About This Model
Sheaffer's Balances, both Lifetime and non-Lifetime, appeared in 1929 and were Sheaffer’s top production lines from the early 1930’s until after WWII. They were available in numerous lengths, girths, colors and patterns, filled by lever or plunger, and were well enough made that now, with a cleaning and filling system restoration, they make excellent and durable pens. There were two distinct levels, Lifetime and non-Lifetime, and numerous models at different times. The Lifetime designation was carried over from before the Balance's appearance, and was kept to designate higher level pens. They carried Lifetime nibs and a white dot to signify the pen as a Lifetime; in addition, they came with the Lifetime guarantee, which continued for many years until the courts struck it down. After WWII the White Dot was used to denote higher level pens, and then became Sheaffer's brand identifier. Non-Lifetime pens had lower trim levels but were made of the same components; their nibs were very good and were often much softer and easier to write with than Lifetimes. Balances were also designated with numerous sub-model names after the mid-1930s, and the use of Balance was ended altogether after WWII, with the obsolescence of lever-filled pens.
About This Pen
The B8C was the mid-1920s full-sized Lifetime pen, made of chased black hard rubber, with 14K gold trim and Lifetime nib. This example is a very substantial pen, at 5 11/32” long capped and 1/2” thick. The gold trim is clean. The nib is a large gold Lifetime, with a solid feed behind it; it writes a firm fine line. For a 90-year old, this pen is in overall very nice condition. However, like most 90 year-olds, it has flaws: in this case, two barely visible, non-displaced repaired cracks in the cap edge: one is quite short and probably harmless; the other is a 1/2” curve under and beyond the cap ring that appears to be stable but should limit this pen’s travel from one’s desk. The cracks do not affect the cap’s placement or thread grip. Even with its flaws, this is a rare pen that will help complete any vintage Sheaffer collection.
Price: $100 Sold