Tag Archives: vintage pen

Was Norman Rockwell a Pen Addict?

With their passion for Parker overriding their desire to kiss under the mistletoe, clearly painter Norman Rockwell understood the obsession of pen collectors around the world. Happy Holidays!

With their passion for Parker overriding their desire to kiss under the mistletoe, clearly painter Norman Rockwell understood the obsession of pen collectors around the world. Happy Holidays!

Just one look at this vintage Parker ad, and you know that its painter Norman Rockwell understood pen collectors very well. Sure, it might look a little schmaltzy with two attractive young lovers ignoring one another’s lips under the mistletoe, but they just got new Parker 61s! Of course, they are geeked about their new treasures!

We, here at ThePenMarket.com, hope you get exactly what you want this holiday season!

With respect to all faiths and those without faith, have a Merry Christmas, Happy (belated) Hanukkah, a Joyous Kwanzaa, a Fun Festivus, a Super Solstice and a generally warm winter filled with peace and love.

May you get your heart’s desire.

Best wishes from all of us at ThePenMarket.com

Goodies from the Ohio Pen Show

November has been a crazy-busy month. First, I turned 40 near the start of the month. Friends flew in from Montana, and others locally joined in for much mirth and madness.

Here are three trays of new fountain pens for this website. Most of them are already fully restored!

Here are three trays of new fountain pens for this website. Most of them are already fully restored!

The following weekend saw me in Columbus, Ohio, enjoying their glorious pen show.

This weekend was Thanksgiving weekend.

I haven’t forgotten you, loyal readers. I’ve just been recovering and gearing up for a killer Cyber Monday and a spectacular holiday shopping season.

Ohio was wildly successful for all of the new connections, old friends and amazing pens. I finally got to meet the incredible nib specialist Richard Binder. I also met the legendary pen repairman Ron Zorn. Jonathan Veley gave me my first lesson in vintage pencil repair. A Mont Blanc specialist was able to assist in several specific repairs.

I picked up this mandarin orange Sheaffer Snorkel Statesman and Fiesta Red Clipper for my own collection, I love them

I picked up this mandarin orange Sheaffer Snorkel Statesman and Fiesta Red Clipper for my own collection, I love them




I scored more than 30 new pens for your perusal, and I picked up two rare color Sheaffer Snorkels. A mandarin orange Statesman and a fiesta red Clipper made my entire trip. Sorry, folks, I’m keeping those two for myself.

Yet of the 30+ new pens, there are ample rare colored 51 pencils to match up with any solitary pens in your collection. Pelikans, Parkers and Sheaffers make up the bulk of the collection. Yet, my favorite is a sky blue Conklin! It is difficult for me to resist it’s pull.

When Nipples Go Bad…Section Nipples, That Is

Once in a rare while, I find that the section of a pen has lost its nipple to attach an ink sac. Sometimes, an old nipple is just too heavily damaged to patch together or seat a bladder. On the vintage Wahl fountain pen below from the 1920s, the nipple actually was still attached to the remnants of the old ink sac but cleanly detached from the section.

A piece of copper tubing has been fit into a vintage fountain pen section to serve as a nipple, to which you can attach a fresh ink sac.

A piece of copper tubing has been fit into a vintage fountain pen section to serve as a nipple, to which you can attach a fresh ink sac.

As Wahl sections from the 1920s aren’t easy replacement parts to find, I find it is best to jury rig a solution. This means it is time for a trip to McDonald’s or the local hardware store.

I have used a variety of objects such as straws (from McDonald’s) to metal pipes over the years. All it needs to be is strong enough to hold a shellacked ink sac.

In this case, the hardware store had a small copper pipe that fit perfectly. Luckily for the pen, the section hole was deep enough to accommodate the inkfeed at proper depth while allowing enough room for the  pipe to hold tight. If the feed rested above the hole, then I would have been out of luck.

To get started, use a rotary tool or hacksaw to cut the pipe to the proper length. Use said rotary tool or some heavy sand paper to smooth the newly cut piece. This keeps it from not fitting or from leaving sharp pieces to hurt the ink sac. Remember to keep the replacement nipple fairly short to avoid it coming into contact with the inner pressure bar or spring. If it is too long, it might trap the filling mechanism and not allow you to fill the pen.

Coat the outside of the tube with some rubber cement, before setting it down in the section. This will seal the microscopic gap between the section and tube if you have a good fit. Plus, rubber cement won’t harm the plastic or hard rubber. Nor will it stick so tightly that you cannot remove the new nipple for any reason.

Make sure no rubber cement is clogging the inkfeed channel, preventing you from using the pen you have worked so hard to restore.

After everything is clear, use a little more rubber cement to affix the new ink sac. As long as you keep the pen away from heat, which you should always do anyway, the rubber cement makes for a good seal for the bladder. Until orange shellac became more available to pen collectors in recent years, rubber cement had been the go-to sealant for putting on new ink sacs. As I wasn’t sure how much I could trust the shellac between metal and rubber surfaces, I went with the old standby that I knew I could trust.

Upon completing this. let everything set and dry for 24-hours. Test it with water or ink to make sure the seals are good. If the pen goes for another 24-hours on its side without any leaks in the nipple, section or sac, you are good to go.

If the sac will fill but cannot retain any fluid, then there is an air leak you will need to find and seal. It might be a well hidden hairline crack elsewhere in the section. It also could be a hole in the ink sac, which is unlikely. Mostly it will be a gap somewhere between the section and the new nipple.

Once everything is tested and holding, put the rest of the pen together as you would any other repair job.

SPECIAL REMINDER: DO NOT force a piece of metal tubing into the remaining hole. Metal tubes are stronger than old hard rubber or plastic. It will crack your remaining part if forced into place.. If that happens, it is time to find a new pen to work on. Be careful.

The Skyline’s the Limit for Walt Disney

It only seems fitting that a pen company get the nation’s leading animator to sell it’s pens and pencils. Who wouldn’t trust Walt Disney when it comes to picking a new writing instrument?!

Walt Disney famously became a spokesperson for Wahl-Eversharp and its line of Skyline pens. The way Disney discusses the responsiveness of the nib, we figure he must have been given one of the famous and rare flex nibs Eversharp made.

Walt Disney famously became a spokesperson for Wahl-Eversharp and its line of Skyline pens. The way Disney discusses the responsiveness of the nib, we figure he must have been given one of the famous and rare flex nibs Eversharp made.

Walt Disney famously pitched the futuristic looking Eversharp Skylines in the 1940s. This great ad comes from 1942 or early 1943, hot on the heels of the hit movie “Bambi.” It is difficult to think that anybody today doesn’t know this film about a young orphaned deer growing up in the woods with his friends Thumper and Flower.

Likewise, it is difficult to believe many pen collectors aren’t familiar with the iconic art deco designed Eversharp Skylines. Made right here in Chicago, the Skyline also was supposed to be one of the first pens engineered to handle the altitude pressure changes of flight. It had a nifty breather tube leading from the section into the sac, unlike most lever fillers of the 1930s and ’40s. However, the Parker Vacumatic already added that feature in the early 1930s, and the 51 kept it. So the Skyline wasn’t the only pen equipped to handle something as exotic and romantic as commercial aviation. Even then, many frequent fliers would have been dubious of the consistency of mess-free flight claims.

 

 

 

This is the first resurrection of the Eversharp Skyline made in a limited edition dedicated to Walt Disney.

This is the first resurrection of the Eversharp Skyline made in a limited edition dedicated to Walt Disney.

Disney and Eversharp are so well linked in the public imagination that when the Eversharp brand was first resurrected in the late 1990s or early 2000s, a new Skyline was introduced in a limited edition collectors’ run. These pens switched from the original lever-filling design to a cartridge/converter system that was accessed by unscrewing a seemless blind cap in the tail of the pen. The Disney pens were numbered, and featured his autograph engraved on the golden cap.

ThePenMarket.com is excited offer one of these limited edition Disney Skylines on its preowned pens page. We also have a great collection of Eversharp Skylines in our vintage pens collection.

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.

How Do I Keep a Journal?

Journals come in all shapes and sizes. The trick is to find one you like and just keep plugging away at it. Before you know it, you will have preserved many incredible memories and events.

Journals come in all shapes and sizes. The trick is to find one you like and just keep plugging away at it. Before you know it, you will have preserved many incredible memories and events.

Looking for a great new use for your vintage pens or luxury writers? Have you ever tried keeping a journal or diary?

Keeping a diary or journal is a fun way to create a time capsule for yourself or future generations. It also can be a great way to focus yourself and concentrate on any issue in life you want to hash out or better understand.

There are myriad ways to keep a journal, and none of them is wrong. The biggest trick is making sure to consistently set aside time to work on it. Whether you work on it every day or every week, it gets easier as it becomes second nature with repeated efforts.

For some people, keeping a journal is as simple as keeping a daily event planner listing the day’s happenings with a few scribbled notes in the margins. I knew one guy who simply listed every single expenditure he made on a given day. It might sound mundane at first, but imagine looking back on it in fifty years: “Oh my! Gas only cost $4.85 a gallon. And look at this! A candybar cost 99 cents.”

Some people keep their diary under lock and key for good reason. It is their one place to vent their emotions or express true feelings they might not otherwise mention in public. It is a place to cope with the harsh realities of their lives or to just blow off steam. I recommend giving it a try. It can be very cathartic to shed all of that built up emotional weight.

Similiarly, a journal can be a great tool for sorting out any issue from romance to politics to questions of faith to work issues to whatever you want. By taking some time with pen and paper, you can lay out all of your thoughts and analyze them. When you slow things down and work it all out by hand, you will be surprised by the clarity and resolutions you find.

Of course, not every entry needs to be that deep and thought provoking. Keeping a chronicle of your life helps you to remember all of the events, good times and struggles. Plus it more accurately delivers a represenation of the times in which you live. Years from now it can be great to rekindle those memories. If you choose to share it with future generations, imagine how they’ll better understand your life and times when reading about the time you fell in love or first used the internet or dealt with a divorce or how you experienced 9/11. Maybe it will even help them deal with similar issues and changes in their own lives.

“Well, if Great Grandma could get through it, I can.”

Who knows, maybe it’ll even help future historians better grasp human nature and the events that led to their future reality.

Or maybe it will simply, but more importantly, bring you pleasure to put pen to page as you preserve your favorite memories.

Proud to Present Rare Mabie Todd Pen

Here is a nearly mint condition Mabie Todd Eternal. Fully restored, it works beautifully.

Here is a nearly mint condition Mabie Todd Eternal. Fully restored, it works beautifully.

We hate bragging so much we started a blog. Just be forewarned.

Although we try not to get too crazy about any one pen on our site, we think this one is worth all of the hype. It is an original, museum quality Mabie Todd Eternal fountain pen. More than that, this is our senior size or oversized edition.

The hard rubber body is practically perfect, as its orange and black design is immaculate. The imprint is a little faded in one spot but is otherwise strong. The trim is great with only a little brassing on the ball of the clip.

Oh, and the nib. The nib is spectacular. It is a 14k gold dream that writes a smooth medium line. This vintage fountain pen has been refurbished with a new ink sac. So you can use this pen or brag about it on display.

How Do I Write a Love Letter?

The key to every good love letter is making it as personal as you can. Don't be indimidated by writing. Savor the joy it will bring.

The key to every good love letter is making it as personal as you can. Don’t be intimidated by writing. Savor the joy it will bring.

Okay, so now that you have a spiffy pen for writing love letters, how do you go about using it?

Writing a good love letter is an art form, but it is not one you need to be intimidated by. There is no one correct way to write one, as every relationship is different and in different stages.

As with any writing project, you must keep only two simple things in mind: 1.) Who is your audience & 2.) What is your objective.

The letter better not sound that cold, but it helps to take the edge off when you sit down to compose.

You are never too old or too young to write a good love letter. My first one was to a teacher’s aid in first grade. I was madly in love with Miss Mix. Perhaps, that’s where my flame for older women first got lit. I was 6. She was 21. She was pretty and kind and totally understood my inner soul way better than those immature girls my own age. It was ill fated, but I totally got a love letter back from her. She declined my proposal to marry, but she did encourage me to look her up after I grew up. Sadly, she moved away when her student teaching ended that semester and we lost track of one another. C’est la vie. That’s just the way love goes sometimes.

I digress.

First ask yourself what stage of the relationship you are in. What do you hope to achieve by writing this letter. Writing to someone you barely know will be much different than writing to someone you’ve been married to for 50 years.

Let’s say you are just getting to know someone or want to get to know someone. Be your quirky self, humorous and sincere. Don’t overdo it. A light touch is best. Include something about the connection you share.

“Every day it seems I spy you through the sneeze guard of our office cafeteria salad bar. Who is this amazingly hot woman with three and a half noses and 7 dancing arctic blue eyes peering back at me through the plexiglass refraction? I don’t know, but it seems we agree that croutons are the best part of any salad. Is this kismet or just a mutual fondness for crunchy salted carbs? I don’t know, but I’d like to find out. How about stepping out from behind the sneeze guard and joining me for a real lunch some time? Potentially yours, _____”

Nothing elaborate. It’s light hearted, flirty and fun without sounding stalkerish or dripping in innuendo. Yet, it leaves open many possibilities.

If you are already in a relationship, understand the difference between intimacy and lust. Both make for fantastic love letters, but it also is the point at which you really need to focus on shared experiences and end goals. Intimacy can lead to lust, but it is that special souls-laid-bare closeness that comes from shareing your lives. Use those close personal experiences to tell your lover why they are so important to you. Put your feelings and your self out there and make sure they know how incredible it is to have them in your life.

If a night of unbridled passion is what you are after, then tap into lust, and use your love letter as foreplay. Get it delivered midday at their home or office with flowers or a gift. Use your words to stir their desire.

THE BIGGEST MISTAKES GUYS MAKE: Unless you met your partner at a renaissance fair, lay off the knightly talk and overtly ardent courting of the 14th century. Methinks it goeth too far, and most fair maidens have second thoughts about a man who pretends he’s living in the realm of “Dungeons & Dragons.”

ALSO: Lay off the lust angle, unless your relationship has already crossed that line or is on the verge of crossing that line. Otherwise, most women will resent being objectified. Mostly, they’ll think you are creepy and/or scary. If it is meant to be, it’ll happen. Be patient.

THE BIGGEST MISTAKES GALS MAKE: Don’t put the proverbial cart before the horse. Guys love love letters, too, but you want to be careful about going too far ahead of where the relationship is really at. If your relationship is still pretty new, you might spook him if you start talking about marriage or seeing your yet unconcieved children in his eyes. It might be obvious that the two of you will be headed down the aisle one day, but don’t spring it on him out of the blue.

ALSO: If you want a more physical relationship, don’t be afraid to ask for it. We live in messed up times. If you’ve got a nice, caring guy who is a little reluctant to go too far at first, it doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t want you. He was likely raised to respect women and not treat them like sexual play toys who can be easily discarded. Mix that with a lifetime of news reports about rape and sex abuse against women, and he likely doesn’t want to be seen as a predator. A gentleman doesn’t take a lady; she gives herself to him. He likely desperately wants your permission to do all of the things you desperately want him to do. Don’t be afraid to write it out in black and white for him.

Join the Wearever Pen Bandwagon

Here is the Wearever Deluxe 100 in a grey and red pattern that looks surprisingly close to that of the Parker Parkerette below.

Here is the Wearever Deluxe 100 in a grey and red pattern that looks surprisingly close to that of the Parker Parkerette below.

To the astonishment of many long-time pen collectors, the Wearever brand has been gaining a lot of second looks in recent years.

Although Sheaffer and Parker routinely vied for the title of the biggest and best fountain pen manufacturer from the 1920s through the 1960s, another brand beat them out on sales volume: Wearever.

0639 ParkeretteHonestly. Although a second–and even third–tier pen company, Wearever sold huge quantities of pens, particularly in the 1940s and ’50s. How did they do it? Looks and price. Some of their highest quality pens, such as the Wearever Deluxe 100, only cost one greenback dollar. Their plastics proved very durable, and the company focused a lot of attention on making the pens very attractive…often stealing, I mean, being inspired by the designs of leading pen makers. Just look at the similarity between this Wearever Deluxe 100 and Parker Parkerette.

The cost cutting came on the quality control side of things. While some of their “special alloy” nibs wrote very smoothly, many were scratchy and troublesome.

Many collectors, tired of being priced out of the ultra popular brands, are turning to these handsome vintage pens to beautify their collection while these pens are still affordable.

Overlooked for so long, there appears to be very little information about this company from North Bergen, New Jersey. Reasonable rumors state its history extends back into the late 1800s. We are very curious about this company and would love it if other fans of the brand were able to contact us with more details.

‘Out of Africa’ into the Pen Blog

This still from the 1985 movie "Out of Africa" shows Meryl Streep holding a gold pen given to her by a character played by Robert Redford. Is it a Waterman 52? A Wahl?

This still from the 1985 movie “Out of Africa” shows Meryl Streep holding a gold pen given to her by a character played by Robert Redford. Is it a Waterman 52? A Wahl?

Last week we had a request from loyal reader Karen P. to find a picture of the pen used by Meryl Streep in her Oscar-winning movie “Out of Africa.”

Finding a picture of the pen was relatively easy. Identifying the pen is a different story.

For those of you who are not familiar with the film, it is based on the true story with the same title by Danish baroness Karen Blixen, who initially wrote under the pen name Isak Dinesen. Autobiographical, it is the saga of Blixen, played by Streep, marrying for convience and title, moving to Danish colonial Kenya, establishing a successful coffee plantation and ultimately having an affair with a big game hunter played by Robert Redford. (As her husband has slept with half of Africa, she’s owed Robert Redford.)

The film was directed by Sydney Pollack and earned 7 Academy Awards including Best Picture. Most remarkable are the sweeping shots of Africa. Few movies will make you want to book a flight to Africa faster.

Anyhow, after their second encounter, Redford’s character gives Streep’s character a beautiful gold or gold-filled fountain pen. It looks like a clipless lever-filler that looks to be about 13 to 15cm when capped. Sadly, there are no close ups on the pen, as Blixen writes in the film. Therefore, I cannot fully I.D. the pen.  It might even be an eyedropper pen, as it is given in 1914, and this movie has paid close attention to the details on vintage everything.

This is the closest vintage pen we currently stock that looks like Streep's pen. It is a lever-filler by Hutcheon.

This is the closest vintage pen we currently stock that looks like Streep’s pen. It is a lever-filler by Hutcheon.

Taking the easy way out, I could recommend that it might be a Waterman or Wahl, as they made plenty of slender gold-fill pens. The closest pen I have for sale is a faux gold Hutcheon lever filler that looks to be from the 1920s.

If anybody has a better idea of what the movie pen is, please write in and help Karen. Thanks.