Thursday, May 20, 2010

Featured Pen - Morrison's "Black Beauty"

The following is from W-B Pen & Watch, they have an awesome Pencyclopedia of Fountain Pen Companies which includes a lot of obsure and difficult to find information, including information about the company which made this week's featured pen, Morrison.

Morrison Fountain Pens
Morrison Fountain Pen Company
1547 Broadway
79 5th Ave.

Morrison was a pen company that made some great pens [and some not so great ones]. Their flattop and overlay pens of the 1920s were of good quality. Morrison did make the mistake of resisting the change-over to celluloid pens. Their filigree and overlay pens are almost identical to the ones sold by Diamond Point and Kritzler. They made some nice oversize pens in hard rubber and then celluloid. These pens resemble other pens of the same period and Morrison never made anything exceptional or truly unique.

Their military pen of the 1940s was named "The Patriot" and had the logo of the branches of the US armed forces applied to the angled top of the cap. These pens had a inferior suction style filling system that is very difficult to repair. They claimed that the all plastic filler was necessary because of the war effort.

The most common problem found on Morrison pens is a loose clip. While they appear to be riveted they are in fact held on by 2 small nails pushed through the clip and bent over inside the cap by the insertion of the inner cap. Most of their pens of the 20s and 30s have these "riveted" clips, although there are some with "Z" style clips.

After WWII they seemed to settle into making some low end fountain pens and continued up to the 1950s. They also sold pens under the "Union" and "Roxy" names. The Union pens seem to be from the 1920s and 30s and the Roxy seem to be from the 40s and 50s.

I searched the web for another reference to this pen and although I found one or two other "Black Beauty"s for sale, none of them were ringtops and I could find no other information about this pen.

The best information additional about Morrison comes from Richard Binder's blog, dealing with an entirely different pen, The Patriot.

The nib on this pen is a nail, it is marked Morrison No 5 medium and I have no clue what it is made of, other than it ain't gold. It might be steel or it might be who knows what, but that's ok, it writes well and the pen is lovely and under $50, if you can find one.

I was also lucky enough to score a bottle of REAL Sheaffer's King's Gold from Pendemonium during one of their Midnight Madness sales so you'd better sign up to receive the notice, you never know what you might be missing.

Click on the photo to see larger image:


Sam said...

Ooh, what a lovely pen. I'd never heard of Morrison's, thanks for educating me! :) said...

Wow. That is an real special pen! Thanks for featuring it!

JoniB said...

It is a beautiful pen. Being a newbie, however, I am confused by the statement that the nib is a "nail"? Could you post a picture of the nib?

Julie (Okami) said...

Hi, Joni I posted a photo of the nib - I usually do, don't know how I missed this one. When I said that the nib is a nail, I meant as "in hard as".

L.A. said...

we just bought a solid gold pen and pencil set which came in a "black beauty created by morrison" box. We have no clue of its worth. can you tell me a little about a 14ky gold set made by that company? thanks.

Julie (Okami) said...

Is the pen actually a Morrison? It should be imprinted on the pen. I'd love to see a photo.

They were a very small company and the only thing I know about them comes from the website listed in this post. You might email the author of that site at

Anonymous said...

A ja właśnie kupiłam pióro Morrison. Śliczne i świetnie pisze: USA 1925 / 14 KT NY / LM /. Pozdrowienia z Polski od miłośniczki wiecznych piór.

Julie (O-kami) said...

For those who are interested in the comment above here is a translation from Google transalator:

And I just bought a pen Morrison. Cute and well-writes: the U.S. 1925 to 1914 TQ NY / LM /. Greetings from Polish from the fountain pen enthusiast.

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