The Swan Safety Screw Cap eyedropper.

That’s what I call it. I wonder if it has an official name.

Swan safety screw cap

The original owner’s initials are engraved on the cap band. I’ve taken to calling this the “Why Not” pen as a result.

Swan safety screw cap - engraving

The imprint on the barrel is fairly strong. I don’t think W.N. used this pen much. Why not? I have no idea. “Safety screw cap” means – I believe – that unlike unthreaded caps, screw caps allow for gradual release of pressure, so no nasty ink surprises when a cap is pulled off.

Swan safety screw cap barrel

There’s also an imprint on the cap.

Swan safety screw cap

And another on the feed. Mabie Todd was apparently huge on brand building, and stamped “Swan” onto every part of the pen that could be mistaken for a part from another pen. (So what about those quotation marks? Were they for emphasis? In today’s usage, quotes behave like an aura of irony around a word. To wit: They’re “dating.” She’s “interesting.” He’s “enthusiastic.”)

Swan feed

On to the nib. (Which is also branded Mabie Todd Swan). The beautiful metal overfeed makes sure the nib never runs dry. Here, you can see the ink pooled under the overfeed, ready to be commanded by gravity and capillary action.

Swan nib with metal overfeed

Here’s what the overfeed looks like from the top.

Swan nib with metal overfeed

Caloy asked me if the overfeed restricted how the tines behaved during a downstroke. It doesn’t seem to.

Swan writing sample

I dropped Pilot yama-guri ink into the barrel and the pen just wrote by itself.

Swan writing sample

Early Swan nibs are almost always generously flexy, and this is no exception. It’s already in regular use.

Swan nib flexing