The Waterman's Globe Inks
Posted 24 June 2012 - 07:00 AM
My thanks to Max Davis for his help in supplying images of some of these bottles.(1) And many thanks, Antonios, for all the volumes of American Stationer.
1. Three versions of the Waterman's globe inks formerly in Max Davis's collection, also shown in his Waterman's book, p.175, http:// img.photobucket.com/albums/v71/rhrpen/6d6c10c0.jpg.
Posted 26 June 2012 - 07:00 PM
The Waterman's Globe InksI have always been intrigued by the Waterman's globe-shaped ink bottles. Or cardioid, or heart-shaped, or cone-shaped, or urn-shaped ink bottles. Holding one is like cupping a little ball in your hand. It's just a little handful of an ink bottle, just barely fitting into the fist. You can see where Waterman's got their inspiration for the shape of the bottle when you look at the Wateman's "Ideal" Globe trademark, but it was also born of necessity because of all the new self-filling fountain pens that were proliferating at the time. Waterman's also had pump fillers, coin fillers, and sleeve fillers before they had their famous lever fillers. This bottle was literally the first ink bottle that was intended to be used exclusively for replenishing self-filling fountain pens. The reservoirs of these bottles came to a rounded point at the bottom to form a well from which self-filling pens could be filled, right down to the last few drops of ink. I haven't been able to find a patent or design for it yet, but that doesn't necessarily mean that there isn't one. It just seems like a very patentable idea, if not for its function and utility, then at least for its shape and design. Perhaps it couldn't be patented because of prior similar designs such as US design no. 36,764 from Feb 2, 1904, the Bustanoby(1) design for the bottle for their "Forbidden Fruit" grapefruit liqueur. It is also shaped sort of like the globus cruciger design of the Chambord framboise liqueur bottle. There are a few different types of Waterman's globe inks, and I had always wondered about which one came first. I always thought that these Waterman's bottles came in at least three different types, and with at least two different labels, but I have recently found a fourth distinct type and a possible fifth variant, and have come to a conclusion about the complete chronology of the various types and shapes of bottles and labels, which I have deduced from various sources that I have collected over the years. But the thing that cinches it all is the ads in American Stationer featuring all the different styles and shapes of Waterman's ink bottles, ads that are geared toward stationers and dealers. Here is the bottle's phylogenetic progression.
The first version of the bottle.
The first bottle, ca. 1912 to 1914-15, makes its first appearance in an illustration in The Pen Prophet, September 1912,(2) where it is called "our new No. 3 style of…so-called Self-Filling Bottle…from which to fill Self-Filling Fountain Pens…with its conical base". But the bottle is first mentioned, but not illustrated, in an ad in Am. Stat. on Aug 17, 1912, p.1,(3) before they had prepared a cut for the ads, and where it's called the "new style No. 3". The bottle is a cardioid, or heart-shaped cone, or a little footed urn, and not a true globe shape. It has a metal cap(4a) embossed with the globe symbol, the words "Waterman's Ink", and two stars,(4b) and it has steep, quick-sealing threads. The caps are compatible with the Waterman's ink bottles with the tall, eyedropper-covering screw caps. The phrases "Waterman's Ideal Ink" and "New York" are embossed on opposing shoulders, and it has no mark on the bottom. The bottle in pictured without a label in Pen Prophet, but it may have had one. The label may have been eliminated from the cut for the purpose of allowing the nib of the fountain pen to be seen through the glass, dipping into the last dregs of ink. At first the bottle was released in purple glass, but after the First World War started, and the manganese required to make the glass could no longer be procured from the German colonies that supplied it, the bottle was made of selenium glass. The ca.1912-13 papers that came in the box with the sleeve-filling pens(5) show the pen being filled from this type of bottle. It's another version of the same cut in Pen Prophet. But the pen shown being filled in the ca.1914-15 streetcar ad(6) is already a lever filler.
The second version of the bottle.
There is a possible variant of the bottle with an eyedropper under a tall, metal eyedropper cap.(7) I found one on Ebay, but it may have been a marriage, since it contradicted the original stated purpose of the bottle, that is, for use with self-filling fountain pens, and not for filling eyedropper pens. Maybe someone realized that the two types of caps were compatible and inter-changeable, and the caps were exchanged aftermarket. However, there may be another true variant of the metal cap, and I am calling this one the second version, at least until someone disproves it. The first ad for the bottle in Am. Stat., Mar 29, 1913, p.57,(8a) shows this second type.(8b) The same cut appears in the ads on Aug 2, 1913, p.1, Oct 25, 1913, p.20, and Apr 18, 1914, p.69. An article on May 3, 1913, p.35, announces the new "’Ideal’ Ink Price List", a "very artistic little folder gotten up by the L. E. Waterman Company" to be distributed and supplied to all stationers and other dealers, and the ad on Nov 7, 1914, p.1, doesn't have pictures of all the different bottles, but it does offer a "Catalogue On Request". The difference between the first two metal caps might best be explained by the license taken by the illustrator who drew the picture of the bottle in the ads. I photoshopped one of the eyedropper caps(9) to show what the cap may have really looked like, that is, with a rounded, knurled top edge rather than the straight, square-cut edge it has in the cut. The difference, however, may also be explained by the fact that the cap on the first round type is on a bottle found in Canada, since Waterman's did have their own factory in Canada, and the square type of cap may be found only on bottles in the US. The one thing these early ads prove conclusively, though, is that the earliest bottles had no label.
The Stafford's version of the bottle.
There is also a "Stafford's Fountain Pen Ink" bottle in a square-globe version of the first bottle, or an upside-down-pyramid-shaped bottle with rounded and chamfered corners. Its threads are compatible with the Waterman's heart-shaped ink bottle, so their caps are interchangeable. This one is quite rare because it may have been forced out of production early on by threats of litigation by Waterman's, and consequently very few of them survive. I have only ever seen one of these bottles in all the years I have been collecting and researching inks. That's one for every 20-25 of the Waterman's bottles I've seen so far in over 30 years of collecting. Some other similar ink bottles include the Canadian Carter's cardioid ink on its 3-legged, metal stand,(10) the Japanese Pilot urn-shaped ink,(11) and the Italian Visconti mushroom-shaped ink.(12) The Sheaffer's "Library" ink bottle(13) in US design no. 71,330 also somewhat resembles the Waterman's bottle. It's the bottle featured in a topic on FPN started by Roger Wooten.(14)
The third version of the bottle.
The third bottle is another version of the first type of bottle, ca.1914-15 to the early 1920s. It appears in the early-1920s brochure titled Waterman Ideal Ink where it is described as a "Desk Style vase shaped bottle, our new container designed especially for self-filling pens", and in the early-1920s brochure titled A Vacation Necessity where it is described as "For Desk Use". It has the same cardioid shape, but it now has short, shallow threads, and a black bakelite cap, which has the same words and imagery as the metal cap, but with more refined embossing, and it is not interchangeable with the metal cap because the threads are not compatible with those of the first bottle. It has the same embossing on the shoulders, and no mark on the bottom. It may not have had a label at first, but then it had the squat, horizontal, diamond-shaped label with the double-globe, and the black line inset from the edge of the paper. The transition to the next type of bottle is well-documented in an article in Am. Stat. The article titled "New Waterman Ink Receptacles" on Apr 17, 1915, p.32,(15) is the first time the bottle appears with a label, and it also has the bakelite cap. Two bottles are presented, the globe ink, and a new, patented pouring spout for their master inks. Both are called "newly patented receptacles", but the pour-spout is the only patented item. The globe ink is still called "the new 2-oz. bottle", but then the article goes on to say that it is only "the result of careful planning", but no more. This article would have been the perfect opportunity to crow about any patent for the globe ink, if there were one, but since one isn't mentioned, I think we can safely say that there probably wasn't one, maybe. So call me "Maybe". The Am. Stat. ad on Aug 28, 1915, p.1, doesn't show, but only mentions the globe ink, calling it "the new style self-filler bottle",(15a) even though it does show the bottle with the patented pour-spout. The mention appears above a picture of a "Travelers' Filler", which only serves to add strength to my conviction that the globe ink wasn't patented. Otherwise, they'd have been prouder of it. The next ad showing the globe ink appears on Oct 9, 1915, p.29, but it gives equal time to both self-filler and eyedropper-filler ink bottles.(15b) The next ad in Am. Stat. doesn't appear till well after the war, in 1919, so it's hard to tell what happened in the intervening years. The full-page ads in Am. Stat., Apr 26, 1919, p.33,(16) July 2, 1921, p.17,(17) and Mar 11, 1922, p.17,(18) all show the bottle with a double-globe label. A British instruction sheet from around 1922-23, the type that was inserted into pen boxes, also shows the double-globe label.(19) This label also appears on the bottles in the 1922 Waterman's US catalogues and on the Waterman's "April 1923-January 1924" calendar advertising blotters.
The fourth version of the bottle.
The fourth bottle is yet another version of the first type of bottle, early-to-mid-1920s, but this is the cross-over bottle. It has the same bakelite cap, and shallow threads, and cardioid shape, but with a wider filling cone-tip at the bottom that almost makes the bottle spherical, a steeper foot at the base, and the single-globe label with "Copyright" and "1920" at the extreme left and right angles of the diamond, and a black border at the edge of the paper. The one big difference is that although it has the same embossing on the shoulders, it also has the phrase "This container made in U.S.A." and a mold-number mark embossed on the pedestal, or base, which on some bottles is smaller in circumference and steeper than the earlier bases, almost in preparation for the next version of the bottle. And by the time the Waterman's 1925 catalogue comes along, the bottle is called the No. 103,(20) or 203, 303, etc., depending upon the color of the ink.
The fifth version of the bottle.
The fifth version of the bottle is a totally new design, mid-to-late-1920s, possibly into the 1930s. It is essentially the second style of bottle because it is so radically different from the other four in that it is truly globe-shaped. The other ones were all cone-shaped, and just had different caps and threads. The fifth one makes its first appearance in the 1925 brochure titled Wherever a pen or pencil is used,(21) where it is described as, "Waterman’s new desk style bottle for self-filling pens…. Note the extra deep ‘well’ extending to the bottom of [the] bottle–assuring easy access to the very last drop of ink". It has the same bakelite cap, and the same shallow threads, but a new globe shape with a column-tip that extends into the footed base, much like a little tube stem. There is no "New York" embossed on the shoulder, and only "Waterman's Ink" on the shoulder opposite the single-globe label. The phrase "This container made in U.S.A." is on the base, but there is no embossed mold mark on the bottom because of the protruding cone tip, or nipple of the tube-shaped well, which is in the way. The latest it appears is on the border of a Waterman's letterhead dated and sent in 1929, but the design of the letterhead dates to an earlier time. Production of the globe bottle may have been discontinued in the late 1920s, or the bottle may have been available a little later into the early-30s. The new "Tip-Fil" bottles in US design no. 98,958 filed July 29, 1935 and issued on Mar 17, 1936(22) replaced it and made it redundant.
What a shame that it's gone...
1. US design no. 36,764, Feb 2, 1904, http://www.google.com/patents?id=V2ZoAAAAEBAJ&pg=PA1&dq=patent:D36764&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=1#v=onepage&q&f=false.
2. The Pen Prophet, Sept 1912, p.11,http: //img.photobucket.com/albums/v71/rhrpen/8800bda0.jpg, reprinted
in Pen Fancier's Magazine, Mar 1982, p.23.
3. American Stationer, Aug 17, 1912, p.1, http: //img.photobucket.com/albums/v71/rhrpen/db4aad1f.jpg.
4a. Waterman's first globe cap oblique, http: //img.photobucket.com/albums/v71/rhrpen/5fd0ff90.jpg.
4b. Waterman's first globe cap top, http: //img.photobucket.com/albums/v71/rhrpen/c940ecf4.jpg.
5. Waterman's box insert paper ca.1912-13, http: //img.photobucket.com/albums/v71/rhrpen/94f150cd.jpg.
6. Waterman's streetcar ad ca.1914-15, http: //img.photobucket.com/albums/v71/rhrpen/2e404aa8.jpg.
7. Waterman's eyedropper cap, http: //img.photobucket.com/albums/v71/rhrpen/a21a5a7a.jpg.
8a. Am. Stat., Mar 29, 1913, p.57, http: //img.photobucket.com/albums/v71/rhrpen/1db93e65.jpg.
8b. Ibid., p.57, detail from the ad, http: //img.photobucket.com/albums/v71/rhrpen/83f6aee4.jpg.
9. Waterman's eyedropper cap photoshopped, http: //img.photobucket.com/albums/v71/rhrpen/0315a294.jpg.
10. Canadian Carter's cardioid ink, http: //img.photobucket.com/albums/v71/rhrpen/6addfc03.jpg.
11. Japanese Pilot urn-shaped ink, http: //img.photobucket.com/albums/v71/rhrpen/a91efa24.jpg.
12. Visconti mushroom-shaped ink, http: //img.photobucket.com/albums/v71/rhrpen/a9346ced.jpg.
13. Sheaffer's "Library" Skrip ink, http: //img.photobucket.com/albums/v71/rhrpen/2c96078e.jpg.
14. FPN topic #191982, http: //www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php?/topic/191982.
15. Am. Stat., Apr 17, 1915, p.32, http: //img.photobucket.com/albums/v71/rhrpen/93ebd861.jpg.
15a. Am. Stat., Aug 28, 1915, p.1, http: //img.photobucket.com/albums/v71/rhrpen/WatadsAug281915_zpsc16d198a.jpg.
15b. Am. Stat., Oct 9, 1915, p.29, http: //img.photobucket.com/albums/v71/rhrpen/zpsae5e7aa0.jpg.
16. Am. Stat., Apr 26, 1919, p.33, http: //img.photobucket.com/albums/v71/rhrpen/dfc7761c.jpg.
17. Am. Stat., July 2, 1921, p.17, http: //img.photobucket.com/albums/v71/rhrpen/3cc5eaa5.jpg.
18. Am. Stat., Mar 11, 1922, p.17, http: //img.photobucket.com/albums/v71/rhrpen/2a9fda73.jpg.
19. Waterman's box insert sheet, ca.1922-23, http: //img.photobucket.com/albums/v71/rhrpen/2699f938.jpg.
20. Waterman's 1925 catalogue, http: //img.photobucket.com/albums/v71/rhrpen/f2ce0d1d.jpg.
21. Waterman's 1925 brochure, http: //img.photobucket.com/albums/v71/rhrpen/668e8927.jpg.
22. US design no. 98,958, Mar 17, 1936, http://www.google.com/patents?id=DEFpAAAAEBAJ&pg=PA1&dq=patent:D98958&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=2#v=onepage&q&f=false.
Posted 05 December 2012 - 07:00 AM
1. L&P Topic 2062, http: //kamakurapens.invisionzone.com/index.php?showtopic=2062#entry9252.
Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:11 AM
1. Am. Stat. Aug 28, 1915, p.1, http: //img.photobucket.com/albums/v71/rhrpen/WatadsAug281915_zpsc16d198a.jpg.
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