Thursday, September 1, 2011

Counterpunch - Cool Pens

So if you listened to Episode 11 you might remember that Scott has recently been what some would call obsessed with old pens. He found some at one of the auctions he frequents and turned out that they were actually worth a bit on the collectors market.

As a nerd myself I never feel like it’s my place to judge what other people are in to, but as friends it was just too tempting for us to give Scott some shit over his new weird obsession. Even though we made a bit of fun of the hobby of pen collecting, either out of the goodness of his heart or maybe a stoke of genius, Scott was cool enough to give me one of the “extra” pens that he picked up in a lot but which was not a collector’s item. I told him that I would try it out and took it with me to work to do so.

The pen I received was what Scott calls a “school pen” from around the 60’s. I’m not 100% clear on the terminology, looking online I think that was a manufacturer designation and not a common term. But it is a cartridge fed pen so maybe it was meant for school so you would not have to carry around an ink well with you, sort of how most kids use mechanical pencils anymore so they don’t have to figure out how a pencil sharpener works. The pen has a clear body made of, what was probably at the time, space age plastic. It might be clear so you would be able to see how much ink you have left, I’m not sure since I have not used that much ink yet. It has a silver colored metal cap, the cap is rounded rather than flat on top.

I use a pen quite a bit at work, taking notes and signing documents, so I actually go through them quite often. What is cool about this pen is that once the ink runs out I can refill it rather than throw it away.

It was a bit weird writing with a nib rather than with a ball point, but I think I have the hang of it now. I’m also not sure the last time it was used to write with, that may been part of the issue originally, but the ink flows well now.

What I really like is how dark the ink is, it is true black and you can really tell the difference when I sign something next to someone else using a “regular” pen.

I also like how distinctive it is. After just a week I’ve already received quite a few comments on it. Every once in a while someone will ask to use it to sign something but when they see that it’s a fountain pen they will ask if I have a “normal” one.

There are a few downsides though. For some reason the pen will stop writing a weird moments. It only takes a bit of a shake to get the ink flowing again, but if you are in the middle of a signature it can be frustrating. The biggest one is that, depending on the paper that you’re using, the free flowing ink can bleed from a little bit to quite a lot. I normally write pretty small and sometimes it can be hard to read. I also realized that I choke up quite a bit towards the writing end, so I’ve had to learn to hold it correctly or get ink all over my hands. I’m hoping that is something that will diminish as I get better at using it.

So, while I did give Scott a hard time initially, I will have to say that I’ve been convinced. I don’t think I’ll be using a fountain pen all the time, but I think it will be my pen of choice at work .

No comments:

Post a Comment