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!
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.”
These last few pictures come from a member who moved away from London a few years ago. Thanks O’wen!!
Our good friends, the Michigan Pen Collectors, held the 21st Annual Michigan Antique & Collectible Pen Show on October 14 and 15, 2011 at the MET Troy Conference Center in Troy, MI. A group of LPC club members attended on Saturday, October 15 and thanks to our club photographer Rick, we are able to present the following photographs that capture the vibe of the show:
The theme for our Saturday, October 24, 2011 meeting was “Iconic Fountain Pens”.
What makes an item, such as a pen, iconic? When most of us hear the word “iconic” we think of people, places or things that are famous, well-known, widely-known, celebrated, renowned, fabled, legendary, notorious, infamous, illustrious, or perhaps even “the one”. At least, those are some of the words that come to mind when I think of something that is “iconic”.
The theme for this week was for our members to share their thoughts on those fountain pens that were icons from their perspective as well as the reason(s) for their selections. We asked them to think about whether it was a popular or well-known pen? Was it something to do with the pen’s design or looks? Maybe it revolutionized the look, function of pens or even how pens write? Has it developed a bit of a cult following? Perhaps it is not famous but infamous? Is it inexpensive or does it cost a small fortune? Was it made by one of the “iconic” brands or do you have trouble pronouncing or even remembering its brand?
If you were to build a collection of pens based on an “iconic” theme, what would you consider to be the “must-have” pens? These hypothetical exercises are great – there are no limits, e.g., you are not restricted to modern or vintage pens, etc. You don’t have to own the pen, have ever owned the pen or even want to own the pen! Heck, you don’t even have to have any money! Although, I don’t want to suggest that a pen’s cost necessarily influences its status as an icon. I can think of very expensive pens that I would not be surprised if many thought of them as an icon, or conversely, others thinking of one of any number of inexpensive (dare I say, “cheap”?) pens that could easily fit the bill, e.g., Lamy Safari.
Enough of my dribble, here are several groups of pens (with photos) that different members of the LPC view as being iconic and why:
1. Sheaffer Balance. 1930s. The Balance began the tradition of streamlining the shape of pens with tapered caps and barrel ends, along with the use of plastics in colours not seen before.
2. Parker Vacumatic. 1930s. Striped plastics, ink stored right in the barrel rather than a sac, and an “interesting” filling system – the Vac is still what I think of when I think of vintage pens.
3. Parker “51”. 1940’s. A hooded nib. “Writes Dry with Wet Ink” to quote the advertising of the day. Introduced in 1939 and in production until 1972, the Parker “51” sold in the millions and is of the most successful fountain pens of all time.
4. Sheaffer Snorkel. 1950’s. The Sheaffer Triumph nib (also known as the wrap around nib or conical nib) was continued on the Snorkel filler. One of the coolest and most complicated of the filling systems, the Snorkel was made in a multitude of colours and finishes.
5. Sheaffer Imperial/Lifetime. 1960’s. I don’t have a Sheaffer Pen For Men (PFM) so I am including my 1963 Lifetime with the famous inlaid nib. The PFM introduced the now iconic inlaid nib that Sheaffer continues to use on their pens to this day. The Imperial, Targa, Intrigue and Valor models all have the inlaid nib.
6. Parker 75 in Sterling Silver cisele pattern. 1960’s. A classy looking pen. I am still waiting to see one on the TV series “Mad Men”.
7. Lamy Safari. 1980’s. The Safari was first introduced in 1980 and hasn’t changed in 30 years. A great starter or school pen that is available in an array of colours and nib sizes.
- Aurora 88. An elegant Italian design that functions perfectly and has a hidden cache of ink, if needed.
- Sheaffer Targa. Simplicity and variety. One could spend a lifetime collecting these classic fountain pens with the inlaid nib. Just check out one of the best pen sites on the internet – sheaffertarga.com
- Pilot/Namiki Vanishing Point. Many people think this pen has a cult following but I disagree. How many people do you know that own at least one Vanishing Point? I would not be surprised if 3 out of 4 pen owners have one – that’s not a cult, that’s a club!
- Delta Dolce Vita. Ah, the sweet life! The first time I saw this pen I thought it was a bit much, I mean, who has the nerve to use a bright orange pen like this, especially a conservative business man like me. It did not take too much longer before I owned one. Actually, I have the double desk set as well!
- Conklin Crescent Filler. Even non-pen people know this pen, it’s the one that Mark Twain uses – because it won’t roll off of a table.
- Lamy 2000. A wonderful example of design and functionality. A simple design, the pen is made of black makrolon and is a piston filler, holding a ton of ink. The flagship pen of LAMY.
- OMAS 360. The non-conformist’s fountain pen because of its unconventional triangulated form. It’s the type of pen that you either love or hate. I happen to love it. Unfortunately, OMAS screwed up its original design when it redesigned its line of pens. If you want one of these, get the older “vintage” model.
- Pelikan M800 Souverän. I loved this fountain pen from the very first time I saw its green striped barrel at Sleuth & Statesman in Toronto. While I actually bought the black-blue model with silver trim first, I just had to have the original black-green model with gold trim. In my mind, the green striped barrel makes it the quintessential fountain pen!
- Parker Duofold. Not a big surprise that the Duofold is on this list, although most people would probably cite the vintage “Big Red” model. Most people would put the Big Red as one of a dozen or so pens in a core collection of pens. I like the blue ones myself, especially this remake of the “True Blue”.
- Waterman Edson. A legendary and elegant pen.
- Conway Stewart #28 “Cracked Ice”. Colourful plastics have been a signature of Conway Stewart. The names of many of these colours, such as this one in Cracked Ice, have been adopted by collectors over the years. Other personal favourites include Reverse Cracked Ice and Tiger Eye. Truth be told, my favourite models are #27 and #60 – I just grabbed the first Cracked Ice that I came across so please forgive my oversight!
From top to bottom:
- Parker Vacumatic. Hey, it’s a Vacumatic, what more is there to say?
- Sheaffer Autograph. The Autograph has a much wider cap band than the Sheaffer Signature and used to be one of their most expensive models. It has the clip and the cap band made out of solid 14K gold. In fact, you could send the pen to Sheaffer along with your signature and they would engrave it on the cap band. This cap band has yet to be engraved.
- Esterbrook. A classic double jewel J (full sized).
- Parker 51. This aerometric filler with gold filled cap is Cocoa in colour, while not as rare as Nassau Green or Plum, is fairly uncommon.
A different view of the same quartet:
First and third Saturdays of the month (apart from January)
Jan 8 – Pens for Kids – special presentation
Jan 22 – Esterbrook Pens – colors, numbers and value for money
Feb 5 – How to replace a pen sac
Feb 12 – St. Patrick’s Day pens – Irish pens and green ones too!
Mar 5 – Stationery – new, different and old standards
Mar 19 – Vintage pens of the Waterman Pen Company
Apr 2 – Divorceable pens – irredeemably faded shine over time
Apr 16 – Parker’s glorious Vacumatic pens
May 7- Non-Parker English pens – Conway Stewart, etc…
May 21 – Pen storage, portable and fixed – new and old ideas
Jun 4 – Montblanc, Pelikan and the lesser-known German pens
Jun 18 – Demonstrators
The theme for our FIRST meeting of the New Year was… your “first” fountain pen (FP). This could mean the very “first” FP you owned (however acquired), the “first” FP you purchased as an adult, or it could mean the “first” FP you chose as a collector, after becoming “hooked” on this hobby. The notion of “first” in “first” FP was limited only by our small brains.
One of our most distinguished members wrote the following about his “first” FP:
I still have it and it is still one of my most trusty workhorses. No sequestering it away in a glass case, it is usually stabled in my shirt pocket next to my heart. In the same fashion as many an infantryman (so I have read) has had his life saved by a musket embedded in his trusty bible, I would expect a bullet aimed at my heart to be deflected by my loyal Sheaffer.
No matter that it has long since destroyed its cap (I have it carefully stored so that when technology advances sufficiently I or a descendent will restore it), I fitted it out with a beautiful classic black one, that fits perfectly. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that it looks rather more aristocratic than the original.
My Uncle Phil gave it to me when I started high school and I have been training it ever since. It has learned to respond to my every touch in a way that can only be achieved over a lifetime. I would guess that if all I ever wrote with this pen was stretched out in a continuous line it would reach from here to the sun! It is too late for me to be ever able to train another although I do continue to explore vintage pens in the (probably vain) hope that some literate connoisseur may have had a similar relationship resulting in a perfectly molded writing instrument.
I will bring it to the next meeting of the LPC and if you swear to treat it with appropriate tenderness and respect I may even let you write a couple of words.
I don’t think you will find it too hard to pick out this “hybrid” Sheaffer in the picture that follows below!
As for me, I brought three “first” FPs to our meeting. My very “first” FP, a tortoise Waterman Laureat that I purchased to sign my name on my firm’s correspondence (I used Waterman Florida Blue ink, of course!). Next, I brought the “first” FP that I purchased online, from Levenger, a beautiful blue Visconti Pericles. Both the Laureat and Pericles are pictured below. Last, I brought the “first” vintage FP that I purchased, under the direction of a certain LPC member – a red Parker Duofold Streamline Senior.
Here is a picture of the “first” FPs that were shared at our meeting on January 2, 2010. From left to right, they are as follows:
- Parker 51 Special – the “first” FP given by a daughter to her father (very Special indeed!),
- Uncle Phil’s Sheaffer – as described above,
- Parker Slimfold – the “first” (and only) FP used by a member’s mother,
- Parker 75,
- Sheaffer Balance in carmine red,
- Sheaffer Snorkel,
- Parker Duofold Jr.,
- Waterman Laureat – as described above, and
- Visconti Pericles – as described above.
Let us know about your “first” FP!