Good day, pen friends.
Today I bring you a Sheaffer's Valiant. Not the Valiant you might be more familiar with, which was produced starting in 1949, with its engraved 3/8" gold filled cap band; Sheaffer liked to reuse names. This one came first.
Sheaffer began offering the Valiant, Vigilant, Defender, and Commandant, "Especially designed for the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps" in 1941, and production continued until 1945. I highly recommend that you visit the Pen Collectors of America's website, view their Library, and download the April 1941 issue of Sheaffer's catalog; it features these wonderful military pens, including model numbers, pricing information, and those great old-timey advertising blurbs.
The main feature of these military pens is the "over-the-top" military clip, which was designed to prevent unsightly bulges in the flaps of a Service man's uniform's chest pocket. You can find a good write-up on the history of the military clip at RichardsPens.com.
History lesson over, Instagram character limits suck, back to the pen in front of you: I received this pen with dried green ink inside the barrel and clogging the feed. Interestingly, the barrel does not contain a price code. It is a vacuum-filler, featuring exceptional barrel clarity for its age. It has seen some love, with deep scratches in the plastic and minor plating wear at the tip of the clip. More than likely, it saw action in Europe or the Pacific.
Before I forget, the dimensions for this pen are 132.5mm capped, 118mm uncapped, and 11.5mm in diameter at the widest point of the barrel. Oversize!
Anyway, I've restored the filling system and filled it with Sheaffer Skrip Blue-Black. The pen draws about 2ml of ink on the first stroke, and it writes a wonderfully smooth extra-fine line. I don't think I'm ever going to run this one out of ink. All in all, a fascinating piece of history, and an exceptional pen.
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