide range of colors or pearlescence. Should be added to those materials that are most commonly found, other "plastic" materials such as galalith, made from milk casein, or Bakelite, the first synthetic plastic. Some pens were using these plastics in the years 1930-1940.
Another material used for the manufacture of caps and bodies: wood.It is natural, wood has been used for quite some time (1980s) and profane often take for ébonites veined wood while no former pen is made of wood (proof of quality imitation!). The problem with wood is its stability over time, especially due to variations in the degree of humidity. The cracking phenomenon is even more risky than the walls of the pens are very thick. Manufacturers have often turned to the exotic (ebony, olive, rosewood, wenge, rosewood, snakewood, etc.). Care must be taken not to stain the wood with ink or sweat fingers, and some homes have treated their wood before use.
The pens are painted on metal (usually brass) or ebony (especially in the case of Japanese urushi lacquer pens). The lacquer has undeniable aesthetic benefits.Industrial paints major European houses are generally bright and varied colors, while Japanese lacquers are often applied by hand, in any case with respect to high-end models. They then offer an incomparable brilliance, and a "thick" for creating reliefs, or include powder gold or pearl.
The old pens were sometimes embellished with a gold trim, silver or gold plated or pearl panels. A sleeve lace a new art or art deco motif or simply guilloche, had put on a body and a hard rubber cap. These beautiful and sought after by collectors models are rare today. Ebonite is sometimes discolored and tarnished and silver patina. This patina may temporarily disappear by rubbing the pen with a cloth dampened in a product intended for the maintenance of silverware.
Recent years have seen manufacturers expressed an interest in technological materials, such as technical ceramics, titanium, modern steel or carbon fiber.These materials generally have high strength combined with an impressive lightness (titanium or carbon fiber). It is Parker who led the way in 1964 with the famous T1, titanium. The offer has multiplied, although it is often reserved for limited series.
Some pens are finally in gold, silver or plated on brass. Gold is susceptible to scratches, silver oxidation. These pens are also handled with care to avoid falls that often result in bumps on the metal. It should be remembered that gold and silver are still stamped in France and have a count of 18K (750/1000) or 14K (525/1000) for gold, 950/1000 for money.
The materials of the pen
If we talk about gold ... it is essential to talk about the pen. If the ink is the vital fluid, the pen that is the central body of the pen ... The pen is the only common element between the fountain pen and the pen of the nineteenth century.The history of the pen back to a time well before the invention of the fountain pen by Lewis Edson Waterman, as the first feathers for writing back to antiquity. But it was not only during the nineteenth century, the manufacture of feathers in gold or steel takes industrial proportions, especially in England. Naturally enough, the first manufacturer of pens, from the 1880s, resumed identical to those used on the pen feathers. However, they are generally simpler forms. The pen draws the eye, gold often used fascinates ... It is the pen which runs on paper and that is the true medium of your mind. When handwriting gets involved, it examines the changes in pressure that only a pen betrays.