Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Un-Conklins

Long after Conklin had abandoned the venerable crescent filling system in favor of conventional lever filling pens, the company continued to use the Mooney clip, although it was modified and reshaped a few times:


At the top in this picture is the bulbous, beefy incarnation of the Mooney clip, complete with the patent date. The bottom example has the more streamlined version of the same clip, as it evolved through the late 1930s into the Nozac era – this one shows up in the 1937 catalog as the pearl and gold "mosaic" pencil, which accompanied a lower-line lever filler pen.

The middle two, however, are a little unusual in that they are not marked "Conklin" anywhere – instead, they have a tiny crescent at the top of the clip and the Mooney patent number. The "reptilian" colors (grey, gold and "foliage") are shown in the 1937 catalog as well, accompanying Conklin’s "All American Sac-less Vacuum Pen." The webbed pattern is probably a year or two earlier and also accompanied a lower-priced line.

A few weeks ago, I saw this one in an online auction for a small group of pencils, and even though I thought I had one, I had to throw in a bid because it was too darned pretty and too darned cheap:


This one sports the clip with just the Mooney patent number and the small crescent-shaped design at the top of the clip.


Yes, I did have another blue one, but the other one has the more streamlined clip marked "Conklin":


Shown more from the side, the Conklin marked clip is more tapered and fits closer to the barrel:


And while the new example with the Mooney patent on the clip is otherwise unmarked, the Conklin-marked example has an interesting imprint on the side of the barrel:

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