Edison Pens Fountain Pens - Handmade in the USA

Edison Pen Co

A Blow Filler? A Blow Filler!

Posted by on Jul 06 2010, in New Pens

Hi Pen Fans!

I always love it when a customer approaches me with new ideas, designs, filling systems, and challenges to consider.

I had a customer speak to me about a blow filler.

This is a filling system that was used very early in the history of pens.  I’m not sure that it was a real lucrative filling system, as I’ve never seen one live, but it turned out to be very interesting and certainly fun.

With a blow filler, there is a sac attached to the section or housing which holds the ink.  This is just like any other typical pen incorporating a sac as the reservoir, such as a lever filler, button filler, crescent filler, etc.

Each of these sac filled pens incorporate some way of compressing the sac.  When you dip the pen in ink, compress the sac and then release, the result of the sac returning to it’s shape will cause a vacuum resulting in ink being drawn into the sac.

In the case of a lever filler, there is a pressure bar that compresses the sac, activated by a lever.  With a button filler, there is a pressure bar activated by a button on the bottom of the pen, with a crescent filler, the same applies, and you can guess what activates the pressure bar. 

So this pen fills the same way, but with an incredibly simple method of compressing the sac.

How does this pen fill?

There is a very small hole drilled into the bottom of the barrel, which is visible in the photos below. 

The section threads are made very precise, to the point of where they are airtight.

This seals the barrel internally.

So to fill the pen, you insert the nib into an ink reservoir, and blow into this hole on the back of the barrel.

Since the interior of the barrel is sealed, blowing into the barrel increases pressure, causing the sac to compress.

When you stop blowing, the sac decompresses, drawing ink into the sac. 

Two or three cycles of blowing into the back of the barrel will fill the pen completely.

The blowfillers of the past would typically not have an ink window.  The customer who ordered this pen wanted some kind of way of knowing where the ink level was.  We went with an ink window, and also a clear sac.  This makes it easy to determine when it’s time to refill.

This pen was also made from original Sheaffer Crimson stock.  Very hard to find.

This was a seriously fun pen to make.  It was really nice to revive a design from a very long time ago!

Brian at Edison

 

Comments

  • RogerB

    Interesting! Does it require much ‘puff’ to drive the air out? I can see opportunities for spectacular spills as you get your face down near the ink bottle!

  • Debi

    How coolly retro!

  • Brian Gray

    No, very easy to fill.

    It takes very little lung power. It’s not like you are blowing hard. Very little pressure, very easy to fill.

    I will admit that it’s strange to look as if you are sucking ink from your inkwell, but that aside, it’s a very simple and effective way to fill a pen.

    There’s no downside, except for looking a little funny when filling it!

  • carl

    very cool! wonderful material too. Probably not the type to bring on a plane though : )

  • Very cool. Out of curiosity, what were blow filler pens’ sacs made from back in the day, if they were around way back when?

  • Brian Gray

    This original would have made from a rubber sac, rather than clear latex, as in this one.

  • Only a true artist like you would be interested enough to take on a project like this. It is gorgeous.

  • Nick

    Hello Brian, the pen looks very handsome. I’m wondering that is it necessary to put a breather tube on the feed, like other sac filling pens have?

    • Hi Nick. Thanks for the comments! No, there’s no reason for a breather tube. This fills just like a lever filler, pneumatic filler, or any other pen that uses a sac, and those require no tube. Your breath will completely decompress the sac, causing all air to escape. No need for repeated compressions due to this. 🙂

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