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Thread: Pens personalized through use

  1. #1
    Senior Member fountainpenkid's Avatar
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    Default Pens personalized through use

    My latest acquisition, which I'd credit Will (penwash) and Christof (christof) for encouraging me towards, is this old, worn-out Pelikan 101N from the late '30s. After owning more than 12 vintage 400s, I finally have its predecessor, which I must say, is even more happy in my hand. The combination of hard rubber section and celluloid barrel is delightful while writing, as is the way the captop and knob's rounded square ends feel to the touch. Perhaps more than my 400s did, it just begs to be used upon touching it.

    The nib of the pen was unknown to me when I purchased it--no writing sample was provided--but I could see that it at least had something broader than a fine. What I didn't fully appreciate until it arrived were the two deep grooves on the left tine, and the strange angle of the tipping.

    IMG_3442.jpg

    IMG_3443.jpg

    The angle results in a strange sort of left-footed architect's nib, with a brush-like feel. Very curious.

    IMG_3444.jpg

    I brought it over yesterday to Brad Torelli, eager for an expert's opinion. He immediately recognized this type of wear, and said he's seen it on several pens before: the grooves on the tine from were likely caused by metal straight-edge, the angle of the tipping by repeated strokes along that edge. So this was drafting pen! What sort of drafting did it do, I wonder? Why did the owner use it this way, when they could have used a pencil, or at least a stylograph? Or is there yet another explanation entirely?

    Regardless, it has created a conundrum: should I enjoy the pen this way, considering it got to write like this from years of deliberate use? For others that have pens like this, marked by their use in some way, how do you feel about changing them/repairing the signs use? Does the reminder make them more special for you, even if the user is anonymous? Or does it cause frustration?
    Will
    If my p.m box is full, feel free to email me at dabantur@gmail.com.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pens personalized through use

    I would love to see a photo of the entire pen!

    As to the wear, etc - do you enjoy the way it writes? The pen seems to be a perfectly nice writer, and if that were the case, I would happily leave all elements of the past life in place. If it were my pen, frankly, changing out the nib would lose almost all of its interest to me.
    "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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    Senior Member fountainpenkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pens personalized through use

    Among friends...
    IMG_3418.jpg

    I'm think I'm with you, Jon. It is a good writer as is, although the angle of the tipping prevents me from safely using much of the nib's flex capability, and adds some variety to my nib choices. It's just not something I would ever seek out if I had the choice.
    Will
    If my p.m box is full, feel free to email me at dabantur@gmail.com.

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  7. #4
    Senior Member penwash's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pens personalized through use

    Quote Originally Posted by fountainpenkid View Post
    Regardless, it has created a conundrum: should I enjoy the pen this way, considering it got to write like this from years of deliberate use? For others that have pens like this, marked by their use in some way, how do you feel about changing them/repairing the signs use? Does the reminder make them more special for you, even if the user is anonymous? Or does it cause frustration?
    First of all, cool pen!
    I'm a sucker for pens with character, and that 101 is full of nothing but character.
    In your place, I'd use it and treasure it, leaving it exactly as is.

    And yes, I have many pens in my collection that have more than their fair share of "character"
    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pens personalized through use

    Quote Originally Posted by fountainpenkid View Post
    Among friends...
    OMG. That pen is gorgeous.
    "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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    Senior Member christof's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pens personalized through use

    This is a great pen. Congratulations!

    ...Or does it cause frustration?
    Definitely not. This pen has seen a lot of use, and the owner has used it to underline text or numbers. The nib is not defective, just bears marks. On the other hand, it would be easy to find a correct replacement nib if this is really bothersome to you.

    again: a nice pen and a nice color match to your Soennecken 111!

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  13. #7
    Senior Member fountainpenkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pens personalized through use

    Quote Originally Posted by christof View Post
    This is a great pen. Congratulations!

    ...Or does it cause frustration?
    Definitely not. This pen has seen a lot of use, and the owner has used it to underline text or numbers.
    Ah, there's something I didn't think of--using a straight edge to underline text...I guess this could have been an editor's or accountant's pen as well! Although still, to my mind, a strange choice of tool. Maybe they just enjoyed using it so much, they decided to do their underlining or drafting work with it. It is delightful somehow to think the pen may have been particularly special to someone*. A bit of modern amateur archeology I guess.

    Any ideas where I could find a correct nib?


    *Speaking of pens being special to people of the past, Brad Torelli told me an amazing story of the very first nib retipping he did, I think in the early or mid '80s: a 95-year-old man contacted him about repairing a late teens Mabie Todd with missing tipping material. When Brad asked whose it was--perhaps his father's?--the man interrupted emphatically, to Brad's surprise, "no, no, this is my pen." The man explained he had fought in WWI, and fighting closely with British troops, he and some of his platoonmates were introduced (or given) Mabie Todd pens to write home with. Returning to the U.S, he decided to become a Mabie Todd dealer for some years, somewhere in NY. This plain and oxidized BHR lever filler which Brad was to repair had been used by the man since he was given it during his war service--close to 70 year of daily use by one man. A year or so before, some of the tipping material had broken off, and the man begrudgingly started using ballpoints. Brad retipped it (emphasizing to me his techniques were more crude at that point) and the man was very happy. One can only imagine what he may have seen during the war, the letters he wrote home with the pen, and strong bonds of which it reminded him.
    Last edited by fountainpenkid; September 7th, 2021 at 07:20 AM.
    Will
    If my p.m box is full, feel free to email me at dabantur@gmail.com.

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    Senior Member ethernautrix's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pens personalized through use

    Oh wow, that Pelikan is very nice! Appealing. I'm not interested in vintage pens so much (thank goodness for some limits!), but that is a very nice-looking pen.

    I agree with the positive comments about the nib. Cool nib with a story.
    _____________
    To Miasto

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    Senior Member manoeuver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pens personalized through use

    that pen is so cool.
    If it was mine I'd live with the nib for a year or so before considering a change.
    enjoy!

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    Senior Member christof's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pens personalized through use

    Quote Originally Posted by fountainpenkid View Post
    ...
    Any ideas where I could find a correct nib?
    ...
    Usually Tom Westerich from penboard.de has some in stock.

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    Senior Member Johnny_S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pens personalized through use

    This Parker became personalized during use.


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    Senior Member fountainpenkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pens personalized through use

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny_S View Post
    This Parker became personalized during use.

    Is that a Parker 51 reproduction from the early 2000s? Those are notorious for falling apart, right?
    Will
    If my p.m box is full, feel free to email me at dabantur@gmail.com.

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    Senior Member Johnny_S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pens personalized through use

    Quote Originally Posted by fountainpenkid View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny_S View Post
    This Parker became personalized during use.

    Is that a Parker 51 reproduction from the early 2000s? Those are notorious for falling apart, right?
    Yes you are right. In this case the brittle plastic could not cope with the owner forcing a Lamy cartridge into the section, an expensive mistake.

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