Object Record

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Object Name Bottle
Catalog Number 88.168.3.1-2
Description Clear glass bottle that once contained black ink from Sheaffer's Skrip company. The yellow, blue, and white label reads "Sheaffer's Skrip Writing Fluid with RC-35 Permanent Blue Black #22. The bottle is empty and is in a box with no lid. The bottom of the box has advertising information.

3.1 A-B - bottle, 3.2 - box
Material glass/metal
Medium glass/metal
Dimensions H-2.25 W-1.5 Dia-6.25 inches
Subjects Bottles
Ink
Classification Correspondence/Letter
Imagefile 018\88168312.JPG
Year Range from 1925.0
Year Range to 1935.0
Notes Back in 1922, Robert Casey, a Fort Madison inventor, was at home in his second story office and lab busily experimenting on behalf of the W.A. Sheaffer Pen Company. The new invention was Skrip Writing Fluid.

Fort Madison legend has it that Casey was quite a character and an eccentric inventor. He conducted his experiments in a small bedroom in his home that had been turned into a lab. The walls were still covered with ink samples in the late 1970s!

Most of us quickly recognize the familiar Sheaffer Skrip bottle which for over five decades bore a yellow and blue label. Interspersed through the years, but never long lasting, were bright red labels and even the Skrip V-Mail red, white and black label. Sheaffer got a little creative in the late 1980s and in an apparent attempt to make our old favorite yellow and blue labeled Skrip more up to date, started putting Skrip into a burgundy box-the label was also burgundy and the lid was now gold; quite elegant! Throughout these package changes, the bottle stayed the same with the famous Skrip-Well on the inside for easy filling of your fountain pen.

In the early 1990s, Sheaffer shut down Plant No. 2 in Fort Madison, which held the ink manufacturing facility and sold off the old fifty gallon ceramic ink crocks, complete with huge porcelain spigots for draining off ink. After Plant No. 2 closed down, it remained somewhat of a mystery as to where Sheaffer was making Skrip. Most people seem to think the ink manufacturing was moved to the main Sheaffer factory, but as the last few years have passed, Sheaffer employees tell you that they don't know where the ink was being made. Now, the Sheaffer factory is pretty big, but not so enormous that you'd miss ink making equipment!

In July of 2002, Sheaffer announced that Skrip was being re-formulated and would be available in new colors and packaged in a newly designed bottle. Sheaffer also took this opportunity to inform us that Skrip was now being manufactured in Slovenia!

Prior to the recent changeover to Slovenian Skrip, the available colors were: Jet Black, Blue, Blue Black, Green, Red, Brown, Lavender, Gray, Kings Gold, Burgundy and Peacock Blue. Sheaffer discontinued Lavender, Gray and Burgundy entirely. They replaced, or perhaps better said, renamed Kings Gold to Gold and Peacock Blue to Turquoise. Both of these colors have changed; the new turquoise is still definitely turquoise, but darker than the old Peacock Blue. The new Gold is not gold at all, but a brilliant canary yellow color.

New colors now available are Pink, Purple and Orange. I will assume that these are in the top ten favorite colors of the world and may appeal to a younger audience. Many pen collectors also love using a rainbow of different inks, so I'm sure initial sales will be brisk. The Pink is a bright pink, Orange is quite appropriate for Halloween and the Purple is a rich pure purple.

┬ęCopyright Sam Fiorella
All Rights Reserved

This article was originally published in Pen Tracks Volume 6, Issue 9, September 2002. Pen Tracks is published by The Southeast Pen Collectors' Club.
Made W.A. Shaeaffer Pen Company