Friday, May 6, 2016

Vintage Pens / All Mine

Imagine my surprise and delight at finding 11 vintage pens rubber-banded together when going through a box of my old stuff. Stuff that included my baby-book.

Ellie, my wife, has lately been on a “let’s get the house organized at least a little better than it is” kick the last few weeks. The house needs it; I am completely supportive. As part of that effort, she found two boxes of her stuff that included things like grade school photos, high school pictures, party invitations, photo books of the type with black pages holding black and white snap shots by their corners.

More recently … just a few days ago as I write this … she found two similar boxes of mine, which, of course, she gave me to go through. Hating to throw stuff out, hating to find stuff that ought to be thrown out, I cringed when I saw the boxes and heard what she said she had found.

Bravely, I opened the boxes. The kinds of things I found included my baby book, a graduate school rejection letter from the school I had both joined Westinghouse and moved half-way across the country to attend, a book with professional and personal profiles of the 30 graduate-degree program employees Westinghouse had just hired, degrees, my high-school diploma, every report card I had ever gotten, invitations to graduation parties for me, a booklet that my brother had put together to give to attendees of his wedding.

AND, not least in any way, were eleven pens rubber banded together, vintage pens, from the same time. I took the rubber band off

Eleven Vintage pens from my youth
and viewed the pens. Three of them ( fourth through the sixth from the left above ) are ball point pens, of limited interest. Each of them continued to write, though, which surprised me. The eight fountain pens ( I am addicted to these, if you recall ) bore the names Schaeffer ( 1 ), Esterbrook ( 3 ) and Parker ( 4 ).

I remember the name Esterbrook, and I remember fooling around with pens by that name when I was a grade and perhaps high-schooler. It’s possible one or more of these filled my hands back then. They fill with a lever on the side of the barrel. The lever squeezes a bladder, bringing ink from a bottle into the pen. I tried the lever on each of the Esterbrooks; they were OK, except for one which made a sound like it was crushing an old, dried out bladder.

I remember the name Parker, and having a Parker fountain pen in college. I didn’t remember any of these. The Parkers fill with a push button, which I don’t, frankly, understand the workings of, under a screw- off cap on the top of the barrel. None of these seemed to move up/down freely, one not at all.

The cutest pen, the second from the right, is the Schaefer. It fills with a piston, too ( at least that is what I imagine ). It unscrews from the top of the barrel.

I intend to see if any of these work at all. I will let you know what I find.

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1 comment:

  1. A very informationrmative post and lots of really honest and forthright comments made! This certainly got me thinking a lot about this issue so cheers a lot for dropping!