For all of our pen customers around the world who live south of what we, in the United States, call the Mason-Dixon Line, odds are you might not know the true joy of a “Snow Day.”

As of sunrise, 5 of the expected 12 inches of today’s snow storm have fallen here in Chicago. It is a “snow day” and time to frolic in the white stuff.

A snow day is a day where schools get closed because there is too much snow for the buses to drive the kids to class. When I was a kid in the 1980s, the entire kid world revolved around the random joy of a “day off” to now play in tons of snow. We could generally count on a good 3 or 4 snow days every year in Chicago. These days we can go two or three years between quality snow days like back then. In fact, earlier this week, one of my young fencing students was aware of snow days but was curious what triggered one, as he hadn’t seen more than an inch or two of snow at a time in quite some time.

As of 9 a.m. today, we have had 5 inches of snow, and we are expecting to 5 more inches before the sun sets. We expect a couple more inches before the sun rises and this storm ends. It is finally a winter wonderland!

Me, I’m an autumn-winter kind of guy. I hate summer’s high heat and humidity. I burn so quickly under the sun that I wear more layers in summer than winter. I love snow days! True snow days that pile up a foot of snow or more.

Why? It is a day for shoveling, building snow forts, having snowball fights and hot chocolate. The cold weather on a snow day really isn’t that cold, as you can’t get good snow below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, around -5 Celsius. It is bracing to be outside, and it is invigorating. To be out in the elements, even with a thankless task like shoveling, it grounds you in the moment and it makes you feel at one with the elements and nature.

Indoors it is a great time to write! I don’t say that cynically as a pen shop owner. I have been a writer as far back as I can remember. Letters, stories, books, journal entires…doesn’t matter. If you don’t have to go to work or school on a snow day, it is a free day for anyone who loves writing to catch up and focus on their wordsmithing. It is a day to take a soothing moment or two to fill some of your favorite pens with in and see if you can write them dry.

My favorite snow day was back in the mid- to late 1980s. We had something like 18 inches of snow overnight and into the day. It was a blizzard with really high winds and wet heavy snow. Nobody was going anywhere that day. The power was knocked out, and somehow our furnace was affected by that and blew out, too. We bundled up and shuttered as much of the upstairs as we could to insulate against the elements. (Remember, there was no such thing as cellphone weather aps to let us know when the storm would end.) We had a battery operated radio for updates, but we didn’t run it often to prevent the batteries from dying.

My mom, sister and I “played” frontier family for most of the day. We lit candles and did some long-term homework projects as the storm ravaged its worst. We drank Ovaltine, ate Campbell’s Tomato Soup and I also had a peanut butter and mustard sandwich, I’m sure, as they have always been a staple of my diet. We imagined this was how Abraham Lincoln lived as a kid…except we had Ovaltine, Campbell’s Soup and peanut butter. Annnnd, nobody died as a result of the storm or got a fatal disease. But, damn it, we were doing schoolwork by candlelight. That had to count for something.

Unable to stay cooped up all day, we finally ventured into the weakening storm in the afternoon. We helped Mom shovel, then we played for a good hour or two with our neighbors, building the requisite snow forts, snow tunnels and a snowman, having an absolute blast. By the time we started getting really cold and our clothes had soaked through with melted snow from our playing, the power had come back on and life returned to normal.

It was one of my favorite days of childhood, and, if you live somewhere in today’s storm path, I hope you have a snow day that is just as good!

Ink Blotters for a Hat Collector

Vintage ink blotter advertising is awesome when you include guys in hats and a 1920s roadster.

The perfect ad for a vintage addict like me. Hats, blotter and a great red roadster! Who wouldn’t want to hitch a ride inside that ad?

The brick-and-mortar closing of my favorite hat shop (Hats Plus) in Chicago saddens me, as I cannot count the number of hours I’ve spent there trying on hats and envisioning my latest vintage looks. I probably started obsessing over hats at about the same time I began obsessing over fountain pens. Baseball caps, flat caps and Civil War souvenir hats are staples in photos of my childhood. I finally found some fedoras to wear around the time I was 13. It was all downhill from there.

While they will carry on in the webosphere, I shall miss my friends at Hats Plus in the flesh.

Thanks to my friend Len P. here in Chicago, I’ve been able to crossover my love of pens with hats. While divesting his blotter collection this past summer, he gave me some of his great hat advertising blotters.

In honor of Hats Plus, I’m sharing some of my favorites from the hat blotter collection. I hope you enjoy them as well as Len and I do.





Even a World War couldn’t stop the progress of hatters. I’d kinda kill get get my hands on the blue or “mallard” fedoras. Good ol’ Victory Felts by Swann Hats.

Women look just as good as men in this alluringly fashionable advertising ink blotters from what looks like the 1910s and ’20s.










Stetson was known both for its cowboy and western hats as well as its urban fedoras. Gotta love those silent film star cowboy fashions.

Here’s a snazzy look at Stetson’s mens’ hats from the 1930s! The times back then sucked, but people sure looked good…if they could afford it.




Pen Ads before Madison Avenue

What on earth is this old Pelikan ink ad trying to convey in its message. Write with bird vomit? We strangle birds so you can write? Ah, the joys of marketing before Madison Avenue.

Germans might have mastered marketing luxury items in this day and age…look no further than Montblanc, Mercedes and BMW…but the early days weren’t quite as refined.

Quite possibly my favorite pen or ink ad of all time is this one from Pelikan.

What on earth is the message they are trying to convey?

Fill you pen with bird vomit…? Or, we strangle birds so you can write…?

The text of the ad translates to read, “Pelikan-Ink” Gunther Wagner is the man who took over the company in 1871. Below his name are the cities Hanover (where Pelikan was founded, which the Germans spell with two n’s) and Vienna, which is spelled Wien in German.

While we’re questioning everything about the ad, why is there a naked boy riding the bird? And of all things, why is he wearing an oversized hat? Why not some lederhosen? Please, put on some lederhosen!

Given the American euphemism of self gratification known as “choking the chicken,” we grow even more disturbed by this ad.

Holiday Shipping Update

These are the United States Postal Service’s recommended ship dates for merchandise to arrive in time for Christmas.

Time quickly runs out at this time of year where shipping is concerned. Make sure to put in your orders in time to have by Christmas.

This year the United States Post Office recommends that you ship your final holiday orders by December 19th, if you use regular first-class mail.

You can push it a day to December 20th, if you choose Priority Mail.

If you are really rushed, December 22 is the last day the USPS recommends for sending domestic Priority Mail Express.

If you aren’t sure which mail option you should use, please call or e-mail, and we’ll be glad to help you sort it out.

How Do I Write a Christmas Card?

Glitter spells death for fountain pens!

Writing good Christmas cards is easy once you accept the “glitter-death principle.” Glitter truly looks great on a lot of cards, but it also gets in your nib and destroys the perfection of your tipping material, suddenly rendering your favorite pen scratchy and irregular.

Break out the green ink and keep away from the glitter for a great Christmas card writing experience.

Tip #1 for writing good Christmas cards is finding great glitter-free cards. This is a surprisingly difficult challenge, especially when you must also account for those waxy and artistically bumpy card stocks, which make it notoriously tough to use a fountain pen.

Now that we have that out of the way, I love writing Christmas cards! What is the point of having a pen collection if you never use it? Plus, the season gives you an excuse to bust out the red and green ink in your collection, which you might not normally use.

Christmas cards are great because whether you’re a more religious or secular person, it gives you an opportunity to reach out to your family and friends who you might not normally be in contact with to say hi and let them know you are thinking about them and care. There’s no wrong way to tell people those things.

Tip #2: Make it personal.

There’s nothing wrong with getting a box of cards, signing them and stuffing them in the mail, but it is always a little nicer if you can add in a little message or update. It makes a huge difference. Just two or three sentences will do. “It’s been a crazy year. Janice got a raise, so we took the kids to Africa. Jesse got the mauled by a lion and Maria got ebola, but we are all fine now. I heard your little Bobby got scurvy. That sucks, but I hope everyone is well now. Merry Christmas! Love, ______”

You tell a little about your life; you ask after a little of their life. Perfect. But hopefully nobody in your family got a dread disease.

Tip #3: Christmas letters.

If a lot happened in your year, you might want to sit down to write a one-page letter about all that your family did so that you can copy it and put it in all of your cards. It might save you from having to explain ebola in 50 different cards. These are great and can be especially fun with a little humor thrown in. The trick is to still include a few handwritten personal lines to the card. A lot of times those letters give a good overview, but there might be particular events certain people will want a few more details about. The card is a good place to add these.

Tip #4: Acknowledge and accept other faiths.

A lot of religions have special events in December and January. If you celebrate Christmas but your friend celebrates Hanukkah, there’s nothing wrong with sending your friend a Hanukkah card. Conversely, if you celebrate one religion but get a card from another religion, don’t be offended. Often the sender might not know, or they mean no harm. They just want to send you a happy greeting without buying a bunch of different boxes of cards. Most people are trying to spread messages of love, family and friendship this time of year. Just roll with it…unless there is a genuinely mean message or ham-handed attempt at conversion…which is really inappropriate. Stick with love, family and friendship, and you can’t go wrong. Stick with that philosophy for all 365 days of the year, and you really can’t go wrong.

Happy Holidays!

Dad Made Me a Small-Time Coke Runner: A Confession

BOGOTA, DuPAGE COUNTY, ILLINOIS—-Every time I tell myself, “This is the last time.”

It has to be. I can’t keep it up any more. I’m losing my grip. The cash transactions. The legal scrutiny. The surveillance. And all of that Coke! I don’t know how my old man can do all of that coke in a single week! That is a lot of stimulant for a man of a certain age. And, yet, if I don’t bring him his next fix, there will be hell to pay. Hell worse than any law can bring down.

“Hey, Man. Soda-Tax-Free Diet Coke.” For four months, my very own father turned me into a Coke runner. The shame, the adventure, the lack of shaving.

You know, I didn’t start this way. I was a clean-cut all-American kid. I got good grades. I only dated nice girls. I was a star college athlete. I earned a master’s degree. I had a 401k. Life was good. Then the economy turned. I stopped working for The Man. My side hustle got real…real fast. And I liked it.

Still, I never looked at running coke as a viable option until the government stepped in and started attacking the little guy, the everyday Joe, who just enjoyed a bit of sugar and caffeine. That’s when my dad made me go underground and become his drug mule.

You see, on August 2, 2017, in an act of extreme irony, the county that almost single-handedly defeated Prohibition in the 1930s, enacted a sin tax or “Sweetened Beverage Tax.” Cook County, Ill., began charging a penny-per-ounce tax on all soda, sports drinks, energy drinks and a lot of other drinks. That is about 68 cents extra per 2-liter bottle of Coca Cola. And Cook County was already collecting around 10% sales tax on that same bottle. So this is 68 cents on top of that. You were paying almost as much in taxes as you were for the actual bottle.

Al Capone was rolling in his grave.

When the tax first passed, the Cook County board president became the Mento to my father’s Diet Coke. (Seriously, look up that combination on YouTube, if you are unfamiliar with the chemistry. Even if you are, this is an awesome video.) My father was a raging Mento bomb. You see, he is more Diet Coke than man at this point. If emergency room staff needs to stick an IV in him, his blood just fizzes out, spraying the whole staff and making a terrible mess.

Cook County needed to plug a $200 Million budget hole, and the sweetened beverage tax was how they were going to get it. At the rate my old man consumes Diet Coke, they were basically asking him to pay them $180 Million of that hole in a single year.

And so, as the dutiful son who lives one county over, it fell on to me to bring in the goods, sans sweetened beverage tax. I began carting 16 illicit liters nearly every week! Woe be unto me for not bringing sufficient tribute. There is no wrath like a caffeine fix scorned.

I am sure DuPage County made out like a bandit on its sales taxes. Every time I filled a cart with Diet Coke, the clerks at the grocery store laughed and said, “Ah, visiting someone in Cook County, I see.” Cook County residents, equally full of classic Boston Tea Party firebrand, raided our grocery stores for soda. It has been a huge boon for our community…even without a soda tax.

On Dec. 1, 2017, the tyranny of soda taxes will come to an end. A lot of vocal Cook County residents forced the county board to kill the tax. And thus my time as a drug mule will end.

Still, I’ll miss my wild, underground life: the greasy pony tail, shaving once every 4 or 5 days, packing heat and pushing stimulants. Yet, I’ll be able to tell the grandkids that I was a rebel once. A renegade flouting the law and sticking it to The Man. Oh, to run Diet Coke across county lines once again.

Especially Thankful

Close friends will tell you that I’ve never been a food guy, but I love taking this day to reflect on the past year and all that I have to be truly thankful for. This year is an exceptionally thankful year.

Part of my silence on the blog recently has been due to several severe and potentially life-threatening illnesses in my family. This whole year has been packed with really bizarre and life-threatening events among those I hold near and dear. This Thanksgiving, I am exceptionally grateful that each of these people is still with us and seemingly on the mend.

To have just that would be enough to be thankful this year, but I’ve been exceptionally lucky. This was the year I stepped out on my own as an entrepreneur. For the first 9 years of, I worked another job on the side. This year, thanks entirely to each and every one of my wonderful customers, I have been able to work full-time for myself. From online to the pen show circuit, I have been blessed with an abundance of support. Enough that I can continue working for myself…and for you…for the foreseeable future.

Honestly, this has been a lifelong dream come true. As even a little kid I knew I would only be really happy working for myself. I always assumed I’d become a famous author and would be able to sustain myself through my books. Yet, even after the publication of my first book Little Victories last year, it is clear that royalties won’t do the trick. To find that success in the very instruments I love best for writing has been the single greatest surprise pleasure of my life.

And I owe that all to each and everyone of you. Thank you.

Lastly, but by no means least, I want to thank three strangers in Lafayette, Ind. The drive home through the rain from the Ohio Pen Show was hellacious. Anyone stuck at the airport or trying to drive west on I-70 that Sunday night knows the frightful storm that struck. Hurricane-force wind gusts, rain so heavy it was like being stuck under a giant faucet and plenty of thunder and lightning…in November no less. The radio said to be on the lookout for tornadoes! Water was up to the center of our wheels in some spots on the interstate. Traffic crawled because nobody could see 10 feet in front of their cars. I was at least 2 hours slower getting out of the state than usual.

When I finally made the turn northwest on I-65, it was already late and the ol’ nerves were a little frayed, but the sky had cleared and the interstate had dried. Just a few miles north of Indianapolis, I was making good speed when a highway patrolman lit up my review mirror with his lights flashing. I quickly pulled over and was vastly relieved when he kept flying past me and chased after somebody else. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to me at the time, my rear passenger tire rolled straight over a really long and sharp drywall screw.

About 30 miles up the highway, all of my dashboard lights start going crazy with warning lights and buzzers. After a moment of panic, I read the bad news, my air pressure is getting dangerously low. Only about 20 miles from Lafayette, and with nothing else in site for miles, I decided to see if I could limp it on into town. Once I discover I’m losing a pound of pressure every five miles, I feel confident I’ll make it to Lafayette safely.

Yet, 9 p.m. on a Sunday means there is no business open except for a few service-stationless roadside gas stations. I pulled into a Speedway gas station that had an air hose. Outside of my car it was too cold and windy for the light jacket I brought with me, and I could hear my back tire hissing. I went inside and asked the clerks if there was an emergency garage in town. No. Nothing? Not even a tow service? No. But I’m 2 hours from home and exhausted and just want to sleep in my own bed after a week away…

Solomon, one of the clerks, said he thinks he knows somebody. He tried but can’t get a hold of him. The very nice lady he’s working with said she’s friends with that guy’s wife. She makes a call. They act like he is a mechanic with a shop in town. As long as he isn’t a serial killer, I’ll take what I can get.

Twenty minutes later, this 26-year-old man named Joe arrived. He took one look at my tire and effectively said, “Piece of cake. I’ll have you out of here in a jiffy.” He has all the tools but he doesn’t have the tire repair kit he needs with him, but there’s a Wal-Mart half a block away that is still open. We go. $6 later, we have the all important tire kit.

Before I know it, Joe’s got my car lifted on a jack in the parking lot of the Speedway. He’s got all 5 lugs off, as I help with the little things. I remind him of the scene in “A Christmas Story,” where Ralphie loses the lugs to the tire. He starts laughing, “Fuuuuuudgggggge.”

We get to talking, and I learned that Joe is a father of two little kids and works at the Subaru factory in town. He makes seats for the cars. He has a buddy with a mechanic’s shop, but he only builds seats and knows a little this and that about vehicle maintenance. He doesn’t work with tires for a living, and he doesn’t want any payment for his help.

Here he is, just a good Samaritan coming out into the windy cold night, leaving his warm home and family to help a total stranger. He yanked out the screw, put in a plug, refilled the tire and had it back on my car in no time.

I was floored! Stunned! I felt like I discovered a lost treasure of humanity. I asked, “Why on earth would you come out here to help me out, if you didn’t want anything for it.”

“Well, if I were stuck on the side of the road, I’d want somebody to give me a hand. It just felt like the right thing to do.”

I’m still awestruck. I made it home in two hours flat, but not after insisting I treat his whole family to dinner. He refused my money, and told me to pay it forward in kindness to somebody in the future. I promised him I would, but I’d stay here and stalk him until he accepted my money in the present. He reluctantly did so, and I swear I didn’t think people like him still existed. A small kindness, perhaps, but it also helps restore my hope for the future.

Thank you, Joe, Solomon and the woman whose name I never got. You fixed more than my tire that night.

Debra Messing Writes with Montegrappa

Debra Messing, the TV star best known for her roles on “Will & Grace,” “The Mysteries of Laura” and “The Starter Wife,” turns out to be a fan of fountain pens. She once posted on her Instagram account about one of her favorites being a white and rose gold Montegrappa Fortuna.

She clearly has incredibly good tastes.

Montegrappa pens are Italian works of art. Most of their pens use intricate celluloids that take a full year to cure. Plus, they are decked out with gold and sterling silver trim. Completing each fountain pen is a hand-tuned 18k gold nib.

Now that her hit series “Will & Grace” is slated for a comeback, we thought you might be interested in her favorite pen.

Follow the Leader

We have seen tons of Mont Blanc knockoffs over the years, but now it looks like even the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is getting in on the act. I just got my annual request for a donation…got a soft spot for our 4-legged friends…and they gave me a disposable click pen.

Everybody wants to be Mont Blanc, and now disposable pen makers are copying them. Although it doesn’t say Mont Blanc, it sure looks like one in design.

As I took a closer look, I noticed that its design looked exactly like a Mont Blanc 164 Classique ballpoint. NO. I realize MB’s don’t click…nor come in that red, but look beyond those differences. The shape, cap rings, nose cone, clip and topper are almost identical. Clearly, MB was the inspiration.

Yet, unlike any Mont Blanc, this pen was free. I’d love to see Mont Blanc sell a new pen for only $100, once again.

How Do I Start Collecting Pens? Vintage vs. Modern

You can’t go wrong with vintage or modern pens. In either case, it is best to do a little research to know what to look for to get the best deal. It also helps to know if you intend to use or display them.


Most people who are new to collecting pens start with more modern pens, and this is a great place to start. When you buy new, you aren’t buying into any problems not covered by a warranty. Plus, you can frequently find less expensive pens that help you get acclimated to the hobby while satisfying your jones for awesome writing instruments. If you’re enjoying your TWSBIs, Kawecos, Heros and Lamys, just revel in the joy they bring and don’t let any pen snobs get you down.

Lamy calligraphy nibs range in size from 1.1mm to 1.9mm. Each provides a distinctive nuance to you handwriting. The Lamy Joy fountain pen set is a great way to try all three sizes for fewer than $70.

The aforementioned brands are all great places to build up a daily-use collection on a budget, and you typically get great steel nibs with the Lamy pens and TWSBIs. Experiment with nib sizes and inks. The more you write with them, the better you will understand characteristics of fountain pens such as smoothness, feedback, flex, flow and the size grips (In more technical fountain pen parlance, the part you grip is usually called the section.)  that feel best.

Once the collecting bug has bitten, you might be tempted to branch out into vintage users, luxury users or vintage or luxury collectible pens. We will get to vintage in a minute, but for now we’re sticking to modern.

Like any car you buy brand new, the second you buy a brand new luxury pen, its price drops the when you bring it home. If you buy new, you get all of the joy of being the first to use the pen and are guaranteed it will be displayed without any damage. Yet, there is a great deal of money to be saved by purchasing luxury pens from Cross to Montblanc on the second-hand market.

To safely buy second-hand, it is best to have two checklists of things to investigate before spending your hard-earned money: the dealer and the pen.

As far as dealers go, check to see if they are established and reputable. Ask around on social media forums. Investigate the website. Check out their social media accounts and reviews. Is there a return policy? Do the descriptions honestly address damage and wear on the pens? Some pens might be perfect and listed as new old stock. But if a pen was clearly a daily user and is still described as absolutely flawless, get suspicious. Ask questions of the dealer. Most should get back to you within a day, unless they are traveling to a pen show. Feel free to ask for more photos. If you are buying from an auction site, never pay “buy it now” prices, as they are usually hyperinflated. Check the seller’s rating. If they have a few hundred or more sales with a 98% or higher approval rating, you’re probably pretty safe. Some bad vendors just keep creating countless new accounts to shed their old bad ratings. Don’t be afraid to buy from a brand new auction vendor, but don’t go crazy-high bidding. Also, especially on auction sites, set a budget for a pen. Even some fairly rare pens come up pretty often. Don’t be afraid to let them go until the right one comes along for your budget.

Montblanc pens are often authenticated by their serial number, “Pix” written under the clip and by coming complete with their box and papers.

If you are buying a pen as a user, make certain that the pen is in good working order. Get a good description for how the nib writes. If you are buying for display, make sure the pen is complete with minimal or acceptable wear. If you are at a store or pen show, ask to dip the nib and give the pen a scribble. Research ways to authenticate that the pen is not a fake. Most modern Montblanc pens since the mid-1990s have a serial number on the clip band, the word “Pix” in high relief under the clip and various models have other telltale signs of authenticity. For example: The black “precious resin” of the caps and barrels is really a translucent merlot red when held to sunlight or another strong light source. Most fakes of any brand also don’t have the original box and papers. Pens with boxes and papers typically carry a premium compared to ones that don’t.


Do not be daunted by the world of vintage pens. It is a ton of fun. Start slow. Get a feel for what you are doing. Do lots of research, and grow as you feel more and more comfortable. Unless you are independently wealthy, don’t start by spending $1,200 on a mandarin yellow Parker Duofold Senior that needs a complete overhaul. Start safely with a few fully restored $50 Parkers, Sheaffers or even Esterbrooks.

Sheaffer’s early nibs of the 1920s featured heart-shaped breather holes. Who says fountain pens aren’t romantic.

There are tons of great books and websites dedicated to vintage pens that can help point you in the right direction. Whether you want to restore, write or display, it won’t take long to get into the swing of vintage. Plus, most of these pens were designed specifically for daily use. Hardcore vintage pen lovers are convinced their nibs are better than most modern nibs. Plus the pens are more lightweight and designed not to let you cramp up during the writing of a long letter or journal entry.

Unless you are collecting for display, it is vital to know if the pen has been restored before you purchase it. Restored pens will cost more than unrestored, but there is no worse surprise than thinking you’re buying something that works only to discover it doesn’t. Even vintage new-old-stock pens might have some wear from rattling around a desk or drawer, so be sure to know what type of damage it has. Also find out about the pen’s nib? Is it original and/or in great working order? What size line does it write? When buying online this can be tough to gauge. The dealer might honestly find it is perfectly smooth because of the angle she or he writes, and you might write from a different angle that has feedback with the same nib.

If buying a vintage pen in person, always ask to see the pen before you pick it up. It is a very nice courtesy that saves dealers many broken or misplaced pens. When examining it, look it over closely for wear, discoloration and stains. Gently place the cap on your thumbnail and pretend to screw the pen on to your thumb. If there is a crack, your thumbnail will likely snag on it long before you can see it. Run your thumbnail over the threads of the barrel, too. Some cracks hide there, too. Ask to gently work the filler without ink to make sure it works. Again, ask to dip the nib to see how it writes. Try to get as close to your usual writing position as possible. Also check to see the strength of the barrel and/or cap imprints. Is there brass shining through the gold plate on the clip, cap band or lever?


Comparison shopping is easier than ever in the age of the internet. Every site has its own pricing strategy, some offer better deals on certain pens than others. Follow pens on auctions sites to see what they are going for, too. You can even look up pens and check their “sold price.”

Mandarin Parker Duofolds are very fragile and rare. They are among the most expensive vintage Parker Duofolds.

If you see what look like two similar pens of drastically different prices, feel free to contact the vendor to ask why. Sometimes, subtle differences between pens can have huge effects on the price. One orange hard rubber senior Parker Duofold with two cap bands might look almost identical to the same pen in an early orange hard plastic, but their prices are going to be vastly different. (The old orange hard rubber is a lot rarer and more expensive.)



Dealers are not usually hard, cruel keepers of pens. We like getting to know our customers. Don’t be afraid to e-mail or call with questions. If you build a good relationship with a dealer, they are likely to keep a lookout for pens you want at better bargains…giving you the first option to buy. Who doesn’t love dibs on great pens before the rest of the public can see them?!