I was recently asked for a sample of some of the more popular, at least in my view, blue and blue-black inks so I thought I would share them with you. I hope you find these interesting and helpful to your search for the ultimate blue and blue-black ink:
Handwriting Day “aka John Hancock Day” was established in 1977 and is celebrated on the birthday of – you guessed it, John Hancock. Mr. Hancock, who was the President of Congress when the Declaration of Independence was adopted and the U.S. was born, is perhaps best known for his iconic signature on the U.S. Declaration of Independence.
We at the LPC decided to celebrate by having everyone submit a sample of their handwriting of a passage, quote, etc… that holds particular meaning to them. Of course, some had more to say than others (the lawyer, nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more).
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 …
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):
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:
Anyone for a Parker 75 – just pick your finish:
Some Parkers, at least one Sheaffer (a Targa, I think) and a Pilot Birdie(?):
A Waterman 452 1/2V sterling silver filigree (pierced work) overlay and a bottle of Herbin Vert Olive:
A true classic, the Parker 75 Cisele:
Another Parker 75, a Sheaffer Connoisseur and a Pilot 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:
A close-up of the Dani Trio Phantas (snake pen) …
… and a close-up of the Sheaffer Imperial Brass engraving:
A couple of one-piece metal pens, i.e., an integrated nib, a titanium Parker 50 aka the “Falcon” and a Namiki-Pilot M90:
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:
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?
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:
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:
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!