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Thread: Reminiscing - Pen Shows

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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Reminiscing - Pen Shows

    I was cleaning up image files when I came across these two photos of prior pen shows. I cannot recall the photographer (Janet Wright?), who gathered together most of us vendors for a group shot from high above the main ballroom. Here it was in 2014 (top) and 2015 (bottom).

    IMG_3223.JPG

    2015 dc.jpg

    This was the main show room. Alas, five years ago and before, the DC Pen Show used to be considered the ultimate pen show internationally, and was still at the large Sheraton Tysons Corner venue. I miss it.
    Last edited by FredRydr; July 17th, 2020 at 07:14 AM.

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    Default Re: Reminiscing - Pen Shows

    Nice pics.

    I enoyed the social side of a good pen almost as much as looking round and buying. The dinner and a few drinks on the night before the show, meeting old friends, catching up. During the showing breaking away and having a coffee and a chat, exchange of information, who is doing what, who needs some help, they were good events.

    I am concerned for any pen show in 2020, they must be ideal places to pass on the bug, some shows get packed, people stood shoulder to shoulder, with the need by the organisers to fill the halls in order to make a return.

    I have heard of one pen seller who relies on pen shows for income who intends to fill one of the zippered 36 pen cases, send it to known and trusted prospective buyers with return postage paid, buy what you want and return the rest.

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    Senior Member manoeuver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reminiscing - Pen Shows

    I miss em too, a lot. Had planned to go to Bmore this year but cancelled out of caution.

    I've been phoning pen show friends for chats. That helps.

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    Senior Member Ron Z's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reminiscing - Pen Shows

    The picture does not do justice to the size of the ballroom at the Sheraton at Tysons Corner. That was at a great venue, and helped to make the DC show the best of them all. Why the show organizer gave it up is beyond me.

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    Default Re: Reminiscing - Pen Shows

    I miss my pen friends, near and far. Twice a year I would see people that I would only see then, meet people who in the previous year had only been a name on a screen, be introduced to friends of these many people who were equally worthy and enjoyable to know. One can read books, look at a million pics of pens on a screen, but for me, nothing replaces the social aspect of humans with a common interest gathering together and having a good time.
    Last edited by Jon Szanto; July 17th, 2020 at 12:26 PM.
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    Default Re: Reminiscing - Pen Shows

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    I miss my pen friends, near and far. Twice a year I would see people that I would only see then, meet people who in the previous year had only been a name on a screen, been introduced to friends of these many people who were equally worthy and enjoyable to know. One can read books, look at a million pics of pens on a screen, but for me, nothing replaces the social aspect of humans with a common interest gathering together and having a good time.
    you said it man.

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    Default Re: Reminiscing - Pen Shows

    I had just found out about pen shows this year (and pen forums actually). I was bummed that this year's DC pen show was cancelled but it looks like early August 2021 has been set aside for next year. It'll be my first one, unless there's another reasonably close to me before then. I'm looking forward to seeing and experiencing pens I otherwise wouldn't be able to. I have yet to try anything other than a steel nib and maybe I can get the chance at a show.

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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reminiscing - Pen Shows

    Quote Originally Posted by SManZ View Post
    I had just found out about pen shows this year (and pen forums actually). I was bummed that this year's DC pen show was cancelled but it looks like early August 2021 has been set aside for next year. It'll be my first one, unless there's another reasonably close to me before then. I'm looking forward to seeing and experiencing pens I otherwise wouldn't be able to. I have yet to try anything other than a steel nib and maybe I can get the chance at a show.
    No worry. Since the DC show and its management have declined, we've been fortunate to have the Baltimore-Washington International Pen Show fill the need in our region, and it takes place in February of each year. Well-respected penmeisters and vendors who used to be at DC now appear at BWI. Of course, as things stand, the entire pen show schedule remains tentative.
    Last edited by FredRydr; July 21st, 2020 at 05:45 AM.

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    Default Re: Reminiscing - Pen Shows

    Quote Originally Posted by FredRydr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SManZ View Post
    I had just found out about pen shows this year (and pen forums actually). I was bummed that this year's DC pen show was cancelled but it looks like early August 2021 has been set aside for next year. It'll be my first one, unless there's another reasonably close to me before then. I'm looking forward to seeing and experiencing pens I otherwise wouldn't be able to. I have yet to try anything other than a steel nib and maybe I can get the chance at a show.
    No worry. Since the DC show and its management have declined, we've been fortunate to have the Baltimore-Washington International Pen Show fill the need in our region, and it takes place in February of each year. Well-respected penmeisters and vendors who used to be at DC now appear at BWI. Of course, as things stand, the entire pen show schedule remains tentative.
    Wow that looks great, thanks for posting the info! And Feb 2021 is much sooner...I hope that I can visit this one!

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    Default Re: Reminiscing - Pen Shows

    I agree totally with Fred and Ron. The DC show was a real gem when it was at Tyson's corner. It was a big, ritzy place befitting a big, ritzy show. CBS news was there one year to cover it. I miss the Tyson's era DC show a lot.

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    Default Re: Reminiscing - Pen Shows

    We've taken our 3 east coast pen shows down to 1 with Baltimore. I guess it used to be 4... NYC, LI, Philly and DC. Bert does a good job, and works with the dealers. The move out to BWI was a good one, and the show has really taken off the last couple of years. Lots of activity, and I expect it go grow if shows are possible in the next couple of years.

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    Default Re: Reminiscing - Pen Shows

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Z View Post
    ...Bert does a good job, and works with the dealers....
    That's the big improvement from DC. Bert Oser makes sure everything is organized, in order and covered, with no unpleasant surprises for either the vendors or the hotel. We are lucky to have him. Therefore - shameless plug - my modern fountain pen needs (as limited as they are) come from Bertram's Inkwell by visits to Bert's store, mail order (now called "online shopping") and of course his show tables. My vintage inventory is depleted, so I doubt I'll have anything for the 2021 show.

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    Default Re: Reminiscing - Pen Shows

    Baltimore used to have a Pen Hospital.
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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reminiscing - Pen Shows

    Quote Originally Posted by jar View Post
    Baltimore used to have a Pen Hospital.
    It also used to have downtown a branch store of Bertram's Inkwell, managed by the late Jim Rouse. That's where I first got the bug.

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    Default Re: Reminiscing - Pen Shows

    Quote Originally Posted by FredRydr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jar View Post
    Baltimore used to have a Pen Hospital.
    It also used to have downtown a branch store of Bertram's Inkwell, managed by the late Jim Rouse. That's where I first got the bug.
    That was after I left. But there was a Jeweler in the Harundale Mall that also stocked fountain pens and did repairs. Daddy Jim had a big part to play in that venture.
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    Default Re: Reminiscing - Pen Shows

    Quote Originally Posted by FredRydr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jar View Post
    Baltimore used to have a Pen Hospital.
    It also used to have downtown a branch store of Bertram's Inkwell, managed by the late Jim Rouse. That's where I first got the bug.
    I was just getting back into the thing when that location closed. what a loss that was!

    I'm certain I dealt with Jim in there before getting to know him across the FC table at shows.

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