Tag Archives: Esterbrook pens

Esterbrook has those ‘Biloxi Blues’

Here's the movie poster for "Biloxi Blues" starring Matthew Broderick, Christopher Walken and a grey pearl Esterbrook LJ.

Here’s the movie poster for “Biloxi Blues” starring Matthew Broderick, Christopher Walken and a grey pearl Esterbrook LJ.

Neil Simon is one of my favorite playwrights, and I wasn’t 3 minutes into the film adaptation of his autobiographical “Biloxi Blues” (1988) when I spotted an Esterbrook LJ in the hands of Matthew Broderick, the star of the film playing Eugene Jerome (a.k.a. Neil Simon) as a young, wise-cracking soldier from New York experiencing bootcamp in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Not quite as funny or famous as Simon’s bigger hits, “The Odd Couple” or “Barefoot in the Park,” “Biloxi Blues” is the quasi sequel to Simon’s “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” which follows the early adolescence of Eugene.

In both films, Eugene is constantly dreaming of becoming a writer and scribbling down all of his observations in his diary.

“Biloxi Blues” starts on the overcrowded troop train heading south to Mississippi, where Eugene is desperately trying to collect his thoughts while surrounded by young recruits from all over the country with whom he has nothing in common. It is mid-1945, and Eugene and his fellow recruits are training to be part of the invasion of Japan before the nuclear bombs are dropped.

The real star of "Biloxi Blues" is this Esterbrook LJ in the hand of Matthew Broderick as he writes during the opening scenes of the movie.

The real star of “Biloxi Blues” is this Esterbrook LJ in the hand of Matthew Broderick as he writes during the opening scenes of the movie.

The movie is a fun coming-of-age comedy, and Christopher Walken practically steals the whole show as Eugene’s strict authoritarian (and slightly insane) drill sergeant. Toss in a light romance with Penelope Ann Miller, and you’ve got a solid 90-minute movie experience.

Of course, true pen fanatics will see the vintage pen discrepancy immediately. The film takes place in 1945. The Esterbrook J/LJ series didn’t launch until 1948. Don’t let that spoil your fun with the film, and if you want some colorful Esterbrooks of your own to play with, click here to see our rainbow of Esterbrook options.

Swag from the Atlanta Show

This is just a small selection of the incredible swag we picked up for you at The Atlanta Pen Show. We will post it as soon as we can repair and photograph it. So keep checking back with us.

This is just a small selection of the incredible swag we picked up for you at The Atlanta Pen Show. We will post it as soon as we can repair and photograph it. Keep checking back with us.

Just look at me table of booty from the Atlanta Pen Show!

First, it was great meeting so many great pen collectors and dealers at the show. I love finally meeting people and getting to talk. The fact that we’re all there to talk pens is even more fun.

Special thanks also to the organizers who did such a good job setting up a really nice venue and getting a lot of buyers to the show. We had incredible sales for one table. Just look how depleted the site is…for now.

However, as you can see in the photo, we have more than 40 new pens to restore and post. Esterbrook fans can rejoice in a new wide selection of colors, and a huge collection of desk pens, too. Modern fans will love the new Visconti Wall Street we picked up as well as some limited edition Mont Blanc, Parker and S.T. Dupont.

The collection of inkwells we purchased for you is my personal favorite! From brass art nouveau to green glass and silver, this collection will be to die for. Now if only I had to the time to photograph, describe and post it all at once!

Esterbrook Nibs: It’s Time for a Change

The Esterbrook pen company made myriad nib sizes and styles to customize each of the pens they made to the needs of their users. Best of all, they did it with an easy twist out nib assembly anybody could manipulate.

The Esterbrook pen company made myriad nib sizes and styles to customize each of the pens they made to the needs of their users. Best of all, they did it with an easy twist out nib assembly anybody could manipulate.

Although every fountain pen manufacturer for the past 100 years has made specialized nibs for almost every occasion, only Esterbrook and Pelikan have made it easy to exchange nibs on one pen you already love.

Both companies have made simple complete nib unit assemblies that are easily screwed into and out of the section (grip) of every one of their fountain pens. Esterbrook was the most famous for doing this in the United States from the 1940s into the 1960s. Their line up of nibs included dozens of different sizes and strengths for different jobs.

Whether you wanted to switch from a fine point to a stub for caligraphy or you stabbed your nib into the desk top out of anger or frustration, all you had to do was unscrew the old nib and replace it with a new one.

Each Esterbrook nib had a model number that indicated what type of nib it was. A 1550 was an extra fine “Durachrome” (aka thin steel) nib intended for bookkeeping. A 9314F was a “Master Durachrome” (aka a much thicker smoother writing steel) nib that wrote a fine stub line for a fancy writing effect or caligraphy.

The 9000 series of Master Durachrome nibs was the very best Esterbrook had to offer, and now we offer nearly 100 replacement nibs spanning 7 different models on our Inkwells & Blotters pages. We only show 1 of each of the 7 different models, but you can order several of each.

These 9000 series nibs are getting increasingly rare. Once we run out, we don’t know how soon we will be able to find more.

The Pens of Presidents Kennedy & Johnson

This collection of pens signed 50 iconic American laws into effect by President John F Kennedy and President Lyndon Baines Johnson from 1961 to 1967. It appears Esterbrooks and Parker 45 were the go-to pens of choice.

This collection of pens signed 50 iconic American laws into effect by President John F Kennedy and President Lyndon Baines Johnson from 1961 to 1967. It appears Esterbrooks and Parker 45 were the go-to pens of choice.

How’s this for the ultimate pen auction? 50 pens used by presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson to sign bills into law from 1961 to 1967!

Attentive reader Linda Greenstein sent me the link to this amazing pen collection.

The auction catalog descripes the pens thusly:
“A Golden Era in Legislative Achievement 1961-1967” (50) Pens that “were used to sign into law (50) landmark Bills enacted during the administrations of President John F. Kennedy and President Lyndon B. Johnson and were presented to Henry H. Wilson, Jr. in recognition of his efforts as their assistant for Congressional relations for the House of Representatives during these years.” Included are pens used to sign the 1961 Area Redevelopment Act, 1961 Expanded Space Program-Man on the Moon, 1961 Peace Corps, 1964 Civil Rights Act, 1965 Voting Rights Act, 1965 Establishment of Housing and Urban Development, 1965 Immigration Act, 1966 Establishment of the Department of Transportation etc.,etc.,etc. (1) 10 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch photograph of Henry H. Wilson, Jr., President of the Board of Trade with his collection of Presidential pens taken by Bob Kotalik on July 5, 1967 for the Chicago Sun Times which was printed on July 9, 1967. (Presented in toto within a framed shadow box annotating each pen)

Can you imagine owning one of the pens that signed the Civil Rights Act? Or NASA’s Moon Shot program? Or started the Peace Corps?

The starting bid is only $20,000.

What the catalog copy doesn’t mention are the fact Kennedy’s pens are Esterbrook dip writers, and that Johnson’s pens appear to be mostly Parker 45s with his signature imprinted on them. Both seem curiously economical choices.

The Esterbrook nib Kennedy used on the majority of these pens was the 2668. That is the firm-medium steel nib.

In the meantime, here’s the link to this auction.

Parker 21, Parker 45 & Esterbrook Fountain Pens

If you have been visiting our vintage pens pages lately, you might find yourself asking, “Self, what’s with all of the cheap Parkers and Esterbrooks?”

We sell more vintage Esterbrook pens than any other brand. These copper-colored Esterbrooks are my personal favorite of the options available, but our most popular colors are blue, grey and black.

We sell more vintage Esterbrook pens than any other brand. These copper-colored Esterbrooks are my personal favorite of the options available, but our most popular colors are blue, grey and black.

It is simple enough my friends. Esterbrooks are the most popular pens we sell at ThePenMarket.com. We generally can’t keep them in stock. As for the inexpensive Parkers, we had so many expensive pens on the vintage pens pages, we thought it would be nice to offer a high-quality entry pen to the site for people just looking to get into writing with fountain pens.

But then there is one more reason.

ThePenMarket.com recently acquired an amazing collection of rarer, harder to find vintage pens dating back to the turn of the last century. We’re talking hard rubber and silver filigree fountain pens. Think Waterman 12, Waterman 52, Waterman 54 and a beautiful sterling silver Waterman 452. We’ve got Parker Duofolds and Vacs. Sheaffer Lifetimes and Balances. Maybe some Mabie Todd. Perhaps some sterling and gold no names. You’ll quiver with delight at the senior Conklin Enduras with remarkable color clarity.

We’ve got 120 classic vintage pens to catalog, restore and post for sale.

Are you salivating yet? When they arrive online would you rather they be the first things you see or have them buried under 2 dozen steel nib beauties. That’s what we thought. In the coming weeks and months, e-fist fights might breakout over the first daily opportunity to buy these glorious fountain pen wonders of yesteryear.