Lever filler

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This page is a translated version of the page Lever filler and the translation is 100% complete.

Filling systems

The lever filler is probably the filling system most common among vintage pens (and has also been used, as a form of revival, by some modern manufacturers). Introduced massively to the market in 1912 by Sheaffer, who has always proclaimed its invention, it has been produced in countless variations and versions, many of which, often technically inferior, have been created only to circumvent the patent (nº US-896861) that covered the invention of Walter Sheaffer that originated in 1908.

Diagram of a pen with lever filler

In fact, the ancestry of Sheaffer is seriously under discussion; in fact, there are previous versions of this loading system, a Swedish Johansson patent from 1898 and an American Barnes patent (nº US-726495) from 1903, the presence of which has allowed other companies, such as Waterman, to use variants of the same system. However, the success of the system and its enormous diffusion can be attributed to the massive investments of Sheaffer.

In the case of the Sheaffer patent the mechanism involves the compression of the sac using a lever that press on an elastic metal bar (the so-called spring bar) shaped like a "J", this one is inserted in the body of the pen with the curved part towards the bottom so as to make to adhere the straight part on the barrel of the pen, in correspondence of the lever. In many cases the pressure on the sac is not directly exerted by the spring bar that is hooked to a pressure bar which is the one that is pressed against the bag.

In the rest position the lever is placed horizontally in a slot in the side of the pen body. In the original version of Sheaffer it was held in place by a thin metal pin that crossed it centrally, inserted directly into the shaft of the pen, which was drilled for the occasion. Lifting the lever from one side the other side pushes down the pressure bar, which thus compresses the sac.

As mentioned above, there are several different versions of this mechanism. For example, Waterman, in order to circumvent Sheaffer's patent, introduced, based on Barnes's patent, a lever pivoted directly inside a metal cage that contained the entire mechanism. This in turn was fixed with fins to the pen, using as housing a special slit created in the barrel side.

A more efficient system, later used by other producers including Sheaffer itself, requires the lever to be held in place by a metal ring through it. This is inserted inside the pen and maintained in position by means of a special groove, made internally on the barrel in correspondence with the lateral opening from which the lever itself is housed. This system has the considerable advantage of greater mechanical strength, since it does not require drilling holes for the pin in the material of the barrel, which in ebonite pens was often quite fragile.

Other variations of the system concern the way in which the lever exerts pressure on the sac: for example the Eversharp did not use a flexible bar but a flat bar with the sides folded like a "U", anchored on a hook on the bottom of the pen. The lever was equipped on the external end with two tips that went to fit in the rail obtained from the folding of the bar, so as to raise it to the rest position after filling, furthermore to keep the lever locked in the rest position, it was equipped with small protrusions that went to fit into special recesses created in the housing slit.

The Conklin with the Endura introduced a version in which only half of the lever being lifted was exposed externally, reducing the size of the slit on the barrel. Moreover, the mechanism used by Conklin, like that one of Eversharp, did not use a spring bar, but a pressure bar was stuck directly to the lever by means of two small hooks inside it, which went to fit into a special hook on the bar.

Another noteworthy variant of the system is the one of Carter, derived from a patent (nº US-1209978) of the De Witt-La France, which has a sort of "leash" attached to the lever that prevents it from tipping over once it has reached the vertical position, in order to avoid damage to the pen and the system.

Finally, a particular version is the one of the Eversharp Skyline, which could also be classified as a breather tube filler. In this case, in fact, inside the rubber sac there is a breather tube, and the spring bar is very short and aimed at compressing only the final part of the bag. The pen is loaded by repeating the pressure action several times with the lever, using the classic principle of the breather tube filler. Similar to this, even if realized in a completely different way, is the Waterman Ink-Vue.

Related Patents

  • Patent n° US-726495, of 1903-04-28, requested on 1902-11-22, of John S. Barnes, Waterman. Fountain-pen.
  • Patent n° US-1124750, of 1915-01-12, requested on 1914-02-27, of Joseph A. Kracker, Kraker. Fountain-pen.
  • Patent n° US-1156748, of 1915-10-12, requested on 1915-03-19, of Edwin F. Britten, Waterman. Spring and presser-bar for fountain-pens.
  • Patent n° GB-191505790, of 1915-11-18, requested on 1914-08-17, of William I. Ferris, Edwin F. Britten, Waterman. Improvements in Self-filling Fountain Pens.
  • Patent n° US-1170825, of 1916-02-08, requested on 1914-11-30, of Joseph A. Kracker, Kraker. Fountain-pen.
  • Patent n° US-1176529, of 1916-03-21, requested on 1915-07-19, of William I. Ferris, Waterman. Self-filling fountain-pen.
  • Patent n° US-1180946, of 1916-04-25, requested on 1915-02-02, of Felix Riesenberg, Waterman. Self-filling fountain-pen.
  • Patent n° FR-480426, of 1916-08-03, requested on 1915-03-19, of Edwin F. Britten, Waterman. Perfectionnements aux porte-plume à réservoir à remplissage automatique.
  • Patent n° US-1194510, of 1916-08-15, requested on 1914-02-25, of George M. Kracker, Kraker. Lever-Filler Fountain-pen.
  • Patent n° US-1195709, of 1916-08-22, requested on 1916-01-20, of Lucifer J. Most, Unbranded. Fountain-pen.
  • Patent n° US-1197360, of 1916-09-05, requested on 1914-08-17, of William I. Ferris, Edwin F. Britten, Waterman. Presser-bar-actuating lever for self-filling fountain-pens.
  • Patent n° US-1199993, of 1916-10-03, requested on 1914-12-23, of George M. Kracker, Kraker. Fountain-pen.
  • Patent n° US-1205847, of 1916-11-21, requested on 1916-09-30, of Claes W. Boman, Eagle. Fountain-pen.
  • Patent n° US-1209978, of 1916-12-26, requested on 1916-01-01, of David J. La France, Boston Pen. Self-filling fountain-pen.
  • Patent n° US-1228177, of 1917-05-29, requested on 1915-07-19, of Edwin F. Britten, Waterman. Mounting for a presser-bar-actuating lever for self-filling fountain-pens.
  • Patent n° US-1238657, of 1917-08-28, requested on 1917-02-17, of Marx Finstone, Eclipse. Fountain pen.
  • Patent n° US-1242323, of 1917-10-09, requested on 1914-04-09, of Harvey G. Craig, Kraker. Fountain-pen.
  • Patent n° US-1247037, of 1917-11-20, requested on 1916-10-25, of Henry J. Upton, Unbranded. Fountain-pen.
  • Patent n° US-1249501, of 1917-12-11, requested on 1916-06-27, of Felix Riesenberg, Unbranded. Self-filling Fountain-pen.
  • Patent n° US-1251421, of 1917-12-25, requested on 1915-11-29, of Felix Riesenberg, Unbranded. Fountain-pen filler.
  • Patent n° US-1258458, of 1918-03-05, requested on 1917-10-29, of Hans P. Ravn, Welty. Fountain-Pen.
  • Patent n° US-1260165, of 1918-03-19, requested on 1916-10-27, of William F. Duryea, Salz. Self-filler lever-pen.
  • Patent n° US-1263260, of 1918-04-16, requested on 1918-03-11, of Rudolph Wm. Lotz, Kraker. Fountain-pen.
  • Patent n° US-1263261, of 1918-04-16, requested on 1918-03-11, of Rudolph Wm. Lotz, Kraker. Fountain-pen.
  • Patent n° US-1263808, of 1918-04-23, requested on 1918-01-02, of Jacob Salz, Salz. Lever self-filler fountain-pen.
  • Patent n° US-1267288, of 1918-05-21, requested on 1916-10-19, of Tagiro Tanimura, Swan. Design for a fountain pen.
  • Patent n° US-RE14474, of 1918-05-21, requested on 1918-03-28, of Felix Riesenberg, Unbranded. Self-filling Fountain-pen.
  • Patent n° US-1290365, of 1919-01-07, requested on 1918-07-05, of Ferdinand Scheiblecker, Salz. Fountain-pen of the self-filler type.
  • Patent n° US-1299642, of 1919-04-08, requested on 1918-03-23, of William A. Welty, Hans P. Ravn, Welty. Fountain-Pen.
  • Patent n° US-1304739, of 1919-05-27, requested on 1919-01-02, of Herbert L. Carman, Swan. Self-filling fountain-pen.
  • Patent n° GB-118118, of 1919-09-08, requested on 1916-06-27, of Felix Riesenberg, Unbranded. Improvements in Self-filling Fountain Pens.
  • Patent n° US-1321188, of 1919-11-11, requested on 1919-05-17, of Homer Catucci, Swan. Self-filling fountain-pen.
  • Patent n° US-1328215, of 1920-01-13, requested on 1918-12-21, of De Witt C. Van Valer, A. A. Waterman. Lever-filler for fountain-pens.
  • Patent n° US-1365754, of 1921-01-18, requested on 1918-01-05, of John C. Wahl, Wahl Eversharp. Toggle-joint self-filling pen.
  • Patent n° US-1379890, of 1921-05-31, requested on 1920-06-30, of Paul E. Wirt, Wirt. Fountain-pen.
  • Patent n° US-1407552, of 1922-02-21, requested on 1920-02-11, of Rudolph Wm. Lotz, Kraker. Fountain pen.
  • Patent n° US-1435446, of 1922-11-14, requested on 1921-01-13, of David W. Beaumel, Beaumel. Self-filling fountain pen.
  • Patent n° US-1452653, of 1923-04-24, requested on 1920-06-11, of Arthur F. Poole, George B. Vernier, Wahl Eversharp. Fountain pen.
  • Patent n° US-1475953, of 1923-12-04, requested on 1923-02-10, of David Klein, Eclipse. Lever for self-filler fountain pens.
  • Patent n° US-1537226, of 1925-05-12, requested on 1922-01-21, of William P. De Witt, De Witt-La France. Lever filler for fountain pens with metal casings.
  • Patent n° FR-589169, of 1925-05-25, requested on 1924-06-02, De La Rue - Onoto. Perfectionnements aux porte-plume à réservoir.
  • Patent n° US-1540416, of 1925-06-02, requested on 1924-07-23, of Ryosuke Namiki, Pilot. Fountain pen.
  • Patent n° GB-235447, of 1925-06-18, requested on 1924-10-22, of George Frank Smith, Conway Stewart. Improvements in fountain or reservoir pens.
  • Patent n° US-RE16145, of 1925-08-18, requested on 1918-01-05, of John C. Wahl, Wahl Eversharp. Toggle-joint self-filling pen.
  • Patent n° GB-239274, of 1925-09-02, requested on 1924-06-02, of Henry J. Dixon, De La Rue - Onoto. Improvements in Reservoir Pens.
  • Patent n° US-1569783, of 1926-01-12, requested on 1922-09-16, of Eric G. Pearson, Eagle. Fountain pen.
  • Patent n° US-1585805, of 1926-05-25, requested on 1922-07-15, of John C. Wahl, Ivan D. Tefft, Wahl Eversharp. Fountain pen.
  • Patent n° US-1613804, of 1927-01-11, requested on 1920-06-11, of Arthur F. Poole, Wahl Eversharp. Self-filling fountain pen.
  • Patent n° GB-289969, of 1928-05-07, requested on 1927-02-07, of Henry J. Dixon, De La Rue - Onoto. Improvements in Reservoir Pens.
  • Patent n° FR-33407E, of 1928-09-28, requested on 1927-02-07, De La Rue - Onoto. Perfectionnements aux porte-plume à réservoir.
  • Patent n° GB-323129, of 1929-12-24, requested on 1929-01-18, of Eric Ernest Samuel Wade, Lang - Curzon - Summit. Improvements in or relating to fountain or reservoir pens.
  • Patent n° GB-575341, of 1946-02-13, requested on 1944-03-10, of Edward Stephen Sears, Swan. Improvements in or relating to fountain pens.
  • Patent n° FR-1037142, of 1953-09-15, requested on 1951-05-16, Stylomine. Perfectionnement aux porte-plume à réservoir.
  • Patent n° US-2807237, of 1957-09-24, requested on 1953-06-15, of David Kahn, Morris D. Levy, Wearever. Writing instruments.