All the way back into the 19th century, Esterbrook had been a manufacturer of steel points for dip pens, so their notion of user-replaceable points for fountain pens (which they called "Renew Points") made perfect sense. Waterman and Wahl both came up with similar ideas, but their points appear to have been strictly for dealer installation, and in any case no one stuck with the idea as long as Esterbrook.
The motivation behind Renew Points appears to have been replacement of worn or damaged points (or rusted points; all Esterbrook points to my knowledge were steel), but given that Renew Points came in such a huge variety of types, this also permitted the writer to change the "personality" of the pen at will, or to equip it for specialized jobs (such as posting in ledgers or making carbon copies).
1930s ad for Esterbrook steel pen points
A collection of Esterbrook Renew Points. The one at far left appears
to be a newer one, with a clear sleeve and no numeric marking.
The Renew Points were easy to install; simply twist out the old and twist in the new. The point and feed were locked in place by a threaded sleeve so that they could not be put out of adjustment during the changeover operation (the principal German penmakers have gone over to this technique in the assembly of their modern products).
Each Renew Point was identified by a four digit number; those in the 9xxx series (the "Master Points") had iridum nibs for long wear, while the others made do with steel nibs. Again, all these points are of steel construction (unless anyone is able to correct me in this regard). Below. I have listed all the Renew Points I have been able to learn about, and I'd appreciate a note to about any others you may have seen. To see an Esterbrook advertisement listing some of these points, go here; to see a promotional flyer with handwriting specimens, go here.
|1461||rigid medium (manifold or carbon copies)|
|1550||firm fine small (bookkeeping)|
|1551||firm medium (student)|
|1554||firm medium fine (clerical)|
|1555||firm medium (Gregg shorthand)|
|2048||flexible fine (shaded)|
|2284||broad (signature) stub|
|2442||falcon stub (backhand writing)|
|2550||extra fine medium (bookkeeping)|
|2668||firm medium (general writing)|
|3550||firm extra fine|
|9128||extra fine flexible (fine penmanship)|
|9314M||med. stub (social correspondence)|
|9460||carbon copies (manifold)|
|9461||carbon copies (manifold)|
|9550||extra fine (posting)|
|9556||fine writing (records and charts)|
|9650||med. manifold (for carbon copies)|
|9668||medium (general writing)|
|This file last posted on:
2005-Jan-20 17:50:23 CST
MCMVIII, the red network