While organizing some doo-dads and trinkets and assorted such memorabilia left by my great-aunt Bessie, I rediscovered my pen and pencil collection. This morning, I decided to clean up the bunch.
One interesting pen I worked on is a Parker Challenger – a fountain pen. After some light research, I learned that this pen was manufactured 1934 – 1941, and is a button-filler type – meaning, one places the nib in ink and depresses a button at the end of the pen to suck the ink up into an internal ink sac. The initial release of this pen had an ornate ball clip which was redesigned in 1937 to a tapered clip engraved with the maker name; the style of my pen thus tells me it dates from between 1937 and 1941.
This isn’t a terribly valuable pen – collectors may pay between $30 and $80 depending on condition – and my hands become excessively stained while cleaning the thing. But it’s pretty, and valuable to me, so I’ll keep it as a display item to enjoy.