Parker had such as success with the hooded nib design of the 51 that many other companies rushed to the market with their own versions. Parker, however, was smart enough to know a good thing when they had one, so they had some patent protection on their side…
As a result, not all hooded nib pens from other manufacturers were actually hooded. And, not all of them were terribly successful… The Waterman’s Taperite, released to the market in 1945 was an example of a pen that looked hooded, but wasn’t – and was moderately successful. In fact, you might conclude that the extra protrusion of the nib from the section gave the Taperite an extra flexibility that was not available on the 51.
The Stateleigh was a variant of the Taperite, also known as the “Stars and Stripes” version, due to the design on the cap. The American version of the Stateleigh had a gold-filled cap. This, however, is a Canadian Taperite, made in St. Lambert, Québec, probably around 1950 (The Waterman’s factory building is still there – a stone’s throw from the Montreal Grand Prix track ). As Richard Binder points out, the Canadian Taperites were a little different… This one, for example, has a stainless steel cap (dubbed “Astralite” by Waterman) and a gold-plated clip.
As is obvious in the above photo, although this pen is a Canadian Taperite, it does not have a threaded cap…
This is an extremely smooth-writing nib, with a slight italic / stub profile, with a narrow enough width to accommodate “normal” sized writing. The result can be seen in the photo above, using Pelikan 4001 “brilliant brown” ink on Maruman paper with a 5 mm grid. It would make an excellent pen for music notation! And, as you can see it in that photo the nib is quite flexible, giving a significant line width variation. It requires somewhat more pressure than most of my flexible vintage nibs – but is still easily-controllable.
More info about the Taperite history can be found on Richard Binder’s page.
Total weight: 18.3 g
Body weight 11.7 g
Total length (not posted): 125.5 mm
Total length(with cap): 136.1 mm
Barrel max diameter: 12.0 mm
Cap max diameter: 12.2 mm