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Posts Tagged ‘Quill’

Coming Around the Last Turn….

Posted by Dirck on 31 March, 2011

…or, if we’re honest, gone around the bend long since.  I’ve made no secret of the distance between “thinks this much about pens” and “normal cognitive processes.”

Ten Pens You Can (probably) Afford And Might Not Hate

7. Sheaffer Cartridge Pen.  The pen with no name!  Sometimes described as a Skripsert (which was applied, by Sheaffer, to just about anything that took a cartridge), they’re almost the VW Beetle of fountain pens in North America.  Made through four decades, with small variations in the body shape, there’s a ton of them out in the world, and they were never expensive to begin with– if you can’t find one for less than $10, you can probably find one in a lot of low-end pens on eBay for not much more than $10.  Like the Beetle, it doesn’t do much more than the very thing it was built to do, but extremely reliably.

Why you’ll like it:  Easy to find Sheaffer cartridges, easy to convert to eyedropper filling, easy to replace if you manage to lose it.

Why you won’t like it: It’s not a raving beauty.  There’s few converters to fit it.  Some kid really chewed up the end in 1968.

8. Sheaffer No Nonsense.  This is almost the same pen with a bigger barrel; the feed and point are pretty much the same, although this one had some calligraphy italic versions available.  Rather more variations than yesterday’s Parker entry on the list, but with rather fewer taunting luxury models.  While a more recent model than the earliest of the Cartridge/Skripsert line, the lines are almost exactly those of the flat-tops of the 1920s.  The less exalted versions can be found for much the same prices as the previous item, but if you look on eBay you’ll probably find them mis-described as “vintage old flat-top shaeffers”.

Why you’ll like it:  Easy to find Sheaffer cartridges, easy to convert to eyedropper filling, easy to replace if you manage to lose it…. gosh, this sounds familiar.  Much easier to get a modern converter to go into one.

Why you won’t like it:  Slightly nervous tabbed-in clip, almost too big to fit in a shirt pocket, may lead to people pointing and shouting “23 skidoo!”

Today’s pen: Quill 700
Today’s ink: Herbin’s Vert Empire

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The List Continues

Posted by Dirck on 29 March, 2011

But first, why am I calling it…

Ten Pens You Can (probably) Afford And Might Not Hate

…because that’s hardly encouraging and possibly insulting?  The qualifier at the end I include because over and again I have said that there is a high degree of subjectivity in fountain pens.  I love some pens that I know otherwise rational people hate, and this is not because one of us is inherently wicked not contrary– it’s jsut a matter of taste.  The parenthetical inclusion comes about because the world economy is still in a dreadful state, and some of these pens may well be beyond the reach of some readers.  This is likewise not a comment on the morality of the sufferer, because one notices that most of the villains in the global economic collapse are still living pretty high, it’s merely a recognition that compressed straits can happen.

On with the fun, then:

3. Lamy Safari.  These comments apply to the technically-different Vista and aluminum-bodied Al-Star, also; you’ve got a world of choice, although some variants cost more than others.  Depending on where you look and which variant you’re after, you’ll pay somewhere between $20 and $40 for this pen.

Why you’ll like it:  A very good converter, an ink window that works with converter or cartridge, utterly reliable German engineering and manufacture, and a wide range of point sizes.

Why you won’t like it:  It’s sort of funny-looking, and that clip does not go with a lot of more formal outfits.  The section is cut with “thou shalt hold me THUS!” guides.  Proprietary cartridges, so you can’t easily find refills.

4. Pelikano.  The other German entry on the list, and also a school pen.  While my example was one of the earlier models, they continue in much the same pattern, and one can also look at the Pelikano Jr. and Future (lower down in the review) which have much the same business end.  Can be had for about $20.

Why you’ll like it:  Smooth points, decades of proven reliability, sturdy enough to stand up to school-children.  Takes international-pattern cartridges, or a converter.  Ink-level cutouts.

Why you won’t like it: Less strident grip-guides than the Safari, but they’re there (oh, those Germans…).  Rather shocking colours; quite looks like a school pen.

Tomorrow, the vintage market rears its head (sort of).

Today’s pen: Quill 700
Today’s ink: Herbin’s Vert Empire

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