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Pen Views

February 2010

Our First Fountain Pen, What a Memory!

 

The theme of of the January meeting of the Vancouver Pen Club was "first pens".

Each member of the group shared their experience of their first pen with many having the pen with them at the meeting to show.

I found this to be a very interesting topic from a number of perspectives. I went into the back pack of my pen collection and brought out my first pen. Cleaned it up, used it for the week to get ready to show. But even more interesting was listening to the stories that each pers told about the first pen.

As individuals talked about their first pen I was moved with the linkage of personal events and the the pen

"... I received my Parker 51 as a graduation gift from my dad, we each received one..."

 

You could substitute Parker 51, Sheaffer Touchdown or a variety of names. While Parker and Sheaffer were repeating among the most named brands, it was the event and the memory that still remains with the person which is so important.

 

"... my dad took me to the stationary store to pick out a pen..."

 

Memories like picking out my pen really brought to the light the diffrences of today, with disposable pens, to a time when picking out a pen to keep was an event. A particular pen was selected, and thenit became their pen. Big difference from today when for so many, picking out a pen means what evern pen is in the workplace stationary supplies.

 

"... of course I wrote with Sheaffer Peacock Blue ink..."

 

Not only where there memories of the first pen, who gave it to them, how they selected it, but also of the writing experience. Right down to the brand and colour of ink.

And yes, I remember writing with Sheaffer Skript Peacock Blue. What a colour!

So at the meeting we each had our turn and talked about, and for many showed, our first fountain pen.

The pens all had good signs of regular use. The fact the pens are still being used today speaks to the quality of pen manufacturing at the time.

For me, I remember using a Sheaffer cartridge pen in elementary school. The school had just switched from fountain pens filled with bottled ink to using pens with a cartridge.

Teachers would no longer use the large glass bottles of ink to fill up in the individual bottles of ink that nicely fitted into the ink bottle holding hole in the wooden desk tops. I don't really count that as my first pen.

Parker 75My first pen was the Parker 75, Sterling Silver, Cisele Pattern in Vermeil. That was my first "serious pen".

The Parker 75 was commissioned by Kenneth Parker, the company president, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Parker. At the time, it was considered a big pen, but rather stylish and slim. The pen is sterling silver, with an attractive cut-grid pattern. The Parker 75 was produced in a variety of finishes and lasted the test of time as it was in production for about 30 years.

To get ready for the Vancouver Pen Club meeting I cleaned the pen up and have used it to write with during the week. Still writes like a charm.

I too remember pens my dad had noted I should have of his when he passed away. Those are also be special.

 

Giving one of your pens can be something that will be remembered for many years.

Enjoy your pens! Your pen, an expression of you.