Former Parker Ink Factory is Transformed into High Tech Home

Last August, we wrote about the building in downtown London Ontario across from the Greyhound Bus Terminal that formerly housed the Parker Pen Co. and their fountain pen ink manufacturing facility.  You can read that blog posting by clicking here.
The building is in the news, the Harmony Buffet has moved out and the building is being renovated to house a technology company.  You can read about it in the London Free Press by clicking here. While we are pleased to see the building survive rather than being torn down for a parking lot, it will be interesting to see if the building is still recognizable after the renovations?
Further to the above,  we have another update on the former Parker Ink Factory in London, Ontario and its conversion to high tech office space.  This follow-up article in the London Free Press makes reference to the fact that the building was occupied by the Parker Pen Co. in the 1950s.
How ironic would it be if the twenty-somethings that tote their laptops to work here use fountain pens …

2015 Scriptus – Toronto’s Pen and Writing Show

Scriptus Torontos Pen and Writing Show

Scriptus will be held on Sunday, November 1 at the Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St, Toronto, Ontario from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 



The goal is for everyone to come, without the deterrent of an admission fee. This is about writing & communication, not making money.


The Toronto Reference Library location is central, accessible by car & transit, and has state-of-the-art access for anyone with restricted mobility.


The Epic Hall & Prologue rooms are booked. This means that there will be space for even more exhibitors’ tables, and for more than 700 visitors at any given time.

Paid parking lots are on Cumberland Avenue, Yorkville and Asquith Avenue.On Sundays there is little competition for spots, and some have reduced rates. 

Heavy Metal (Pens that is)!

Somewhere in an alternate universe, with the music of Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Metallica blasting in the background, the rebels of the London Pen & Motorcycle Club gathered at their Williams on Wonderland HQ to binge on coffee and show off their new ink, like this beauty that Doc showed up with (he’s not a real Doctor, that’s just a name he picked up somewhere):

From Fenix Tattoos in Seattle
From Fenix Tattoos in Seattle

Well, that’s not exactly what happened … we did binge on coffee and heavy metal, pens that is …if a pen sticks to a magnet, it meets the test!! Bring your flighters, filigrees, overlays, signets, silver, gold (more likely gold-filled), aluminum, titanium, gunmetal, shiny or matte and all combinations and permutations thereof. Some like their pens with a patina (you might say potana) and others like them looking brand spanking shiny new. They could be factory or farm fresh – maybe have a few scratches and dents or even some brassing, we won’t hold that against them. And don’t forget your pens that are part-metal, i.e., they might have a metal cap with a resin or other body; however, metal trim-only is not enough metal, sorry.

To wit, a great collection, in a large variety of makes, models and finishes – Sheaffer Targas and a significant number of Parker:

whole bunch more

Anyone for a Parker 75 – just pick your finish:

whack of 75s

Some Parkers, at least one Sheaffer (a Targa, I think) and a Pilot Birdie(?):

table shot

A Waterman 452 1/2V sterling silver filigree (pierced work) overlay and a bottle of Herbin Vert Olive:

small waterman w overlayA true classic, the Parker 75 Cisele:

parker 75

Another Parker 75, a Sheaffer Connoisseur and a Pilot Birdie:

P75 connoisseur and birdie

Quite a mixed bag here from L to R – a Montblanc Meisterstuck Sterling Silver Solitaire Le Grand 146, a Dani Trio Phantas aka the “snake pen”, a Sheaffer Imperial and an older model of the Visconti Travelling Inkwell:

MB146 and snake pen

A close-up of the Dani Trio Phantas (snake pen) …


… and a close-up of the Sheaffer Imperial Brass engraving:

sheaffer imperial brassA couple of one-piece metal pens, i.e., an integrated nib, a titanium Parker 50 aka the “Falcon” and a Namiki-Pilot M90:
integrated nibs M90 and P50 falcon

Not sure this Stipula/Chatterley Pens Carbon Future Oversized Etruria LE qualifies but it is one sweet writer with that 1.1 mm stub nib!


Remember these Cross pens – graduation presents, wedding gifts, they were ubiquitous:

cross cross cross

Can you say vermeil?  Rotring 600s, Sheaffer Targas and Imperials and a couple of Parkers:


The old hidden compartment pen … how did that bottle of ink get in the picture?

hidden compartment pen

What – is this a remnant from the alternate universe, a Waterman Harley-Davidson:


A number of Parker Flighters with a couple of 75s for good measure:

flighters and 75s

We have some Sheaffers, a Lamy Studio and a blue Kaweco off to the side


The pen in focus is an Aurora 80th Anniversary Limited Edition, a brilliant guilloche pattern cut in sterling silver while the pen slightly out of focus is a Conway Stewart “Drake” LE:aurora guilloche untitled

A side shot (above) and head-on shot (below) of the Aurora 80th anniversary LE, a Conway Stewart “Drake” LE (this is a massive pen, made from a solid rod of sterling silver, guilloche engraved in a classic wave pattern), a Conway Stewart J. Rake Demonstrator (based on their classic Duro design), a Parker 51 Special Edition (from 2002), a Parker 51 Flighter, a Visconti Spider, a Visconti Skeleton, a Waterman Carene Deluxe, a Waterman Exception Night and Day Gold, and of course, a Waterman Edson:


What about you?  We always love to hear what you think of these Heavy Metal Pens as well as about your own Heavy Metal pens.  Do you have a particular favourite?  Surely you have at least one?

Blue Upon the Plains of Abraham Ink Redux

Back in September, 2008, we wrote about a then-new, custom Noodler’s Ink made for our friends Murtaza et al at Sleuth & Statesman, i.e., Blue Upon The Plains of Abraham (BUPA). While we applauded our friends for their effort to provide their customers with an unique ink (and the terrific label on the bottle as chosen by them and/or Noodler’s), let’s just say we were less than enthusiastic about the ink, with good reason, describing it as “incredibly temperamental” and not being able to “figure out how to get work in a fountain pen” (sic).  The ink was subsequently discontinued.

It turns out that Wonder Pens has now released a reformulated BUPA (with the same great label) and so we thought it a good idea to compare the old and the new and see what improvements have been made by Noodler’s in conjunction with Wonder Pens.

For illustration purposes, the first scan below shows the two bottles of BUPA side by side with the old on the left and the new to its right.  It is obvious that something has changed with the new ink, i.e., the new BUPA seems to be a deeper darker blue while the old is lighter is much less so with a magenta tone.old and new Noodlers BUPA

So let’s take a look (below)at swabs of the old BUPA, before and after the bottle had been shaken to see if that would make a difference – and it did!  In fact, redoing these swabs reminded us why we described it as “incredibly temperamental”.  The ink was a nice blue, if not consistent, when properly mixed.  In fact, if the ink was left unused in a pen for as little as a day, it needed to be shaken to produce anything close to this blue.

Old BUPA scans

Now for the new BUPA – while there appears to be a small difference when the bottle has settled vs. shaken, it is not anything close to the old BUPA.  The magenta/purples shades are thankfully gone and while it is not as deep a blue as one might expect upon opening the bottle, it is a still a very nice blue – I would call it aegean – blue-grey – cerulean blue.

New BUPA scans

So, congrats are in order to both Noodler’s and Wonder Pens, with a special tip of the cap to Wonder Pens for giving its customers something different!

The London Pen Club is ready and waiting to host one of the 2015 Pelikan Hubs!

Back on June 30, we wrote about our club’s great fortune in being selected as one of four Canadian cities (the others being Sherbrooke, Montreal and Toronto) and many more from across the globe to host a Pelikan Hub on September 25 at 6:30 PM.  That’s just 9 days from the date of writing this post and we are stoked!!

We have over 20 registrants, most but not all from the London Pen Club, and our Hub Master has everything organized for us so that we can enjoy the evening and share our love of fountain pens with other like-minded people – and of course, see what activities, etc… that Pelikan has planned for us.

So, keep checking this blog, our Twitter account @londonpenclub and #pelikanhubs for pictures, etc… from our hub as well as the rest of the globe!

Vacation Pens & Ink – August 15, 2015

Our theme for Saturday, August 15, 2015 was Vacation Pens and Ink (as shamelessly “borrowed” from our friends in the Vancouver Pen Club – with our sincere thanks!):

Vacation Pens — If you could only take 3 pens on vacation, which 3 would they be, and why? And what 3 bottles of ink would you take on your travels?”

We had another well-attended gathering and we also had the pleasure of welcoming our newest members – Rocklee and Mana, both long-time aficionados of our hobby, so all in all, one more terrific meeting!  Let’s get right to the good photos (taken by unofficial club photographer Rick M. – thanks Rick, you make us all look better than we actually do!).
Rick M’s Pens and Inks (Parker 61 capillary fill that won’t burp ink at altitude, rOtring Tikky 3in1 Ballpoint & Pencil (Editor’s note – the inclusion/use of a ball point and/or pencil is strictly verboten and you will be duly lashed with a cat-of-nine-ballpoints at our next meeting – those photos will be something to behold, so stay tuned!), Kaweco Sport fine nib, Noodler’s Air Corp Blue Black, R&K Scabiosa, Parker Quink Blue Black and a Visconti Travelling Ink Pot for refills (great idea, Rick!):
Rick Mc pens
Kata’s Pens (TWSBI Eco, Pelikan M200 Cafe Creme, Ken Cavers custom pen):
Kata pensForbes’s Pens (Pilot V-Pen, Platinum Preppy):
Forbes pens
David B’s Pens and Ink (Sheaffer No-nonsense, Swan (I think), rOtring Tikky 3in1 (Editor’s note – As in Rick’s case, David B will be duly lashed with a cat-of-nine-ballpoints  at our next meeting – those photos will be something to behold, so stay tuned!), and R&K Scabiosa ink in a Nock Co Hightower case (great idea, David!)):
David Bs pens and inkStan S’s Pens (Monteverde Tool Pen (fountain pen model), Kaweco Sport, Caran d’Ache ballpoint) (Editor’s note – As in Rick and David’s case, Stan S will be duly lashed with a cat-of-nine-ballpoints  at our next meeting – those photos will be something to behold, so stay tuned!):
Stan S pens and ink
Rocklee’s pen (Kaweco Art Sport, Lamy 2000, Pelikan M400):
Rocklees pensRocklee also brought a few neat things like this Waterman ink bottle in a style none of us had ever seen before complete with a $4.00 price sticker:
Rocklee ink bottles
And some Esterbrook pens and nibs that will make John P salivate (John, we missed you at our meeting!):
Estie nibs for John_we miss.him
Finally, Mike W’s vacation pens and ink (photograph not taken by Rick M – as if it wasn’t already obvious!) MB Jules Verne Writer’s Edition LE with classic MB Blue ink, Omas Paragon in Arco Brown with Bung Box Blue-Black (4B) ink and Sailor Pro Gear Naginata Cross Music Emperor nib and Diamine Prussian Blue ink:
Mikes pens and ink
An ink and handwriting sample using Mike’s pens & ink: TO COME
Now that we have shown you our 3 choices for vacation pens and ink, we would love to hear from you about your choices (ballpoints and/or pencils are strictly verboten else a public lashing will be handed out as punishment!).
Until next time, use your fountain pens!!!

London Pen Club to host 2015 Pelikan Hub

pelikan logoToday, 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!!

Valentine’s Day 2015 with the LPC

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!

the crowd

Who would have guessed at the variety of pens in pink, red and white – quite surprising really!

the red white and pink pens

And the inks as well!
more red ink
Who knew that G. Lalo made ink – and that’s quite a bottle!
bottle of G Lalo ink
Let’s check out a couple of labelled scans of all that red and reddish inks:
ink scan no 1
Quite a variety indeed!
ink scan no 2
Maybe some day we will have the technology whereby you can touch the screen and smell the De Atramentis Lotus (scented) ink!
Now, let’s check out the pens – some Esterbrooks, a Parker Duofold, and a couple of Sheaffers;
Esterbrooks Parkers and Sheaffer
to the white pens in the group – Sailor Sapporo, Pelikan M400 , Kaweco Student Pen and Lamy Safari;
white pens
a whole crew of Lamys – some Safaris and a Studio; and
Lamy red white and pink pens
finally, check out the cool clips on these pens!
cool clips

Demonstrator Pens – January 31/February 7, 2015 meeting

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!

great turnout

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!

twsbit vac 700 and bottle

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!).

visconti travelling inkpot

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!

lamy vista blue ghost

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!

lamy vista parker blue

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!

you gotta have inky fingers

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).

which one is yours

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:

pelikan 800 with labels

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:

more demos

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).

more and more

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~)

rogues gallery

Fountain Pen Day – Our “First” Pens

Fountain Pen 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.


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!