NoName French

About This Model

Often called “Third Tier”, these are the pens that collectively were the best sellers of their day, but also the least durable, least special, most poorly designed, and the cheapest. The 1930s were a period of constrained cash flow and, later, supply chain issues with the war industry diverting manufacturing parts. Calling them “Third Tier” implies that there were true first and second tier pens, a subject that has never been resolved among pen people, but these are the pens that one owned but didn't own or use with pride. They carried many different names, including Accurate, American, Arnold, Diamond Medal, Dixie, Eagle, Majestic, Stratford, Travelers, Waltham, Welsh; some carried names to evoke good thoughts, including Accurate, American, Banker, Lincoln, Smooth Point. Major manufacturers, including Arnold, National, and Wearever made multiple lines and brands of inferior pens and jobbed parts and whole pens under multiple names. In short, for the most part, these were inferior pens, made inexpensively, usually with untipped nibs, and sold as cheap commodities to work without distinction. Surprisingly, many thousands survive today, and with restoration and attention, work very well!

About This Pen

NoNames are always puzzles — identities are important and without a known manufacturer something is always missing. But, in this case, a sibling pair of French pens is being listed together. They were bought years ago on French eBay with a bunch of other pens, have hung around waiting to be identified, an effort that has failed even in French pen forums. Alas, their time to be listed arrived. One respondent in France believed they look like Edacoto, with which I agree, but too many NoNames were made to look like famous pens for me to call them Edacoto. So, they’re NoNames.
Both pens are assuredly pre-WWII from their styling, from the faux basketweave/striped celluloid, from the fact that they are lever-filled. They are typical size for French pens I’ve seen, exactly 12cm long capped and .5cm across just below the cap edge, a nice size for the hand. The wrapped sheet celluloid is in surprisingly nice condition in both pens, with an all-black bottom and a stepped chrome or nickel crown. The black/white pen has an additional black point on its crown and a second cap ring; its clip has a long graceful curve with a diamond-shaped base. The gold/black pen has a single cap ring and a straight clip with a rounded hump. The trim is all in chrome, and in good condition. The nibs on both are standard French warranted steel. The green/black pen’s nib is untipped but the tip is folded into an indented pattern, and writes a wonderful, wet and full fine/medium. It shows some corrosion that was superficially removed by a prior owner. This is a sweet pen for all-purpose use except fast writing that needs quick drying. The black/white pen’s nib is also untipped, with a more traditional blade point, and it writes well underhand, is probably not recommended for an overhand writer.
Nice pens, not fragile! The green/black pen is $45 alone; the black/white pen is $50. Both are available for $75.

Price: $50