Symphony — Eversharp’s Last Good Pen?

By Teri Morris • NOS News, Pens of Interest • 23 Apr 2013

Poorly documented, largely overlooked

The Eversharp Symphony was launched in 1948 and couldn’t have had a more auspicious beginning. While the company’s previous major model, the Fifth Avenue, had some shortcomings that prevented it from catching on with the public, the company hoped to reproduce some of the success enjoyed by the iconic Skyline model which had achieved sales superiority in the mid 1940s. The Skyline had been designed by famous industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss, and for the Symphony the company went to another famous consumer-goods designer, Raymond Loewy.

The first generation Symphony pens (aka model 500) can be partially distinguished by the raised fins on the chrome cap, the brushed stainless steel cap finish with no cap band, and the metal barrel threads. The raised fins create the impression of the cap being sliced lengthwise, and then offset slightly, giving the cap its “slipper” name. The first generation pens were only produced for a year.

The second generation simplified some of the Loewy design. Model 701 came out in 1949 and can be identified by the thin gold plated cap band embedded in a shiny stainless steel cap. Additionally, a few new models were added to the product line. The 703 (the “Deluxe” Symphony, photo below) featured a wide gold plated cap band, and the “Golden Symphony” (model 705) had a gold filled cap. A “Luxury” version was created for the bottom level of the product line; hardly luxurious, it featured cheap gold plating and a rounded cap entirely lacking fins.

Symphony Deluxe Set

Then came the third version circa 1951. Taking a cue from the “Luxury” pens, the caps lacked the finned design entirely. Documentation indicates a new model was introduced, the “Economy Gold Nib” set, and it is believed to be an all-plastic model. Right around this time Eversharp stopped using the Symphony name, and the pens are frequently found in ads under the name “The NEW Eversharp.”

Basically, this is where the trail goes cold.

Digging a little deeper

In our new old stock acquisitions we have found several models which share the Symphony shape, nib and filling system, but lack the metal cap whch many consider to be a characteristic of the Symphony line.

Here’s what we’ve found:

Model 713 — plastic body and cap, thin gold plated cap band, gold plated clip. Small flexible nib.
Symphony 713

Model 913 — plastic body and cap, thin chrome plated cap band, chrome plated clip. Small flexible nib.
Symphony 913

Model ??? — same as the 713 only lacking a metal cap band, having instead a series of grooves in the plastic where you’d find the cap band. Small flexible nib.
Model ??? with the lined band

Model 915 — same as 913 except with a wider (3/16″) lined chrome band. Medium sized nib, the same one as is found on the 701, in both flexible and manifold.
Symphony 915

Model 917 — same as the 913 and 915, only with a very wide chrome cap band. This model featured a larger banner-style Eversharp nib, in both manifold and flexible versions.
Model 917

By 1952, the Symphony and quasi-Symphony pens disappeared from Eversharp’s product line as they gave their attention to the Ventura model. We have a feeling that a large quantity of the low end Symphony pens were more or less abandoned out in the distribution channel, especially outside the US, and those are probably the models that we have discovered. Another theory holds that when Parker gobbled up Eversharp in 1957, they continued to produce low end pens under the Eversharp name to use up the surplus of parts, and these may very well be some of those pens.

We’re hoping that this post will bring more information to light. Surely there must be folks who worked at Eversharp in the 1950s and 1960s, and who will be able to poke holes in our theories and tell us more about these late-late-late model Eversharps.

Fourth Generation Symphony?

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