About This Model
Carter's was the dominant manufacturer of ink in the early years of fountain pen use, until the Depression. In the late 1920s, Carter added fountain pens to complement its lines of ink, at first buying the inventory and then the manufacturing capacity of a failed pen factory. Their own manufacturing probably started in 1926, and by 1927 Carter was producing fine pens in celluloid, which they called coralite. In 1929, they offered a new line made of a swirly pearlescent plastic they called Pearlite, which they advertised as having true mother-of-pearl, a claim that was broadly doubted later. Carter's output rose steadily until 1931-2, when with many other firms, the Depression forced them out of the market after a sudden falloff in models and features. Their 1920s pens were excellent, sturdy, and wrote well. In summary, Carter's was a classic second tier manufacturer -- created excellent pens that not compete in straitened circumstances.
About This Pen
This pen is something of a mystery. It probably is a Carter’s, so would be from the early 1930s. It looks like the Carter’s lower level pens in their catalog, but since it’s missing its clip that’s hard to confirm. There is no imprint, and all Carter’s pens I’ve seen have borne imprints. But, BUT, it has a Carter’s gold nib, which carries some weight toward identification. It’s a smaller pen, a touch more than 4” long and .4” thick just below the cap edge. It’s a lever-filler, made of a marbled green celluloid with black tips, also a Carter’s “could-be” pattern. Finally, the lever is a two-piece unit with a linking piece also seen in some Carter’s pens. Is it a Carter’s? Probably, but I can’t go further than that. The cap and body show wear but cleaned up quite nicely. There are no significant nicks or scratches, just 90 years of use and storage wear. Its only trim is the single cap ring and the cap crown, with the stub of a clip; and those are generally clean plate although the clip-less crown is a bit dented. The nib? It’s a very firm, quite decent writer, fine perhaps extra fine line. That makes this a Bargain pen for sure.