A few days ago, I browsed through “The Fountain Pen Network” when I found the forum Silent Movie showing the making of Conklin Crescent Fillers posted by AAAndrew on February 18, 2022. He found this movie in the National Archives. I assume English, even though, several people commented proudly “… on things still being manufactured in the USA, those days”. Just checked it: It’s from the US National Archives.
May it be as it is, the movie starts with the making and drawing of the raw rubber, ebonite, I assume, through the making of all the components and their assembly. Only 6 minutes long, but totally fascinating. https://catalog.archives.gov/id/92342
Maybe, you want to visit AAAndrew and say, thanks. You can do that only if you are a member of the Fountain Pen Network.
An outline of the movie
- 0 – 60 secs: The history of writing from the stone ages
- 1:02 the multiple signature writing machine
- 1:12 cutting and breaking up the rubber
- 1:27 forming the raw material
- 1:37 trimming the sicks to length – mass production
- 1:50 shaping outside and end of the barrel – on a lathe
- 2:03 buffing of barrels – five at the time – see the wide transmission belt
- 2:15 engraving of the barrel, the machine not only reciprocates but also rotates be barrels – six at the time
- 2:30 slitting of the barrel for the filler bar, which includes the cleaning of the blade prior to slitting
- 2:45 tapping the thread in the cap – took about 5 seconds = 12 a minute = 720 an hour = in a 7-hour day ≈ 5,000!
- 2:58 vent hole
- 3:06 cap and clip assembly – the inner cap not only holds the clip in place but also provides elasticity
- 3:25 turning the section – much freehand work, see exposed transmission belt
- 3:42 fitting barrel with section – mostly freehand even the pitch of the thread
- 4:04 slitting the feed – I assume, the buffing wheel with the grooves is for shaping the nib end of the feed
- 4:23 machining the notches on the feed near the nib
- 4:35 making a bevelled ring for locating the lever for squeezing the sack
- 4:55 glueing sack onto the section
- 5:15 fitting section and barrel
- 5:18 fitting nib and feed into the section – not sure what the assembly tool does, squeezing, forming something?
- 5:48 inspection and writing test – figure eight, just as we did it 60 years later
Please give me feedback if I got something wrong.
Above all: Enjoy!
18 April 2022