It's no secret we're fans of Spors pens, and by extension the whole line up of crazy mail order goodness Spors offered. We've recently come across this 1931 Spors' Book for Salesman, and we thought we'd share it here in its entirety. Coconut oil shampoo? Page 9. Fabric Patch-It Paste? Page 20. Rubber hot-dog? Page 64.
And yes, the beloved "Crystal Point" glass-nibbed pen, as well as page after page of other pens, pencils and inks, begins on page 34. Enjoy!
We recently came across this vintage tin of Sanford's Ink Eraser and couldn't pass up the opportunity to share some photos. It dates to 1900-1910, and was one of the first products marketed to remove ink.
The bottle lids were numbered 1 and 2. The bottles themselves were imprinted with First and Second, and molded so as to only fit in the tin in the correct order. Directions on the tin:
For Paper - First apply No. 1, rubbing gently until the ink has softened, then blot off and apply No. 2 until the ink has disappeared, then apply No. 1 again until the two fluids are neutralized and dry with a blotter.
For Clothing - Use equal parts of Nos. 1 and 2 and absorb with a clean, damp sponge.
Here's an advertisement for them from the February 24, 1900 issue of The American Stationer. You can read more about Sanford on the Made in Chicago Museum website.
We wouldn't call the Manos a rare pen, but truth is you don't see them very often. Made in Austria after the turn of the century, these hard rubber pens sported a unique curved feed and a piston filler mechanism.
To fill the pen, you turned the screw top all the way to the left till it stopped. Then, you dipped the nib in ink and turned the screw top to the right, drawing ink in. However, the ink did not naturally flow continuously as would be expected. You would simply write for a bit and when more ink was needed, you twisted the screw top a half turn or so to the left again to re-ink the nib. When finished writing, a couple turns to the right would draw any remaining ink on the nib back into the reservoir.
The guts of the pen are quite complicated, moreso than you would guess from outward appearances. A photo on fountainpennetwork.com shows the insides of one laid bare. The Manos could possibly be one of the earliest examples of a disposable fountain pen, in that it was virtually impossible for the average consumer to service it, if needed. When first assembled, the piston filler mechanism was inserted into the barrel, held in place on the section end with a cork sleeve. Once the mechanism was seated, the other end of the barrel was then heat-crimped to seal everything in place, as seen in the above photo. The pen would almost have to be destroyed to reopen it.
Some Manos pens, particularly the BCHR examples, have the Manos imprint on the barrel, but this one has it on the cap, in what is actually a pretty unusual location.
Manos pens were also sold under various trade names, such as Victoria, and Standard, and were still being sold at least until 1924.