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.