Fountain Pen Day – Our “First” Pens

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Fountain Pen Day.org official logo

Fountain Pen Day takes place on the first Friday in November each year and is celebrated by enthusiasts worldwide as a time to embrace, promote, and share the use of fountain pens.  The third annual Fountain Pen Day (FPD) was celebrated on November 7, 2014.

In honour of FPD, we decided to devote our Saturday, November 8, 2014 meeting theme to our first fountain pen and/or the very first fountain pen that made us realize how much we enjoyed writing with them.  Favourite fountain pens were also an option as were recent acquisitions, including those from the recent pen & writing show in Toronto – Scriptus 2014 – that occurred on November 2, 2014.

We had an exceptional turnout for this meeting with at least 10 of us – we overflowed the usual area that we take up at Williams!  And we were missing some regular members so let’s keep this enthusiasm and attendance up!!

LPC member & club photographer Rick provided us with these pictures of the pens we brought for this special theme and celebration.

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From left to right, the pens are:

  • Lamy Safari
  • Sheaffer School Pen
  • Parker 75
  • Waterman Laureat
  • Sheaffer Balance with replacement cap
  • Esterbrook M2
  • Pilot Metropolitan
  • Sheaffer Javelin
  • Parker Duofold
  • Diplomat Excellence

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A shout-out to Vancouver Pen Club maven Maja, whose keen eye and pen knowledge helped us identify several of the pens (Ladies and gentlemen of the LPC, we need to up our game – how could we not remember the models of our first pen, etc???)!  Thanks Maja!

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A very special thank you to LPC member Kata who brought the FPD celebration to our attention and was kind enough to bring each and every one of us a nice FPD “kit” that included an official FPD letter, button, sticker and bookmark.  Thanks Kata!

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Blinded by Science (actually Ink Chromatography)

With apologies to Thomas Dolby …

When I’m filling my fountain pens
“Blinding me with science – science!”
I can smell the chemicals

“Blinding me with science – science!”
 “Science!”
 “Science!”

Inspired by this post by Richard Binder some of the more pseudo-science-minded members (in other words, a small but enthusiastic gathering) of the LPC thought it would be great fun to conduct a science experiment aka Ink Chromatography this past Saturday (Sept. 27) morning.

As most of us know, ink is composed of different dyes that are mixed together to give it a particular colour. With an eye dropper, some paper towels and water (using the eyedropper means we get to call it a science experiment – as long as you fill it right on the meniscus!) we can see what individual colours your favourite inks are made of. The photo ​below is (from left to right) Diamine Eclipse, Parker Quink Blue Black and Diamine Salamander.

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What did we learn? Most blues are blue, most purples are purple, brown’s are an interesting mix of colours, Herbin inks are very light on pigment and Noodler’s Inks that contain their permanent black in the mix leave the black in the centre and the colours running out to the periphery. It was fun. Science is FUN!

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Parker Ink Plant in London, ON

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London (Ontario, Canada) has a long and storied connection to the fountain pen industry – the Parker Canada Ink Plant was located in London; the Sheaffer Canada Pen Factory was situated nearby in the town of Goderich (about 60 miles/100 km to the north) and the Parker Canada Pen factory was located in Toronto (120 miles/200 km to the east).

Armed with a Parker “51”, LPC member Doug wanted to see if this Parker Ink Plant was still standing. After his initial hunches turned out to be incorrect, Doug decided to use the Archives in the London Room at the library to see if it could be located.

Parker opened their London ink plant shortly after the War (WWII) probably in 1946 or 1947. The building was located at 310 Talbot Street in central London – to its south are the C.N.R. railway lines and directly to its north is a Tim Horton’s Donut Shop. Within view to its south, about two blocks away is the original location of Labatt’s Brewery (founded in London by John Labatt in the mid-19th century. Yes, that brewery is still there producing Labatt beers such as Budweiser and Labatt Blue.  In fact, this brewery brews nearly 40% of the beer produced in Canada.). Across the street is the Greyhound Bus Terminal.

Little has changed structurally in the Parker Building. It has been painted a blue-gray colour and it has a resturant sign out front on its northern edge. Other than that the building is unchanged. Included here are 3 photos of the building. The first is the building as it was when Parker was producing ink here in the post-war period and the second and third photos are those of the building when the pictures were taken on August 16, 2007, the first in black and white for comparison and the last in colour.

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Easter at the LPC – Purple, Purple & even more Purple!

Great meeting this morning, largest attendance we’ve had in while and it was great to have our roving correspondent Owen at a meeting.

I could try and tell you how much purple there was but the pictures do a much better job…

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LPC Goes Green – at least for one day!

Yes, tis true – the LPC went green for our Saturday, March 15, 2014 meeting to honour St. Patrick and the Irish people, including our own Irishman Stan O’ Waterman!  We have the photos to prove it – including some from a member in northern Manitoba, IIRC (Thanks O’wen, always good to hear from you!)

So, get yourself a drink (a pint o’ Guinness or a shot or two of Bushmills or Jameson whiskey), stream some Irish music (Celtic Thunder, Irish Tenors, etc.), sit back and enjoy more green pens and ink than you ever thought possible!

Of course, it wouldn’t be right if we did not have a proper blessing, so here goes:

“May your glass be ever full. May the roof over your head be always strong. And may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead.”

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These last few pictures come from a member who moved away from London a few years ago.  Thanks O’wen!!

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Red Pens & Ink Meeting Theme

It was duly proclaimed by Prime Minister Harper that our meeting theme for Saturday, February 5 would be Red Pens and Inks.  Red is a double feature this week – cheer on Team Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and of course, who can forget about the upcoming Valentine’s Day.  Interestingly enough, the red theme worked quite well as the Canadian Women’s Olympic Hockey team was scraping the ice with the Swiss misses – the score was 5 – 0 at one point during our meeting!

So, here we go, better red than dead, as quoted by Lenin and tattooed on Putin:

Almost all the regulars are here - minus photographer and those behind the guy in blue (he ignored the theme email)

Almost all the regulars are here – minus photographer and those behind the guy in blue (he ignored the theme email).  Nice cap, eh?

Ink

Red ink

Pens

Red pens

More ink

More red ink

More red pens

More red pens

Red ink???

Red ink???

Last group of red-dish pens

Last group of red-dish pens

The money shot!

The money shot!

Many thanks to the LPC’s official photographer Rick for his always excellent work!!

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LPC at the 2013 Ohio Pen Show

The 19th annual Ohio Pen Show was held at the Crowne Plaza Dublin Hotel in Columbus, Ohio over 4 days, from November 8 – 11, 2013.  The first day was open to exhibitors and weekend registrants only while the remaining three were open to the public.  Three members of our club hopped in a van and headed off to the show – two of whom had been before and one rookie.  We departed from London early in the morning of November 8 and stopped for breakfast shortly after crossing the Ambassador Bridge into Detroit.  This meant that we arrived at the hotel in Dublin around mid-day – just in time for us to take full advantage of our weekend passes!

Terry Mawhorter, the show organizer

Terry Mawhorter, the show organizer

The exhibitor list was a veritable who’s who of the pen world !  And while it may not be the size of the Washington Supershow, the Ohio Show is large by any standards with the dealers filling up the hotel’s grand ballroom, two large meeting rooms that were adjacent to the ballroom and the hallways just outside these rooms.

Pendemonium - a show favourite!

Pendemonium – a show favourite!

Frank and Sam  of Pendemonium - two of the nicest people you will ever meet!

Frank and Sam Fiorella of Pendemonium – two of the nicest people you will ever meet!

For me, the first-timer at the Ohio Show, I certainly enjoyed having the chance to see so many pens and all that goes with them; however, the best part was having the opportunity to meet people that I have dealt with by email and being introduced to so many others that my cohorts knew.  The atmosphere was informal and there was time to socialize or talk pens and take advantage of the vast knowledge and experience of the dealers (especially on Thursday and Friday).  I left the show with 2 pens – an Aurora Optima in green auroloide with a medium italic nib, a Big Red with  an unbelievable stub nib (~1 mm), 3 bottles of ink – Sailor Epinarde (green to go with the Optima), Franklin-Christoph Blue 72 and Organics Studio First Edition Manganese, 1 pen resurrected from the dead – a Conway Stewart 770  with a crack near the lever box(a shout out to Sherrell Tyree on the ink-pen.com for performing this miracle – I have sent notice to the Vatican that Sherrell should be considered for sainthood!) , 3 or 4 nibs ground to my liking, some paper and the biggest smile on my face since I was a kid that I will remember for some time.

Lisa and Brian Anderson of AndersonPens.net

Lisa and Brian Anderson of AndersonPens.net

Some of the neat stuff that AndersonPens.net display - goodies for everyone!

Some of the neat stuff that AndersonPens.net display – goodies for everyone!

Richard Binder, of course!

Richard Binder, of course!

Jim Rouse of Franklin Christoph and their display

Jim Rouse of Franklin-Christoph and their display

At the show, I spent a fair amount of time at the Franklin-Christoph table talking to Jim and looking at their pens and other pen stuff on offer.  I was so impressed by the quality and the writing experience of these pens that I almost bought one.  I held off because I had already purchased two other pens.  After the show, I could not stop thinking about a prototype Model 19 – “1901” with dark green bands that I had fallen for.  A week or so after the show, I gave in and ordered the pen (fortunately it was still available); however, my wife intercepted its delivery and wrapped it up as one of my Christmas gifts – making me wait even longer!!

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The Weakleys

The Weakleys

Andreas Lambrou with his newly released Fountain Pens of Japan

Andreas Lambrou with his newly released Fountain Pens of Japan

Jimmy Dolive

Jimmy Dolive

Paul Conterata

Paul Conterata

Dr. Laurence Oldfield of the penpractice.com with some incredible tools and the now released 3rd edition of Pen Repair (co-authored with Jim Marshall)

Dr. Laurence Oldfield of the penpractice.com with some incredible tools and the now released 3rd edition of Pen Repair (co-authored with Jim Marshall)

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Mike Conway

Mike Conway

Dan Reppert

Dan Reppert

LPC member Doug and Roger Cromwell of Penopoly

LPC member Doug and Roger Cromwell of Penopoly

LPC member Mike having some nibwork done by Linda Kennedy of Indy-Pen-Dance (Shhh - don't tell anyone but Linda is terrific!!)

LPC member Mike having some nibwork done by Linda Kennedy of Indy-Pen-Dance (Shhh – don’t tell anyone but Linda is terrific!!)

And finally a few random pictures taken at various times …

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