Friday, May 21, 2010

Hall of Fame and Desert Isle Pens

Victo commented on the Paper Mate Felt Tip post about inducting that pen into a Hall of Fame, with Jack/Youngstown following up with thoughts about a "desert isle pen" as well as historical/fantastical writing instruments. Which then led me to think about Victo's other comment, that a desert isle theme would be an interesting post.

I've always wondered about J. Herbin ink's one particular customer, Napoleon. What color ink did he use? Likely blue or black, or maybe a combination? Did J. Herbin make a special ink to celebrate Napoleon's (self) coronation as Emperor? What colors were available in 1804?

On the fantasy side, did Gandalf use a fountain pen or a rollerball? What nib--I'm thinking broad, but he might have been a fine point wizard.

What pen (and bottle of ink, if it's a fountain pen) would you want to have with you if you were stranded on a desert isle (with the Professor at the very least, since he could probably make more ink and nibs)?

And if you thought to bring a pen and ink with you, then you also probably had a waterproof, plastic bag containing paper when you swam to shore so you could write down your thoughts while waiting for a passing Carnival Cruise ship to pick you up. What kind of paper would you take?

I am leaning towards my Namiki Falcon II fountain pen with a soft fine flexible nib, and a bottle of Iroshizuku ink. Haven't decided what color yet, but eventually I'll figure it out. And maybe some Rhodia dotPads? I just saw the large, 32 inch dotPad at the National Stationery Show and loved it!



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  2. And again, this time with the correct spelling...

    I thought this would be easy, but I appear to be spoilt for choice! I've narrowed the fountain pen down to a shortlist of my Hero 329, Sheaffer Targa 1001XG, or my Pilot 78G. I've narrowed my choice of ink down to J Herbin Vert Olive, Stipula Moss Green or PR Avocado. The paper on the other hand, is easy - it has to be my Asda Executive notebook, which has the added advantage of being almost thick enough to double as a pillow if I were to take two!

    Great post, BTW.

  3. Whew! After the Private Reserve's exhausted,the nib's damaged on that Eurobazazz pen, and the Bic ballpoints are washed away in a tidal pool, what're you going to do on that desert isle?

    I'll stick my neck out by asking for a few steel-nibbed dip pens (Herbin, Rohrer & Klingner, Hunt, etc. (?)), a good stainless steel pen knife (Boker, Case, Victorinox, Wenger, etc.), and a handbook detailing how medieval monks made ink, cut quills, etc. How 'bout that handbook printed on Rite in the Rain paper (which I haven't yet used)?

    Yeah, I'd want to talk with my travel agent after getting outta there. If I'd wanted a survivalist tour package, well---.

    A tougher exercise than I'd thought. Jack/Youngstown

  4. A hall of fame pen? I'll nominate, very tentatively, the Lindy, a disposable American-made ballpoint sold from the 1950s through the 1970s. George at MySupplyRoom has a photo of his collection of Lindys.

    The Lindy offered a variety of colors, giving it some crossover appeal to serious doodlers, and, possibly, some artists. The metal clip (silver for medium point, gold for fine) held the Lindy securely in your pocket, although it had an occasional tendency to slip. The quality of the barrel markings ("Lindy, Medium Point" etc.) was extraordinary, almost as though the manufacturer had used silver or gold leaf. The overall design was pleasing, too, much like a favored fountain pen that grabs you with its proportions.

    At 39 cents for the medium, 49 for the fine, the Lindy was double the price of the plebeian Bic, but about the same price as a name-brand refill for a retractable pen.

    My Lindy nomination is tentative because I don't have any great guesses about the criteria for a pen hall of fame. We have the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and something called the Vocal Music Hall of Fame near here, and I'm not sure anyone's happy with the selection criteria. Is selection a popularity contest? a measure of cultural significance? a payoff to constituent groups?

  5. Sorry, that's my Lindy post above.


  6. Just got a Rite in the Rain No. 311 staple-bound notebook, about 5" X 7". Extraordinary product; no humbug. Manufacturer suggests pencil or its own proprietary all-weather pen.