The Pencil Is Mightier Than The Pen – Part 1: An Exploration Of The 350

Pelikan 350 Mechanical Pencil

Pelikan introduced their first mechanical pencil to the market on June 26, 1934. The model 200, known as the AUCH-Pelikan, was initially designed to accompany the 100 and, later on, the 100N line of fountain pens. The AUCH-Pelikan continued to be manufactured until October of 1951 with little variation in its design over its 17-year production run. The 1950s would bring a flurry of new mechanical pencils, most designed with an eye towards matching Pelikan’s burgeoning line-up of fountain pens. Pelikan’s focus has always seemed to rest squarely upon their pens with add-ons like mechanical pencils being more of a secondary consideration. That isn’t to say that Pelikan’s mechanical pencils aren’t solid additions to their other writing implements, they absolutely are. In fact, the pencils that they produced were even somewhat ahead of their time when you compare them with other brands. It’s just that the development of their pencil lines has never seemed to be a primary goal. One of the first models to follow on the heels of the AUCH-Pelikan was the 350, first introduced on October 24, 1950. This model changed its looks several times over the course of its production run and is therefore worth exploring in a bit more detail. As far as companion pieces go, the 350 would actually have a few different dancing partners early on in its existence. Care should be taken to not confuse the vintage 350 mechanical pencil that we are discussing here with either the #350 fountain pen made for the Japanese market or the M350 Vermeil fountain pen, two modern models produced in the 1990s. Read on to explore all of the 350’s many forms.

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The Venerable Pelikan 140

Pelikan 140 Fountain PensMy recent exploration of the less commonly encountered Pelikan 300 gave me occasion to pull my 140 and 400 out of the pen cabinet.   Looking over those two models made me realize that both were equally deserving of their own post so consider this the second installment of a three-part series looking at some of Pelikan’s finest work from the 1950s and 60s.  Today we will focus on the 140, the direct successor to the Ibis 130 (1949-54).  First introduced in 1952, the 140 came in a plethora of colors, many of which are not often seen today.  The 140 was also a platform adapted to unique purposes and sold by other manufacturers without Pelikan’s branding so there is a lot of variety to be found out there.  Production officially ran from April of 1952 through July of 1965 and many small changes occurred to the line over that time, particularly early on in the run.  These changes can help to date earlier pens and I will endeavor to highlight most of them below.  Read on to learn all about this iconic model.

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The Pelikan 300: A Chimera

Pelikan 300 Fountain PenIn Greek mythology, the Chimera was a fire-breathing female monster with a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail.  She was the sibling of Cerberus the three-headed hound of Hades and the Hydra, a serpentine water monster.  In ancient times, merely sighting the Chimera was an omen for disaster.  Today, we use the term to refer to anything made of disparate parts.  Pelikan produced a chimera of sorts back in the 1950s though nothing as monstrous as the beast of ancient mythology.  The pen that I’m alluding to is the Pelikan 300 which holds a unique spot in the company’s catalog.  It was made for export only and positioned in the market between the 140 and 400.  It enjoyed a production run of just five years spanning June of 1953 through November of 1957.  As such, these are not commonly encountered on the secondary market today.  The 300 came in just two colors, a black/green striped version and an all black striped model though an all burgundy variant, possibly a prototype, is known to exist as well.  When discussing the 300, it is important to keep in mind that it has no relation to the M300 Souverän which didn’t debut until 1998.  Due to a paucity of information out there, I thought that the 300 might be well suited to a post of its own.

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Pelikan Made Taylorix Pens

Pelikan and Taylorix branded 100N, 130 Ibis, and 140s

Pelikans beside their Taylorix cousins

It is not uncommon for a company to enter into an agreement for the manufacture of goods meant to be sold and distributed by another business.  These products are frequently meant to target a different market segment than the manufacturer’s usual wares.   As far as fountain pen production is concerned, often times these pens are not tied to the original manufacturer by way of their usual branding.  Despite the absence of those tell tale markings, the pen’s designs are not radically altered from that of a company’s standard production models and can be readily identified.  The Taylorix company is an example of one such business that purchased a large number of pens from multiple manufacturers upon which they placed their own branding starting sometime in the 1930s.  Today, I would like to focus on those Taylorix branded pens produced by Pelikan in the post-war period.  Aside from the surviving pens themselves, very little information is know about these models.  Pelikan’s archives contain little in the way of details and Taylorix is no longer in business.  What we do know is that, for the most part, the Taylorix pens made by Pelikan included the 100N, 130 Ibis, and 140 produced sometime in the 1950s.  In a more unusual twist, there has even been an MK10 or two seen with the Taylorix branding, indicating a relationship between the two companies persisted into the 1960s.  Read on to learn what we know about these unique Pelikan manufactured pens.

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