The Fountain Of Pen

When I retired from retail trade my employers were gracious enough to present me with a fountain pen – a rather nice Visconti model – as a going-away present. I kept my end of the bargain – I went away. I treasure it as the best writing stick in the drawer, but I have recently been shocked to discover how many more of them there are in there.

Yep. All mine and all functioning, albeit spottily in some cases. Some were bought for me, but most were bought by me…and in most cases they never really measured up to the standard of my own particular industry: the Parker cartridge pens I used in high school.

This is not going to be a ” I remember that crispy bacon we got before the war ” post. Pens are pens, and there are undoubtedly pens out there that are as good as crispy bacon. And they may be as cheap as the old Parkers – but so far I have not found them. The Visconti comes closest to it, and it is too dear to give to a high school student.

The old Parkers probably succeeded due to the fact that they had soft nibs that would quickly wear into the writer’s hand position. That they then continued to wear out was the flaw – the lines got wider and the ink lasted less…and one day the inevitable clumsy fall dropped the pen on the nib and it could never be recovered.

The other flaw of the Parker was it crude nature of the cartridge seal, A standard pack of cartridges were fine as the pen pierced them and drew the ink. The flaw arose when I tried to refill the plastic cartridge from what I thought was going to be the same Quink ink via a hypodermic syringe. I could fill it, but not seal it to take to school for use later in the day – Scotch tape would not keep the ink in, and my school bag or shirt pocket told the tale eventually. Also my chest, but as I chose Washable Blue, I didn’t have to play at being Braveheart for longer than the day.

” Why not use a ballpoint or rollerball or sharpie? ”

Because they simply do not give the control, line texture, and feedback of a fountain pen. Even the mighty quill or school nib pen does not do what a good fountain does. If you want to merely communicate, use a keyboard. If you want to create verbal or visual art, use a fountain pen.


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