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Parallel Evolution

Posted by Dirck on 1 December, 2016

If nature can throw things like the flying squirrel, the sugar glider, and Draco volans in our faces, then it seems like we have to give the benefit of the doubt to two pen designers who come up with… remarkably… similar solutions to the same problem.

I have been wrestling lately with a Sheaffer Imperial I which needs new rubbery portions.  Since the pen in question was sent to me mostly dismantled, I thought I’d take the opportunity to do an exploded view of the model, as I’ve done for others.  When I slid the feed out of the shell, I said to myself, “That looks familiar….”  In fact, the feed, and the way in which the point clings to it, are so like the same components of a Lamy 2000 that one might almost think they came from the same factory.  Here, have a look:

lamyimperial

Isn’t that interesting?  Now, before we start pointing fingers and shouting “J’Accuse!” at anyone, remember how this entry started.  What we have here is two companies facing a similar engineering challenge– how to get a small point to stay put in a semi-hooded section in which a traditional friction-fit arrangement of point and feed wasn’t possible?  That both companies came up with a very similar response to the question looks a little funny, but consider how the increasing consideration of fuel economy through aerodynamics made so many cars of the 1990s and even the 2000s look like a well-used bar of soap.  There might have been peeking at the work of the other.  But it wasn’t necessarily so.

Oh, and before the Sheaffer partisans decide that it must be that Lamy was lifting ideas from the darling of Fort Madison, because after all, the Lamy 2000 appeared a full five years after the Imperial I, a word of caution.  I can say with certainty that the insides of the 2000 are not much different from those of the Lamy 99

The 99's point-tabs look even more like those in the Imperial, don't they?

The 99’s point-tabs look even more like those in the Imperial, don’t they?

…and the 99 was a budget version of the Lamy 27, and that pen was out in the world at least five years ahead of the Imperial.  As were the ads bragging about its “Tintomatic” feed system.  Just sayin’.

And on that note, here’s the week’s progress report:

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  •  25 manuscript pages.

 

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