Waterman #14PSF (c. 1918)

The fountain pen industry was well off and running by the time World War I came around, and much advertising was directed toward parents, wives, etc. to buy pens for the Boys Over There. No doubt many pens like the one above could be found in shirt pockets all over central Europe in those years (one recently turned up in France, where it had been buried with its owner for some 80 years . . .it still wrote, of course), although some doughboys preferred Parkers because their washer clips permitted them to be pushed farther down out of sight in the pocket.

David Lloyd-George used a Waterman Ideal to sign the treaty of Versailles at the end of The War to End All Wars (although, sadly, the signature lasted longer than the peace).

This particular pen is designated 14PSF for chased black hard rubber, #4 size point, pocket clip, and self-filling system (the lever fill, which Waterman had "borrowed" from Sheaffer after trying a couple of other similar ideas earlier in the decade. The pen is in near mint condition, with good shiny black color. Waterman pens had two imprints during these years, one on the side and one near the end (in case the side imprint was covered over by decoration).
This nice crisp side imprint (right) is a quaint example of what the late automotive historian Michael Sedgwick called "nuts and bolts" advertising...no sex, no emotional appeals, just lots of patent dates.

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