Saturday, August 24, 2019

September meeting info (NEW DATE & VENUE!)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Please note new DATE & venue! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


When: FRIDAY September 13 from 6:00pm to 9:30pm (we have the use of the room until 9:30pm, but I imagine we'd be finishing up at around 9:00pm...and please don't worry if you're late as we usually start at around 6:30 pm) .

Where: KITSILANO YACHT CLUB, 2401 Point Grey Road, Vancouver, BC (just west of Kitsilano Beach). Many thanks to Daryl for booking this lovely venue for our club's meeting!

Topic/Theme: "Good Luck!" (pen experiences in which the element of luck has played a part)

This could refer to pens that we've come across purely by luck .....or "sumgai" finds--pens acquired for a ridiculously low price----or any pen-related situation where luck has played a part. Please bring examples of pens that match the theme (if you have any---hopefully you've had /some/ good luck pen-hunting/pen-buying/repairing pens!) Many thanks to Bill Kempton for the theme idea (which is, of course, a twist on the Friday the 13th superstition re: bad luck :).

Our secondary topic is always NEWEST ACQUISITIONS (pen-related)---eg. new pens/inks/paper/pen cases/other accessories/etc---so if you have any you wish to show, please bring them with you.

Hope you can make it to our next meeting! No need to RSVP for this meeting or any other not held at a restaurant. Any questions or concerns? Please let me know at

Friday, August 23, 2019

More Sheaffer desk sets!

If you read this blog regularly, you know that one of our members (Stuart) has been slowly building a nice collection of vintage Sheaffer desk sets (previous posts about them here and here). Stuart brought a couple of his recent desk set acquisitions to our July meeting, but (likely due to their weight), I don't think they were passed around the table during our meeting, so they weren't included in the July meeting pics previously posted on this blog. I asked Stuart if he could photograph them at home and send me some photos to put on our website, and he was kind enough to do so...

The first one is a mid-’60’s Sheaffer desk set with a gold-plated Sheaffer 'Imperial' pen with a 14 karat inlaid nib, in pristine condition:

(~click on photos to enlarge images~)

The second Sheaffer desk set is a much older one, from the 1920s or 1930s:

Stuart writes: "The pen has a red band around the base of the taper, where it screws into the barrel. I asked the FB pen group about this, and it was to signify the pen was for use in bookkeeping, for entering debit items in red! And apparently my pen is a marriage with the Radite base - red-band pens came in two-pen desk sets, and were the left-hand pen. The lip of its holder was also red."

Most recently (ie. since our July meeting), Stuart acquired another handsome Sheaffer desk set:
Isn't it a looker??
Stuart writes: "The base is mirrored canary-yellow glass, with a pen groove cut in it. It was offered by an eBay dealer in Albuquerque. The lever-filling pen is restored, and has a typical Sheaffer firm Fine point. I put pics up on FB, and desk-set collector Roger Wooten told me the set was first offered in 1936 and ’37, and was priced at $12.50. He also said they aren’t uncommon but are more desirable than most sets."
Many thanks, Stuart, for sharing your photos with us...and congrats on these great online finds!

Webster 'Skyrocket' fountain pen (ca. 1950s)

Our July meeting theme featured writing instruments related to astronomy/space and we saw some interesting examples brought in by our members. Longtime VPC member Christopher meant to bring a certain fountain pen with him for the meeting theme, but, unfortunately, left it at home. He was kind enough, though, to send me a photo of it here it is - a 1953 deep maroon Webster 'Skyrocket' model---a 1950s Space pen!

(~click on photos to enlarge~)

Christopher writes: "For me this point has a very big ‘Wow’ factor in that I love the 1950s Space Design! Being a collector of vintage toys like the Rocket Radio and Marx Space playset figures (one that I have featured complete with his rare clear plastic helmet) with the Webster pen, I fell head over heels re this pen the second I saw it. Easily restored and the quality isn’t bad at all but better still the plastic took to polishing extremely responsibly! The unit has an ink view section window so I resacked it with a standard black rubber sac but will resack it again when I get my hands on a clear plastic transparent sac. I did have to replace the feed since the one in the pen had shrunk but it is now working well."

Christopher continues...

"Oh, and just in case you are unfamiliar with what a Rocket Radio is, I have attached a snap of one like mine. Way back when I was boarding at private school, boys could acquire these little radios from most any corner store. They were cheap, maybe just under a dollar and they came with an earphone, a reception wire with a clip at the end (which you had to clip onto something metal) and to change or turn in the stations, you just pulled the rod in and out of the top of the rocket. Primitive, mind you, but they worked. So lads after lights out and in their beds could secretly enjoy the ‘Top 40’ but had to be very careful not to get caught!!!! I think I mentioned these radio toys in one of my Athlone books. The one I have now is from 1959 and is mint and in its original box."

Christopher's Rocket Radio:

Many thanks to Christopher for sharing his photos and memories of these cool space-related items from the 1950s!

July 2019 Meeting Pics ~ Part 2

Some more photos from our July meeting, this time courtesy of Ricardo!
(part 1 of our July meeting pics posted here)
(~all photos courtesy of Ricardo ~ please click on photos to enlarge~)

Our primary theme for this meeting was "ASTRONOMICAL!" (large fountain pens & any type of pens relating to space/astronomy) . Jerred brought in a few large fountain pens for the theme, including this lovely Delta Limited Edition pen from their "Indigenous People" line. This one is the Kanaka Maoli "Hawaii" model:
As you can see, it is quite a large writing instrument...
Another large fountain pen that Jerred brought in for our main topic was this giant Japanese eyedropper-filler!
Our secondary meeting topic/theme is always "Newest Acquisitions", such as Mary Anne's new Esterbrook "Estie" fountain pen. which she is holding here:
Mary Anne's Esterbrook 'Estie' in the "Blueberry" pattern:
That's our club's founder, Tim Conklin, in the middle talking about the pens he brought in to show:
Tim holding up his favourite writer - his vintage Waterman '94' fountain pen (there's a better photo of the pen in Part 1 of our July meeting pics):
Jenny (middle) talking about some pens she brought in:
Our meetings are done in a 'show & tell' format which allows everyone who has something for the primary or secondary topics to tell us a little bit about what they brought to the meeting. This is the largest fountain pen Jenny owns---a gorgeous Visconti 'Homo Sapiens' "London Fog" Limited Edition:
This lovely demonstrator fountain pen uses celluloid strands embedded in the clear acrylic barrel to create a swirly, fog-like effect....
...and only 888 pieces were made worldwide...
Brand-new VPC member Dion (center) brought in some really nice fountain pens, including a Platinum Century '3776' and a Pilot 'Vanishing Point' (which are in Part 1 of our July photos)...
One of his newer/newest acquisitions was this fluorscent orange Caran d'Ache '849':
Ben checking his cel phone while Mindy (with cap) talks to Maja & Jacqueline...
Ben brought his titanium Namisu 'Nexus Minimal' fountain pen, which was a Kickstarter campaign (now closed). According to the manufactuer "The Nexus’s ergonomic body, born of one seamless arc, fits naturally in your hand. It is precision machined from aircraft grade 6061 aluminium or Grade 2 Titanium. This means that it is carved from solid bar of metal, rather than through complex moulds or mass production techniques; just a CNC controlled blade taking away metal one pass at a time."
That's me (Maja) holding up the largest fountain pen I own--a bright orange fountain pen adorned with metal dragons on the cap & barrel made by Namixin, a Chinese manufacturer (the pen is in the very last photo of Part 1 of our July meeting pics):
(L-R) Maja, Jacqueline, Rene, Daryl and Justin. Rene brought in lots of pen-related items for our primary theme as well as some recent acquisitions from the recent 2019 Northwest Pen Round-Up! in Portland. You can see some of those items in Part 1 of our July meeting pics...
Justin's newest acquisition---a glossy black Montblanc '147' (aka "Traveler) fountain pen. The model's name refers to its portability during traveling in that it's a cartridge/converter (rather than a piston-filler requiring bottled ink):
Going around the table (L-R): Tim, Jenny, Mindy, Dion, Stuart...
...Jenny, Mindy, Dion, Stuart, Ben...
...Stuart, Ben, Maja, Jacqueline...
...Jacqueline, Rene, Daryl, Justin and longtime VPCer Bruce:
(L-R) Forbes Benning, longtime VPC member Christopher, and Jerred:
Forbes is a member of the London Pen Club, which meets weekly at a cafe in London, Ontario. Many thanks to Forbes for coming to our meeting and letting us know about the "fountain pen-friendly" Muji paper he bought at one of the Muji stores in town!
Jerred inspecting a fountain pen nib...
(L-R) Tim, Dion and Jenny:
Jenny's 'Momento Zero' Limited Edition (LE) in orange ebonite made by the Italian pen company Leonardo Officina Italiana. This LE was specially made for the Dutch pen store Fontoplumo in very low #s (reputedly only 20 pieces were produced worldwide!)...
Jenny's ebonite 'Momento Zero' LE in the middle, flanked by Ricardo's new "Momento Zero" in the "Hawaii" pattern and his bright yellow 'Momento Zero' "Yellow Brick Road" LE made for the Dutch pen store Fontoplumo (a scant 15 pieces of the chrome-trim model were made!)
Ricardo's wonderful pen drawings...all done during our meeting!
Many thanks to Ricardo for the great photos he took and shared with us and, of course, many thanks to everyone who came to our July meeting :)

Thursday, August 22, 2019

July 2019 meeting pics - Part 1

Our July meeting was held at the Kitsilano branch of the Vancouver Public Library on Thursday July 18th. Sixteen VPC members were in attendance (including one new member--Dion) as well as two guests--Forbes Benning from the London (Ontario) Pen Club, and Jacqueline from Montecristo magazine. Many thanks to all who attended, from near & far! :)

(L-R) Jerred, Ricardo, Mary Anne, Tim, Jenny, Mindy, Dion, Stuart, Ben, Maja, Jacqueline and René (photo courtesy of Forbes) (~click on photos to enlarge~)

I snapped some photos during the meeting of writing instruments related to our meeting theme-- "ASTRONOMICAL!" (large fountain pens & any type of pens relating to space/astronomy)---as well as our members' Newest Acquistions (always our secondary theme)...
(Above) Mary Anne's lovely new Esterbrook 'Estie' fountain pen in the "Blueberry" pattern. This is a recent model produced by the modern Esterbrook pen company

(Above) Newcomer Dion brought some classic modern fountain pens to the meeting, including this black Pilot 'Vanishing Point' (middle pen) and black Platinum 'Century' 3776. The bright orange fountain pen is a Caran d'Ache 849---a recent acquisition
(Above) Stuart's Speedball' fountain pen---very large vintage fountain pen with a very unusual nib
(Above) Ricardo's gorgeous new 'Momento Zero' fountain pen in the "Hawaii" pattern and another recent acquisition-- his bright yellow Pelikan M205 'DUO' (which can be filled with highlighter ink or fountain pen ink!)
(Above) René's mix of Newest Acquisitions and writing instruments related to our meeting theme of pens related to space/astronomy---(L-R) a DaniTrio 'Cum Laude' (large pen brought in for our topic), a Sailor 'ProGear Slim' in the "Purple Cosmos" colour, a Platinum 'Procyon' (Procyon being the brightest object in the constellation of Canis Minor, and usually the eighth-brightest star in the night sky), a Swan 142 (or 52 ??) vintage fountain pen recently acquired in Portland at the Northwest Pen Round-Up! and a vintage Sheaffer in black chased hard rubber (recently acquired at the Portland event, as well)
(Above) One of Tim's favourite writers---a vintage Waterman '94' (top pen) and two vintage Esterbrooks acquired by René at the Round-Up! in Portland in July (a red Esterbrook 'Dollar Pen' and a green icicle 'LJ' model)

Two more of Mary Anne's recent acquisitions---a gorgeous modern Waterman 'Carene' fountain pen in "Marine Amber" and a vintage Conklin 'Crescent-filler' in black

Ben's cool Namisu 'Nexus Minimalist' fountain pen made of titanium, which was part of a Kickstarter campaign...

(Above) Visconti size comparison! (L-R) Maja's Visconti 'Divina' in the "Desert Springs" Special Edition, Bruce's Visconti 'Opera Master' in the "Guilloche" pattern, and Jenny's Visconti 'Homo Sapiens' "London Fog" Limited Edition
(Photo above) I realized I (Maja) hadn't snapped any photos of the pens I brought to the July meeting, so I took a quick shot of them at home. (L-R) My largest fountain pens--vintage flattops by Swan and the National Pen Company, Laban 'Mento', Jinhao '159', Wality '71JT', Stipula Etruria and a Namixin dragon pen. Pens related to space/astronomy--Aurora 'Optima', Platinum 'Procyon', Fisher 'Space Pen' ballpoint, Retro 51 'Apollo 11' capless rollerball & Lanbitou 'Pocket Rocket' fountain pen. The two pens at the very top were part of Sheaffer's "Star Wars" 'Pop' writing instruments theme ("Snoopy" pen wrap courtesy of my wonderful mother-in-law :)

Thanks to everyone who attended this fun meeting! Part 2 of the July meeting photos posted here!