Eversharp Skyline(r)

The Skyline (actually originally known as the Skyliner) appeared in 1940 and disappeared as a separate model name in 1945. It was styled by Henry Dreyfuss, a master of industrial design whose other efforts included telephones, thermostats, tractors, and other very common U.S. household objects. This very evocative design has recently spawned tributes and imitators; as well as the recent Skyline reissue (which included a "Yellow Cab" gift set and a U.S. Army Air Corps commemorative made from aluminum from WW-II era fighter planes), echoes of the Dryfuss design can be seen in the Waterman Phileas and in the Gotham Rollerball offered by Levenger.

Dreyfuss also designed a refurbishment for the famous New York Central passenger train, the 20th Century Limited, which is very similar to the Skyline in one particular respect: Dreyfuss really only provided the futuristic outer skin of the train, underneath all the glitz was a garden-variety steam locomotive (Dreyfuss' "appearance package" was eventually removed for the final years of the locomotive's service). In the Skyline, too, we have an exciting, futuristic exterior covering rather conventional sac-pen guts (consider that these were the years for Parker 51s and Sheaffer Vac-Fils and Triumph points, all of which represented real technological advance).

Skylines are favorites with collectors; despite the short model run, they came in a huge assortment of colors and trim levels (from plain celluloid to striped to gold-filled and solid gold) and have not yet inflated horribly in value. They are very good writers (some have very flexible points in the old style). Often, however, it is difficult to find one in good shape, since the plastics obtainable during the war were not of the best quality and tend to crack (around the lever) or shrink (leaving the metal parts fitting rather loosely).

 

Another Skyline, this one unusual for being so plain: no bands, no cap sheaths, etc. The pen shows off the "coke bottle" profile that was suggestive of fast airplanes. This is just one of the many variations Eversharp produced on the basic Skyline theme. Nearly all Skylines bear the Eversharp brand on the clip and elsewhere; a tiny few were made under the Wahl name for legal reasons before the company gave up the use of its original name in the 1940s.

 

The Skyline's 14k point shows a peculiar indentation and a teardrop outline where the adjustable point feature of previous Wahl pens would have gone.

Skylines came in a number of point grades, but there don't appear to be any markings (at least none on this example) to help you identify them.

The Skyline's distinctive over-the-top clip looks more complicated than it is, but tends to be a pain to repair. Also, if the cap plastic has shrunk to the extent of loosening the gold-filled trim, the ring that holds the cap in place will end up crooked. Still, the cap, clip, and derby of these pens are their most intersting features.

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