Eversharp CA ballpoint

At left is the infamous Eversharp CA ("capillary action") ballpoint pen, which has been called "the pen that killed Eversharp". It has the styling of Eversharp's Fifth Avenue line. (The earliest pens looked like Skylines).

Eversharp "discovered" the ballpoint pen when a company executive found a Biro pen while on travel in Buenos Aires; they took the trouble to obtain a license to the Biro design and brought out the CA, their own ballpoint, in 1946. Unfortunately, they were beaten to the market by an upstart startup Reynolds (which did not claim any licenses for its Rocket), and the whole episode ended up in court. Even so, there was still room in the market for everyone, but Eversharp's CA pens, like other early ballpoints, didn't work very well; this, combined with the company's inability to retune their thinking to the new age of cheap, disposable pens led to a steep decline in business

While Eversharp made a number of pens during the 1950s, with names ranging from the sublime "Symphony" (from the studios of designer Raymond Loewy) to the ridiculous "Ventura Burp Pen", few of these are highly regarded by collectors today. The company was on its way out and had very little to offer. Eversharp disappeared into the Parker conglomerate in 1957.

 

Vintage ballpoint collecting has recently emerged as a sub-hobby within the pen collecting field. You can often find the Eversharps or their contemporaries at shows, and books documenting them are beginning to appear. Unfortunately, unlike a vintage fountain pen, old ballpoints cannot be "authentically" restored to service because they are all dried up and replacement refills are generally unavailable for pens made before 1955 or so. However, some folks have figured out how to put modern pen refills into them (Bic stick-pen refills are favored for this transplant) so you can get them back writing once more.

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