Giant pens

Early fountain pens were made in a relatively restricted range of sizes. It seems that Parker was the first to offer a truly oversize pen, introducing first the #28 – a large eyedropper with a #8 nib (1905), then the outsize Black Giant and its much rarer red hard rubber counterpart, the Red Giant – enormous eyedroppers with #12 nibs (c. 1909). Large pens such as the Parker #28 were too big for all but a handful of writers, but they were still within the bounds of practicality. The giants, on the other hand, were essentially novelty items, and many did their main duty as eyecatching shop displays.

Following Parker, other manufacturers came out with their own giants. Waterman produced its #20, an eyedropper with a #10 nib, of which several examples are known with overlays; a #20 safety was also produced. Moore made giant safeties too, as did Montblanc with its fabled #12. Other giants include: the A.A. Waterman twist-filler; the John Holland hatchet-filler; Carey eyedroppers; the Onoto plunger-filler; and the Dunn pump-fillers. The last, made in the early '20s, mark the end of the vogue for giant pens, at least in America. Oversize novelty pens continued to be produced in Japan at least through the '30s, but most are of poor quality and are of little interest to serious collectors. All quality giants are rare and keenly sought after.