Please know that the timeline is currently under construction.

The History of the Sheaffer Pen Company


July 7 – Walter A. Sheaffer is Born

Walter A. Sheaffer was born on July 27, 1867 in Bloomfield, Iowa.

August 25 – W. A. Sheaffer patents the Lever Filling Fountain Pen

Walter A. Sheaffer patents his design of the lever fill mechanism. US Patent 896,861.

December 10 – W. A. Patents an improved design

W. A. Sheaffer patents an improvement to his earlier patent. After this he begins going into the pen business full time. US Patent 1,046,660.

Sold first lever filling pens

The First Lever filling pens were made of hard rubber with flat ends, known later as Flat top.

January 1 – W. A. Sheaffer Pen Company is incorporated in Iowa


New cap seal design is introduced

A screw cap with a new single-piece inner cap is produced to keep the nib from drying out

The first Sheaffer national advertisement is ran in the Saturday Evening Post

Ladies pens with ring top introduced

The “SHEAFFER-CLIP” clip is introduced

This clip (pictured below) was a long straight clip with large ball. This clip design was discontinued in 1921.

Cap bands are introduced in hard rubber caps

A decorative and reinforcing clip band was added to hard rubber caps.

Counter top displays and floor show cases were offered to dealers


Acquired the New Jersey supplier of nibs

Production of Sheaffer nibs was moved as well as employees from the New Jersey plant, including Winfield Kay of Jersey City. Previously, all Sheaffer nibs had to be shipped in on a daily basis from the New Jersey plant. If the train was late, production was slowed or halted until it arrived.

Reorganized as a Delaware Corporation

The first Sheaffer mechanical pencil, the Sharp Point, is produced

The Sheaffer Sharp Point model pencil used a propel-repel mechanism. It was discontinued in 1921.

Introduced Gift Sets

With the production of pencils, matching pen and pencil sets were sold in new gift boxes.

Started the Lifetime guarantee and Lifetime nibs


Improved mechanical pencil design

The Sheaffer Sharp Point “propel-repel” mechanism was replaced by a new “propel-repel-expel” mechanism.

“SHEAFFER-CLIP” clip imprint changed to “SHEAFFER’S”

Robert Casey develops Skrip, sold later in the year


All metal Lifetime pens are introduced


Radite plastic is adopted for pen bodies

Lifetime guarantee is extended to cover the whole Lifetime Radite pen

Previously, only the nib was covered by the Lifetime guarantee.

June 9 – Walter A. Sheaffer Dies

Walter A Sheaffer dies in Fort Madison, Iowa. He serves as the chairman of the board until his death.