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Thread: The "Dolphin"

  1. #21
    Senior Member Sailor Kenshin's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "Dolphin"

    Just...find me an inexpensive beater that writes.
    My other pen is a Montblanc.

    And my other blog is a tumblr!


    And my latest ebook, for spooky wintery reading:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0CM2NGSSD

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  3. #22
    Senior Member AzJon's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "Dolphin"

    I gotta say, holding one in hand and checking it out up close does help negate the creepy factor. I just picked one up that needs restoring and find it quite charming in real life.

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  5. #23
    Senior Member pajaro's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "Dolphin"

    I have a couple of the black cartridge only pens, one part of a pen and pencil set. Superb, trouble free writers. I use a button filling converter in one. I have a Touchdown filling dolphin in green and a touchdown filling desk dolphin in black somewhere. Packed away for a move that doesn't look like it will happen.

    The dolphins have endeared themselves to me. I lived in Florida for forty years, and often watching dolphins coming up for air at the beach. These pens remind me of real dolphins.

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  7. #24
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    Default Re: The "Dolphin"

    Barrel, yes. Cap, yes. Nib .... eugh, no thanks. Sticking to Imperials and Targas.

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  9. #25
    Senior Member penwash's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "Dolphin"

    And the new tally is:

    Camp Me-Likey: 6 pen people.

    Camp No-Likey: 7 pen people.

    BTW, the members of the (now famous) Lone Star Pen Club loved the pen when I showed it to them in one of their virtual pen meets.
    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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  11. #26
    Senior Member KBeezie's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "Dolphin"

    Not really a fan of the dolphin's faux-inlaid design. Versus an Imperial with a full inlaid, but I imagine the dolphin will outlast them as the glue comes undone on the true inlaid nibs.

  12. #27
    Senior Member pajaro's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "Dolphin"

    The first Dolphin I bought was in about 1978, when I bought a green dolphin with a chrome cap with a golden cap ring and a Touchdown filler. $8.00 in an office supply company. Used it for years, not sure where it is now. Now I have the two black C/C pens, one with the pushbutton converter, converter from from Peyton Street Pens. Both of them are very nice. I have had a couple of Targas, but never liked them as much as Dolphins and the other Imperials. My Targas have been skinny ones. I might have liked the thicker ones better, don't know, have a thicker one I haven't used. Can't find it.

  13. #28
    Senior Member penwash's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "Dolphin"

    Quote Originally Posted by KBeezie View Post
    Not really a fan of the dolphin's faux-inlaid design. Versus an Imperial with a full inlaid, but I imagine the dolphin will outlast them as the glue comes undone on the true inlaid nibs.
    Sheaffer Inlaid nibs are secured using metal tabs that goes into the section (plastic).
    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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    Default Re: The "Dolphin"

    They never really did much with nib options on these...Left Oblique Dolphin just sounds sad and lonely, as if beached on some ship-wrecked shore. One of my Dolphins has Baby's bottom... When it is fixed will it have adult bottom, or old person bottom?

    The 60s were a tough decade for Sheaffer's

    Bob

  16. #30
    Senior Member Sailor Kenshin's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "Dolphin"

    I still want one!
    My other pen is a Montblanc.

    And my other blog is a tumblr!


    And my latest ebook, for spooky wintery reading:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0CM2NGSSD

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  18. #31
    Senior Member penwash's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "Dolphin"

    Quote Originally Posted by Seattleite View Post
    They never really did much with nib options on these...Left Oblique Dolphin just sounds sad and lonely, as if beached on some ship-wrecked shore. One of my Dolphins has Baby's bottom... When it is fixed will it have adult bottom, or old person bottom?

    The 60s were a tough decade for Sheaffer's

    Bob
    Bob, I'm getting mixed signals here, are you on the "Me-likey" or "No-likey" camp?
    - Will
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  19. #32
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    Default Re: The "Dolphin"

    I am a no vote. The hump on the hood is why it is called a Dolphin, right? That hump also makes it hard to wipe the excess ink off of the nib, and the inlaid trim can catch on the cloth, as well. It is that functionless little bit of metal that screams out "I am not what I pretend to be", that sways my vote. I am also not a fan of the dimpled (I mean pimpled) clutch ring that they use on these. Same one that the Imp I used. Looks cheap, to me. I actually prefer the Target/Imp III over the dolphin series in both form and function, but really only have any of these because I collect old Sheaffer's. .

    In all fairness, I will say that these are competent vintage pens that can be found at reasonable prices.

    As to tough decade, it seems Sheaffer's was really almost aimlessly wandering around trying to find a fountain pen which would catch on. Their real failure is in never establishing a quality ballpoint that sold well. Parker had already cleaned their clock on that one.

    Bob
    Last edited by Seattleite; November 12th, 2020 at 08:16 AM.

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  21. #33
    Senior Member pajaro's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "Dolphin"

    These pens are good writers. Most Sheaffers have nice nibs. I haven't found the Dolphin nib to catch on cloth or tissue when wiping excess ink, but I can see it could happen. The price is usually low. I bought a black and gold pen and pencil for $11, and just the pen for $5 on ebay. They both write really well, and both are extra fine. I put converters in them. Worth what I paid for them. I would further say that all the Sheaffer pens I bought made in the 1950s or 1960s are satisfactory or better pens. I like them better than later made pens. Less expensive and perfectly good.

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  23. #34
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    Default Re: The "Dolphin"

    Quote Originally Posted by pajaro View Post
    These pens are good writers. Most Sheaffers have nice nibs. I haven't found the Dolphin nib to catch on cloth or tissue when wiping excess ink, but I can see it could happen. The price is usually low. I bought a black and gold pen and pencil for $11, and just the pen for $5 on ebay. They both write really well, and both are extra fine. I put converters in them. Worth what I paid for them. I would further say that all the Sheaffer pens I bought made in the 1950s or 1960s are satisfactory or better pens. I like them better than later made pens. Less expensive and perfectly good.
    To clarify, I mean that there is a recess, because of the dolphin-shaped hood, that makes wiping the nib clean after filling kind of difficult, and that the cloth can catch on the inlaid decoration, as it can have a bit of a raised edge. I hunt the earlier stuff, mostly, so when I started collecting, these post Snorkel offerings just seemed too modern. I probably developed a bit of a visual prejudice because I was looking for something else. Dolphins were made around the time that I was born. Maybe I was traumatized by too many episodes of Flipper, growing up, and am afraid to confront those memories and the dark associations that I formed. It was a really stupid show, with the two brothers having totally different accents. Something was kind of fishy about that show.

    Bob

  24. #35
    Senior Member pajaro's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "Dolphin"

    I wipe the pen toward the tip of the nib. I haven't had it catch the tissue.

    I lived in Florida, a block from the Atlantic Ocean, and dolphins were always rolling close to shore. I loved watching them, and the Dolphin pen reminds me of them. The Flipper program, well, foolishness. In the water I never wanted to get close to dolphins, and I don't think they wanted to swim near me either.

  25. #36
    Senior Member penwash's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "Dolphin"

    Quote Originally Posted by Seattleite View Post
    To clarify, I mean that there is a recess, because of the dolphin-shaped hood, that makes wiping the nib clean after filling kind of difficult, and that the cloth can catch on the inlaid decoration, as it can have a bit of a raised edge.
    Not to contradict or challenge your experience, but I have found and used many "Dolphin" pens, restored the touchdown models, and cleaning up the cartridge ones. I don't recall having any issues with cloth or paper towel got caught by the nib nor the "V".
    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

  26. #37
    Senior Member Pterodactylus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "Dolphin"

    You can count me to the “like” camp.
    I think it looks cute with his dolphin silhouette, kind of different. 👍

    Not worse design wise than e.g. the 2 digit MB’s

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  28. #38
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    Default Re: The "Dolphin"

    I'd love to try one of these one day in my hand. Maybe next time I'm in Boston, if they actually allow people to touch pens in stores any more (during COVID).

  29. #39
    Senior Member penwash's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "Dolphin"

    And the new tally is:

    Camp Me-Likey: 7 pen people.

    Camp No-Likey: 8 pen people.

    With one "no-vote" and one "want to try".
    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

  30. #40
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    Default Re: The "Dolphin"

    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Seattleite View Post
    To clarify, I mean that there is a recess, because of the dolphin-shaped hood, that makes wiping the nib clean after filling kind of difficult, and that the cloth can catch on the inlaid decoration, as it can have a bit of a raised edge.
    Not to contradict or challenge your experience, but I have found and used many "Dolphin" pens, restored the touchdown models, and cleaning up the cartridge ones. I don't recall having any issues with cloth or paper towel got caught by the nib nor the "V".
    Will, I think that I have had sufficient hands-on experience with these pens to form a reasoned opinion. The only experience that I lack with these is in trying to sell them, so my evaluation is not designed to be a sales pitch. That my opinion is pretty nuanced about a pen that is competent overall, is the opinion of a collector who studies and appreciates the details of what makes some pens great, and some pens "also rans".

    I think that ease of cleaning was a design criteria for fountain pen makers in this era, as an attempt to compete with the convenience of the ballpoint. After a near decade of the Snorkel, a pen that you supposedly did not have to wipe down at all, the inlaid Imperial offered an unbroken, easy to clean, integrated surface between section and nib. The Dolphin uses a little plated inlay to imply the form and function of the Imperial but which actually eliminates the function of the unbroken surface. Certainly not an evolutionary step forward. Add to this, Sheaffer's choice to offer the all metal caps in plated metal instead of fill, or solid Stainless. It's a cost-cutting inspired design which they wanted to look like an Imperial, but which they knew better than to associate by name. A two or so year production run should give folks a hint as to the success of the design in the marketplace. The fact that it writes well enough, is not the only measure that I use, when placing a vote, as all Sheaffer's write decently.

    The inlay is of rather sloppy fit on some of the Dolphins that I have handled, with some rough edges exposed because of slightly shrunken plastic, What can I say. I take off a few points when a poorly executed styling gimmick impairs function, as does the "forehead", made large, not to allude to big brained intelligence of design, but merely to have enough thickness of material to anchor the inlay and to support the short shanked nib. Just doesn't work for me, when so many other pens of the company and of the era do.


    As to technique, I don't really want this voting campaign to reach into the deep recesses of wiping habits. When such tasks bring attention to themselves, there is a problem....Lets just leave that at that.

    Bob

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