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Waterman Fountain Pens
Lewis Edson Waterman, an insurance salesman, reportedly lost a sale to a client due to a leaky fountain pen. He quit the insurance business and went to his brother's farm where he invented his three-fissure feed fountain pen design. He sold his first pens in a cigar shop in New York. In 1884, he received a patent for his invention and founded the Ideal Pen Company. The company was renamed the Waterman Pen Company in 1888.
Waterman fountain pens manufactured before 1929 were made of hard rubber. The black Ideal 52 was the primary pen line. The Waterman safety pen, the first pen with a fully retractable nib, was introduced in 1904 and was also a popular model. In 1929, Waterman introduced the Patrician, its first celluloid fountain pen. While attractive, the pen had the high price of $10 and did not sell well.
Waterman introduced its highly collectible Hundred Year Pen in 1939. This pen was the first fountain pen to be made out of lucite, a new plastic manufactured by DuPont. Hundred Year Pens earned their name because they were guaranteed for one hundred years. The pens are durable, and true to their name, many of them are still around today for collectors to enjoy.
Charles Lindbergh carried a Waterman fountain pen with him on his famous trans-Atlantic flight 1927
A Waterman 42 hard-rubber safety pen with an elaborate Italian gold overlay in very fine condition is currently valued at $2,000
Due to the fact that the Waterman Patrician fountain pen was so expensive and did not sell well, few of them are available on the collector's market today. Waterman Patricians currently sell for between $500 and $5,000