RIGHT TO THE POINT

THE FILM.

As a way to explain rationing policies to its distributors and highlight the need for their dedication to producing war material, the W.A. Sheaffer Pen Company produced a wartime movie titled «Right to the Point.»

In its final minutes we will be able to see too an interview to W. A. Sheaffer and his son Craig.

This industrial film was filmed by the Jam Handy Organization Productions. In the producer archives the film appears as completed on July 12, 1944, under its job number M-1459.  During the film, intended for its vendors, franchised dealers, and final customers, the W.A. Sheaffer Pen Co. details the war effort they are carrying out and, consequently, why the production of fountain pens has been significantly reduced.

FACTORY GROWTH

The first war assets contract came from the signal corps in September 1941. It was a kind of «educational» contract for management and employees. With this lesson learned, the company received its first major contract shortly after Pearl Harbor. What had been a warehouse former paste paper mill at Avenue O and 18th street was rebuilt for the equipment and manufacturing facility. It was knowns as Plant #2 or the “War Plant”. The acquisition of equipment and facilities began in early 1942.

WAR PRODUCTION

The production of fuse detonators was underway in May 1942. The company worked under guidelines and quotas by the War Production Board (WPB). It’s interesting to see in the film what kind of high-precision components they were making; telephone plugs, bomb fuse components and detonation mechanisms for aerial bombs and artillery shells, and high-precision instruments for automatic radio tuners system for the signal corps with frequency change every eight second between aircraft so the enemy couldn’t follow the transmission nor discover the support fleet.  The company had 2,500 employees and maintained WPA contracts until war finalization. The Army and Navy recognized the company’s excellent work by awarding with its «E» award for excellence.

FOUNTAIN PEN IMPROVEMENT

However, Sheaffer continued to research and develop improvements on new fountain pen designs and features during the war, so the film features a number of Sheaffer´S improvements in their fountain pens and mechanical pencils that will appeal to both collectors and friends of history. Right to the Point, explains the design of the Triumph radial feed and its system against dripping and spills when the pen is subjected to variations in temperature and pressure. It also describes the design of its point, the «rocking chair» profile and the ability to write upside down. Other scenes show the new Fineline leads or the tests that Sheaffer used to demonstrate the durability of clip designs or fill systems. It also highlights the prompt response of the Repair Service, and other aspects such as the elastic innerspring clip and the ringed section that, in practice, we will not see until 1945.

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