Tropen Scholar

I couldn’t find much info on this pen, other than what’s in Lambrou. According to FPOTW, Tropen sold 150,000 Scholar pens a year from 1945-1948, but doesn’t it doesn’t say which year the pen was launched or when Tropen stopped production.

As the name implies the pens were targeted at students but they’re still quality products. The materials are light and thin but not flimsy (the plastic feels like ABS) and the details are sharp. What I especially like is that the pen and blind cap have been turned so well that you can barely discern the seam between the blind cap and the barrel. There’re no flash lines either (unlike the Pelikan M2xx pens). And it holds a lot of ink too.

I imagine “Nichroma” was an attempt to make a plated steel nib sound snazzier (a common marketing tactic among pen manufacturers back then). The nibs write smoothly and are very stiff. The nib units unscrew as well.

I really like the German 1930’s styling, and the pen is very comfortable to hold and write with. The only complaint I have is that the nibs are reliable but a bit boring. Initially, they had ink flow problems as well – for no reason they would dry up while writing. Those problems seem to have gone away.

The pens came with tapered ends that you could switch the blind caps with, to turn the pen into a desk pen. The taper makes the pen look a bit unwieldy but it does improve the balance of the pen, making it an even nicer writer.

(On a side note, Parker adopted a similar tactic to market the Duofold during the Depression, to make it look like the buyer would be getting 2 pens for the price of 1)


(Tropen pens with a Pelikan M215 for size comparison)

I recently bought these Tropen Scholar pens in Kuala Lumpur, at KS Gill. I suspect they were were made in the last 2 decades, especially since they were sold with the circa-1989 Scholar pens (these look completely different btw), but I have no way to date them. If you’ve more info pls feel free to comment.

Advertisements

13 thoughts on “Tropen Scholar”

  1. i use to write with this pen i really liked it. it reminds me with my past memeory. i wish i can find it again – jeddah – kindom saudi arabia

    1. Dear Ashraf, I have one TROPEN SCHOLAR in good condition it was owned by my father and i think it has been made within 1960 to 1965, if you are interested in buying it you can contact me on +971529060015 , I am located at Dubai, UAE

  2. I bought of these pens in a french bookstore in Limassol, Cyprus in 1995 or so. I loved it! It travelled with me to England, and the Netherlands and shattered when i dropped it about two years ago. I miss it and hope I can find another one! Thank you for the pictures of what feels like an old friend!

    1. Dear Ashraf, I have one TROPEN SCHOLAR in good condition it was owned by my father and i think it has been made within 1960 to 1965, if you are interested in buying it you can contact me on +971529060015 , I am located at Dubai, UAE

  3. I bought one of these pens in a french bookstore in Limassol, Cyprus in 1995 or so. I loved it! It travelled with me to England, and the Netherlands and shattered when i dropped it about two years ago. I miss it and hope I can find another one! Thank you for the pictures of what feels like an old friend!

  4. I own a Tropen-Scholar sice ca. 1975, when I bought it i a little store close to my parents’ farm. I still use it as a drawing tool. Tropen i s a German company (from Lüdenscheid) that produced fountain pens from 1925 to (I deon’t know exactly) 1970. Tropen-Scholar was produced after WW2 till ca. 1960. And you’re right, it was marketed especially for pupils and students. And it was a very successful export article. Thats why it was cheper than other fountain pens.
    (The company still exists, but doesn’t produce fountain pens any more: http://www.tropenschroeder.de/)

  5. I have a couple of Visconti “Replica” pens (their second model – 1989) that are based on the Tropen Scholar. The difference is the celluloid materials, cap design and and a gold band where the barrel meets the blind cap. One pen has the Tropen Nichroma steel nib and the other an unbranded 14K.

    Today I received a NOS Scholar (from an eBay seller in Germany) with the desk pen blind cap extension in the original box. I look forward to inking it up this evening.

    Does anyone know how to date the Tropen Scholars?

  6. My NOS 1950’s Scholar dries out after the ink in the nib/feed from filling is depleted. I’ve cleaned the pen thoroughly several times. I’ve removed the nib unit and soaked it in detergent water as well as pen flush to no avail. I’ve read that the Pelikan M200 nib units have been known to fit these pens. Does anyone know? Any information on replacement nib units would be most appreciated.

    1. Hi Glenn. I had the same problem too. To start off – Pelikan M200 nib units will not fit.

      I haven’t found a good solution. What I did was to prime the nib/feed whenever flow dries up turn the knob so it pushes a little ink down). Yes this is annoying.

      When you unscrew the Scholar nib unit, you should find 2 small plastic rings around the feed. These look like spacers to make the nib unit sit a bit higher (so the nib sticks out a bit more). I removed mine thinking it might improve ink flow. I don’t think it’s worked though.

      Good luck. Might want to try a different ink too.

      1. All priming does on my pen is force ink out of the breather hole. The nib remains dry as a bone. Very strange. The ink channel is blocked somewhere, but with the nib and feed combined into a unit I don’t know what I can do about it.

      2. I ended up returning the pen for a replacement which doesn’t have flow issues, but the Nichroma nib was unusably dry. I’ve managed to separate the tines some, but further tuning is needed as is with the 14k nib on one of the Visconti branded pens. I really like the design and light weight of these pens. The Scholar will be frequently in my pocket at the office as it wasn’t a large investment. I think it’s great that so many were made that there are still NOS available. Mine came in the original box with the desk pen extension. I wonder if the bases are still available.

  7. Dear all, I have one TROPEN SCHOLAR in good condition it was owned by my father and i think it has been made within 1960 to 1965, if you are interested in buying it you can contact me on +971529060015 , I am located at Dubai, UAE

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s