Thursday, June 18, 2015

Photos from May meeting

We had an interesting meeting last month, when our topic was Fountain Pen Sets. Twenty-one members (including new member Elina) showed up at Perks pen store on Cambie Street. Many thanks to all members who attended! Here are some photos of us and the pens we brought for the topic:

(~click on images to enlarge~)
A nice group shot taken by Richard, our meeting host at Perks. From front & center, going counter-clockwise we have Ben R., me (Maja), Mark, Greg, Kristina, Aaron, Bruce, Patti (back), Elina (front), Mido, Bethany, Bill M, Tony, Peter, Bob W and Stuart. Not pictured: Richard, Joe, James, Wei, Barry K.

Mido suggested that we reuse this old meeting theme, so he brought three nice fountain pen sets for us to see. This one is a Parker '45' set in pristine NOS (New Old Stock) condition:

Mido also brought along a nice Wearever 'Deluxe 100' set (bottom center) and a lovely Sheaffer 'Balance' set in Marine Green (bottom right):
(Photo above) Mark brought along a gorgeous Waterman CF set (bottom center) and a Parker desk set, which does fit the theme of "sets", but was the only example we saw that night. We'll have to bring back "Desk Sets" as a theme sometime, I guess!

This is a cool vintage Waterman set that Mark is showing. Note the cufflinks that came with the writing instruments!

One of our newer members, Bill Mugford, brought along a classic Parker '75' fountain pen set in stainless steel.

That Stuart's ever-growing collection of Sheaffer 'Lady Sheaffer' writing instruments above. They were introduced in the late 1950s and targeted at a female audience. Note the various finishes and designs.

I brought quite a few sets, but in my haste to photograph other pens, I forgot to snap a pic of my own. I took this shot of my lovely Parker '51 Demi' fountain pen set at home.

Monday, June 1, 2015

June meeting info!

Many thanks to all who attended the May meeting at Perks. I will post photos from it this week here on our website--sorry for the delay!
Now, here is the info regarding our June meeting.....

Date: Thursday June 18, 2015
Place: Perks pen store, 5844 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC
Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm ("early birds" welcome at 6:00pm, to chat before the meeting...but please don't show up earlier than 6:00pm :)
Theme: "Pen Maintenance 101" and Pen & Ink Swap!

Perks' resident pen repairperson extraordinaire Mark Harcourt will be giving a talk & doing a demo on pen maintenance at the June meeting, so if you are interested in learning how to clean out your fountain pens (modern and vintage) and keep them clog-free (as much as possible :) please come to the meeting and learn something new!

Also, we will be having our first-ever pen swap! This is completely voluntary, of course, but if you have some fountain pens you haven't been using and want to trade with other VPC members, please bring them with you. Ditto for any inks you want to trade. We usually do the ink swap twice a year (May and November) but we forgot to do it last month, so we'll have it in June. As always, Newest Acquisitions is our secondary topic, so if you have some new-pen related stuff you want to show, please bring it with you.

Oh, and we will be having our annual VPC Summer Dinner in either July or August, in place of a regular meeting. More info on that later this month....Hope to see you at our June meeting. No RSVPs required for meetings held at Perks!
Cheers, ~Maja

Saturday, May 2, 2015

May 2015 meeting details

Date: Thursday May 21, 2015
Place: Perks pen store, 5844 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC
Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm ("early birds" welcome at 6:00pm, to chat before the meeting).
Theme: ~ Sets Appeal! ~ (Fountain Pen Sets)

Please bring fountain pen sets consisting of a modern or vintage fountain pen with a matching ballpoint/rollerball/mechanical pencil. In other words, a fountain pen has to be part of the set. Not that we are fountain pen snobs or anything...but we're primarily a fountain pen club and I'm sure we'll see more vintage sets this way as they often included a nice mechanical pencil. I have a vintage Sheaffer Touchdown triple set consisting of a fountain pen, ballpoint and mechanical pencil, so I will bring that with me. Many thanks to Mido for suggesting the theme idea; we actually did this one a few years ago, but we have lots of new members who weren't around back then so I'm glad someone thought of it.

As always, Newest Acquisitions is our secondary topic, so if you have some new-pen related stuff you want to show, please bring it with you. If you don't have anything for the topic--no worries, just come and see what others have brought. Hope to see you there!

Best Fountain Pens Under $50 -- the winners!

Twenty-five members attended our April meeting (including newcomers Alejandra, Bob W, Raymond, and Ben H's young daughter Kelly), whose topic was "Best Modern Fountain Pens Under $50". We had some interesting candidates brought in for our show & tell, as you can see...
(click on photo to enlarge)
From left to right: two Chinese pens made by Jinhao brought in by Charles (one features a dragon and the other a cobra ... with bejeweled eyes!!!), Peter's Pilot 'Metropolitan', Penny's Noodler's 'Ahab' with Goulet 1.1mm italic nib, Barry's Lamy 'Al-Star' (note: Barry removed the black paint from the clip after it started flaking, so the clip is a now gold colour due to the brass material underneath the paint---a very cool effect), Willam's Kaweco 'Sport' demonstrator, my (Maja's) own Pilot 'Metropolitan' and TWSBI 'Diamond 530' (one of the first 300 made!), Leo's Kaigelu fountain pen (purchased in Hong Kong for $15 CAD), Stuart's Lamy 'Loom' and Sheaffer 'VFM', Peter's Noodler's 'Konrad', what looks like a Montblanc 'Jules Verne' LE (which clearly doesn't fit our topic---I believe it was someone's new acquisition ;) and Penny's Lamy 'Safari'

Other fountain pens brought in for the topic included: Catherine's Lamy 'Safari', William's Lamy 'Vista' (essentially a clear white 'Safari' model), Bob Morgan's Lamy 'Al-Star' (essentially an aluminum-bodied 'Safari'...can you tell which pen company was the winner of this theme???), Bill K's Noodler's 'Ahab', Ben H's Pilot 'Prera' and his new Pilot 'PTL-5000A', Ben's daughter Kelly's Pilot 'Metropolitan' and Kaweco 'Sport', Lawrence's Faber-Castel 'Basic', Kristina's Sheaffer '100', Bruce's Platinum 'Plaisir' and Retro 51 'Scriptmaster II', Glenn Marcus' Waterman 'Phileas' (sadly, now discontinued) and Waterman 'Kultur', Ben R's Sheaffer 'Compact' and Sheaffer 'NoNonsense', and a couple of Chinese pens brought in by Wei (a "China 2013" pen and another one---couldn't figure out the manufacturer, though). New members Alejandra and Raymond brought in pens they managed to find for less than $50--a Waterman 'Hemisphere' (purchased by Alejandra for £30 about 15 yrs ago) and a Sheaffer 'Intensity' Raymond found on sale (well done!).

Soooooo, the winner of the Best Modern Fountain Pen Under $50 was....Drumroll, please.... the LAMY SAFARI/VISTA/Al-STAR!! Second place went to the Pilot 'Metropolitan' and Third Place (a tie) to the Kaweco 'Sport' and Noodler's 'Ahab'. Many thanks to all who came to the meeting, whether you brought pens in for our topic or not! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Almost forgot! A big THANK YOU to Bob Morgan for his generosity with regard to the door prize draw held that night. Members who went home with prizes of ink and/or pens included: Kelly, Catherine, Ben R, Bill W, and Bruce. A good night for some brand-new members and one longtime member! ;)

Friday, April 3, 2015

Next Vancouver Pen Club meeting - Thursday April 16, 2015

Here's what you need to know...

Date: Thursday April 16, 2015
Place: Perks pen store, 5844 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC
Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm ("early birds" welcome at 6:00pm, to chat before the meeting).
Theme: Best Modern Fountain Pens Under $50 (please limit to 2 pens)

I was going to re-use an old theme, but then thought of this one as we've never done it before; I think it should be interesting. Initially I was going to call it "Best Modern Fountain Pen Under $50" ("pen" being singular) but I didn't want 25 people each bringing in a Lamy Safari, lol , so you can bring 2 fountain pens that fit the theme, if you want. If you just have one pen that you want to bring for the theme, that's fine! As always, Newest Acquisitions is our secondary topic, so if you have some new-pen related stuff you want to show, please bring it with you. Hope to see you there! No need to RSVP for any meeting held at Perks pen store.

The 3rd Annual Northwest Pen Round-Up! ( Saturday July 11, 2015)

Just passing along some information about this fun annual summer pen event held in Portland, Oregon sent to me by co-organizer Michael McNeil....

Michael writes:

The 3rd Annual Northwest Pen Round-Up! will be held on Saturday July 11th, 2015, at the Lucky Labrador in Portland, Oregon, from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. It is the same weekend as the largest antique show in the Northwest, the Christine Palmer Antique Show.

We had a good turnout last year. We hope to make this event even bigger this year. There were people there from B.C., Washington state, Oregon, California, and possibly from states that I was not aware of. There were plenty of fountain pens, mechanical pencils, and desk top items. There was plenty of commerce in writing instruments and plenty to buy, sell, trade, admire, learn about and discuss.

All pen collectors and users are invited, wherever you are. We do not limit this event to just people from the Northwest or the West Coast.

Admission is free. We only charge a nominal fee for vendors who want to set up. If you would like table space, please contact us early, as space is very limited.

If you would like to reserve table space please contact Stuart Hawkinson at or me -Michael McNeil- at

The address for the Lucky Labrador Brewing Co. is 1945 N.W. Quimby Street, Portland Oregon, U.S.A. The Lucky Lab offers very reasonably priced food and libations in a converted industrial space, near downtown Portland with easy freeway access.

Anyone coming should consider taking in the Christine Palmer Antique Show, at the Expo Center. It is the oldest and largest antique show in the Northwest. Early admission to the antique show is Friday and the show is Saturday and Sunday. The Summer show is the largest of their shows and has many booths indoor and outdoor. The weather in Portland is usually very mild compared to the rest of the country in the Summer. There are lots of things to do in Portland and it is often voted one of the more livable cities in the country.

A couple of photos from past Round-Ups.

Michael also wanted me to mention that longtime pen dealers Sam & Frank Fiorella of Pendemonium will be there with goods to sell. Sounds like it should be a fun time this summer at the Round-Up! Hope you can make it :)

March meeting photos - Topic: Green Fountain Pens

Twenty-four VPC members (including newcomers Ben, Bethany, Kristina, Greg, Lawrence and Nina) showed up at our March meeting to hear about our topic "Green Fountain Pens". Both vintage and modern pens were well-represented; many thanks to those who brought examples for the night's theme. No worries if you don't have anything that matches a meeting theme---just come and see what others have brought!

Now the photos (group photos by Richard, the rest by Maja) ~ Click on images to enlarge ~
Photo above: Going around the table counter-clockwise, from lower left corner: Ralph, Maja, Bethany, Penny (hiding behind Bethany), Bill M, Mido, Tony, Kiyoshi, Ben H, Glenn M, Michael Q, Lawrence, Bill S, Arvin, Kristina, Greg, Stuart, Peter and Bruce. Not pictured: Suzanne (Bill S' wife) and Richard (photographer).
Photo above: From L-R, from center of photo: Jeff, Nasya, Richard's friend Joyce and new Perks employee Assaad.
That's Mido's vintage Sheaffer flat top, a fountain pen which was first produced in 1924, and was the first successful plastic fountain pen (there's an interesting article on this model here on Jim Mamoulides' invaluable website). These particular flat-tops were made of cellulose nitrate (Sheaffer's called theirs "Radite"), a celluloid material that discoloured over time due to outgassing from the rubber sacs holding the ink. In any case, it's a classic vintage pen from a pen company that is still around!
Penny brought several green pens and you can see my own 24-pen case in the background. I forgot to snap a photo of it, but I might add one later to this post.
A close-up of the green fountain pens Penny brought. If you click on the image to enlarge it, you will see (from top to bottom) a TWSBI 'Diamond 580' in green, a vintage Waterman '3V' model, a Monteverde 'Prima' in Green Swirl, a vintage Parker striped 'Duofold', a modern Waterman fountain pen (sorry, don't know the model), a Parker Vacumatic, a vintage Wahl-Eversharp 'Skyline' and a Parker '17 Lady' fountain pen. A nice mix of modern and old pens!
Glenn M brought in some really nice modern fountain pens in green, including (from L-R in the pen case above) a three-pen modern Waterman 'Patrician' set, a lovely Satin Green Dolcevita Fusion Star (Glenn did a nice writeup on it here ), a Waterman 'Edson' set and a Pelikan M800 (I think...or it could be a M1000!).
That's Glenn trying out the green TWSBI Diamond 580 Penny brought to the meeting. It's a great value for the money, and will probably be one of the pens members bring in for this month's meeting, whose topic is "Best Modern Fountain Pens Under $50".
That's Bill S, one of our club's founding members, talking while new VPCer Lawrence looks on. Bill brought an assortment of green fountain pens:
Included in the pens Bill brought are a couple of lovely green Sheaffer 'Targa' pens, a model by ClassicPens, and some rare Parker '75' pens in green.
This is Stuart's beautiful vintage Sheaffer ringtop...Note that there is less discolouration of the celluloid material in this example compared to Mido's flat top above. Pens with no discolouration tend to fetch higher prices compared to their discoloured counterparts.
That's Bruce's Retro 51 'Double Eight' in the limited edition green colour. A lovely modern pen made of gorgeous material.
Bruce giving us a writing sample of the pen above. It's not a small pen and can be held comfortably unposted.
The ever-popular and highly-desirable Omas Arte Italiano Arco fountain pen. I believe Bruce's example in the "Verde Green" colour is the old style pen.
Now a couple of new acquisitions! The uber-cool pen above is Arvin's Visconti 'Opera Master' Demo Clear fountain pen ("Demo" being short for "Demonstrator")...
...and this is Peter's Platinum 3776 Demonstrator in Chartres Blue, a new pen he recently bought. It is filled with Noodler's Baystate Blue, a lovely ink that can stain materials, but with a blue pen that isn't so much of a worry ;) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Well, that's all for now! Our next meeting will be held on Thursday April 16th at Perks on Cambie Street, at the same time (6:30pm - 8:30 pm or so) and the topic will be "Best Modern Fountain Pens Under $50" (please limit to 2 pens). Hope to see you there!