Eclipse “Safety”

1920s
About This Model

Eclipse fountain pens were made in New York City. The company had prior history in San Francisco, but its main history was as one of the many smaller Manhattan-based manufacturers.  While their pens never succeeded commercially, many were quite nice and well-made; they are often compared (and confused with) Conklins.  Richard Binder has noted that the Eclipse company pioneered improvements in rolling celluloid sheet and fusing the seams, a major improvement in fountain pen manufacturing.  Eclipse pens were often quite large, flat-tops in black hard rubber or orange plastic; some were gold overlays over BHR; there were reds and lapizes as well.  Like so many, they appeared early on, peaked in the 1920s, and largely disappeared in the Depression.  Eclipse survived as a corporate entity until the 1960s, but their fountain pen manufacture was long gone.

About This Pen

Eclipse’s pens were produced in various styles and models. Their Safety, from the 1920s, is, first, not what is normally called a safety, a pen that has a retractable nib. Why it has this name is unknown, since the ability of lever-filled pens to hold their ink was well-mastered by the 1920s, but it is prominently inscribed in its clip. Eclipse Safeties were made in black hard rubber and in orange celluloid; this is one of the celluloid models. It is a large flat-top model, 5⅜” long capped and 17/32” wide just below the cap edge, with a black celluloid crown and matching base. It is a lever-filler, and the lever shows Eclipse as the manufacturer. There is no other imprint. The pen is in excellent condition; it shows a bit of underlying age wear but has no significant marks or scratches or the micro-cracks one often sees in the orange pens. The nib is a warranted 14K, and writes a fine line with a bit of auditory response.

Price: $95