Fairchild Dip Pen with Esterbrook 794 Nib

This 7-1/8" pen has a steel nib, ornate gold-colored metal grip, and ridged white mother-of-pearl handle. The nib is marked: 794 (/) R. ESTERBROOK (/) MODIFIED SL[ANT]. The grip is marked: FAIRCHILD. A wooden case has rounded corners and brass hook-and-eye latches. The case is covered with black leather and lined with blue paper.
Richard Esterbrook moved from England to the United States in 1856 to manufacture pens, opening a factory in Camden, N.J., in 1858. The company also made pen nibs, probably beginning around 1920, when it expanded into fountain pens. Venus Pen and Pencil, formerly the American Lead Pencil Co., purchased Esterbrook in 1967. Leroy W. Fairchild began making fountain pen nibs in New York City between 1837 and 1843. After the firm experienced bankruptcy, it reorganized in 1897 and began to sell fountain pens. In the 20th century, the company also offered dip pens.
Frank Terlitzky (1885–1962), who owned this pen, emigrated from Russia in 1906 and settled in Baltimore, where he and his wife worked as caterers.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1920-1958
Leroy W. Fairchild
Esterbrook Pen Company
Physical Description
steel (overall material)
mother of pearl (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: .5 cm x 18 cm x .5 cm; 3/16 in x 7 3/32 in x 3/16 in
place made
United States: New York, New York
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Pens and Pencils
Science & Mathematics
writing implements
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Pens and Pencils
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Frank Terlitzky
Additional Media

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