John handcrafted a pen that is truly a witness to history. The shell of the bullet is a once-fired .50 caliber machine gun shell from one of the P47 Thunderbolt fighter planes that pilots used for their advanced fighter pilot training at the Millville, NJ Army Airfield in the 1940’s. The shell has a full, rich patina making the 70+ years it spent enduring the elements evident. It was recovered in 2007 by the Airfield Museum as they cleared the grounds of expended ordinance where a racetrack would be built.

    The ‘bullet’ was made from the barracks floorboards, removed during restoration of this National Historic Register site, where these very pilots were housed while training. John was challenged to save this historic "witness wood" that like the recovered shells was left to weather the elements for the last 70 years. John met that challenge by putting the "witness wood" through a special heat-set resin stabilization process, the wood was than carefully crafted by hand on a wood lathe. It was given a light acrylic shell for further protection before being finished with a furniture paste wax. The buffed wax adds a warm feel to the wood while maintaining the patina it has developed over the years.

    Twisting the bullet will produce the writing tip, a standard Cross style ink cartridge. When the ink runs out it can be replaced by pulling the bullet out of the shell and simply unscrewing the old cartridge.

    The Historic Pen Company provides unique items in the form of one of a kind hand-made wood products and gifts of historical significance. HPC takes pride in our ability to secure Historically and Culturally significant woods and other materials that would normally be discarded and lost to history. By salvaging these “witness woods” and other “witness materials” HPC allows our customers to collect, use or gift: heirloom pieces of history that are memorialized in our artwork and handcrafted items.

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