Esterbrook Safari Mechanical Pencil
About This Model
By the late 1950s, fountain pen innovations had definitely taken hold. Lever-filled pens were no longer in favor, extruded plastic construction had become the norm, and construction economies were being practiced. Even after Esterbrook's long, wildly successful history with its J family of pens, it was time to join the trend, and join they did with the Safari, the M2, and the 101. The Safari, appearing in 1957, was first, with a slant-profiled plastic cap. The cap was poorly made, however, and developed cracking early. So, it was quickly replaced with a metal cap, and became a plunger-filled pen that resembled the earlier Deluxe pens, notwithstanding the different cap design. These second generation pens are good ones, if you can find one. The M2, probably from 1958-59, were also good pens, built quite well. They are aerometric fillers with metal caps, a clear Parker 51 copy you could get at the dime store. Their caps are indented front to back, the metal caps chased with very close rings, and they either had an integrated cap ring with the brand imprint or the imprint was found on the clip. Nearer the end of the line, there were also the 101s, plastic pens in bright colors, or the Phaeton, which was notable for being convertible between an aerometric filler or a catridge.
About This Pen
The Safaris were among the best of the Esterbrook post-J production, both in fountain pen and mechanical pencil. This green pencil, model CP (scholarship courtesy Brian Anderson) is in looks-like-new condition; chrome cap and trim shiny and clean; barrel unmarked. It works well. Good for a bag.