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Sheaffer Vigilant fountain pen
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Object ID 001786

Object Name Sheaffer Vigilant fountain pen

Object Desc Shaeffer lever-filling fountain pen. Barrel and cap are dark brown with gold features, hard plastic possibly celluloid. Cap has signature white dot below clip. Name "Mary Lee S Elton" written on two sides of barrel

Collection General Collection

Accession # CMY002025a-b

Alternate ID

General Category History

Category Stationery Items


Source Category Found In Collection

Accession Date JAN 1,1991


Location Room 7, Shelf 10

Object Date

Start Year Range 1941

End Year Range 1950s

Status On-Site Collection Storage

Object Keywords pens,fountain pens,Walter A. Sheaffer Pen Company,Vigilant Fountain Pen,military,writing instruments,Elton, Mary Lee S.,

Title Sheaffer Vigilant fountain pen

Description Fountain pen with barrel and cap. Hard plastic exterior, possibly celluloid. The clip on the cap is military style with the Sheaffer white dot just below the clip. Cap has gold ring at bottom edge. Cap is screw-on. Barrel has gold writing on sides of lever "Mary Lee S Elton". On back of pen is engraved manufacturer information "W.A. Sheaffer Pen Co / Fort Madison, Iowa, U.S.A. / Patented in U.S.A.". Nib attached, gold with engraved Sheaffer Lifetime Guaranty on top. just above nib on the barrel there is a translucent section that would allow someone to see the amount of ink remaning.


Approx Collection Date

Height 0

Length 5.19

Width 0

Depth 0

Diameter 0.25

Circumference 0

Weight 0

Unit of Measure Inches/ounces

Dimension Details

Quantity 0



Site Details

Place of Origin

Maker Walter A. Sheaffer Pen Company

Maker Details This pen is part of a series of fountain pens with a military clip, or over the top clip, that debuted in 1941. There were four styles (Commandant, Valiant, Vigilant, and Defender), two filler systems and three colors. See Notes for more information. The Walter A. Sheaffer Pen Company was founed in Fort Madison, IA in 1912 by Walter A. Sheaffer. He was a jeweler. In 1908, he filed a patent for the lever filling system. Today the company is a part of BiC.

Maker Mark


(click for full image)

Image Caption CMY2025a-b



Date MAR 20,2014

Summary fair

Assessor BN

Notes Overall, barrel and cap are worn and scratched. The metal components of cap are tarnished. On barrell, the writing to the right of the lever is faded and worn off. The nib is stained with black ink.




Date MAR 20,2014

Notes Link to information on military clip pens:

Date MAR 20,2014

Notes Link to information on the Sheaffer white dot and lifetime guarantee:

Date MAR 20,2014

Notes Difficult to discern the Sheaffer Vigilant versus the Valiant. Both are military-clip, white dot pens. However in some advertisements the Valiant is shown to have the transparent section to allow users to see when to refill the pen, but that is not to say that didn't change. The Valiant is to be a standard size pen, while the Vigilant to be a more slender pen. This pen has a smaller nib which would indicate that it is the Vigilant. Needs more research