Friday, August 7, 2009

Featured Pen - Mabie Todd Swan Leverless

The Mabie Todd Swan Leverless fountain pen is a vintage pen. This pen uses a rather unique filling system described below. This information is from David Nishimura's website, Vintage Pens:

"Mabie Todd's flagship pen during this era was the Swan Leverless, which used an elegantly simple twist-filling mechanism, patented in 1932. Unlike earlier twist-fillers such as the A. A. Waterman, the Leverless used a conventional sac, which made servicing as simple as for any conventional lever-filler. The sac was compressed by being wrung out by an internal entangling bar, shown enlarged above, attached to a knob at the end of the barrel. Turning the knob counterclockwise emptied the sac; turning it back clockwise then allowed the sac to straighten out and fill."

Mr. Nishimura's website provides a nice history of the Mabie Todd company as does the article History of Mabie Todd/Swan by L. Michael Fultz at

As noted in both articles, the company ceased business by the end of the 1950s. According to Mr. Nishimura's recap of the Swan Leverless, this system was patented in 1932.

The company has been resurrected and has introduced "its first new collection of contemporary writing instruments based on the original designs of its early 1920’s models" (quoted from SwisherPens website). These new pens may be found at great pensellers such as Swisher Pens, Goldspot and FahrneysPens.

This pen has a lovely #2 14k gold nib, which is semi-flexible.


phonelady said...

what an awesomely nice pen . I just love your pen reviews . woo- hoo , foo fa lah !!!

mr.goldfink said...

You can't beat a Swan !

Jared said...

I love Mabie Todd Swans. Lovely pens!

Gedion said...

I just received a Swan from New Zealand. I've been trying to figure out the filling mechanism and looking down the barrel, it is as you describe. And a lovely instrument it is! Thanks

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