Reading List – Vintage Conklin Crescents

This is not a complete list of the literature. The list is a work-in-progress, and there are still some articles I am hunting down. The list is shared here with the belief that there are others interested in the same information.

Reading list last updated: 08/20/2012.

Articles about Conklin and Pen identification

    • Dutcher, Ron, “Mark Twain’s Conklin Crescent Pen,” http://www.kamakurapens.com
    • Edelstein, Howard, “The Conklins That Never Were,” Pen World, Vol. 2 No. 3, Spring 1989, pp.25-27. About Conklin pen designs, Louis Vavrik who designed the Nozak, and Vavrik designs that were never made when the original Conklin company was sold.
    • Edelstein, Howard, and Dick Johnson, “Conklins”, Pen World, Vol. 7 No. 1, Sept/Oct 1993, pp.14-17 & p.54. Covers clips and levers.
    • Edelstein, Howard, and Dick Johnson, “Conklins II”, Pen World, Vol. 7 No. 2, Nov/Dec 1993, pp.24-27. Goes into detail about the model number system, crescents, lock rings and feeds.
    • Fultz, Michael L. and Johnson, Richard, “Conklin’s Early days,” Pen World, Vol. 15 No. 3, Nov/Dec 2001/Jan 2002, pages 34-38. Strongly recommended reading!
    • Fultz, Michael L., “The History of Conklin Pens,” Penbid.com, 2000. Covers the history of the company, as well as notes on some of the more interesting collectable Conklin pens. Penbid.com does not appear to be up any longer. Sadly Penbid.com owns the copyright to this article (and many others) by Fultz.
    • Fultz, Michael L., “A Short History of Hump, Bump and Lump,” Pen World, Vol. 15 No. 5, Apr/May 2002, pages 30-32. Covers early pens “having an external protrusion attached to a pressure bar and a locking mechanism.”
    • Lawrence, Cliff, “The Conklin Story I and II,” Pen Trading Post, Dec. 1997 No. 225.
    • Lawrence, Cliff, “Conklin – The Pioneer of Self Fillers,” Pen Fancier’s Magazine, Vol. 4 No. 8, Aug 1981, pp.10-26. Covers early Conklin company history. Also, PFM typically carries reprints from pen company literature.
    • Mamoulides, Jim, “Conklin Penography,” http://www.penhero.com
    • Picon, Marie A., “Frankly Speaking,” Pen World, Vol. 11 No. 2, 1998.

Fred Plewa Sketches
These featured sketches in Pen World magazine, known as “Plewa’s Klips,” are great for their detail and “close-ups” of crescents, clips, lock rings and other features.

  • “Conklin-The Early Years/1912-1924,” Pen World, Winter 1988-89, Vol. 2 No. 2, p.23. Crescents and lever-fillers.
  • “Conklin—The Later Years,” Pen World, Spring 1989, Vol. 2 No. 3, p.28. Pens from the 1920’s and ’30’s, lever-fillers, Endura, Nozac.
  • “Conklin Clips/1906-1938, Levers/1922-1925,” Pen World, Vol. 7 No. 1, Sept/Oct 1993, p.52. Details the imprints on the clips and the levers.
  • “Conklin Crescents/1901-1928, Lock Rings/1901-1928, Feeds/1901-1938,” Pen World, Vol. 7 No. 2, Nov/Dec 1993, p.28

Articles on Conklin Repairs or Filling Instructions

    • Conklin 1921 Sample Page from Conklin Repair Kit, “Instructions for Repairing Conklin Crescent Filler Fountain Pen,” contains short instruction for removing a nib. (PCA library)
    • Berliner, Geoffrey, “Conquering the Conklin Crescent,” Pen World, Vol. 9 No. 4, Mar/Apr 1996, p. 58-59. Under a PW feature called “Restoration” Berliner explains how to replace the ink sac in the Crescent, and provides a bit on troubleshooting the crescent itself.
    • Chen, Victor, “Conklin Piston Filler Repairs,” The Pennant, Spring 2007, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 46-47. About the Nozak not the Crescent pens.

Catalogs or Reprints of Conklin Brochures/Pamphlets

Several brochures, pamphlets and catalogs are available through the Pen Collectors of America and Bill’s Pens. Below is a list of catalogs:

    • 1909 (Bill’s Pens)
    • 1912 (PCA)
    • 1913 (Bill’s Pens)
    • 1917 (PCA)
    • 1920 (PCA)
    • 1921 (PCA)
    • 1923 (PCA)
    • 1924 (PCA)
    • 1926 (PCA)
    • 1929 (Bill’s Pens)
    • 1930 (PCA and Bill’s Pens)

Also reprinted material can be found in back issues of Pen Fancier’s Magazine:

  • “Pen Pointers: Conklin’s Self Filling Pen,” Pen Fancier’s Magazine, Vol. 5 No. 10, Oct 1982, p. 26. Reprints Conklin literature on how to fill a Crescent pen, and parts of the pen.
  • “Conklin Pens and Pencils: Conklin Branch Office Has Rapid Growth, August 1924,” Pen Fancier’s Magazine, Vol. 8 No. 4, April 1985, p.31. About the expansion into San Francisco.
  • “Part 1 of 1917 Conklin Pen Catalog,” Pen Fancier’s Magazine, Vol. 7 No. 10, Oct 1984, pp. 26-32.
  • “Conklin Fountain Pen Service,” Pen Fancier’s Magazine, Vol. 12 No. 3, Mar 1989, pp. 20-23.
  • “Conklin Filling Instructions,” Pen Fancier’s Magazine, Vol. 12 No. 3, Mar 1989, p23.

The Kindness of Strangers

I’m grateful for the handful of cool people at the Fountain Pen Network have shared with me (both publically and privately) their knowledge of fountain pens.

  • On David’s site The Vintage Pens Website the short profile on Conklin Crescent-Fillers first got me thinking about all the literature that’s been written that I haven’t read. His site is a wealth of resource information, and he has a couple of pens I wish I could afford to buy.
  • After ordering a couple of back issues of Pen Fancier’s Magazine from Pendemonium, and after I noted I was on the hunt for Conklin pen history, Sam Fiorella emailed me a list of Conklin articles to help me in my search. That list has served as the initial nucleus of the research. What may have been a small gesture to her was to me a great one.
  • Tina Dammeyer at Pen World magazine was also very patient and helpful providing me with a list of Conklin references in back issues of Pen World.
  • Alfonso Mur, a Conklin collector and historian, also kindly contributed to this list.
  • Thank you, too, to Jeff (an FPN’er) who helped me find some of these articles so that I could read them! That sort of kindness is not forgotten.

There are still helpful people in the world.  I do not know any them ‘face to face,’ but I appreciate them all very much.

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