Thursday, July 29, 2010

Featured Pen - Salz Manhattan GF

[You can click on any of the photos to enlarge for more detail]

Well, I know that you were probably expecting to see one of the pens that I recently acquired during the Miami Pen Show. But you are going to have to wait just a little longer for that.

This week's pen is actually a set. This is a Salz Manhattan Gold Filled set from somewhere around the 1920s or 1930s. This is a very difficult brand of pen to date, because there is so little information out there on this company. If anyone is able to contribute, please do, because this is the second time I have tried to research it. I previously featured, my Salz BCHR and had little luck then.

I actually amazed at the progression of these featured pen posts, that previous Salz post was just over a year ago and I think that my posts are now much more in-depth and useful, I hope you feel the same.

Here are the only details I could find on this company, from the Pencyclopedia of W-B Pen and Watch website,

Salz Brothers Inc Fountain Pens

102 W 101st St NYC.

Low to medium quality fountain pens [with a couple of good ones thrown in]. They sold run off the mill eyedropper pens, some with low quality overlays. They sold some very boring lever fillers in hard rubber. The diminutive Peter Pan may be their most collected pen. Some of their other models were the Black & White [which was a black hard rubber pen with ivory end caps], the Conqueror and the Red Top, which was a black pen with a red button on top. They also made a 666 pen. Salbro is also a marking they used on their pens. They made some decent filigrees in the 1920s which basically were the same as the ones being sold by Morrison and some others. In the 1930s they began using the name "Stratford" on some of their pens. The Stratford name must have sounded better than Salz and eventually they changed their name to the Stratford Pen Co. It seems to have worked out for them, you will find more Stratfords today than Salz pens. Stratford was located at 44 W 28th st in NYC. Stratford sold a line of pens in the 30s and 40s that either were made by Wearever or were made of parts supplied by Wearever. The similarities cannot be denied. Stratford hit their high point in the 1940s with the "Magnetic" fountain pen. This pen had the styling of a rocket ship with tailfins and the inner cap was a magnet. The magnet pulled the cap down onto the metal ring around the section and also locked it onto the metal piece on the end of the barrel to post the cap. This was a great idea to prevent cracked caps from posting. Their lower lines were named Conqueror and Warwick.

There is also some information on Richard Binder's site, which pretty much mirrors the above.

This pen had a few dings but otherwise is in very good condition, the pencil is also in good condition. The nib on the pen is a Warranted 14k No. 4 with has been ground to a rather broad, wet stub. I have not quite decided whether this is a pen that I will keep, but having not used it that much, that is still an open question. I do know that I will either continue to attempt to refine this nib or replace it.

That spatter tends to happen when you try to flex a nib while writing too fast. Flex requires slow deliberate movement, at least for me.


Julie said...

Binder calls the spray "singing" and says nib usually can be tweaked to cut it out. :) Great post, J. I haven't spent much time with Salz pens so thanks for putting them in front of us.

Julie (Okami) said...


Thanks - "singing" I like it - as I said this nib still needs some tweaking.

phonelady said...

nice very nice .

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