Penol introduced its economy line “N” series in November of 1940, with a range of 5 models. The 1 N, shown here, was one of the smaller models. This particular example is made in black and burgundy marbled celluloid (the same material as this Ambassador No 5), has the typical clip with the “Penol” and CO-with-anchor logo, and a nicely chased cap band, as can be seen below.
Although it’s not obvious from these photographs, the bottom portion of the section is made of a more transparent plastic, which acts as an ink window, despite the fact this this is a button filler with a latex ink sac.
The production of the N-series ran for only one year, which makes this a somewhat lucky find. This is also why I chose to not risk damaging the section to completely clean the transparent portion. (This example of a 1 N shows the window clearly.)
One interesting thing to note about this pen is the button itself. Normally, a button filler is assembled by inserting the section+sac into the barrel first. Then the pressure bar is inserted in the bottom of the barrel (being careful to not puncture the latex sac). Finally, the button is pushed into the end of the barrel over the end of the pressure bar. In this case, the button is plastic and can only be removed from the front of the barrel due to a stepped diameter. This means that, when re-assembling, the button and pressure bar are inserted first, and then the section and sac are inserted last. Since the section is a friction fit (with some shellac to help it – it is more than 80 years old, and the plastics have moved a little…) this is not a problem, since there’s no twisting motion on the way in.
Total weight: 13.3 g
Body weight: 6.5 g
Total length (not posted): 102.4 mm
Total length(with cap): 140.6 mm
Barrel max diameter: 10.8 mm
Cap max diameter: 12.8 mm