Over 100 Variations of Fountain Pen Filling Systems

For lack of a better term, this is the “Greenberger Classification” of fountain pen filling systems. The fountain pen filling system families are broken down as I see them. I agree that some might be too similar to be split, and there is more than one way to group them together.

CAUTION! Extreme hair splitting ahead!

Fountain Pen Filling System Families

(click on any Family to go directly to that section)

Detailed Family, Genus, and Species

DROPPER FILLED FOUNTAIN PENS

  1. Standard dropper filled – removable section
  2. Middle joint
  3. Rear end joint – full internal removable reservoir – Eagle correspondent, (there is a Wirt variation as well)
  4. Jointless
    1. Hicks
    2. Parker (not in my collection – feel free to contribute pics!)
    3. Rider (not in my collection – feel free to contribute pics!)
  5. Plug feed
  6. Retractable nib dropper filled
    1. Rotating knob
      1. Internal helical grooves with straight rod
      2. Internal straight grooves with helical rod
    2. Push to extend nib
      1. Push rod retractable nib – Moore style
      2. Wirt retractable nib
        1. Wirt retractable nib type 1
        2. Wirt retractable nib type 2

BUT WHICH DROPPER FILLED SYSTEM REIGNS SUPREME? Click to participate in the dropper filling system showdown!

FOUNTAIN PENS UTILIZING A CARTRIDGE

  1. Eagle glass vial, 1890s
  2. Hancock copper cartridge, c1922
  3. Waterman glass cartridge, c1936-1955
  4. Modern plastic cartridge

DIRECT FINGER PRESSURE APPLIED TO SAC (or bar on sac) aka Thumb Filler Fountain Pens

Direct sac squeeze, sac reservoir

  1. Eagle “self-filler”
  2. External rotating cover
  3. External sliding cover (Waterman and Eureka)
  4. Internal rotating cover
    1. End knob connected – Eagle Snap Shot
    2. Section connected – Lakeside
  5. Barrel slides open – Laughlin
  6. Barrel removed to expose filler – Parker aerometric squeeze converters, Parker 51 and similar

Direct squeeze, barrel reservoir

  1. Bulb filler –  Postal, etc
  2. Bulb filler with bars – Macniven and Cameron version of bulb filler

LATERAL SAC COMPRESSION, SAC RESERVOIR FOUNTAIN PENS

Matchstick (some patents even picture a pencil point being used)

  1. Eagle lightning
  2. Wiedlich (stick on top of cap)
  3. SnapFil (hinged hidden stick)
  4. Clip Fill (this one is admittedly a lie – standard matchstick filler, but tells you to use the clip)
  5. Matchstick hole covered with collar
  6. “Staple filler”

Lever

  1. Standard
    1. Pin (Sheaffer)
    2. Lever box (Waterman)
    3. C ring (everyone)
    4. Pressure bar, side arms (Eagle)
    5. External C ring
  2. Locking lever – two versions of Lotz patent by Monogram
  3. Lever to end of barrel – Crocker hatchet
  4. Reverse – Eisenstadt
  5. Compound lever – Whitney Richards
  6. Split lever – Swan
  7. Lateral or Swing lever – BB stylo and Held

Barrel end mechanisms activate lateral pressure

  1. Barrel end activated pressure bars (pressure causing bending)
    1. Button fill – Parker, Wearever Pacemaker/Meteor
    2. Push knob – Stephens, blind cap stays attached
    3. Twist knob to activate pressure bar – Mabie Todd
      1. Knob under blind cap (Blackbird)
      2. End knob activated (Swan)
    4. Pilot toggle/switch fill
    5. Cam style rotation to compress pressure bar
      1. Turnstile
      2. Conway Stewart Speedy-Phil
    6. Curzon’s “Top-Lever” Pen – Help me find one and I will add page for this filling system!
  2. Barrel end activated internal levers
    1. Eagle flash – pull to pivot compression arm
    2. Parker 51 “Red Band”– push to pivot compression arm
    3. Twist knob to pivot lever – Kritikson Security
    4. Eagle toggle
  3. Parallel bars
    1. Pull activated parallel bars – Macniven Cameron
    2. Toggle activated parallel bars – Autopoint

Hump fillers

  1. Rotating Locking rings
    1. External
      1. Conklin crescent
      2. Welty/Evans
      3. Jaxon
    2. Internal
      1. Grieshaber
  2. Stowable humps
    1. Coin
    2. Holland hatchet
  3. Pressure bar integrated lock
    1. Parker click fill
  4. Sliding locks
    1. Boston
    2. Wirt
    3. Betzler hump filler

Pull activated lateral sac compression (rather than typical push)

  1. Saddle filler – John Holland style pull filler
  2. Servo U bar (can be seen as reverse lever, but pulling results in back side sac pressure)

Slide activated lateral compression

  1. Schnell, Bankers master special
  2. Whitney collar mechanism

LATERAL COMPRESSION OF SAC, BARREL RESERVOIR FOUNTAIN PENS

  1. Waterman Ink Vue with segmented lever
  2. Eagle prestige toggle/spoon activated
  3. Button activated bulb – diamond medal

LINEAR COMPRESSION FILLED FOUNTAIN PENS

Linear compression sac fill

  1. Accordion filler with extendable push rod–
    1. Betzler type 1 (flip out extension)
    2. Betzler type 2 (slide out extension)
  2. Accordion with ink viewable button– Stylomine 303
  3. Pseudo accordion – Swan visofil V

Linear compression barrel fill

  1. Extendable rod linear compressed sac – Visofil VT
  2. Direct linear sac compression – Topfiller
  3. Partially inverted sac – Parker Vacumatic (lockdown, speedline, plastic)

Linear compression sacless? (see reciprocating pump fillers)

PNEUMATIC PRESSURE, SAC RESERVOIR FOUNTAIN PENS

  1. Blow filler
  2. Chilton
    1. Barrel slides
    2. Internal tube slides (Chiltonian)
  3. Sheaffer touchdown
  4. Sheaffer snorkel

TWIST FILLING FOUNTAIN PENS

Twist – sac reservoir

  1. Simple twist knob (unlimited rotation) – Ingersoll
  2. Threaded knob with stop/limitation – Ingersoll Bakelite and AA Waterman
  3. Twist with ink-viewable knob – WASP
  4. Stick mounted into sac – Autofiller
  5. Naked sac – Colonial Pen company and Boston Pen Company
  6. Sac grabber – “other Ingersoll”
  7. Swan “leverless” sac entangle

Twist – barrel reservoir

  1. Twist bulb – Wahl Oxford twist
  2. Swan New York Visofil – a complicated mechanism

SAC COMPRESSION BY LONGITUDINAL PIVOT OF BAR

  1. Internally pivoting pressure bar – Wirt Simplicity
  2. Internally pivoting bent wire – Dr. Faber’s

PISTON FILLING FOUNTAIN PENS

  1. Simple syringe filler
  2. Sliding collar syringe filler
  3. Macauley Sosimple
  4. Ford Patent Pen – reciprocating piston
  5. Sager downstroke filling piston
  6. Standard twist piston
  7. Extending rod spring pistonPen BBS 500
  8. Magnetic piston – Pen BBS 492
  9. Rod through piston head, engage to fill, disengage to store
    1. Conid Bulkfiller/Pen BBS 355
    2. Bayonet filler
    3. Wirt self filler 100 (like early Bulkfiller) 
  10. Is the Morrison patriot a variation because the syringe is under the barrel??

PLUNGER FILLING FOUNTAIN PENS

No subcategories here… But here is an explanation of the plunger filler with a great video of a Sheaffer plunger filler demonstrator in action.

RECIPROCATING PUMP – (pull brings in ink, push expels air)

  1. Air expelled from nib end (**these could also be a sacless version of linear compression fillers, but then the word “compression” does not apply)
    1. Dunn pump filler
    2. Noodler converter
  2. Air expelled from pump end
    1. Internal end knob pump – Waterman pump
    2. Posted cap as pump – Blair’s Nosak

CAPILLARY ACTION FILLING FOUNTAIN PENS

  1. Parker 61 capillary filler
  2. La Plume D’Or Bibax

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