Esterbrook Renew Points

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.

1314 flexible stub
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
2312 italic medium
2314B broad stub
2314F fine stub
2314M medium stub
2442 falcon stub (backhand writing)
2460 firm medium
2464 rigid broad
2550 extra fine medium (bookkeeping)
2556 firm fine
2668 firm medium (general writing)
2788 flexible medium
2968 firm broad
3550 firm extra fine
3556 firm fine
3668 firm medium
3968 firm broad
9048 shaded writing
9128 extra fine flexible (fine penmanship)
9284 signature stub
9312 italic medium
9314B broad stub
9314F fine stub
9314M med. stub (social correspondence)
9450 posting
9460 carbon copies (manifold)
9461 carbon copies (manifold)
9550 extra fine (posting)
9555 shorthand
9556 fine writing (records and charts)
9650 med. manifold (for carbon copies)
9668 medium (general writing)
9788 shaded writing
9968 broad script

This file last posted on:
2005-Jan-20 17:50:23 CST
MCMVIII, the red network