Tag Archives: Cross Townsend

Farewell, President Obama

After faithfully serving the country for 8 years, for better or worse, through thick and through thin, President Barack Obama hands the reins over to Donald Trump today. Judging by the uproar online and everywhere else, it will be a sadder day for some than others.

President Barack Obama signs a bill into law using a black-and-sterling-silver ballpoint Cross Century II. During his first term in office, we noted he was using Cross Townsend pens to sign bills.

President Barack Obama signs a bill into law using a black-and-sterling-silver ballpoint Cross Century II. During his first term in office, we noted he was using Cross Townsend pens to sign bills.

However, as we put aside politics for our shared love of pens, we noted earlier in his presidency that President Obama was signing bills into law with Cross Townsends. As we have noted the changes in presidential pens from Esterbrooks to Parkers to Cross pens, we to must acknowledge one last change in President Obama’s signing pens.

Some time during his second term we spotted this photo of him using a different Cross pen. These are the Cross Century II ballpoint pens in black lacquer with a sterling silver cap. It is a handsome pen and nicely weighted, while being a little thicker around the middle than the more common Cross Century pens each of us likely has two dozen of rattling around a desk drawer or shoe box.

With that observation, we wish the Obama family well and thank them for their service to our country … while wondering what pens President Donald Trump will use.

A Pen for the Highest Office

I like to envision elements of this new blog as a cocktail party for pen collectors. Who else would start a conversation with a total stranger by asking, “Did you know so-and-so writes with a ______ pen?” It can’t be any worse than, “Hey, baby, what’s your sign?” (Scorpio)

President Barack Obama signs a bill with a Cross Townsend rollerball pen.

President Barack Obama signs a bill with a Cross Townsend rollerball pen.

Everybody uses a pen, but it is interesting to see who uses what. As this blog grows, I hope to identify the pens used by movie stars, politicians (both parties), athletes and anybody else who has made the news. One of the great pleasures of getting to know pen collectors is discovering many share my interest in random trivia.

I fully encourage readers to send in images and ideas for this series of posts.

To get us started, I figured who best to turn to than the person who has the world’s most powerful autograph.

President Barack Obama is well known for using special Cross Townsend rollerball pens to sign bills into law. The stalwart American-made pens are black with silver trim. Official signing pens are custom made with the commander-in-chief’s signature and a presidential seal. The pen’s inner brass barrel construction gives the writing instrument a nice weight and balance. When I used to sell pens at a store in a mall, Townsends were a popular model that wrote just as smoothly as a Mont Blanc Meisterstuck Classique for a third of the price.

Please note in the photo that it does not appear our president is a pen collector, as he posts the distinctive cap on the tail of the pen. Mr. President, that will wear on the pen and ruin its finish. Of course, if any of us were lucky enough to own a signing ceremony pen from any president, it probably wouldn’t matter much that it had a little surface wear.