Skrip Washable Brown

Some of my favorite pens were produced in the 1940s: Parker 51, Sheaffer Triumph, Eversharp Skyline and Moore’s Fingertip. Ink technology was also improved. There were more color selections. Drying times were accelerated. Now you had the choice of various colors in either permanent or washable.

I came across this sample of Sheaffer Skrip Washable Brown from 1942 contained in their famous well-top bottle. The box advertises the ‘new’ Triumph pen. It’s a wet ink that flows well. It’s color is atrocious, and yet, wonderful at the same time. Depending on the lighting and the paper, it shades from yellow, to brown, to yellow-green-gray. In its wet state, it looks like the colonic remains of bile acid applied from the tip of a fountain pen. But within time, the color magically becomes a nice brown. It’s not a chestnut brown or walnut brown. It’s pretty much a fecal-matter brown. It does not remind me of Christmas holiday cheer, or walks in the forest, or fresh baked cookies. It reminds me of that other thing. At first I felt that I had purchased something that had turned. But after using this ink in two distinctively different pens, I have become quite fond of this strange color. It doesn’t bleed or feather. Its drying time is approximately 10 seconds. It washes immediately with water, which is its intended purpose.

This last photo shows an unusual effect of Skrip Washable Brown ink drops applied to a wet paper towel. Within approximately one hour, the brown color divides into its components of red, yellow and blue.