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Location, Location, Location

Posted by Dirck on 8 August, 2011

I am trying hard to not think of a rather bad film starring Michael Keaton.  I am doing this because today I’m struck by the unattainable utility of being in several places at once.  Not just for a moment, either, but actually living in diverse locations for a good long while, and with the added magical power of having all the experiences of each of one’s components shared in common.  There is little point in having a self with the free time to, for example, learn Aramic, if the self devoted to other tasks doesn’t share the benefit.

What brings this on is a bit of work trying to round out my understanding of Mabie, Todd & Co., an enterprise which starts to feel like a cataloguing of breakfasts served to the Knights Templar in third year of the order; not only is it somewhat obscure, but one begins to suspect not a lot got written down in the first place.  However, in this pursuit I’ve found a blog being written by a fellow in England who is apparently so comfortable with the various pens of the English wing of Mabie, Todd that he speaks of them quite casually, things very nearly to be tripped over as are Sheaffer cartridge pens here.  I don’t step too far into hyperbole by saying that a morning of reading his blog has given me as much knowledge of British pens as the past decade of not-very-focussed effort in other sources.

{later insertion: As the comments below reveal, I’ve made one of those mortifying errors the internet allows one to stumble into– the “fellow” is feminine, and happily forgiving.  I will pass some of the blame, that not easily ascribed to my own inattention, to the English language and its lack of gender-neutral words of any warmth– yes, I could have said “person” or “individual” and be safe, but that’s one step from saying “carbon-based unit”.}

This drives me into a small frenzy of envy, but not in the common tone of “Well, that jerk,” but in the more self-afflicting “Gosh, I wish I were him her” style.  Researching things that are specific to region or nation are infinitely easier if you can be in that place… but there are so many places and locally-specific things to learn!  Honestly, I’d need at least five of me just to cover pens.  In the relight of the website, I admit a slightly pathetic North American bias to my roster of pen-makers, which I wish was not the case, but exists because of my own geographic location.

What interests me about this is that it remains the state of affairs in the face of the internet.  The web may be world wide, but it’s got some gaps in it.

Today’s (American) pen:  Sheaffer 74SR
Today’s (also American) ink:  Noodler’s red-black

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2 Responses to “Location, Location, Location”

  1. As the fellow (or rather fellow-ess) to whom you refer, thanks for your kind words. To some degree, it’s the enthusiasm of the convert, because I’m an American now living in Scotland, but I had an interest in British pens before I moved. My husband, who is also a pen fancier, tells me he had some communication with you a few years ago about a Platignum Varsity.

    I’ve been reading and enjoying your blog for quite a while now.

    • Ach! Gender error! Manifold apologies, with an point appropriate to the task.

      What a strangely tiny world we live in. I was thinking of the very pen behind that exchange while reading your site, not only because of the post about Mentmore/Platignum but because there’s something in your writing samples that put me in mind of the note he’d sent (some combination of UK location, pleasant ink colour, flex pens and rather splendid letter shaping). I’m glad my antics entertain, although I’m about to commit one of my wretched stub entries to make way for web-site typing.

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