: Hey! Any of us Cadiphiles collect fountain pens?

04-22-08, 10:58 AM
After reading the responses to the fine watch thread, I wondered if anyone out there was into collecting fountain pens?

04-22-08, 11:10 AM
I love the look and feel of a nice fountain pen but with the PC I rarely write anymore. My handwriting has suffered as a result.

04-22-08, 05:15 PM
I collect nice pens, but not fountain. My uber-fav is the Pelikan Souveran and any Caran d'Ache...

04-22-08, 05:37 PM
For years I had a problem keeping a pen. I was always losing them but I found a solution. I bought a gold Cross ballpoint pen for about $600 and I've had it ever since, about 25 years. It's amazing how you always keep your eye on it if somebody else is using it. It's getting kind of banged up and I've had to send it back to the factory a couple of times but they always fix it for free. The same pen today cost $1100 so I think I'll get by with the old one.

04-22-08, 08:00 PM
Dare I touch on this? Personally I bought my first fountain pen a few years ago. It took me a while to get used to writing with it, but I love it. You don't even have to press down and ink flows. I noticed you have to take your time writing with it, it has to be cleaned and maintained - kinda like my V - tempermental. I just received a caligrophie (sp) pen with aflat tip. I haven't even treid to use it yet. I use a ball point with a large ink ball to write with on a daily basis or let clients sign with.

It's amazing how you always keep your eye on it if somebody else is using it. Knock on wood, 5 years later, still got it.

04-22-08, 08:14 PM
I'd like a nice fountain pen, but I can't justify spending $50 on a pen.

04-22-08, 08:28 PM
The nicest pen I own is the Cadillac pen that came with my car.

Though my ball point pen of choice is the Zebra F-301.

04-22-08, 11:35 PM
I quess I should have "pens" instead of "fountain pens." really meant writing instruments! I've found that pens as well as watches are also good conversation starters. I have always enjoyed a well balanced, smooth writing writing instrument. Like other collectibles there is a lot to learn about pens and ofcourse the collector cum connosieur develops his own preferences of manufacturer and materials from which a pen is made regardless of whether it is a ballpoint, rollerball or fountain pen.

I thoroughly enjoy writing with a fountain pen; the flow on ink through a great nib onto the paper is a great pleasure that makes the act of writing that much more enjoyable. However, I have to admit that for day to day use I carry a ballpoint as they are more reliable and lets face it less of a hassle to use than a fountain pen. Let's face what has a writing instrument to do but write legibly on paper and for some, to do this through carbon paper. Any thing more that we ask of it really becomes an addenda to its' function and again begins to move into the area of personal accessory and on to status jewelry. I have, over the years, accumulated a large number of fountain and other pens and like most collectors have come to think more highly of the products of certain manufacturers than others.

For everyday use I favor a ballpoint that takes Parker T-ball refills, preferably "broad" width. The Parker style refill fits a wide range of pens starting with the lowly, but marvelously engineered Parker T-Ball Jotter and filling pens that cost in the tens of thousand of dollars. I am not a big fan of Montblanc pens, while their classic Meisterstuck pens have an attractive design, there so called "precious resin" material used for their barrels and caps is very brittle and cracks easily in use, but their "broad" ballpoint refill is in my opinion the best writing ballpoint (not so their "fine" or "medium" refills).

Let me say that following my retirement from the active financial world and thoroughly bored with my new found leaisure time I took a part time job in a high quality pen store ........ reasoning that I was spending enough time there I might as well get paid for it. The store catered to the writing instrument needs Northern Virginians and Washingtonians and carried all kinds of pens from lowly Bics to limited editions costing many thousands of dollars. While I had always had a fondness for pens this gave me access to a much wider variety of instruments and I evolved from a sometime accummulator into a respected collector.

Let me say my collection also includes the Cadillac BP that came with my Seville and several Cross pens but then goes on to include many "board room" conversation starters as well.

04-22-08, 11:38 PM
I had a nice official chrome Cadillac pen at one point earlier this year, I lost it though. :frustrated:

04-23-08, 02:26 AM
I'd like a nice fountain pen, but I can't justify spending $50 on a pen.

Fifty bucks - that's a disposable pen. :lol:

I will admit I don't use fountain pens (I'm left handed - gets messy), but I do own several fine writing instruments the most expensive being a 1993 Mont Blanc I bought with my first royalty check from an invention. I currently (that is if my boxes are still around - I haven't unpacked them since I retired in 01) own two Pelicans, a Mont Blanc, a Visconte, a Stipula, three Rotrings, two exclusive Lamys, and a dozen or so Y & C and Niji multifunctions.

I actually got into pens when I was engineering the YF-22 Electronic Warfare suite. I would come home with three pens and two pencils in my pocket and the wife said, "...short of the horned rimmed glasses and pocket protector," I had become a geek. She then presented me with my first multi-function writing instrument, a 24 KT Niji with three pens and a pencil - gravity fed.

While searching for more of the same, I came upon the Rotring line, which quickly led to the Monte Blac and Pelican. While my focus remained multifunction pens, the action and flow of other fine rollerballs (as my dad would describe his infrequent impulse purchases "reached out and grabbed me by the collar and slapped me till I bought it!") The Visconte, Stipula, and limited edition Lamys were purchased in Europe back when the dollar was strong.

Back to the $50 comment. The Y&C and NiJi pens are daily use. Lost and had stolen probably twice as many as I own with a starting price of $40 and at least three that I own over $300 (two Gold and a Platinum and yes I said daily use). In the early days, I learned how to keep up with my pens with the $40-100 units. And after I hadn't lost one in a year, I quickly move up the ladder. Hell I replaced the stylus of my TabletPC that I use for the car with one that was $295 in 1998 and the ink cartridges are from Space Pens (write upside down).

Here, too, much like the fine watch thread you get what you pay for. Some just make a statement, others are true supercars. I will admit, I tested several pens just because of the brand names on them, but what sold me for the ones I own was the feel, the weight and balance, and finally the stroke and flow of actually writing with the instrument.

04-23-08, 02:57 AM
Not so much "collect" as "Inherited a double handful". That said one of them, a cheap Sheaffer's, became my everyday pen because it writes very smoothly and produces a line finer than a Japanese-made archival-grade ceramic-tip drafting pen, not to mention is easier to use than the latter, which requires a very precise touch, and will either damage or be damaged by certain types of paper. My grandmother's Esterbrook got me through highschool with all the writing I had to do, since my hand cramps up very easily when writing and the ease of using a fountain pen helps this problem since you basically glide it over the paper. I have several cheap Sheaffer's, the Esterbrook, a Parker Duofold (a black original type unique to the year 1928), some weird old knock-off pen, a few Sheaffer's caligraphy pens, a couple Parker "51"s and Vacumatics, and so on. Most of them write or just need a cleaning, only the Duofold and the old knock-off need a new sac, and while the Duofold will definitely see repair, the knock-off is so poorly made the I don't really care. It's an heirloom, though, so I'll hold onto it. I did dip the Duofold to see how it wrote; there is nothing on earth like a fountain pen from the days when this was how 90% of the population wrote.

04-23-08, 03:01 PM
Anybody besides me remember the good old days of fountain pens before pressurized airliners? You get to your destination and find that your pen unloaded itself into your pocket all over your white shirt.

04-23-08, 10:32 PM
Anybody besides me remember the good old days of fountain pens before pressurized airliners? You get to your destination and find that your pen unloaded itself into your pocket all over your white shirt.

Gee whiz, Koz, you mean they were still flying Ford Tri-Motors into Fairbanks in the early 1950's! Even the DC-3s and DC-4s that I was flying around Brazil at that time were pessurized. I do remember the sleeves the airlines used to hand out, along with the gum, to put your fountain pen in to protect your shirt during flight. But even three years ago I cautioned people against taking a partially full fountain pen with them when they fly. Either full or empty is the best way to avoid a leaking fountain pen when there are changes in the air pressure.

04-24-08, 01:52 PM
There is no such thing as a pressurized DC-3 or DC-4. They don't have the structure for cabin pressure. The first of the Douglas Commercial series of aircraft to have cabin pressurization was the DC-6. The first pressurized airliner was the Boeing Stratoliner, a B-17 derivative and only ten were built. The first pressurized airliner in post WWII service was the Lockheed Constellation flown by TWA.

04-24-08, 04:50 PM
Come to think of it, I don't think we flew that high in those days. Even when I flew back to the States on a Douglas DC-6B (Braniff) we flew through the Andes and not over them (I have the pictures to prove it). Guess that's why we always got chewing gum to clear our ears from the stewardess before take-off. However the gum bit carried on long into the jet age. Flew a lot of DC-3s around the Mid-West in (Piedmont and North Central) DC-3s and even the ballpoints leaked. Actually, I enjoyed those planes and the Super G Constellations and Convair 340s of that era, they flew low enough so you could actually see something interesting on the ground, after the 707s came in looking out the window lost a lot of its fascination. However, the Grand Canyon, on the L.A. to Chicago flight always caused me to look.

04-24-08, 05:24 PM
I remember flying over the midwest in the summertime in a DC-6 and it was rougher than hell. 2/3 of the passengers were tossing their cookies. The best ride around was the Pan Am Boeing Stratocuisers. Northwest had some too.

04-24-08, 07:55 PM
My first fliight was in 1956. It was on a Convair 340 from Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro. I remember the plane took off at a really steep climb after leaving the run way, which I thought was really cool, my Dad, who had flown a lot during the war and commercially in the early fifties was not impressed. He was even less impressed when the plane failed to stop at the end of the runway upon landing at Santos Dumont Airport in Rio. Dumont Airport sits on a spit out in Guanabara Bay (similar to Midway in Chicago) and they had to bring boats out to unload us from the plane. My Dad had brought me along to the dedication of the new Radio do Brasil transmitter, so I could meet the President of Brazil. We did make it to the dedication, but my Dad was not a happy camper.

The flight back was even more exiting as the DC-3 (Cruzeiro do Sul Airlines) took off from Santos Dumont rounded Sugar Loaf and flew directly into a horrendous thunder storm ........... I didn't loose my cookies but a lot of the other passengers did. The bounced and shuddered its' way down the coast to Santos where it had to turn inland and climb over a high escarpment before landing on the plateau where Sao Paulo was located. The pilot was having trouble attempting to get over the escarpment and was back and flying back and forth parallel to it, I quess, trying to find a pass. I remember looking out the window a seeing the mountains above us when the lightning lit the sky. It was a real "white knockler" for my Dad and the his staff members who were with us. Obviously we made it and all was well. I don't think my Dad would have flown again, but in South America flying was the only way to get around; the trains were next to none and the roads bad and distances long. In the 1950's Congonhas Airport in Sao Paulo was second only to Chicago's O'Hare in the amount of air traffic handled.

04-24-08, 11:01 PM
Like some of you my first pen was an Esterbrook fountain pen. These were great pens available at any drug store or stationary store. They came in variety of great colors and had a super wide selection of nib types. Not just fine, medium or broad but all kinds of special widths and obliques for left handed people. I don't remember how much they cost, but they were inexpensive, good writing and attractive ......... a triumph of American mass production and design. I probably got mine first one as a hand-me-down from my older sister.

Ofcourse, in school we began our adventures in handwriting with a dip pen and an inkwell built into the desk ( believe it or not this was the 1950's in Pasadena, CA). It's no wonder that graduation to a fountain pen was a time that you knew you had arrived on a new plateau in life.

I don't remember when ball points began to be used. I think at first they were quite expensive. I know many of my teachers would not accept papers written in ballpoint but require work to be handed in to be written with an ink pen. Ofcourse, running out of ink in class was an ever present evil ........ how come the girls never seemed to run out?

By the time I got to college the Parker T-ball Jotter had become my writing instrument of choice and my fountain pen used only for special correspondence: love letters, asking the folks to send money and Thankyou notes. Long distance phone calls were too expensive and students were just beginning to get their own typewriters.