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Thread: Lockdown ramblings

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    Default Lockdown ramblings

    Hello,everyone.
    When I was a child (7 or 8 years old) I learned to use a pen to write. We used dip pens and not a week passed by wihout an inkwell being upended from our tiny desks and contents liberally splattered over floors,desks and,of course,each other.
    When I moved on to the next school at 11 years old,we had to use fountain pens.
    From my sketchy memory,in order of expense and desirability (is desirability always linked to higher prices?) it ran:
    Platignum (not,definitely not Platinum)
    Osmiroid
    Parker.
    I always fancied Osmiroid but could only afford Platignum.
    Few of my schoolmates had Parker pens but the few who did were considered well off and well equipped with their chosen pen.
    It has struck me during lockdown,with more time on my hands after work, that I have never really bought and used a Parker for everyday use: I have a small vintage Duofold that I bought on a whim and never used,so far as I can remember and that's too small for me to use, I guess.
    Lockdown "blues" give that thought a ratchet turn: why not buy a modern Parker and what about a modern Duofold?
    So now I trawl the Net checking out Centennial vs International.
    Big Red vs Black.
    Fine vs medium.
    This really is an addiction,isn't it?
    On a side note, I suspect the only pen shop within travel distance for me will maybe not reopen as lockdown eases.
    What's the state of play where you are in relation to B&M shops maybe staying closed?
    Take care everyone and goodnight.

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    welch (May 30th, 2020)

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    Default Re: Lockdown ramblings


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    Senior Member azkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lockdown ramblings

    For everyday use, my go to Parkers are the 51 and 45. I'd use an old Duofold as well if I could find one with an F or XF nib.

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    welch (June 6th, 2020)

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    Senior Member welch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lockdown ramblings

    - I started kindergarten in 1953. We had brand new desks with inset plastic jars for ink, although we were allowed nothing more dangerous than crayons. The jars must have been for "stick pens", for plastic-handled steel nibbed dip pens.

    - We used pencils from 1st grade through 3rd, at first practicing printing and then, in 3rd grade, trying to form "cursive" that looked like the loong green placard above the back board, one that had white cursive upper-case and lower-case letters. The sample letters looked a lot like those in the Palmer Method textbooks, called something like "Writing for Business".

    - In 4th grade it became serious. We were told to write in ink, and most or all of us used the Sheaffer School Pen. It was a clear plastic cartridge filler. Someone has posted a helpful -- no, wonderful -- investigation of the "start writing" packages that Sheaffer gave to schools in hopes that they would build a next generation of devoted Sheaffer users. That would be about 1957 - 1958 school year. My handwriting was terrible, and I thought the pen was scratchy. Must have been a fine nib.

    - A couple years later and my parents gave me a Parker 45, medium nib. Ah, what a wonderful pen. It was Parker's entry-level pen, replacing the Parker Super 21. The 45 was Parker's first cartridge/converter pen, and such a success that Parker made them from 1960 until about 2008. I always used Sheaffer Skrip ink, bought from the school supplies section of our local drug store, which, in Washington, DC, was much more than a pharmacy. Our Peoples Drugstore sold paperback books, including Signet classics, magazines, Coca Cola, TV tubes (yes, this was all before transistors), and had a lunch counter.

    - Like azkid, I use a Parker 51 nearly all the time, and I have a couple of Parker 45's. One of them is a replica of my pen from 1960, blue, lustroloy cap with gold clip, gold medium nib. The other is an accidental purchase, made late one night when I started bidding, at $5, on a green P-45. Woke up to discover that I had won -- nobody else had bid. I fitted it with a spare Parker converter, and bingo. The Parker 51, however, is the greatest pen ever made, I think. They last forever.

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    Robert (May 31st, 2020)

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    Senior Member azkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lockdown ramblings

    I started kindergarten in 1975 so all we got were giant pencils until about 3rd or 4th grade when we got skinnier pencils. My cursive handwriting was crap the whole way through until recently when I've worked to try to make it more legible and consistent.

    Nobody let us near pens at all in elementary. I think at some point we had papers written in pen, maybe by Jr. High, definitely by high school. And of course they were sucky ballpoint pens.

    Anyway. For an entry level pen I think the 45 is fantastic. Actually it's great period. I try not to rave about it much lest prices go up. But I personally consider it the pinnacle of fountain pen development. I just wished there were as many 45 nib units out there as there are for Esterbrooks.

    I have four. Black with gold filled cap, black with alloy cap and silver trim, a teal body with silver cap and gold trim, and a red with plastic red cap and silver trim.
    Last edited by azkid; May 30th, 2020 at 02:56 PM.

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    welch (May 31st, 2020)

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    FPG Donor ♕ Chrissy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lockdown ramblings

    I bought a small number of Parker 45 14ct medium nibs on ebay quite some time ago now and every once in a while if a random Parker 45 crops up with a stub or an oblique nib I buy it, transfer the nib to one of my regular 45's or 45 Coronets, then I clean up the 45 I just bought, replace the nib with a M and resell it.

    It's been a while since I did this but yesterday I bought a red all plastic one with chrome trim that has an oblique nib.

    In fact Parker 45's with plastic caps don't have the same internal cap clutch as the ones that are fitted inside steel caps, so those with plastic caps don't get distorted, wavy sections.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    welch (May 31st, 2020)

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    Senior Member azkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lockdown ramblings

    What a great idea, Chrissy. I don't seem to see oblique/stub 45 nibs very much. My Custom had a bold nib which was novel for me. The rest are F or XF. I didn't realize the clutches were distorting the sections. Interesting.

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    Default Re: Lockdown ramblings

    The 45 is such a clever yet simple design, if I was starting again on a limited budget I think I could do worse than try and collect one of each 45.

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    welch (June 1st, 2020)

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