Sheaffer Lifetime Balance

This pen displays all three of Sheaffer's chief innovations from the years before 1930: the lever filler, the Radite (celluloid) barrel and cap in a striking jade green color, and the tapered "Balance" shape. This is a "Lifetime" pen, guaranteed for the life of the original owner, and signified by the prominent white dot above the clip. The white dot was originally reserved for Sheaffer's most exclusive pens, but would later become a general trademark.

Sheaffer points run somewhat rigid, which made them very useful for carbon copies and also makes them easier for modern writers to use.

This Lifetime point has the heart-shaped breather hole that was a feature of so many vintage pens. It also has a serial number and the obligatory patent declarations.



By tapering both ends of the pen, in theory Sheaffer could move the center of gravity of the pen (in writing configuration, with cap on the back) closer to the point and make it more comfortable for the user. More importantly, perhaps, the Sheaffer Balance was a real style breakthrough. Within 5 years, most of the major makers would have some form of "streamline" pen (Wahl flirted with trademark infringement by calling theirs the "Equipoise").

The Lifetime Point was another bit of Sheaffer marketing genius. In reality, there was very little to distinguish the Lifetime from a standard Sheaffer pen, but the serially-numbered point and white dot set these apart from the junior offerings in the line, and the additional price of the Lifetime ($8.25 for the jade green model at left) plus the nominal return fee, made the occasional repair or exchange very affordable for Sheaffer.

This file last posted on:
2005-Jan-20 17:50:26 CST
MCMVIII, the red network