Dana Bushong of Fort Madison and the Sheaffer Autograph


I am sure there are many other great articles talking about the Sheaffer Autograph; Today I will dedicate it to one of the men who made them possible; Dana Bushong, the man who engraved the signatures on the band of these fountain pens.

In 1913, Walter Sheaffer sold his jewelry to Lerche, his watchmaker – and witness to his first patent – and W.L. Saunders, his brother-in-law and partner at Sheaffer Jewelry & Music Co., to dedicate himself entirely to making fountain pens.

In 1924 Dana Bushong purchased Lerche/Saunders outright and opened under their own name with many of the WA Sheaffer assets including his wallcase, clocks etc. elsewhere on the same Second Av, today G Av., with many of the assets of the initial Sheaffer jewelry store including the wallcase that we see here:

Sheaffer's wall counter case. Drawer handle brackets.

Before recording the exact reproduction of a signature on the pen, Bushong rehearsed and drew it backwards and forwards.

His first work, a set of pens and mechanical pencils, was presented to Calvin Coolidge when he visited Black Hills. And that was the beginning of the long cooperation with Sheaffer´s. Dana claimed that a professional forger taught her tricks that gave her speed and precision in reproducing signatures.

Bushong autographed more than 40,000 copies and did so for some of the world leaders, three US presidents, and members of the Supreme Court. In addition to these, many, many government officials, business executives, and individuals of social prominence.

Currently, the Dana Bushong jewelry store is still open and in full commercial activity managed by Dana´s grandson Skip and his wife Michele, whom I must thank for their kindness and courtesy to provide me with information and send me the photos of the wall case coming from the Walter Sheaffer jewelry store that illustrate this post.