Tag Archives: Pen Market

Delving into Diamine Inks

It seems strange, even to me, that in spite of a lifetime using fountain pens, I had never previously gotten all that into inks. I used whatever was available, eventually falling in love with Waterman’s Florida Blue and Aurora’s black inks. And then Waterman went and discontinued Florida Blue. Sure, I bought up a bunch of it before it disappeared, but I found myself in ink crisis wanting to find something that I liked as much.

Witness the way sunlight fades fresh Diamine ink. The left writing sample spent 4 months in direct sunlight. The right writing sample is fresh out of the bottle. I was particularly impressed by the color, clarity and resistance to harsh UV rays.

Witness the way sunlight fades fresh Diamine ink. The left writing sample spent 4 months in direct sunlight. The right writing sample is fresh out of the bottle. I was particularly impressed by the color, clarity and resistance to harsh UV rays in the Diamine Ancient Copper ink.

This coincided nicely with a new generation of people exploring the wonders of many ink colors and brands! Now I have the bug, too. While still questing for my perfect Florida Blue replacement, I’ve been branching out trying new colors.

A penpal in Germany turned me on to the many wonders of Diamine last autumn. I picked out 4 colors to order and try on my own. I also performed an ink-fast test on them to see how they held up after spending 4 months in my window, during winter’s weaker light. Here are the results:

SHERWOOD GREEN: I’ve always loved Robin Hood stories, since I watched the Errol Flynn flick as a kid. Fresh on the page, it is a little darker and more yellow than I would have preferred, but it made a great ink for my Christmas cards last year. Given how dark and rich it is, I was surprised when it faded this much.

KENSINGTON BLUE: This is a beautiful dark blue with aqua accents in the shadowing, which you can’t see as well in this sample. Unfortunately, it suffers the same fate as many blues by fading too much over time.

PRUSSIAN BLUE: Given some German ancestry and an appreciation of their cheek-scarring fencing tactics, I had to try this ink. It is a good blue-black with some very nice shadow effects. As I am finding with other blue-blacks, it holds up a little better under the sun’s harsh rays.

ANCIENT COPPER: Hands down my favorite new ink of the past year! It’s rich, dark orange looks incredible when spread thin with a stub and then brought to a thick, darker clot when laid down thicker at the top or bottom of a loop. Its only downside is that it does seem to clog a bit in the pen over time. If I give my trusty Pelikan 800 a thorough flushing between refills, I have no troubles whatsoever. Best of all, it hardly fades at all, unlike my beautiful but fickle blues.

Catching Up Part II: Writing for ‘Pen World’

The editor of Pen World was reading through this very blog as he and the staff were working on the story about me in December and found my 4-part piece about helping to connect the generational divides by pen collectors. He really liked it and asked me to write my first story for Pen World Magazine!

The story featured in this April’s edition is a more journalistic approach uniting the generations. Having worked in newspapers for years and written for about a dozen different magazines, it was pretty easy to put that hat back on to report the story. Hopefully it will only be the first of many stories for Pen World. It is fun to write for magazines again.

Here it is with permission from Pen World. Most of the photography was provided by the delightful Laura Solon who is a big help at the Chicago Pen Show.

The cover to the April 2017 issue of "Pen World."

The cover to the April 2017 issue of “Pen World.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adding Character with a 1915 Underwood Typewriter

Every wonder what we use on our classic shipping labels? You are looking at our beloved 1915 Underwood portable typewriter. This machine is as dedicated a writer as any of our vintage pens.

Every wonder what we use on our classic shipping labels? You are looking at our beloved 1915 Underwood portable typewriter. This machine is as dedicated a writer as any of our vintage pens.

Several customers have noticed our shipping labels are always typed up on an “old skool” typewriter and have asked after it.

In addition to vintage pens, I have a fetish for classic, old-fashioned typewriters. It is amazing to me how past generations created these incredibly complex machines to type so smoothly.

My typewriter for mailing labels is a 1915 Underwood. The Qwerty keyboard hadn’t been 100% formalized and made uniform when it was made. Some of the keys are out of place with where they are on a modern computer. There is no key for the numeral one. I have to use the lowercase “L”. The ribbon must reversed by hand when it runs out in one direction. The poor thing often veers off on a different direction when trying to type a straight line. It adds lots of personality to the occassional letter that I write upon it. I hope I work as well when I’m 99 years old. If I make it that long, I sure hope I’m in as good a condition!

Believe it or not, I found it in a second hand store with its original portable case for $12. It needed close to $100 of professional restoration work, but it was worth it. If I can’t write with one of my favorite fountain pens, this is my favorite backup.

I cannot restore vintage typewriters, but I hope to learn how one day. They look like a ton of fun to rebuild…because that’s the way I geek out. Maybe one day I’ll show off my electric 1963 Smith-Corona typewriter that is robin’s egg blue and white.

Welcome to The Pen Market.com’s Blog

Hello, and welcome!

It has been a long time coming, but we are very happy to have our very own blog. It is a space dedicated to pen lovers old and new. In it we hope to entertain our readers and customers with pen history, classic–if not somewhat cheesy–pen ads, repair advice and much more.

One of our upcoming favorite features will be trying to identify the pens of famous people. We will also try to identify the pens you see in the movies!

As for further entertainment, we might even add fun musings, short stories, song parodies or more.

Naturally, we’ll keep you up to date on all of the latest and greatest things happening at ThePenMarket.com, to make sure you don’t miss out on great bargains or rare pens.

Last, but not least, we want to learn about you. Ask us questions. Tell us about you. We love better getting to know our customers, and we want to do all we can to make your shopping and reading experience the best one you have online!

Tell your friends, and come back soon.

Yours,
Nathaniel Cerf
President, Repairman
ThePenMarket.com