About This Model
Sheaffer phased out its Balance during the years after the end of WWII. It had been a great, long, ride since 1929, but America demanded new technology in everything and Balances, whether lever-fillers or vacuum-fillers, were no longer sexy, no matter how well they worked. So, from 1946-48, while Balance inventory was sold off, Sheaffer developed its new technology, the Touchdown pneumatic filler. It is a simple, effective mechanism: extending the Touchdown tube brings air into the sac, compressing it pushes the air out, allowing ink to fill the sac. Although it was an emulation of a 1920s Chilton mechanism, the Touchdown filler was both an improvement and inexpensive to produce. The Touchdown appeared in 1949, with the “Fat Pen”, and its TM (Thin Model), which appeared in 1950 in a range of models and features. The “Fat Pen” only lasted one year, but the TM sold well, to be discontinued just two years later with the introduction of the Snorkel and Tip-Dip, which also both used the Touchdown mechanism. The mechanism lived on, through the 1960s, in PFMs, Dolphins and Imperials, a hugely successful next act from Sheaffer.
About This Pen
In 1951, the Touchdown line was transitioned to Snorkels, which first appeared the next year. Some of the last Touchdowns previewed Snorkel caps and trim. This pen is one of those, a 1951 Touchdown with a non-White Dot Snorkel cap, possibly off-catalog. Although it cleaned up very nicely, this pen has seen some use, and shows its wear in micro-scratches. But, as with so many Touchdowns, that nib is wonderful! It is a wet medium nib, writes fast and smooth.