February 13, 2016 – “Green” Lamy Safari & Safari Al-Star Fountain Pens

A number of our members are enthusiast collectors of Lamy fountain pens, and their Safari and Safari Al-Star(Al-Star), in particular.  Lamy has just released a “Charged Green” Al-Star, which prompted one member to show us his new Charged Green Al-Star and matching ink, another brought his collection of Green Lamy Safaris and Al-Stars and others to show off their collection “just” Al-Stars.

First up, the Charged Green Al-Star followed by a Charged Green Al-Star and a Parker 75, both with matching ink on a Rhodia pad:

charged green LAMY al-star and ink@ charged green LAMY al-star and ink

The next picture is of the almost all the Lamy “Greens”, from the left: Yellow Safari, Lime Safari (2008), Apple Green Safari (2012), Neon Safari (2013), Neon Lime Safari (2015), Silver Green Al-star (discontinued 2008), Bluegreen Al-Star (2014) and on top is the Charged Green Al-star (2016).

Lamy safari greens

And here is the collections of Al-Stars – the first is missing a Graphite model and the second is missing a Raspberry one.  Here are the colours and dates of the first collection, from L-R:

Aluminium(the original Al-Star, released in 1997, discontinued is 2015)
Graphite (missing from photo)
Silver Blue (discontinued around 2010)
Raspberry (2008 Special or Limited Edition)
Ocean Blue (2007 Special or Limited Edition, now in regular line up)
Ruby (2011 Special or Limited Edition)
Black Purple (2009 Special or Limited Edition, now in regular line up)
Silver Green (discontinued around 2008)
Pearl (2013 Special or Limited Edition)
Blue Green (2014 Special or Limited Edition)
Coffee (2010 Special or Limited Edition)
Black (2013 Special or Limited Edition, now in regular line up)
Copper Orange (2015 Special or Limited Edition)
Charged Green (2016 Special or Limited Edition)


LAMY al-stars

and the colours and dates of the second collection, from L-R:

Aluminium (the original Al-Star, released in 1997, discontinued is 2015)
Silver Blue (discontinued around 2010)
Silver Green (discontinued around 2008)
Ocean Blue (2007 Special or Limited Edition, now in regular line up)
Raspberry (missing from photo) (2008 Special or Limited Edition)
Black Purple (2009 Special or Limited Edition, now in regular line up)
Coffee (2010 Special or Limited Edition)
Ruby (2011 Special or Limited Edition)
Pearl (2013 Special or Limited Edition)
Black (2013 Special or Limited Edition, now in regular line up)
Blue Green (2014 Special or Limited Edition)
Copper Orange (2015 Special or Limited Edition)
Charged Green (2016 Special or Limited Edition)

LAMY al-stars2

The owner of this second collection is looking for a “2008 Limited Edition Raspberry” Al-star, if anyone has one for sale at a reasonable price (the one on eBay currently offered at $236 is not reasonable!), let us know as he is quite interested.

The dates are from this helpful page – http://kmpn.blogspot.ca/2011/03/lamy-al-star-collection.html

Sample of Blue and Blue-Black ink swatches

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:

Sample of Blue and BB pg1 scans Sample of Blue and BB pg2 scans


January 23, 2016 at the LPC

LPC Hancock_header scans

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. 

For an excellent discussion of why cursive handwriting is so important, please read “10 Reasons to Teach your Child Handwriting in the Digital Age” 

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).

Without any further ado, here they are:

LPC Hancock1 scans LPC Hancock2 scans LPC Hancock3 scans

LPC Hancock4 scans LPC Hancock10 scansLPC Hancock11 scansLPC Hancock12 scans
LPC Hancock5 scans LPC Hancock6 scans LPC Hancock7 scans LPC Hancock8 scans LPC Hancock9 scans



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!