When I’m not at a keyboard but want to write something I prefer fountain pens to any other writing implements. For me a fountain pen provides both a link to the past and a pleasurable experience. Even though I would never lay claim to good penmanship I do write better with a fountain pen, well at least I do if I take my time.
I’ve used fountain pens off and on for about as long as I can remember. When I was of school age I had one of those cheap fountain, ballpoint pens and pencil sets. Even though the fountain pen leaked, wrote inconsistently and occasionally made a mess of the page it was still my favourite out of the set.
Fast forward many years and the company I was working for was celebrating a milestone, its 10th birthday, and the owner decided to have some customised pens made to celebrate that fact. Most were ballpoints but he also ordered a small number of fountain pens. These he gave to the staff who wanted them and to a small number of special clients. It would be no surprise that he was a fountain pen fan too.
These weren’t a cheap throwaway pens but were genuine Parker Vector pens. Okay they are not fancy or even very valuable but they were Parkers. As you may guess I got one, well actually I ended up with 3 of them with different colour barrels. These were definitely a step up from my school-day experiences. They wrote well, didn’t leak and looked good, not in the classical sense but were modern at the time. I now had a fountain pen I could use all the time. As my job required me to travel around those pens travelled all over eastern Australia. I still have them and they still work. Only one still has the special printing on it so it doesn’t get used. The others have worn off. Only one of the original converters still works. But they are more than 20 years old and have been used all that time. However replacements are easy to get so I got a couple of spare converters and I expect these will keep working for a long time.
Recently some changes in the family have meant that I have been sorting out the family archives, cleaning out the family home. In the process I’ve found pens that belonged to my father. I knew they were there somewhere but wasn’t sure what they were or what condition they were in. I just knew they hadn’t been touched since he passed away more than 50 years ago. There are a few and I’m sorting through them.
One was easy to get working as it had a piston type refiller and is in good condition. A clean and some fresh ink was all it needed. The others have a lever action filler and must be treated with care. All show signs of use, these were tools to use each day. I’ve already sent one away to be repaired and made operational, some more may follow.
Currently on my desk I have the repaired Onoto Junior, one of my fathers that I sent for repair, a couple of the Parker Vectors and my Lamy Safari. All are in good working order and get used every day.
There is more details on some of my pens here. I’ll update that page from time to time.