Today, the London Pen Club was advised by Pelikan that it was selected to host a 2015 Pelikan Hub on September 25 at 6:30 p.m. ET!! This is great news and a tremendous honour for our club – we are going to do our very best to host a wonderful event!! The other Canadian cities selected are Montreal, Sherbrooke and Toronto and the cities selected from around the globe can be found here.
Thanks to those members of our club who registered before today so that we could demonstrate our keen interest to Pelikan and most of all, a very special thank you to LPC member Kata, who took the initiative to register as a Hub Master for London and inspired the rest of us to follow her lead and register as participants!!
Here’s the next best part – the final registration date for London (or any other location, for that matter) is the end of July. So if you would like to join us in London or elsewhere, you need to register so here that the Hub Master knows the number of participants and can make arrangements for a suitable location, etc.
So, if you expect to be in the neighbourhood of London, Canada on September 25 around 6:30 p.m., please register as a participant and join us to share our love of all things fountain pen!!
We were reminded that we adopted a Red and White theme last year for the Olympics; so why not a Pink, Red and White theme (pink, red or white coloured pens, inks, and whatever else in your collection that qualifies) in honour of St. Valentine ? After all, it will be another 11 years (that’s 2026!) before Valentine’s Day falls on Saturday again (but who is counting)!!
As always, thanks go to our official club photographer, Rick!!
Another great turnout for February 14, 2015, in spite of the snow, wind and bitter cold!
Who would have guessed at the variety of pens in pink, red and white – quite surprising really!
Demonstrator pens are clear or transparent pens that allow the user to view the internal components of the pen. They were originally given by pen manufacturers to dealers so that they could “demonstrate” to their customers how the pen worked, how the filler worked and how the cap fit on the pen. This was a great selling tool, particularly in the 1930s when it has been suggested that Parker and Sheaffer first created them and the then new and different filling systems (that are commonplace today) were first introduced. Accordingly, the demonstrators were produced in limited number and not typically sold to the public, as the dealers needed them. Today, demonstrator pens are regular production pens, and in some cases, limited editions, owing to their popularity.
While the purists consider transparent versions of pens as the only true demonstrator, most people accept that the many translucent versions (typically in different colours) produced today also qualify as demonstrator pens.
A big thanks to official club photographer Rick for taking the pictures below (except for the black light picture)!
Great turnout to kick off the New Year!
John with the TWSBI Vac 700 and bottle. You can get 5 and one-half fills of a Vac 700 with the special TWSBI bottle. The life skills you learn at a pen club meeting!
Doug and the Visconti Travelling Ink Pot, right before an “incident”. Good thing he was demonstrating with water – only rookies use ink (and end up wearing it!).
Most pen users have at least one Lamy in their collection – the first one pictured is a clear Lamy Vista with Noodler’s Blue Ghost highlighting ink under black light – very cool indeed!
Here’s another Lamy Vista used for writing and filled with Parker Washable Blue – of course, it would have been a better picture if all that graph paper had a sample of how the ink writes, doh!
Now you can’t come to a pen club meeting and not get ink on your hands; but really Doug, that’s it? Let’s see a bit more effort the next time!
Someone likes demonstrators – and this doesn’t include any of his translucent pens, except for the blue Pelikan 205. This group includes, from left to right: a Pelikan M800 (limited production), an Aurora Optima LE (available in an edition of 1936 corresponding to the year it was introduced/the red auroloide on the cap and blind cap really pop!), an Omas Ogiva guilloche model, a Stipula Etruria Nuda (from the now defunct Swisher Pens), a Visconti Voyager LE (the swirling black markings on the barrel really stand out when the pen is filled), a Pilot Custom 823 (also comes in smoke and amber, and it holds a ton of ink), a Delta Fusion 82 (this came in a great fountain pen/rollerball gift set), a clear Pelikan 205 (an early Levenger model) and a blue Pelikan 205 (just one of several colours it comes in).
Here is a neat close-up of the Pelikan 800 – all the parts are labelled with laser markings and you can clearly see the large ink reservoir and Pelikan’s piston-filling system at work:
Still more demos -I think the red swirled cap one is a Recife, then another Stipula Etruria Nuda (the Etrurias are wonderful pens, whatever the flavour) and TWSBI Vac 700:
and a few more – TWSBI Diamond 530, a Visconti Travelling Ink Pot, a Noodler’s rollerball and a blue Pelikan 205 (and a bottle of Fountain Pen Hospital’s exclusive Noodler’s Henry Hudson Blue ink lurking in the background).
Another week and another rogue’s gallery – I put this at the end on the assumption that most people have tired of reading my post, so would never get this far! Just kidding, you handsome devils! 8~)
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.
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
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!
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!
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!”
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.
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!
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.