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Thread: Streamlining

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    Senior Member Deb's Avatar
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    Default Streamlining

    The Swan SF230 is by far my favourite fountain pen. Next in line, some way behind, is the first version of the Duofold - a not entirely dissimilar pen. They're the right girth, weight and style. Both Swans and Duofolds were later spoiled by streamlining, an entirely pointless exercise in poor taste. Fountain pens are not intended to hurtle along at 300 mph like Donald Campbell's Bluebird so why reduce their wind resistance?

    Discuss.
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    Default Re: Streamlining

    I like streamlining! When I used to collect antique cars, I was drawn to the industrial designs by Raymond Loewy that were influenced by airplane design. He was much in demand, because his streamlined designs sold products whether or not they were moving anywhere. He may have started with the likes of steam locomotives and Studebaker coupes, but streamlining influenced pencil sharpeners*, Wahl-Eversharp Symphony fountain pens and much more. Streamlining was de rigueur.









    He did not design Flash Gordon's spaceship.



    *The pencil sharpener is a famous design patent but was never put into production.

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Streamlining

    Because progress, and because style. None of it ever has to make sense, it just has to sell more things.

    A couple people sent me a link this morning of some guy who is 3D printing drums. They looks hideous and probably sound like butt, yet some people will buy them because they are different and because they can. It never has to make sense.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Streamlining

    The fashion of the 1930s from the streamlined Henderson, to the 1920s designed Flying Scotsman upstaged by the later A4 Pacific with their streamlined wind cheating design.

    I have to admit to liking the streamline Duofold, to my eyes the lines are better.












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    Default Re: Streamlining

    Stylistically, I don't mind streamlining, and gotta love a pen designed after a locomotive or jet. But my hands like a square-headed bulky pen, especially as they get older and cramped.
    Fortibus es in ero

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    Senior Member Deb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Streamlining

    Fred, the train is beyond wonderful and I like the pencil sharpener and of course Flash Gordon's craft but the Studebaker Coupe (if that's what it is), man, that's ugly! Even worse than the Chrysler Airflow.

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    Senior Member Deb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Streamlining

    Bet they didn't sell many of those over-dressed Hendersons!
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    Default Re: Streamlining

    I love streamlined pen design. I have a Sheaffer Balance from the 1930s that warms the cockles of me 'eart every time I look at it. Eversharp Skylines look pretty nifty, too, I think.


    (Not my pen, but similar to it.)


    (Not my pen, either.)
    Quid rides? Mutato nomine de te fabula narratur. — Horace
    (What are you laughing at? Just change the name and the joke’s on you.)

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    Default Re: Streamlining

    I have a lever-fill Balance that I use quite a bit. Came from Jon Szanto. Many thanks, Jon! This thread is, of course, a wind-up to see what people would say but in all honesty, I don't like the Skyline. An extreme design like that will work for some but not for everyone.
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    Default Re: Streamlining

    Quote Originally Posted by Deb View Post
    I have a lever-fill Balance that I use quite a bit. Came from Jon Szanto. Many thanks, Jon!
    Thanks for reminding me of that!

    On the topic, I seem to like a lot of different design aesthetics, but when I boil it down to basics, I honestly do like straight lines and clean looks.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

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    Default Re: Streamlining

    I love that Skyline. One just like that, or with the green striped cap is something I would dearly like to find. No luck yet.

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    Default Re: Streamlining

    Quote Originally Posted by Deb View Post
    ...the Studebaker Coupe (if that's what it is), man, that's ugly!...[/URL]
    Kermit the Frog loved his.

    Here is Loewy in a couple of later Studebakers he helped design, though these are post-streamline. That's him behind the wheel of the Starliner, and standing next to the Avanti with his hands behind his back.





    Quote Originally Posted by Deb View Post
    ...I don't like the Skyline. An extreme design like that will work for some but not for everyone.
    I don't either; the tapered barrels have always been a turn-off for me. They remind me of tadpoles. Alas, Loewy's work on the Symphony pen wasn't enough to save Wahl-Eversharp. Same for Studebaker, come to think of it.
    Last edited by FredRydr; December 19th, 2019 at 03:47 PM.

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    Default Re: Streamlining

    The Studebaker Hawk was nice though. And fast.
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    Default Re: Streamlining

    I prefer Duofolds, Dorics, Deco Bands & MB13x pens to Balances, Skylines & the 14x series. However, that has never stopped me from picking up a nice Balance or Skyline, and my favorite Pelikan is the 400NN.

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    Default Re: Streamlining

    Quote Originally Posted by Deb View Post
    The Swan SF230 is by far my favourite fountain pen. Next in line, some way behind, is the first version of the Duofold - a not entirely dissimilar pen. They're the right girth, weight and style. Both Swans and Duofolds were later spoiled by streamlining, an entirely pointless exercise in poor taste. Fountain pens are not intended to hurtle along at 300 mph like Donald Campbell's Bluebird so why reduce their wind resistance?

    Discuss.
    Hej Deb,

    yes, a Swan SF 230 is a very nice (and well balanced) pen. Zeitgeist of the 1920s, Art Deco... :-)
    But is it nicer than a very streamlined 4260 or 4460? I can't say. It's a pleasing international design without the baroque attitudes of similarly shaped modern pens (MB 146/149) that I dislike. It's argueing about preferences...

    I like pens in between a lot too, a little bit streamlined like the 212/60, 0160 or 1060 with a timeless harmonic look to be recognized being english.

    Anyway it is not good if the design is blown up too much - a SF 530 or 4660 is too much for my taste. The 2060 is ok...

    Best
    Jens
    Last edited by SchaumburgSwan; December 19th, 2019 at 09:40 PM.
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    Senior Member Deb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Streamlining

    Hi Jens,
    I agree about overblown pens. An SF 530 or 4660 wouldn't work for me either. However I'm glad to pick either up whenever I can as other people are very keen on them.
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    Default Re: Streamlining

    Would it be regarded that a Sonnet is a Streamlined 75 or am I missing something?

  30. #18
    Senior Member Deb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Streamlining

    I wouldn't see it that way. The nib is very different.
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    Default Re: Streamlining

    The smartness of the internet.

    The other day I Googled for pics of streamlined locomotives, today You Tube recommends to me a host of vids for streamlined steam engines.

    Is it 1984 yet?

  32. #20
    Senior Member christof's Avatar
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    Default Re: Streamlining

    Every period shows its own design features. That is what makes collectiong of vinte pens that interesting to me.
    A single pen is just a pen. A group of different pens is a proof of history of industrial desing. That is why the aera doesn’t make a difference for me while collecting.

    C.

    PS: for personal use, I prefer the flat topped Duofolds as well. But I wouldn‘t say the streamlined ones are worse desing.

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