Sheaffer Milady

late 1930s
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

In the latter 1930s, Sheaffer gave all of the Balance models names, an early step in modernizing out the Balance line. These were all Balances, to be sure, but no longer called it. This pen, previously a short, but not petite, slender non-Lifetime lever-filled model, was now called Milady, carrying the 500 price code, the flattened radius clip, and an unimprinted clip. It is in very nice condition, with some minor evidence of wear, no significant scratches or nicks. There is a professional personalization on the barrel, for J.G. Alder. The nib is the proper Feathertouch 5 nib, and writes a very firm extra fine line. The nib has a small amount of pitting but it does not affect function. This is the pen for writing marginalia and numbers.

Price: $52