the Vac Slowly
by David Lee Mason
The dark sordid days were upon us. E-mail, relentlessly
hammered into the hearts and minds of our people, handwriting,
all but banned by the Fascist Pig Ruling Class, knuckles
irreparably shattered for the mere whiff of royal blue,
emerald green, burgundy, sepia. Only one force stood
tall for the true believers..."
Parker Duofold Monoplane
by Len Provisor
May 1927, and Charles Lindberg achieves the first solo
flight across the Atlantic, igniting the world's fascination
with flying machines and the endless possibilities of
the future. World records for speed and distance were
being broken on a regular basis. Amelia Earhart followed
one year later in June 1928 to become the first woman
aviatrix to fly across the Atlantic.
Rewind to 1921, when the Parker Pen Company introduced
their new oversize Duofold fountain pen, with a patented
bright red design with black ends which "Rivaled the
beauty of the Scarlet Tanager". The Duofold pen was
hugely successful, and when unbreakable Permanite was
added in 1926, demand grew so rapidly that the war for
market share exploded....
to Buy Next?
by Robert Helfrich
writes "What you should buy next is BOOKS. Even
a wildly expensive book like Lambrou, Andreas, Fountain
Pens of the World (reprinted 1998) which can be picked
up for anywhere from $100-$150 (but which is no longer
published) ( so get a copy at whatever price you can
get a copy). This history of major and minor manufacturers
along with good color pictures is like having 1,000
Tour of the new Pentrace Site
by Donal Higgins
fountain pens are used on a daily basis, some disappear
in to collections without a trace.
This site is about fountain pens and writing with fountain
pens. It is about new, vintage, weird, wonderful or
LE. The content comes from YOU. There is a vast fund
of knowledge and stories out there about pens and things
pen related; unfortunately the greater part is aired
only briefly and then disappears into the ether, to
be lost forever.
Thats where Pentrace comes in. This is a cooperative
site, the more you put in; the more you will get out!
Most importantly the content will always be available
online, because it is all stored in our database.
This is how its going to work...
Pen, what does it mean?
by Paul LoCasto
Pen', what does it mean? The word fountain is borrowed
from Latin [fontana (spring, fountain) from 'fons']
and can be traced back to the IE (Indo-European) *dhon-ti-,
from the root *dhen- (to flow). Fountain, as used in
'fountain pen' is of the sense: "a reservoir or compartment
for holding oil, ink, etc." (OED). However, the IE sense
'to flow' is certainly applicable to how fountain pens
by Barry Dean
first saw this pen on the official
German Pelikan site. I'm a notorious sucker for
cheap pens of modern design, and I knew when I saw the
pictures that I had to have one. While the other well
known modern Pelikan, the Level, has a sober look, the
Future is much more colorful and lively, befitting a
pen aimed primarily at kids. The pen comes in red, blue,
green, and yellow. The interchangeability of the parts
to create a multiplicity of different colored pens is
used as a selling point. The German Pelikan site also
shows a very smooth looking "silver" model. Whether
or not this is silver colored plastic, or aluminum,
I'm not sure. I'd love to find one though...
by Myra Love
My name is Rita Esposito, and I don't know why they
locked me up in here. They claim I tried to kill my
husband, but that's ridiculous. I love my husband. It's
just my fountain pens that hate him.
Of course, it's not their fault. He doesn't understand
them the way I do. They don't blame him for that, just
for not even making an effort. He has said a number
of times in their hearing that he thinks I spend too
much time and money on them. "What are you spending
so much on ink for? Just fill the suckers with that
old blue ink your mother left in the cellar," he said
loudly late last week. I could tell they were upset...
Case of the Haunted Pen, Chapter I by David
heart hammered like a caged falcon against the Parker
Lucky Curve in my breast pocket as the stung-lipped
little vixen hiked up a corner of her South Seas Blue
silk skirt and settled a prime-grade haunch on the ink
blotter hiding my scarred old desk. "So,
Hotshot", she purred through her ruby-rouged bee-stung
pout, "is that a 1959 Mont Blanc Diplomat 149 with a
medium-flex left-oblique broad nib and the white gold
triple cap bands in your pocket or are you just glad
to see me?" My stained teeth worried nervously at my
section-chapped lips like furry little rats in trash.
Oh, Lawzy Mama - I had dem Ol' Roma 2000 Blues.
New Conklin Pen Company
by Len Provisor
the flurry of modern pen releases in 2000, I have seen
a few manufacturers take the hint from historical perspective
to revive design ideas that have exceptional enduring
merit. Such is the case of the Conklin Nozac fountain
pen, introduced in 1931 with a most unique filling system
The knob on the bottom of the pen simply says TWIST
TO FILL. Advertised as a self-filler "that winds like
a watch". Available in 5,000 (or 50 average letters)
7,000 and even 8,000 word capacity. Unique was the 12
faceted barrel design for grip and preventing the pen
from rolling off the desk. Ink capacity was greatly
increased due to the barrrel being the reservoir, no
sack or "NOZAC" being the clever adopted name...
to Work and Survive a Pen Show
by Len Provisor
are about fourteen major fountain pen shows in the U.S.
lately, and if you are new to pen collecting and happen
to visit a large show, this can be an awesome challenge.
is no one first rule. All the rules come first. Get organized,
make a plan of priorities and how to attack the show floor
and stick to it.
you are like me at my first show, all these rules were
history soon as I hit the first table. I was overwhelmed,
totally unprepared for the enormity of choices and variety
of materials shown. Blew my budget by the time I hit
table number two. It took a few shows for me to conceive
and stick to a sensible plan...
Case of the Haunted Pen, Chapter II by David
Right Reverend Robert "Bobo" Penn, Molly's grandfather,
had been the only man she had ever truly admired. He
had been a penman of the old school. Well versed in
Spenserian, Palmerian, Roundhand and Roman, fluent in
Foundational, Carolingian and Blackletter, somewhere
in the midst of all his scribblings he managed to slow
down enough to sire Molly's unfortunate progenitor.
Both her father Uncial Penn and her evil half-uncle
Tremolo (Grandpop's second wife had been an opera singer)
were cursed by a case of father-fear; Uncial could barely
master a decent italic hand, miniscule at that, and
poor Tremolo was but a scribbler all his life.
Story of Sumgai
by Bill Riepl
name Sumgai has by now become synonymous with the dread
nemesis of all collectors, the cause of "the one that
got away". Of course, the real dark secret of Sumgai
is that we all get a chance to be Sumgai ourselves sooner
or later. As a wise fellow once said, "we have met the
enemy, and he is us"
Ink Reviews by Rick
a year ago I started a search for The Perfect Black
Ink. My old "daily
user" pen (a 1976-vintage MontBlanc Noblesse) was the
fountain pen equivalent of one of those engines that
will run on anything (gasoline, kerosene, jet fuel,
perfume) and work well. My new pen, a Waterman Preface,
is a little more particular, as are some of the other
pens I've recently acquired.
I've accumulated quite a collection of black ink in the
last six months. I've collected black because I like it,
and because my employer requires it.
the things I have learned is that there are mysterious
interactions between pens, inks, and papers. I've used
many of these inks in a few pens, though, and their characteristics
tend to be stable. Even so, YMMV ("Your Mileage May Vary").
herewith my impressions of eight black inks..
or Treat? Ugly Pens!
by Don Nelson
Halloween, welcome to the weird and wonderful world
of STRANGE pens
you have some better examples, let us know!
New Jersey National Pen Show 2000 by Robert
Buddy, Wanna' Buy A National Pen Show ? Cheap? For You
$500 ! Its in The
Garden State, New Jersey. Close to Philadelphia, NYC,
in the heart of the eastern megalopolis. Just $499.00.
Look, you don't take it and we'll have to put it up
on eBay #486276428"
what do you get for your $499 ? Friday, the dealers get
together and sell each other the real bargain pen for
the show. On Saturday, displays set up, half the tables
empty. At any given time, dealers out number visitors
4 to 1. This is the Mostly Vintage Day: Individual Dealers,
in the main, collectors who have to part with some of
their treasures in order to get more - or to keep a spouse
happy - and what treasures they have: Large Jade Green
Chilton Pneumatics, Scads of BCHR EDs, Duofolds, LF Balances
in all colors, Flattops large and small, Sleek Black Swans,
even J. G. Riders (only the Rorting 900 has a clip that
looks like a rider), John Holland. . .
looking for ?" says a dealer, and suddenly I can't remember...
Its not a difficult question, but repeating
"Wha'cha' looking for?" gets me no closer to the answer.
Italian Pens by Dario
is an accepted fact that the "fountain pen" originated
in the U.S.A. Since the early years of the last century,
there were many different American pen companies producing
very lovely and solid pens. Both the American design
and the American ink filling techniques were always
innovative. These had a leading role for companies of
different countries, particularly in Europe.
Italy, during the late 30s, at the onset of the Second
World War, the American patents were not always respected,
either by the Italian Government or by Italian companies.
It's for this reason that, during this period, some minor
Italian pen companies 'borrowed' the American technical
innovation in order to produce very lovely and well made
Dante Del Vecchio from Visconti by Len
honored guest of the Ohio Pen Show, this was Mr. Del
Vecchio's first trip to the United States, bringing
with him his newest release of the Limited Edition Dragon
pen with a very unique decoration, incorporating elaborate
airbrush art and hand painting on the barrels of a new
pen has a new designed metal power piston filler. Similar
to the Voyager filler except it is made from a shiny silver
metal and has a cut-out inkview window at the point where
the piston approaches the vaccuum chamber of the filler.
Dragon was created primarily for the Oriental market,
however about 200 will be available for the U.S..
Sniveling and DO Something , or:
HOW TO HOT-ROD YOUR BALLPOINT by Dave
"The Toolman" Mason
of us advanced boomers came to the fountain pen relatively
late after a long apprenticeship with the ubiquitous
the romance, mystique, and downright funk, what drew
us to the fountain was the free-floating ambience and
lack of pressure needed to make it hum and sing.
is nothing inherently wrong or evil with a ballpoint
pen as a writing utensil. If Aristotle, Shakespeare
or Jefferson had had one, rest assured that they would
have used them. Modern-day flexheads, stubheads and
status seekers may quibble to no end, but the fact remains
that most new fountain pens have stiff monoline nibs
and the most valid argument against ballpoints is that
they are uncomfortable to use because they are so skinny.