Esterbrook 788 v2

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Esterbrook 788 v2
Manufacturer Esterbrook
Nib No. 788
Descr. Oval Point, Version 2
Markings Exterior
Mark 1 lateral L 788
Mark 4 MADE IN U.S.A.
Esterbrook 788 Version 2 - top view, with ruler

The 1938 Esterbrook Catalog says, "Slightly flexible, medium, oval point. Most popular oval point pen. Ultrasmooth. Gray finish [or] Gold plated."

Described in contemporary advertising (Zanarian) as: "No. 788. 'Oval Point.' The points of these pens have a perfect oval that comes in contact with the paper and makes them glide over the surface with a smoothness that is delightful." A contemporary advertisement ( notes that "the oval point--shaped like the back of a spoon--glides along with an ease and smoothness that is most delightful."

The Esterbrook Project describes this nib as having "a pinched waist body with a spoon head and sharp, turned-up tip. The vent hole is a large baseball bat shape. Firm flex." The #788 Oval Point is distinguished from a nib with the same descriptor, but a different number--the Esterbrook #787 Oval Point Pen.

AAAndrew's Steel Pen blog references a history of Turned Up Point Pens in The American Stationer (2/12/1889): "The first steel pens made in Birmingham about the year 1837, while providing a ready made instrument for penmen, failed to give that ease in writing which was the characteristic of the old quill. [Steel pens] were uniformly fine pointed and naturally more or less scratchy. The remedy for this was not found until a generation later, when ... the happy idea occurred to turn up the points. ... The penman can write longer with less fatigue than with the ordinary styles. The tediousness of writing is almost entirely avoided, and the relief is so complete that it converts a drudgery into a delight."

Brandon McKinney's analysis of the markings and grindings date this as a post-WWII version of the #788 Oval Point Pen, late 1940s.


There are six distinct versions of the Esterbrook #788 Oval Point Pen in the Chappy's Nibs collection:

(These version names are defined for this collection alone, and are not necessarily industry-wide terms.)

The nib pictured below is Version 2.


Click any image for a full-resolution photo: 2200 x 640. The image with the ruler is 2300 x 1196.

Esterbrook 788 Version 2 - top view
Esterbrook 788 Version 2 - side view, upper
Esterbrook 788 Version 2 - side view, lower

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