Fisher Space Pen – Salem Cigarettes

Salem Matchbook Fisher Space PenSalem - Fisher Space Pen offer

Taken to the Moon in 1969

During the first NASA missions the astronauts used pencils. For Project Gemini, for example, NASA ordered mechanical pencils in 1965 from Tycam Engineering Manufacturing, Inc., in Houston. The fixed price contract purchased 34 units at a total cost of $4,382.50, or $128.89 per unit. That created something of a controversy at the time, as many people believed it was a frivolous expense. NASA backtracked immediately and equipped the astronauts with less costly items.

During this time period, Paul C. Fisher of the Fisher Pen Co. designed a ballpoint pen that would operate better in the unique environment of space. His new pen, with a pressurized ink cartridge, functioned in a weightless environment, underwater, in other liquids, and in temperature extremes ranging from -50 F to +400 F.

Fisher developed his space pen with no NASA funding. The company reportedly invested about $1 million of its own funds in the effort then patented its product and cornered the market as a result.

Fisher offered the pens to NASA in 1965, but, because of the earlier controversy, the agency was hesitant in its approach. In 1967, after rigorous tests, NASA managers agreed to equip the Apollo astronauts with these pens. Media reports indicate that approximately 400 pens were purchased from Fisher at $6 per unit for Project Apollo.

The Soviet Union also purchased 100 of the Fisher pens, and 1,000 ink cartridges, in February 1969, for use on its Soyuz space flights. Previously, its cosmonauts had been using grease pencils to write in orbit.

Both American astronauts and Soviet/Russian cosmonauts have continued to use these pens.

Fisher continues to market his space pens as the writing instrument that went to the Moon and has spun off this effort into a separate corporation, the Fisher Space Pen Co.  Thanks to: Steve Garber, NASA History Web Curator; https://history.nasa.gov/spacepen.html

Much more information here: Flown writing instruments from the Mercury, Gemini & Apollo missions. http://www.spaceflownartifacts.com/flown_writing_instruments.html

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Matchbook Advertising

Sheaffer Ballpen Matchbook

Sheaffer Ballpen Matchbook

Matchbook Advertising 

A “matchcover”, or “matchbook cover” is a thin cardboard covering that folds over match sticks in a “book” or “pack” of matches. Covers have been used as a form of advertising since 1894, two years after they were patented [“Flexible Match” patented by Joseph Pusey]. Many historians point to the Mendelson Opera as the first to use matchbooks for advertising purposes; they hand wrote their promotional information on blank matchbook covers made by the Binghamton Match Company between 1893/94. Inspired by the Opera’s innovation, Diamond Match salesman Henry Traute began approaching manufacturers to advertise their products on his company’s matches, promoting them as something that would be viewed by their users many times a day. Thank you to Wikipedia.com.

Matchbooks reached their golden age in the 1940s and 1950s, with fine artwork and a dazzling variety of types and sizes. In the mid-1980s, the American match industry collapsed, a victim of high labor costs and overseas competition, and with the current anti-smoking campaigns and disposable lighters, the easy availability of the matchbook has been on the decline since the early 1990s. Thank you to matchpro.org.

The US pen and pencil industries used matchbook advertising as well.  Gary & I we have been collecting images of and actual matchbooks for quire some time now. We’ll be sharing these over our next several blogs. If you have any in your own collection, please let us know and we’ll be happy to add them as well.

Today we’ll start with Salem cigarettes, a major brand from R. J. Reynolds, and the first filter-tipped menthol cigarette. Where do pens come in? The matchbook presents their “Salem Pen Offer.”  You to send in two empty Salem packages and to receive in return a “Sheaffer Ballpen for only 60¢.”
I can’t be sure of the exact model, but it looks like a clip-activated Imperial ballpen.
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Montblanc #8 Rouge et Noir Safety Vintage Pen

This is a 1920 Montblanc #8 Rouge et Noir Safety eyedropper-fill in Black Hard Rubber. “Rouge et Noir,” introduced in 1909, was the first line of pens produced by the Simplo Pen Company. Their second line of pens was the “Montblanc,” introduced a year later. In 1934, in recognition of the success and fame of the Montblanc line, the Simplo Pen Company was renamed “Montblanc Simplo GMBH”. The Rouge et Noir line continued until at least 1923. In the model offered here, note the rare horizontal chasing of the inner cap (just below the red star) and at the joint between the barrel and turning knob. Simplo eventually replaced this with vertical chasing, still used today. Large, “MONTBLANC 8 14CT” nib (fine, triple-flexible), also imprinted at the heel (out of view), “Hamburg,” correct for a 1920’s Rouge et Noir. Cap with “Rouge et Noir” imprint and three vent holes (many caps have four vent holes). Barrel imprint, “Rouge et Noir Original Pat. Ap.” (not all easily readable) and an owner’s imprint, “–ilio De Marchi Gherini” (beginning few letters unreadable). The Italian owner’s imprint is not surprising as all post-WWI Rouge et Noir pens were exported for sale in Italy. Turning knob imprinted “8M.” Some distress to the lower knurling and wear here and there, commensurate with a 100 year old pen. The largest size made of this extremely rare and highly desirable pen! Pen was used during its heyday, with dried ink inside the barrel. Unrestored.

Check out our Catalog to view this item’s availability! Item #9 in Catalog #86.

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Montblanc #8 Rouge et Noir Safety Vintage Pen

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Cartier Louis Cartier Limited Edition Fountain Pen

This is a 2005 Cartier Louis Cartier Limited Edition No. 6 cartridge/converter-fill in solid 18K gold in Godron (heavy fluted) pattern. Three sapphires and two emeralds set into the clip. Black cabochon on barrel bottom. Two-toned, 18K, medium/fine nib. New-old-stock. Mint in box with velvet pouch, papers, outer box and letter of authenticity from Cartier.

Check out our Catalog to view this item’s availability! Item #8 in Catalog #86.

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Cartier Louis Cartier

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Cartier Louis Cartier Limited Edition Fountain Pen

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Ancora Lusso 38 Vintage Pen

This is a 1947 Ancora Lusso 38 Large PIF in Black with Blue Marble veining (unique and beautiful!). Lusso was Ancora’s prestige line at the time. GFT. Visualated barrel. Fine, extra-flexible nib. Over-the-top “Soldier” clip. Near mint.

Check out our Catalog to view this item’s availability! Item #7 in Catalog #86.

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Ancora Lusso 38 

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Waterman World’s Smallest Safety Vintage Pen

This is a 1910 Waterman – “World’s Smallest SAFETY Pen” eyedropper-fill in Black Hard Rubber. Yes, it has an operating spiral, just like any of the larger size production models! See above for more information about Waterman’s World’s Smallest Pens. Near mint+, and extremely rare, especially in the original cardboard box!

Check out our Catalog to view this item’s availability! Item #6 in Catalog #86.

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Waterman World’s Smallest Safety Vintage Pen

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Waterman World’s Smallest Pen Doll Vintage Pen

This is a 1910 Waterman – “World’s Smallest Pen” eyedropper-fill in Black Hard Rubber. Often called the “Doll Pen” because one rests in Queen Mary’s doll house, on the King’s Library Table. Just over 1.5″ long and less than 1/8″ in diameter, this pen was actually produced by Waterman as a way for their salesmen to spend time with potential new accounts. Their salesmen would visit a druggist, jeweler, shop owner, to try to open a new account. The buyer would inevitably say that they didn’t need a new pen line and were happy with what they had. The salesman would now offer to show them the “World’s Smallest Pen” as long as he was there (often alongside a Waterman 20!). This allowed more time and interaction together, and often resulted in a sale! Waterman then published in their in-house newspaper, Pen Prophet, that they would produce these for sale by their vendors as a special order item only. Near mint+, and extremely rare, especially in the original “coffin” box!

Check out our Catalog to view this item’s availability! Item #5 in Catalog #86.

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Waterman World’s Smallest Pen Doll Vintage Pen

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Parker Red Giant in Cardinal Hard Rubber Vintage Pen

This is a 1901 Parker Red Giant eyedropper-fill in Cardinal Hard Rubber. The first I have ever seen without any cap cracks and with all parts intact! Described by Parker in 1908 as follows: “It’s so big and startling we will guarantee a broad smile from You when You see it. It is made entirely of maroon rubber, fitted with a No. 10 pen, and the price will be $10. We will be ready to fill orders about February 10.” The pen, primarily its cap, proved to be very fragile, and very few exist today without cap damage. In 1914 the “Black Giant” was introduced. Despite the fragility of the Red Hard Rubber, while Parker discontinued all other red pens in 1915, they continued to produce the Red Giant until 1918. The Black Giant continued until 1920. Cap with two-line imprint “The Red Giant” (some wear but fully readable) and the “Parker VV Pat. Feb. 12, 07″ clip, named for its inventor, Levi D. Van Valkenberg. Barrel with three line imprint:

      George S. Parker [LUCKY] Fountain Pen
Janesville WIS. [CURVE] U.S.A.
PAT JAN.9. 94 [BANNER] JUN 29..98. JAN 33.05. JUN.5.05

The entire left side of the imprint and the Lucky Curve Banner are weak and pretty much unreadable. Large No. 12 nib (medium, semi-flexible). If you are considering buying this fantastic pen, and don’t, you are certain to have remorse!

Check out our Catalog to view this item’s availability! Item #4 in Catalog #86.

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Parker Red Giant in Cardinal Hard Rubber Vintage Pen

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Waterman 20 Red Mottled Hard Rubber Vintage Pen

This is a 1900 Waterman 20 eyedropper-fill in Red Mottled Hard Rubber. Huge pens were a vouge at the time; there was the Parker Giant, the Parker Ultra Giant, the Dunn Giant, the Montblanc 12 Safety, the Moore 10 Safety and the Waterman 20 (cone cap and Safety). This example is in wonderful condition, with just a little imprint wear to the center and third line of the barrel imprint (otherwise near mint). The mottled 20 is far, far rarer than the Black Hard Rubber (smooth or chased) models. Huge No. 10 nib (medium/broad).

Check out our Catalog to view this item’s availability! Item #3 in Catalog #86.

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Waterman 20 Red Mottled Hard Rubber

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Waterman 420 Black Hard Rubber Vintage Fountain Pen

This is a 1900 Waterman 420 eyedropper-fill in Black Hard Rubber with Sterling Silver Filigree overlay. The “20″ was the largest pen Waterman produced, and the sterling silver contrasting on the black underlay (no oxidation at all), is exquisite. Indicia engraved “Dewill Miller.’ in attractive script. Miller (1857 – 1911) was a Professor of History and Mental Philosophy at Pennington Seminary, Pennington, PA, as well as a Methodist Minister. He was also an obsessive book collector. Barrel bottom imprinted “20″ (a little worn, but fully readable). Minor wear here and there to the overlay, noticeable only with a loop, with no cracks, tears, etc. Three or four small dings in the cap top. Near mint. Very minor signs of ink in the cap and barrel. Huge No. 10 nib (medium/broad).

Check out our Catalog to view this item’s availability! Item #2 in Catalog #86.

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Waterman 420 Black

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