Summit Cadet Model S-100 (c. 1929)

After paying a couple times for pens to get restored, how better to dive deeper into this rabbit hole than trying it out for myself?

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Unassuming eBay find.

I took a gamble on this because the nib looked like it could possibly have a little flex. Either way, a £17 pen shipped needing what looked like a fairly basic restoration couldn’t hurt my wallet too bad if it failed, so I put in what turned out to be the only bid on this pen!

It arrived and there was no sac, and the pen needed some care. I took everything apart; testing the nib out against my thumb indeed revealed that it had a satisfying amount of flex, though I decided I would wait after it was restored to ink it instead of going for the dip. I ordered a small bottle of shellac and what I hoped was the correct size of sac (the measurement was taken with a transparent plastic ruler).

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Nib shot. After polishing, the celluloid really sparkled!

When the goods finally made their way to my desk, I pulled up Richard Binder’s excellent guide and had a go very carefully. While waiting for it to dry, my research gave me a good start date for production and revealed that the S-100 was the lowest end of a series of Cadet pens made from 1929 onward. The fact that really caught my eye, though, was that Summit nibs were often firm nibs, which means that I had really lucked out on this one!

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Easy flex on those swirls, too!

I definitely consider this a success for my first attempt at restoration! Now I’m curious about their stiff nibs, though I’ve yet to come across another Summit in real life. The London pen meet that I frequent has tons of Conway Stewarts and Mabie Todds, and though the old hands know of Summits, none of them own one.

This is the second of three pens in chunky red celluloid that I own. A third review to come — but for now, here’s a group shot!

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