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The mechanism is simple: the barrel contains a rubber ink sac and a cutaway in the barrel allows you to push the crescent through the side of the pen. The crescent is attached to a metal bar that presses against the side of the ink sac, squashing any air or ink out of it; once you release, the sac returns to its original shape, drawing ink into the pen. After a few presses the pen will be completely full.
The filling mechanism certainly had its fans, as Mark Twain put it: “I prefer it to ten other fountain pens, because it carries its filler in its own stomach, and I cannot mislay even by art or intention. Also, I prefer it because it is a profanity saver; it cannot roll off the desk.”
An additional improvement made to his design in 1903 was a slight change to the safety ring that prevents accidental pressing of the crescent and the undesirable expulsion of ink that would accompany it. Whereas the original ring was free to rotate, the improved ring is shaped such that it comes to a stop after about a quarter turn, and friction holds it in place sufficiently until you want to fill the pen again.
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Nib choices for fountain pens
If we show the pen with medium nib in stock it means we have stock of that pen. If you select another nib size and the website doesn't say "in stock" we can usually supply that pen immediately as we keep extensive supplies of nibs from all our manufacturers