Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas presents!

My lovely new Lamy Safari Al-star fountain pen in Ruby Red (a limited edition colour) and a bottle of Yard-O-Led blue-black ink---gifts I got from my parents for Christmas this year.

Many thanks to Perks (on Cambie Street) and the Vancouver Pen Shop for having these lovely items for sale! Cheers ~Maja

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Waterman Ad. 119 years old.

Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for the New Year!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Season's Greetings! (please note: venue change for January 2012 meeting!)

As there is no December meeting, our next meeting is Thurs. January 19, 2012, however,
please note, the meeting venue has been moved from Perks (our regular place), due to store owner Richard's vacation plans. The meeting will be held at the White Spot restaurant inside Oakridge Mall, from 6:00pm to 8:30pm. VPC members, please RSVP me re: your attendance (Yes or No) for this meeting before Saturday Jan 14th so I can re-confirm our reservation a few days beforehand.

The theme of the January meeting will be Chinese & Taiwanese Pens (in honour of the Chinese New Year), so I hope you can make it.

Many thanks to all members who took the time to come to our meetings in 2011. Your participation is what makes this group the fun club that it is :) As well, many thanks to Richard of Perks for his hospitality & support throughout the year!
Best wishes to all for a happy holiday season....See you in 2012!

(P.S. The pen in the photo above is my Retro 51 Scriptmaster)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Vintage Ballpoints--November meeting topic

(click on photo to enlarge)

Many thanks to all who attended our meeting yesterday! Special kudos to Michael for giving an excellent talk on the history of the ballpoint. Our meeting theme was well-represented with various examples of vintage ballpoints from the mid-1940s to the late 1970s.

I took a quick shot of my collection during the meeting (see above), which includes a Reynolds "Packet" ballpoint ca. 1948 (pen #1 in upper LH row), three Eversharp CA ballpoints ca. 1946-1947 (pens # 2-4 in the same row) as well as a Sheaffer Stratowriter ca. 1946--Sheaffer's first ballpoint (pen #10 in same row). The pens are in the lovely Sheaffer 48-pen case that Richard presented to me at the last meeting---I forgot to mention that earlier. Many thanks, once again, for the gift!

I fitted the Eversharp CA pens with replacement Bic refills (scavenged from those cheap Bic pens you find in hotels) and the Stratowriter with a modern Sheaffer refill with the help of a brass 'widget' purchased from All of my vintage Papermate pens work using modern Papermate refills---a wise move on that company's part! The Esterbrook "Scribe" pens work using a shaved-down Lamy M16 refill (thanks to Michael for the idea). If anyone knows of a modern refill that will fit the Esterbrook "J" series ballpoint, please let me know (contact email at top of homepage). It's a great feeling when you can get an old, neglected & forgotten pen---ballpoint or fountain pen---working again :)

~~~~ Our next VPC meeting won't be 'til Thurs January 19, 2012~~~~

~~~~Best wishes for a happy holiday season!~~~~

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Last meeting of 2011! (details re: November meeting)

Since we don't have meetings in December, this will be our last meeting of 2011 . (fear not, though---VPC meetings will resume in January 2012!)

Now, for the details of our upcoming meeting.....
Time: Thursday November 17, 2011
Place: The usual place---Perks pen store at 5844 Cambie Street (@ 42nd Avenue), Vancouver, B. C.
Time: 6:00pm-6:30pm "Meet & Greet"..... 6:30pm-8:30pm Meeting.
Theme: Vintage Ballpoint Pens (as always, "New Acquisitions" is our secondary topic)

This is the first time we've had ballpoints as our meeting theme, so if you have any older ballpoints to show (let's say pre-1980), please bring them along to the meeting (and it doesn't matter if they work or not!). I have some from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s to show, and a few from the 1970s (which is when I first started using ballpoints myself).

Many thanks to all who attended the October meeting---I posted some photos taken by Richard a couple of post down from this one (Richard apologizes for the blurry photos :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Blue Peak fountain pen (made in Wales)

Here is some information on the "Blue Peak" fountain pen that VPC member Derek L. brought to our meeting last week (our topic was Non-Parker British fountain pens). I truthfully didn't expect to see any fountain pens made in countries other than England, so it was a nice surprise to see this Welsh pen show up.

Here is Derek's photo of his "Blue Peak" fountain pen, posted with his permission (click on photo to enlarge):

This pen was made and exclusively distributed by Copigraph Ltd, Treforest, Glamorgan, Wales. It is made of Hard Rubber and has a 14ct gold nib. Treforest is a small town in Wales with a current population of around 5,000.
There is a photo of the Copigraph factory, taken in 1976, posted on this page.

Derek did some more research on the pen and found that many of the companies on the town's industrial estate (Treforest Trading estate, later renamed Treforest Industrial Estate), which played a major role in the war effort during WWII, were established by refugees from Nazi-dominated Europe. He suspects that this pen might have been made by German immigrants who moved to the area. The pen certainly looks like some vintage German-made pens I've seen. If anyone has any more info on this brand, they are welcome to contact us at

Sunday, October 23, 2011

October meeting photos

Here are some photos taken by Richard at our last meeting on October 20th (click photos to enlarge).
The topic was "Non-Parker British Pens" and, as you can see, it was well-represented with examples of many different brands, including Conway Stewart (modern & vintage), Onoto (modern & vintage), Swan, Burnham, Boots, Strand, Mabie-Todd, Summit, Osmiroid and Platignum. One of our members (Derek) brought along a "Blue Peak" fountain pen, made in Wales (update: see our Oct. 28th blog entry for more info on this pen!).

A couple of our members (Bill S---pictured below at far left---and his wife Suzanne--not in photo) handed out back issues of "Pen World" and "Stylophiles" to club members. Many thanks to Suzanne and Bill for their generous gifts!

New VPC member Dexter brought along a few A4 notebooks to give out as well (Dexter is pictured in the photo below, talking to me) Many thanks, Dexter!

(Glenn M. and Tristan)

I was surprised and touched by the special presentation of a lovely Sheaffer "salesman's" 48-pen case, given to me by Perks' owner Richard (pictured to my right) on behalf of the club, as a thank you for all my work with the VPC over the years. Many thanks for this great gift---it will be put to good use, I can assure you! :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October meeting details

Many thanks to all who attended the September meeting! Here are the details re: our next meeting:
Time: Thursday October 20, 2011
Place: Perks pen store at 5844 Cambie Street (@ 42nd Avenue), Vancouver, B. C.
Time: 6:00pm-6:30pm "Meet & Greet"..... 6:30pm-8:30pm Meeting.
Theme: Non-Parker British Fountain Pens.
(e.g. modern/vintage Conway Stewarts, Onotos & Yard-o-Led pens, as well as vintage pen-makers Burnham, Croxley, Kingswood, Mabie-Todd, Mentmore, Osmiroid, Platignum, Stephens, Summit, Wyvern & others). Thanks to our friends at the London Pen Club in Ontario for this theme idea!
As always, "New Acquisitions" is our secondary topic.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Vancouver Pen Shop's 25th anniversary (and sales!)--October 1st and the rest of October

We are fortunate to have so many nice pen stores in Vancouver, and one of them is having its 25th Anniversary Sale on Saturday October 1st. The Vancouver Pen Shop on 512 West Hastings Street will feature "special pricing" on nearly all items (*except* Montblancs, I believe) on this date (late edit: the "special pricing" applies to non-Montblanc items priced at $25 or more only) Additionally, each subsequent week in October will feature special pricing on a selected pen company brand. I believe the four brands featured will be: Lamy, Faber-Castell, Parker and Waterman (late edit: Week #1 will feature Sheaffer--not Lamy--week #2 will be Faber-Castell, week #3 will be Parker and week #4 will be Waterman. Turns out I won't be able to make it to the sale on Saturday, but I hope that you will come and take advantage of these great deals!).

Belated congratulations to Al Charania, owner of Charals pen store on his own store's 25th anniversary, back in August! I picked up a bottle of nice Montegrappa blue ink there (thanks, Al!) when I stopped to chat with Al about his shop a few weeks ago.

Fellow VPC member Glenn Marcus wrote about these two anniversaries
in this blog entry and individually about Charals' anniversary here, in this article and Vancouver Pen Shop's 25th on this page.

Best wishes to both the Vancouver Pen Shop and Charals on 25 successful years in business. In this tough economy, that's quite an achievement!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Some photos from our September meeting

Great turnout for the September 15th meeting---14 VPC members (including two new members--Sam and Dexter) and two guests (Tim & Elena Sawyer, who came all the way from Hawaii!). Tim and Elena brought macadamia nut treats, and even remembered to bring some "long-short"-style Japanese fountain pens for our theme's show & tell! We saw many examples of beautiful pens made by Nakaya, Pilot, Platinum & Sailor brought in by our members. Many thanks to all who attended!

Our next meeting is scheduled for Thursday October 20th at Perks pen store (usual place & time). Theme: Non-Parker British Pens (some examples are: modern/vintage Conway Stewart, Onoto & Yard-o-Led pens, as well as pens by vintage makers Burnham, Croxley, Kingswood, Mabie-Todd, Mentmore, Osmiroid, Platignum, Stephens, Summit, Wyvern & others). Thanks to our friends at the London Pen Club in Ontario for the theme idea!

(Photo above shows---clockwise from extreme left--- Graham, Wai, David S., Sam, Bill K., May, Maja, Bruce R., Louise, Elena Sawyer(hidden from view), Tim Sawyer, Dexter, Christopher R., Norm & Ian. Not pictured: Richard (photographer))

(photos courtesy of Richard C.)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

In the spotlight---Japanese Pens! (September meeting details)

Please note that we are back to our usual venue (Perks) for the September meeting.
I thought it was about time we had a theme devoted to Japanese pens, so here you go!

Time: Thursday September 15, 2011
Place: Perks pen store, 5844 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC
Time: 6:00-6:30pm "Meet & Greet"..... 6:30pm-8:30pm Meeting.
Theme: Japanese Pens! (modern & vintage)-- Sailor, Pilot, Platinum & more!
As always, "New Acquisitions" are our secondary topic.

Everyone is welcome to attend and no RSVPs are necessary for this meeting as it is being held at a pen store. Meetings are held monthly, on the third Thursday of each month, *except for* December....Please check our blog for last-minute schedule changes/updates.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

VPC annual summer dinner at Moxie's!

(click on photo to enlarge)

What a great time at the VPC annual summer dinner at Moxie's tonight! Many thanks to everyone for chipping in for my meal, as well as our pen club host Richard's; the sentiment was much appreciated, and the food (and company, of course!) was excellent. Our waiter Adam snapped this photo of us and it turned out to be the very last photo saved on my camera's memory card---good timing!
Next meeting: Thursday September 15th (6:30pm-8:30pm) at Perks pen store, 5844 Cambie Street, Vancouver (our usual place). Meeting theme/topic will be Japanese Pens.

Monday, August 8, 2011

For trade Nakaya portable writer

Hello Folks, well I am going to put my Nakaya up for trade again, would prefer a straight trade but would consider a sale as well.

I am sure most of you have seen my Nakaya, purchased from John Mottishaw with his lovely custom double broad stub flexible nib. My pen is in the very dark black/red finish and comes with the kimono but no box.

I am looking for a Cartier fountain pen, preferably the Diablo but will consider others and must be in good to mint condition.

thanks so much, hope your all having a lovely summer!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Some photos from our July meeting

VPC members Charles and Graham chatting. In the foreground, you can see Graham's Ink Sample Vial Holder from . Photo by Glenn M.

Maja's selection of pens brought in for the evening's theme- "Made in Canada". How many of them can *you* name?(click on image to enlarge). Photo by Glenn M.

We had good attendance at the July meeting, which was held at the Vancouver Public Library's Oakridge branch. Nineteen members in total showed up with writing instruments that matched the meeting topic/theme, as well as inks for the Ink Swap.

Our August meeting will be the annual summer dinner for VPC members (info in the group email sent to VPC members). Update: Thanks to all VPC members who RSVP'd to reserve a seat--we're all booked up now!

Regular (themed) meetings will resume on September 15 at Perks pen store at 5844 Cambie Street (our usual place). The September meeting theme will be Japanese Pens. Please check our website for any updates..

Friday, June 24, 2011

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Engraved Pens ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Thanks to all who brought examples of pens with names or initials engraved to our last meeting on June 16th. Our next meeting will be held on July 21st at the Vancouver Public Library's Oakridge branch (please see previous blog post for details).

I took a couple of quick shots of a few of the engraved pens I brought with me and wanted to share them with you (click on photos to enlarge). Normally my photographs don't turn out this good, but I had some lovely late afternoon light to help me.

The top photograph shows three vintage Sheaffers (from top to bottom: a carmine-striped Sheaffer Balance, a black Sheaffer Touchdown 'Autograph' and a marine green Sheaffer Balance 'Autograph', with their previous owners' names engraved on them.

The second photo shows two modern ballpoints (a lovely Parker Classic ballpoint in the Milleraies pattern with the name of our brother-in-law's late uncle engraved on it, and a Sheaffer '300' ballpoint with my own name engraved ---a 2010 Christmas gift from myself to myself :)

There is an excellent article on about the Sheaffer 'Autograph' and 'Signature' pens here . After purchasing one of these pen models from a Sheaffer dealer, the buyer signed a card with his/her signature on it, and then the dealer sent the pen & card to the Sheaffer pen company to be engraved by their specially-trained personnel. The result was a signature as close to the original as possible. I have a large Sheaffer flat-top with an 'Autograph' band, but its former owner chose not to have his signature engraved on it, opting for his name to be embossed on the barrel. To each his own, I guess! I personally love the look of an engraved signature (or nicely engraved initials) on a vintage fountain pen.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

July meeting info (including new venue details)

Our July meeting will be held at the VPL's Oakridge branch. Please note: this is *not* a permanent venue change; we just needed a venue with air-conditioning for this hot summer month :)

Time: Thursday July 21, 2011
Place: Community Room (Meeting Room) at the Vancouver Public Library's Oakridge branch -- #191 - 650 West 41st Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. (behind the Oakridge Mall, by Kin's Market).
Time: 6:15pm to 8:30pm
Theme: "Made in Canada"----writing instruments made in Canada, plus INK SWAP!
As always, "New Acquisitions" is our secondary topic.

By popular demand, we will be doing another INK SWAP at the July meeting. Please bring any inks you don't want with you to the meeting and trade them with a fellow VPC member for ink/inks that you *will* use! No obligation to bring any inks if you love and use *all* your inks, of course :) Bottles and cartridges for trade are both fine for the Ink Swap.

Everyone welcome to attend & no admittance fees! We are a very casual club with no membership dues, so please drop by if you are interested in joining.
Any questions? Please contact us at

VPC meetings are held monthly, on the third Thursday of each month, *except for* December. Check this website for schedule changes/updates.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

What's in a Name?? (June meeting details)

Here are the details about our next meeting....

Time: Thursday June 16, 2011
Place: Perks pen store, 5844 Cambie Street (@ 42nd Avenue), Vancouver, BC (tel# 604-266-3911)
Time: 6:00-6:30pm "Meet & Greet"..... 6:30pm-8:30pm Meeting.
Theme: Pens with Names or Initials Engraved.
I have several old fountain pens with names engraved and I tracked down some info on (what I think were) their previous owners, so I will bring it (and the pens) to the meeting. Please feel free to do the same.

As always, "New Acquisitions" are our secondary topic.

Hope to see a good turnout! (and Go Canucks Go! :)

Late addition: Here's a photo (taken by Richard) at the June meeting....
~~Click on photo to enlarge~~Pictured (clockwise from center): Glenn M.(center-with glasses), David S., Glenn C., Maja, Louise, Norm, Bill K., Bruce R., Karlo and Hillary.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

M is for Montblanc

Many thanks to all who skipped the Canucks' playoff game and came to our April meeting :) It was well-attended (14 of us showed up) and many lovely examples of stationery were displayed. Many thanks to Glenn Marcus for creating the VPC stationery and for the free samples.

Our next meeting is coming up soon, so here are the details!

Time: Thursday May 19, 2011
Place: Perks pen store, 5844 Cambie Street (@ 42nd Avenue), Vancouver, B.C
Time: 6:00-6:30pm "Meet & Greet"..... 6:30pm-8:30pm Meeting.
Please bring any Montblanc fountain pens, mechanical pencils, rollerballs and ballpoints (modern or vintage) for an informal show & tell. As always, new pen-related acquisitions are our secondary topic.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


A pen aficonado studies a nice pen, shows his approval and decides he'll just pocket it!

Watch out for this guy.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

April meeting theme-- Stationery!

Our next meeting is coming up soon, so here are the details!

Time: Thursday April 21, 2011
Place: Perks pen store, 5844 Cambie Street (@ 42nd Avenue), Vancouver, B.C
Time: 6:00-6:30pm "Meet & Greet"..... 6:30pm-8:30pm Meeting.
Theme: STATIONERY--new, different & old standbys.
Please bring examples of the kind of "fountain-pen-friendly" stationery you use. As always, new pen-related acquisitions are our secondary topic.

The photo above shows my trusty Pelikan M800 on a large notepad made exclusively for the Fountain Pen Network many years ago. It is wonderful paper for fountain pens (or any pens) and is one example I will be bringing to the meeting.

Seattle Pen Club meeting in Bellingham:

The SPC has tentatively scheduled their April 16th meeting to be held in Bellingham, WA.
Time & place: TBA (watch this space). VPC members are welcome and encouraged to attend!

Just got an email update from the Seattle Pen Club that says due to various reasons their April 16th meeting will not be held in Bellingham.

Friday, April 1, 2011

FPN limited editions from Stipula in the works

I imagine most of you fellow FPN people have seen this already, but there's voting going on for the designs for limited-edition FPN Stipula Etrurias, Model Ts, and Passaportos:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

60s-70s Montblancs (x4/22x)

I was wondering if anyone in the club has a Montblanc 14, 24, or 34, or any of the 22x (220, etc.) or similar pens from the 60s and 70s. I've been thinking of picking one up as I really like the style but after seeing a picture of a 224 next to a Lamy 2000 I'm thinking they might be too slim for me, so I'd like to handle one first.

These are the sorts of styles I'm referring to:


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A photo from last Thursday's meeting

(photo courtesy of Graham)

Thanks to all who brought Pelikan writing instruments to the March 17th meeting. In the picture above, you can see Julienne's and Glenn M's fine examples, from the trusty Pelikanos & Pelikano Jr fountain pens to the pricier piston-fillers in the Souverän line (M400, M600, M800, M1000) and the lovely Pelikan 'Cities' (Special Edition) "Piazza Novona" pen.

Our next meeting is scheduled for Thursday April 21st, at the usual place and time (Perks pen store, 5844 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC. Meeting from 6:30pm-8:30pm approx.) Our meeting theme will be Stationery (new, different & old standbys) so please bring some examples for us to see. All are welcome! Any questions? Please email us at

Friday, March 4, 2011

In like a Lion, out like a ....Pelikan???

Well, it's March already---time flies!
Here are the details re: our next VPC meeting:

Time: Thursday March 17th, 2011
Place: Perks pen store, 5844 Cambie Street (@ 42nd Avenue), Vancouver, B.C
Time: 6:00-6:30pm "Meet & Greet".....6:30pm-8:30pm Meeting.
Theme: PELIKAN WRITING INSTRUMENTS---modern or vintage (fountain pens, pencils, rollerballs or ballpoint pens).

Our secondary theme is always Newest Acquisitions, so please bring along any new pens, inks, paper, accessories, etc. that you want to show. Hope you can make it--no need to RSVP....Newcomers always welcome---just drop in and see what we're all about!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

We're famous!!!

(click on photo to enlarge)

Just a heads-up that there's a nice article about the VPC (and several other pen clubs) in the latest issue of "Pen World" magazine! Richard finally got some copies of the February 2011 issue from the distributor today at his Perks store at 5844 Cambie Street (where we usually have our meetings). I sent in the photo and a write-up about our club to the editor last summer, and have been waiting with bated breath for the issue to come out!

VPC's own Glenn Marcus did a nice write-up on the article on his wonderful blog here
Thanks, Glenn!

As you can see, our group shot is the (ahem) lead photo for the article ;)

P.S. A quick shout-out to Mike W of the London (Ontario) Pen Club for his lovely blog post entitled "Great friends are hard to find!" which can be seen here. Thank you for the kind words about our club!

Monday, February 21, 2011


Thanks to all who showed, and to Bruce for the idea of our theme for the February meeting: lacquered and overlaid pens. Here's Bill S. showing off some ornate examples:

Our other theme was 'ink swap'. What a good idea - bring your unwanted colours, and perhaps take home a prize in return. I know I did!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Large Brass German Desk Set.

Here's an historic desk set.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February 2011 meeting details

Many thanks to all who attended January's meeting at the White Spot in Oakridge, including our three new members-- Christopher, David and Mark. We had a nice turnout and saw many lovely examples of Aurora pens, both modern and vintage.

Speaking of Aurora, there is an interesting video (5 minutes long) on from the TV show "How It's Made" that shows how Aurora creates their pens, specifically the beautiful Aurora Optima. Link here: (turn on your computer speakers)

Now, here are the February meeting details:

Date: Thursday February 17, 2011.
Time: 6:00pm-6:30pm ("meet & greet"); 6:30pm-8:30pm (meeting).
Location: Perks pen store at 5844 Cambie Street (at 42nd Avenue), Vancouver.
Theme: "Decorative Pens-Maki-e, Lacquer, Enamel, Overlays & Hand-Painted"......and INK SWAP!

I'm sure we all have at least one bottle of fountain pen ink that sits on the shelf, gathering dust, lonely and unused....Well, bring it (and any other inks you don't want) with you to the meeting this month and trade with a fellow VPC member for ink/inks that you *will* use! (no obligation to bring any inks if you love and use *all* your inks, of course :) Bottles and cartridges for trade are both fine for the Ink Swap.

The main theme of the evening will be Decorative Pens, specifically ones that were made using the Maki-e process, lacquered or enamel pens, modern & vintage pens with overlays and hand-painted pens. Richard Binder's website (link: an excellent glossary if you aren't 100% familiar with some of terms above. As always, newest pen-related acquisitions are our secondary theme.

Hope to see a good turnout! No need to RSVP as the meeting is at our usual venue (ie. not at a restaurant). Many thanks, as always, to Richard of Perks pen store on Cambie Street for his ongoing support for our club!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Change of venue for January 2011 meeting

Happy New Year 2011!

Richard and his family will be taking a well-deserved holiday in Mexico next week, so the venue for our meeting on Thursday January 20th has been moved from Perks pen store to the WHITE SPOT restaurant inside Oakridge Mall (Oakridge Mall is located on 41st Ave & Cambie St. in central Vancouver). There is ample 4-hour free parking at Oakridge and the "Oakridge-41st Avenue" Skytrain stop is right in front of the mall.

Meeting time: 6:00pm-8:30pm

Richard has booked several tables (that can be pushed together to accommodate a large party of up to 20 people) in a separate dining area of the restaurant, with the agreement that some of us will be ordering food or drinks (which I think it pretty reasonable, given that we'll be in a restaurant :). Many thanks, Richard!

Don't forget to bring any Aurora writing instruments (pens, pencils, rollerballs) for our January theme, as well as any new acquisitions to show. Hope to see you there!
Update-Oct 30, 2011---Just found a photo taken by Bill K. at the January 2011 meeting above. It was held at the White Spot restaurant in Oakridge Mall and I think we all had a good time---good food, good pens & good company!
(Click on photo to enlarge):