It is always nice when someone decides to share. And when the thing shared is pen information, it is beyond nice: it’s a public service.
We were browsing through our favourite host of online information, the Internet Archive and came across the fruits of some generous soul’s labour: high quality scans of vintage fountain pen & pencil documents. Catalogues and service manuals for some of the biggest names in the pen business. These are all public domain items, some in full colour, and represent a very valuable collection.
The importance of this information cannot be understated. We can often pinpoint the age of a pen by it’s appearance in a catalogue. Or, we may be able to determine exactly which pen would have gone with which desk base. We have discovered the exact length of the neck ribbons originally supplied by Waterman. The list goes on, and that’s just the catalogues!
The real treasure is in the service manuals. Detailed breakdowns of pens. Step-by-step instructions as to repair methods. Illustrations of tools designed & provided by the manufacturers. This information is a lifeline for old pens.
So our thanks goes out to the kind soul who, rather than hoarding this informationor choosing to profit by selling itchose to enrich us all. We will be monitoring archive.org closely; if this generous soul sees fit to add more documents, we will update our list here.
The documents are posted to archive.org in groupings, which are not chronological and are named a bit oddly. We have decided to list them a little more intuitively here, so it’s easier to find what you are specifically interested in. It should be noted that the documents are available in a number of formats. Our headings here are linked to the corresponding archive.org conglomeration pages, while the individual documents listed are directly hot-linked to the pdf copies of the publications, directly on the host servers (a practice which is, incidentally, highly encouraged by the folks hosting the files).
- Pens Catalogue1898
- Pens Catalogue1918
- Pens Catalogue1923
- Pens Catalogue (in full colour)1929
- Service Manuals:
- 1920 (Duofold, 4 p.)
- 1933 Vacumatic, 11 p.)
- 1934 (Duofold Pens & Pencils, 10 p.)
- 1935 (Vacumatic Pens, Pencils &
Desk Sets, 35p.)
- 1936 (Duofold & Vacumatic Pens,
Pencils & Desk Sets, 39p.)
- 1939 (Duofold & Vacumatic Pens,
Pencils & Desk Sets, 41p.)
- c.1960 (Duofold, Challenger, Vacumatic,
“51“, & “21“ Pens, Pencils & Desk Sets;
tools list, parts & sizes chart; 79p.)
- Pens Catalogue1890
- Pens Catalogue1892
- Pens Catalogue1897
- Pens Catalogue1902
- Pens Catalogue1908
- Pens Catalogue1914
- Pens Catalogue (in full colour)1918
- Pens Catalogue1919
- Pens Catalogue (in full colour)1925
- Desk Sets Catalogue (in full colour)1928
- Pens Catalogue (in full colour)1933
- Desk Sets Catalogue1933
- Pens Catalogue (in full colour)1936
- Desk Sets Catalogue (in full colour)1937
- Pens Catalogue1947