In addition to car items, vendors often have a few unrelated items on their tables. One fellow had a glass pen that was marked as a souvenir of an 1895 fair. It was neat, but I didn't really want it badly enough for the price he was asking. (I did, however, clear up his misconception that it was a letter opener.)
I moved to his other table, and spied this. "How much?" I asked. "That's the dollar table," he said. And so I gave him a buck.
When I got back to my hotel room, I turned on my computer and started searching for information on it. I hadn't been trying to take advantage of him, because I genuinely didn't know what it was. (I went back to his aisle the next day to buy the glass pen to make up for the deal I got, but he'd already packed up and left.)
The imprint reads, "Laughlin. Detroit. Mich." According to Richard Binder, Laughlin was a higher-end company that opened in 1896 and sold its assets to Carter's Ink around 1926, although its founder still made pens up until 1943. This one's an eyedropper, so it's older than 1912.
It's hard rubber, and while it had dried ink in it and obviously has been used, its chasing and imprint are as sharp as the day it was made. Some online fountain pen folks told me how to clean and fill it. I thought the smooth cap was from something else, but it turns out it's original to the pen.
Cleaned up and filled, it writes beautifully, with a lovely flex nib that's very smooth. I don't often buy fountain pens at flea markets, other than cartridge pens, because I'm not familiar with repairing them, and I find most of them will cost more to fix than they're worth. I bought this one because it was beautiful, and if it didn't write, it would still be a great display pen for a dollar. Sometimes you really do find treasures.