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Thread: Ink windows

  1. #21
    Senior Member KBeezie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ink windows

    Quote Originally Posted by eachan View Post
    With some sac fillers a clear section gives a small view of the ink.
    Especially with visualated sections


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    Senior Member penwash's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ink windows

    [QUOTE=Robalone;351741]
    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    Most here probably know this already, but I remembered back when I first encounter it, thinking that it's quite unintuitive for an ink sac-based filling system to have an ink window.

    Hmm, maybe I'm missing something, but it's more than counterintuitive!
    Even if the sac was say pliglass you wouldn't see very much if anything of the ink, and a latex sac would show a big fat nothing ?!
    Is it even a thing that a sac filler has an ink window ? That doesn't make any sense !!

    Possibly a 'demonstrator' with a clear sac ......but how many of them are there ? Anyway, that's not an ink window .
    It gives an indication on how much ink is in the section, not the -- of course -- opaque ink sac.

    It is an ink window.
    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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  5. #23
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    Default Re: Ink windows

    [QUOTE=penwash;351802]
    Quote Originally Posted by Robalone View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    Most here probably know this already, but I remembered back when I first encounter it, thinking that it's quite unintuitive for an ink sac-based filling system to have an ink window.

    Hmm, maybe I'm missing something, but it's more than counterintuitive!
    Even if the sac was say pliglass you wouldn't see very much if anything of the ink, and a latex sac would show a big fat nothing ?!
    Is it even a thing that a sac filler has an ink window ? That doesn't make any sense !!

    Possibly a 'demonstrator' with a clear sac ......but how many of them are there ? Anyway, that's not an ink window .
    It gives an indication on how much ink is in the section, not the -- of course -- opaque ink sac.

    It is an ink window.
    I'll add the caveat that I don't currently have a functioning pen with this feature. I had a Balance with it that I didn't ever really use much, and do have a couple in my "I'll get around to it" cup(plus one I've been soaking on and off for a few weeks since it's been stubborn to open. The only Balance that's really been a permanent resident for me is the red-veined gray OS that belonged to a great-great uncle, and it's old enough to not have that.

    In any case, the ink window is about the size and location of the one on the Lamy 2K. If nothing else it should be a "You're about to run out" warning, and I imagine you can get some idea by turning the pen on its side.

  6. #24
    Senior Member Robalone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ink windows

    Quote Originally Posted by eachan View Post
    With some sac fillers a clear section gives a small view of the ink.
    Aahhhh. Cool, Of course. Didn't think of that .
    Takes foot out of mouth . D'oh.

  7. #25
    Senior Member Chip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ink windows

    The Pelikan M101N, both the 1935 original and the recent limited edition, have a transparent portion between the piston and the section.


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    Default Re: Ink windows

    Quote Originally Posted by bunnspecial View Post

    Of course with levers, buttons, Vacumatics, etc I've heard plenty of folks talk about how it was normal at the end or beginning of the day to dunk your pen in your ink bottle, give the lever a few flips or the button a few presses, and know that your pen was full and ready to go. You'd only fill that pen out of your bottle of Skrip blue-black or whatever ink you were using and keep using it until it was empty, then probably buy another bottle of the same ink.
    There are (were) ways to adapt, as you've noted. Early in my career there were still a few court reporters who were pen-writers. One used a Parker 51: he kept an open bottle of ink next to his steno pad and would dip the nib during pauses in testimony. Can't imagine the 51 would have gone dry anyway. Another would refill his lever filler when we went off the record. Don't remember the pen, but can't remember him ever wiping the nib after filling. An official reporter would have several pens out on his desk. They were the pros.
    When I was in law school I had two ways to make sure not to run empty: refill at night when studying was done without regard to whether I thought the pen needed it or not. Second, carried a plastic bottle of Quink in my backpack. To bunnspecial's point: I survived college and law school on Quink blue-black. Solv-X meant never needing to flush my Parker 45.
    Courtrooms and conference rooms are not places I choose to refill, which is why I always carry two fountain pens when there's going to be serious writing. Besides, that provides a perfectly logical explanation for needing more pens. If it's going to be boring I take a pen with a wide nib to enhance my doodles, add flair to the arrows in my notes, etc.

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  11. #27
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    Default Re: Ink windows

    Ink windows are not an absolutely necessary but a cool feature on some pens:


    Pelikan 100N



    LAMY 2000

    But there are also pens which just looks better without:


    OMAS Extra


    Parker "51" Vacuamtic

    So to me, it's rather a question of design than of functionality. here's a picture of my favourite ink windows:


    ...the LAMY safari wouldn't be the same without!
    Last edited by christof; January 18th, 2022 at 10:00 PM.

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    Senior Member christof's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ink windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Robalone View Post
    Attachment 66642Hi. I've got a bit of a thing for Watermans glass cartridge pens, and this one turned up a while back .with the little gold S on the cap and I was surprised that it had the small round ink window .... it's the only one I've ever seen !
    I'm in the camp that thinks it's usually a gimmick ( amongst other gimmicks obviously) , as when the pen runs dry it's time to refill it, and most of us have a bunch of pens inked up at any time anyway. Quite often the see through bits discolour as well.
    There was an earlier model by Waterman's with a huge ink window:


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    Default Re: Ink windows

    Will has a pen with an ink window on a lever filler: the Ink-D-Cator.
    https://m.facebook.com/redeempens/po...ale=zh_CN&_rdr
    ( Sorry, limited talent on my IPad)

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  17. #30
    Senior Member Scrawler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ink windows

    The Parker Televisor (approx 1937) had a section that was half opaque black plastic and half ambered ink window. It is difficult to see in this picture because it really needs light going through to see.
    I marked a little arrow to where it is, you can just about make out the difference in color.

    tvpen2.jpg

    This is a sac filling pen so by virtue of new materials they created a half transparent section.

    It is quite different to the Waterman Ink Vue which has the visualizing section as part of the barrel.

    inkvue.jpg

    In this case the sac is just a part of the pumping system which fills the barrel.

  18. #31
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    Default Re: Ink windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawler View Post
    The Parker Televisor (approx 1937) had a section that was half opaque black plastic and half ambered ink window. It is difficult to see in this picture because it really needs light going through to see.
    I marked a little arrow to where it is, you can just about make out the difference in color.

    tvpen2.jpg

    This is a sac filling pen so by virtue of new materials they created a half transparent section.

    It is quite different to the Waterman Ink Vue which has the visualizing section as part of the barrel.

    inkvue.jpg

    In this case the sac is just a part of the pumping system which fills the barrel.
    I've never owned an Ink-Vue, but does it not operate on a similar principle to the Parker Vacumatic?

    Vacumatics have a pump with a latex sac-type structure sealing off the end of the barrel. When the pump is pushed down, air is pushed out of the barrel, and when it is released ink is sucked up the breather tube. This continues until ink reaches the top of the breather(or actually a bit over, although generally I pump to expel this and prevent potential blobbing).

    The ink is held directly in the barrel, and the most common Vacumatics are laminated with alternating "stripes" of color and transparent celluloid, although 70+ years later they can range from as clear as when made to only visible under strong backlighting.

    The first pen you show looks like the section used on later Sheaffer balances. If I had to guess, like the Vacumatics, it was probably very clear when new and may or may not have darkened in the time since. The Sheaffers I've had with this feature vary in their ink window color.

  19. #32
    Senior Member Scrawler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ink windows

    Quote Originally Posted by bunnspecial View Post

    I've never owned an Ink-Vue, but does it not operate on a similar principle to the Parker Vacumatic?

    Vacumatics have a pump with a latex sac-type structure sealing off the end of the barrel. When the pump is pushed down, air is pushed out of the barrel, and when it is released ink is sucked up the breather tube. This continues until ink reaches the top of the breather(or actually a bit over, although generally I pump to expel this and prevent potential blobbing).

    The ink is held directly in the barrel, and the most common Vacumatics are laminated with alternating "stripes" of color and transparent celluloid, although 70+ years later they can range from as clear as when made to only visible under strong backlighting.

    The first pen you show looks like the section used on later Sheaffer balances. If I had to guess, like the Vacumatics, it was probably very clear when new and may or may not have darkened in the time since. The Sheaffers I've had with this feature vary in their ink window color.
    The Ink-Vue mechanism is unnecessarily complex and quite different to Vacumatics. Ink-Vue is really a bulb filler with a linkage to an external pumping lever. The Vacumatics were made of striped material with transparent lines between lines of colour and you can see the level of ink by holding it up to the light and looking through. One of my Vacumatics (a 1946 US made) still has clear lines. The rest are ambered.

    The Televisor came with an amber ink window, but mine is certainly darkened. The (Canadian) Televisor came with a very decently flexible nib.

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    Default Re: Ink windows

    Not to get into a sidetrack discussion too much, but in my mind the Ink-Vue and Vacumatic are still very similar. I have never handled an Ink-Vue, but am quite familiar with the Vacumatic both as a collector/user and in repair of them.

    Both operate on the principle of the ink being stored directly in the celluloid barrel(as opposed to in a rubber sac). Both have a latex rubber seal at the top of the barrel that does not serve strictly as a container for the ink. Both work by manipulating that latex seal to expel air from the barrel(through a breather tube) and then in turn to use that latex seal to draw ink into the pen body, also by a breather tube.

    The fundamental difference is that the Vacumatic "pumps" the latex in and out of the barrel to achieve this using a rod that is in-line with the body of the pen. The Ink-vue, as I understand it, forms the top latex seal into a bulb that is squeezed by operating a lever from the side of the pen to expel air, and then expand back out to draw ink in.

    At the end of the day, the Ink-Vue looks basically like Waterman liked the Vacumatic and what it offered but came up with a Rube Goldberg mechanism with the same operating principal as the Vacumatic presumably to circumvent Parker's patent.

    At the end of the day, I personally consider the Vacumatic a rather elegant mechanism, and Parker use it for around 20 years. As long as you have a wrench to remove the filling unit, the mechanism is simple to service(caveat about the pellet cups on late fillers that can break if you're not careful removing the pellet) and is reliable aside of course from the diaphragm with a finite life.

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