Restoring a 3rd Generation Charles H Ingersoll Dollar Pen

I’ve written previously about finding and restoring some earlier generation Charles H Ingersoll “Dollar” Pens in posts here,  here, and here, plus a post telling more about Ingersoll and showing my entire Ingersoll mini collection.  The latter included pictures of my last Ingersoll find, but at the time of that post I had not yet restored the filling system.

I bought this pen at a bargain price because it looked perfectly awful.  Someone had “repaired” a loose clip by wrapping some insulated electrical wire around it. Wired on clip I took a chance that I could repair it properly.  Once the wire was off, I found that one of the small rivets was loose, so I pulled the inner cap and fitted the butt end of a drill bit inside to act as an anvil, then tightened the rivet by gently tapping on the outside.


Today I finally got around to restoring the filling system.  It turned out to be quite easy, having done several others in the past.  I was a little nervous about the bakelite because it is notorious for cracking into a million pieces very unexpectedly.  I applied some heat and gently extracted the section from the barrel.  It came out without too much resistance, much to my relief.

The original ink sac (a rubber tube, actually) was intact, but the ends were rock hard and the center had that mushy feel that is the first stage in sac failure.  I only had to pull gently to tear the sac loose from the section.  The twist filler knob (an upholstery tack) did not want to pull out of the hard rubber plug inside the barrel, so I gently pryed it out with a small screwdriver.  Here’s a picture of the pen partially disassembled.  I’ve placed the two parts of the original ink sac close together to give you a feel for how it was inside the pen.  The twist filler knob/tack and its small conical bearing washer are at the left end of the sac.  The hard rubber plug into which the tack sticks is still inside the end of the sac:

Charles H Ingersoll Dollar Pen red bakelite partially disassembled

The next picture shows the hard rubber plug more clearly:

Charles H Ingersoll Dollar Pen red bakelite disassembled

The next step was to knock the nib and feed out of the section using my knock-out block.  Then I cleaned the remains of the old sac off of the rubber plug and the nipple on the section.  I found that a number 20 sac fit perfectly onto the plug and nipple, so I attached the open end of the sac to the plug using shellac.  Once that was done, I inserted the plug and sac into the barrel to measure the needed length for the sac to fit between the plug in its final position against the inside end of the barrel and onto the nipple with the section in its proper position.

I cut the closed end of the sac to the proper length, then secured it to the nipple with shellac.

Charles H Ingersoll Dollar Pen red bakelite new sac

When the shellac had set, I inserted a small dowel through the section and against the rubber plug.  Using the dowel, I guided the plug end of the sac to the far end of the barrel and pressed the section into place in the barrel.  Holding the plug in place against the inside end of the barrel, I pressed the tack back into the hole in the plug until it rested fairly tightly against the outside of the barrel.  A test twist of the knob showed that the sac twisted, then untwisted itself when the knob was released.

Charles H Ingersoll Dollar Pen red bakelite showing dowel use to refit twist filler

The final step was to reinsert the nib and feed into the section to the proper depth and the job was done.

Charles H Ingersoll Dollar Pen red bakelite uncapped

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s