What's up at Ravens March.

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Clouseauesque

Posted by Dirck on 7 February, 2013

Detective work was promised, and detective work it is!

Let me establish the mystery first.  On my page for the Waterman Ligne 60, I say the following:

I’m afraid I have very little to say about this model beyond, “Hey, look!  I’ve got one!”…

Production Run: Um… the 1960s?

Cost When New: No data available.

…among other things.  I frequently refer to the difficulties of pinning down information about Waterman pens, so when this bobbed past me I grabbed it like a shot–

Vintage advertising!  Primary source material!  GOOOOOLD!  (click to download a really big PDF of the thing)

Vintage advertising! Primary source material! GOOOOOLD! (click to download a really big PDF of the thing)

I’m not quite as distrustful as Sam Vimes on the matter of clues, or at least not in this context.  I’ve joked in fora that Waterman and Sheaffer have both mounted a decades-long conspiracy to vex we latter-day seekers of hard information, but I don’t actually believe that– clues found won’t, I’m content, have been manufactured to mislead.  So, I’m happy to find this.  Without any digging whatever, I have established that the name of the model is, in fact, “Ligne 60” which was something that I had slight misgivings about.  I can also, with a little digging after an email I got not long ago, sort out the exchange rate and thus the cost when new… but there’s a catch, chronologically speaking.

Working out the exchange rate also calls for a sense of when, and just looking at that ad doesn’t offer any real help.  There is no handy “Vol. X, Issue 11, 1963” at head or foot.  There is also nothing of that sort on the verso which is a page of fairly verbose ads, all in French.  One from Digestif Rennie offering soulagement rapide for maux d’estomac (which I wouldn’t mind giving a shot on days that my abdominal migraine is acting up), another offering relief from malaises de la cinquantaine (most of which, if I’m understanding correctly, I’m quite pleased to be free of), and a large pictorial thing from Chocolat Cémoi of Grenoble posing the question “Avez-vous un ‘hobby’?” and helpfully explaining that last word as a terme anglo-saxon.  Fun to ponder, but not helpful.

Joining these, however, is a cross-word puzzle, and here I find my key to the information trove that is the internet.  Le Mots Croisés de <> is pretty definitive on the matter of which publication I’m dealing with, and Probleme N° 578 is probably connected to the issue.  A quick look at Paris-Match’s own site gives me the date for that issue as 7 May 1960.  Even better, I found while paddling around that the first issue came out on 25 March 1949, and for a weekly N° 578 would have appeared 11.11 years later– which is close enough to early May for me not to trouble taking off my shoes for more careful calculation.

All of which means I’ll have to slightly update my Ligne 60 page pretty promptly.  That’s a great excuse for not getting the Pelikan Souverän page done, and it also allows me to keep out of the way of Chief Inspector Dreyfuss, who seems strangely upset at me for some reason….

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Today’s pen: Stipula Passaporto
Today’s ink: De Atramentis Elderberry

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3 Responses to “Clouseauesque”

  1. Maja said

    Wow, a model called the “Ligne 60” that came out in….1960??? Who’ da thunk it? 😉
    But seriously………Great detective work. I have a similar pen so thanks for doing the heavy lifting (I had no idea what model it was before I read this). Cheers!

    • Reading a friend’s comments on the recent forensic examination of the bones of Richard III and the somewhat brisk conclusions they’ve drawn from the injuries to ribs and pelvis… perhaps I should decline “heavy lifting” in favour of, “laid along side it and peered underneath with a flashlight.” I can’t, for example, really say with precision that the model was introduced that year, but only that it was available.

      Sometimes intellectual honest is a real drag. I’m glad I never gave into the urge to properly footnote my cite… um, site.

      • Maja said

        Of course—I was just teasing. 🙂 The legwork you did to find the ad’s date was rather amazing. Bravo!

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