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

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Ink – a fluid or viscous substance used for writing

Ink – the lifeblood of a pen.  When vintage pens were modern, it was “the black liquor with which men write”, then blue and blue-black.  Today, it’s a completely different ballgame altogether – you can get virtually any colour of the rainbow and with different characteristics – fast-drying, eternal, scented,  and so on.  At the current rate of innovation, I predict it won’t very long before we are able to order our own “custom” ink.

Ink was the theme of yesterday’s pen club meeting.  We have had terrific attendance and participation with the themes and yesterday was no exception.  I for one enjoyed seeing such a large quantity and variety of ink (modern and vintage).  Plenty of discussion about the characteristics and quality of different colours and brands.  I am also sure the other customers in Williams raised their eyebrows and shook their heads as they watched us sniffing ink like it was a fine wine – was this ink still good, smell this Solv-X, doesn’t this FPN Brown smell like paint, etc.  And let’s not forget the assortment of ink bottles – Parker Penman, Levenger, etc.  All in all, another terrific meeting.

As the member of our club who is believed to have the largest collection of ink (especially if it is blue), I was asked a number of different questions about the inks that I prefer, etc… and I suggested the best way to describe my addiction to ink is that it is a cheap thrill – very inexpensive relative to most new pens but the possibilities are endless – you can write with it, sketch with it, mix it and even trade it for another kind.  To me, it is analogous to those who collect Lamy Safaris – very nice pens, wide range of colours and nibs – what more could you ask for?

Finally,  I wanted to mention a number of terrific blogs that feature ink.  I really enjoy reading their comments and marvel at their creativity in presenting the many colours of ink that they are using/demonstrating.  Here is a list of ink- related blogs that have caught my eye – if I have missed one, please let me know.

Ink Quest – brilliant narrative!

Inkophile – amazing imagination and presentation!

Spiritual Evolution of the Bean – The name seems to capture it perfectly!

The Harmless Dilettante – has a digital ink sampler with over 160 reviews!

The Laurel Tree – the latest on Japanese ink and pens!

I posed a question to the author of Inkophile about how they were able to ink so many pens and keep them all clean – http://inkophile.wordpress.com/2009/05/22/how-do-you-keep-up-with-all-those-pens/ .  The author will be happy to know that I ordered my ultra sonic cleaner after I read their response – I have been on the fence about one for some time, the author just pushed me over.

Until next week or sooner!

YIPPIE,

Mike

Levenger Perennial Six Pack of Inks

I have wanted to get my hands on the relatively new Levenger inks for awhile.  Since I just happened to be ordering a retirement gift for a business colleague, I used the opportunity to treat myself to their perennial six pack of inks.  Below are two scans made from on a test page on Nava Notes paper and a glass dipping pen.

A few things to consider when viewing the scans:  

  1. I decided to show the back because of the significant bleedthrough.  In my view, it is the paper and not the ink (except for the Skies of Blue as explained below).  
  2.  I used a glass dipping pen.  To be honest, I have never had much success or liked using glass dipping pen.  I have tried to smooth the nib without success.  As you can see, my results are mixed, at best.  For some reason, I could not even get the glass dipping pen to write with the Skies of Blue; at one point, a giant blob dripped off the pen, and well, you can see what happened (sorry)!!

I would be interested in hearing which one(s) are your favourites, do you detest, are surprised by, etc.