Sheaffer Wartime Balance

1941-45
About This Model

Sheaffer’s Balances, both Lifetime and non-Lifetime, appeared in 1929 and were Sheaffer’s top production lines from the early 1930’s until after WWII. They were available in numerous lengths, girths, colors and patterns, filled by lever or plunger, and were well enough made that now, with a cleaning and filling system restoration, they make excellent and durable pens. There were two distinct levels: Lifetime and not-Lifetime. Lifetime models, from the 1920 pre-Balance years, carried Lifetime nibs and a white dot to signify the pen as a Lifetime. Although the Lifetime guarantee, which was really service, continued for many years, after WWII the white dot was used to denote higher level pens, and then became Sheaffer’s brand identifier. Non-Lifetime pens had lower trim levels but were made of the same components; their nibs were very good and were often much softer and easier to write with than Lifetimes.

About This Pen

Wartime, marine green striated, Lifetime nib, 1000 price code, lever filler, early 1940s. The clip was made to wrap over the top of the cap, both to conserve metal during the war and to conform to military requirements that nothing obstruct a closed man’s shirt flap. Women were not allowed to carry pens in their shirt pockets, which, in part led to the development of the Sheaffer Tuckaway, a shorter pen for women.  Although not a rare pen by any means, this is one of my favorites, for its style, its history, my love of wartime pens, and how it writes.

This pen is in the United States and Canada collection.