Collectible: Peter Pan fountain pen


When I saw this pen on eBay, I knew I had to get it!

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This is a Peter Pan fountain pen made in the old days by a company called Salz Bros. Inc. (New York). I don’t really know why they call it a Peter Pan fountain pen – with its mega-petite size, I would more likely call it a Tinkerbell fountain pen instead!

Let’s not wait anymore, I want to present the pen’s vital stats to you now, so you know how small it is!

Vital stats:

  • Length of pen when capped: 6.6cm (including the ringtop)
  • Length of pen uncapped: 5.5cm
  • Length of pen posted: 8.8cm (including the ringtop)

20141003_120344 copyHave you ever seen a pen so tiny before? This is my first time! Salz Bros. Inc. was a company that made nice little pens and this Peter Pan is probably the world’s smallest fountain pen, if I may dare to attempt this statement. The best part is, despite its size, it is supposed to be fully functional, although I cannot imagine how much ink can actually be contained within it – 2 drops?

You may guess that the Salz Bros. Inc. is no longer in existence, as they went out of business in the 1950s (source: My Antique Pens). Such a great, great pity indeed, as I wish that they still existed to make such delicate little pens! I am really lucky to own this little vintage pen, which is likely produced during the 1920-30s. That makes it almost a century old today.

20141003_120514 copyThe amazing thing about this little pen – and I may never cease to praise it – is how well it has been kept. I did not spend a fortune to acquire this little pen, and the purchase is definitely a risk. I had bought Peter Pan fountain pens before which were bigger than this, and they had arrived in not-so-great conditions. This little one, however, has perfectly new threads, not a single stain, complete with a nib with a heart-shaped breather hole in excellent condition!

I was afraid to break it while I meticulously separated the nib section from its barrel, but was really pleasantly surprised to find that the threads were still very healthy. The cap itself is also a screw-cap and screws on snugly as well. This is really reassuring because, if I ever thought of showing off the pen by wearing it on a chain around my neck, I will know that it wouldn’t slip apart and be lost forever.

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Being such a tiny pen, there is really no point comparing it with regular-sized pens. I would have half-thought that I¬†wouldn’t be able to find this pen if I stored it together with my regular pens, some of which are really huge. So what’s the next most relevant stuff we can compare it with? Cartridges, of course! You can see how it measures up along with commonly-used ink cartridges. From the top, we have a typical Lamy long cartridge followed by a typical Platinum cartridge. This little pen is just about as long as the Lamy cartridge and slightly longer than the Platinum. Now compare it with the bottom, a typical international short cartridge. The cartridge is more than half the length of the pen.

Now that’s a really tiny pen, indeed.

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Next, I hunted for the biggest nib I ever owned, and it turned out to be the Noodler’s pen nib. Look at how it compares to the Peter Pan fountain pen nib – it’s more epic than Samson and Goliath (figuratively-speaking). In fact, the Noodler’s nib alone is more than half as long as the entire Peter Pan pen!

20141003_120604 copyWhat better place to store this pen, than in my boxful of cartridges? I really need to pay attention not to lose this precious little gem. Look at how it already camouflages itself amongst its newfound brothers and sisters, who aren’t fellow pens, but just parts of pens. How amusing that is!

In order to preserve the near-pristine condition of this Peter Pan fountain pen, I have decided not to ink it. A friend of mine had a similar pen before, and she had actually managed to make a flex pen out of it! The limited ink capacity only allowed her to write a few words before running out. But such a pen is really not for everyday use, it is a collectible! I have tried flexing the nib of my Peter Pan on a hard surface, and found that it DOES FLEX. Really wonderful. But I shall not be tempted to start inking it.

For those of you who want a pen like this, keep a lookout on eBay because I really doubt any pen supplier sells such pens at all (if you know of one, let me know). I remember prowling around eBay for a long time before I got this pen at a really decent price. Never will I let it go!

Now for one last picture before I end this post:


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6 Responses

  1. andreakirkby 20 October 2014 / 5:28 AM

    You are a genius to take photos with the cartridges and with the monster Noodler’s nib and not with another pen. I can hardly believe my eyes!

    • Maybelline 22 October 2014 / 11:00 AM

      Haha, since it was hiding among my cartridges in a little box, I thought why not!

  2. nicholasyeo 15 October 2014 / 9:46 PM

    That’s a really small pen! Definitely made to be worn on the neck…

  3. rdcalhoon 15 October 2014 / 9:43 AM

    I enjoyed reading your thoughts about this interesting little pen. I am not a collector, but it is fun to share another pen lover’s enthusiasm, and learn about pens I may never see. Happy pen hunting!

I would love to hear your thoughts!