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
An Aurora 88 hasn’t visited here in awhile, so it’s time! This one, serial number #253135, is most likely from 1947, the first year of their production, although parts interchangeability makes that hard to confirm. This pen is in very nice, but not perfect condition; like their contemporaneous 51s, after which they were modeled, finding one in perfect condition just doesn’t happen. However, its cap does not have pitting or dents, and the use wear is not noticeable. It is interesting to note that the engraving on the gripping section was performed by hand, not stamped by machine, a welcome touch these days. This pen is, like most 88s of my experience, a soft and responsive writer. There is some shading but these are not true flexible nibs. It’s a wet medium, delightful to write with. Feel free to make this pen a daily writer but note that the cap dents easily, so please treat it to a case? Additional note: Be sure to see the current Thought [http://timsvintagepens.com/thoughts/]. It’s about Aurora 88s!
Price: $75 Sold