Thursday, April 30, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 6

Now, here's one of my recent acquisitions---a Cross 'Bailey Light' fountain pen:

(all photos by Maja ~ click on images to enlarge)

A few weeks ago, I got an email from Staples advertising their latest in-store sale. Their "fine writing instruments" weren't included in the sale (they never seem to be on sale) but on a whim, I decided to see what they carried online. I was surprised to see that the Cross 'Bailey Light' writing instruments were available as I'd never seen them at any of their brick & mortar stores (I was even more surprised to see that they carried the fountain pens, in addition to the ballpoints!). At $19.99 CAD plus tax, their price for the fountain pen was excellent (I couldn't find a lower price anywhere) so I ordered one in grey, paid for it online and picked it up (curbside) the next day at my local Staples branch. Quick and easy!

True to its name, it's a light fountain pen, but well-balanced and the perfect size for my hands when posted. The grey material is a high-gloss resin and the polished chrome trim is very shiny. The pen, however, did have some ink flow issues. After a minor bit of nib work on my part, the pen writes well with no start-up issues now, and has become a very reliable daily user. My pen came with a Medium nib (there was no other option on but according to, the 'Bailey Light' comes in three nib widths-Medium, Fine, and Extra Fine.

On a side note, also carries the all-metal 'Bailey Medalist' fountain pen, but this cousin of the 'Bailey Light' is roughly 1.5 times its weight. Both fountain pens take Cross' proprietary cartridges or a Cross converter (my pen didn't come with a converter--just one black ink cartridge).
(photos and mini-review by Maja)

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 5

Thank you to everyone in our club who sent in photos of their newest pen-related purchases. I'm going to continue posting photos every other day until we run out and/or our meetings resume :)

Now, here's one of Stuart's newer acqusitions - an elegant Lamy 'Dialog 3' fountain pen in "Piano White", purchased at the (still-open!) Vancouver Pen Shop in downtown Vancouver....

(all photos by Stuart ~ click on images to enlarge)

The 'Dialog 3' is a capless fountain pen with a retractable nib and clip. The mechanism---made up of 40 metal parts---is complex in its design, and yet simple in its execution; turning the barrel a mere half-turn causes the nib to glide out of the barrel. Stuart's thoughts: "I find the nib mechanism very smooth and definite in its action. The sets of parallel lines on the top surface of the halves of the barrel indicate when the nib is retracted and the barrel properly aligned. The forward portion of the clip lowers into the barrel slightly, with the rest staying on the surface. I’m not bothered by the clip; I have to negotiate the clip of the Pilot Vanishing Point when I write with that pen, as it’s narrower in body than the Dialog 3."

Stuart also provided us with a writing sample using Graf Von Faber-Castell's "Viper Green" fountain pen ink (seen above). He summarizes the writing experience concisely: "It’s quite a pen, weighty but balanced, and the girth makes it easy to hold."

For more information on the many design features of this German-made/Swiss-designed writing instrument, go to Lamy's official page. Many thanks to Stuart for his photos and thoughts on his new fountain pen!

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 4

It's nice to see so many acquisitions of lesser-known fountain pens in our virtual "show & tell"! Here's another one, courtesy of Jerred - a glossy, red-marbled Filcao 'Roxi' fountain pen:

(all photos by Jerred ~ click on images to enlarge)

From Jerred: "This is my first Filcao pen. Filcao was an Italian brand founded in 1963, owned by Franco Grisolia. Unfortunately, Mr. Grisolia passed away in 2012, and none of his family members wished to take over the business, so it has closed. One of the unique things about Filcao was that they would use materials originally produced for eyeglass/sunglass frames, with various types of acetates and acrylic resins in their pens."

More from Jerred: "This particular pen is called the Roxi. At the time it was released, this was one of Filcao's top end pieces, and the Roxi model featured 14k gold nibs and piston-fill mechanisms. I'm unsure if this particular example is an acetate or acrylic, but the colour is called Cardinal Red. The nib was reasonably smooth and the piston fill mechanism works well, but there's no ink view window. Regardless, a very lovely pen."

Thank you very much for sharing your new find with us, Jerred, and for all your great VPC meeting theme/topic suggestions over the years!

Friday, April 24, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 3

Today's featured newest acquisition is a vintage Sheaffer 'Admiral Touchdown' "Nurse's" fountain pen owned by Christopher:

(~ photo by Christopher ~ click on image to enlarge~)

Christopher's notes on his Sheaffer Admiral Touchdown Nurse’s pen from the early 1950s:
"The pen originally came from the UBC Nursing school, a school that one of my older sisters, Jill, attended at about that time. The pen was in amazingly good condition seeing as it has a sheet white finish. Plus the 14K all gold screw in nib with feed had been responsibly cared for. The only drawback which I think I have properly dealt with was a small open end cap crack. This I covered with a wider but most attractive steel cap band (to match the rest of the fittings). I do like the white with polished steel. Looks very much the part for any RN from that period. As for a writer, it is just the best and I have it inked up and am using it in my current line up of pens for this week."

These fountain pens also came in a set which included a mechanical pencil and thermometer holder (photos of set here). All three pieces were white in colour, befitting their use in the medical profession.

Congratulations on a really interesting vintage find, Christopher, and thanks for sharing it with us!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 2

Continuing on with our virtual "show & tell", we have a lovely modern Italian fountain pen recently acquired by one of our newer members, Louise:

(~ photo by Louise ~ click on image to enlarge~)

In Louise's words: "It’s a Santini Libra in Cherry Ebonite (LE of 33). It arrived in a giant wooden box. I got a fine flex nib and while I haven’t gotten a chance to use it extensively yet, I’m finding the nib lovely. I don’t have many flex nibs to compare it to though. It’s a piston filler and it’s got that ratchet thing to prevent you from overturning the piston. It’s pretty light. I’ve filled it with Montblanc Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Good match, I think! Looking forward to playing around with this more."

Many thanks, Louise, for sharing one of your newest pen purchases with us! For more information on the Santini pen company, check out their website here.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 1

Although our primary theme/topic changes with each pen club meeting, our secondary theme/topic is always "Newest Acquisitions". A few days ago, VPCer René suggested doing a virtual "Show & Tell" featuring our members' newest acquisitions here on our pen club's blog. I thought it was a great idea, so every couple of days, I will be posting a photo or two of a new pen-related item recently acquired by one of our members.

To kick things off, here is one of René's newest pen-related purchases - a very cool-looking (unrestored) vintage Wahl-Eversharp 'Streamliner' fountain pen:

(all photos by René ~ click on images to enlarge)

René writes :"The Streamliner was introduced as a budget version of the Wahl-Eversharp Skyline, using much less gold in the trimmings. Oddly it's rarer than the Skyline, especially with the grooved cap. This is the 99L model (full size, no warranty, no "double-check" on the clip), and the derby plastic had shrank a little and needed a few rounds of teflon tape to secure it to the cap body, and there are a few tiny dents, but is in otherwise great shape."

Many thanks to René for this blog theme idea and his contribution to it!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Economy models

Since our pen club meetings are temporarily on hold due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, I thought I'd post a couple of photos that longtime VPC member Christopher sent me a few days ago. Both are photos of what I'd call "economical" fountain pens---inexpensive models that were meant for everyday use. Many thanks to Christopher for the photos and captions.

(click on images to enlarge)

In Christopher's words: "I do remember the Scripto brand both in pens and mechanical pencils being available at drug stores in the 50s and early 60s. Also, one of the private boys’ school I boarded at carried the Scripto leads in the tuck shop...Interesting fountain pen, nice colour and extremely unusual pinched clip, cap. The nib is nothing special but it writes OK."

Christopher, regarding the burgundy Arnold fountain pen above: "I made a display box to house it in. I do that with pens I particularly like but more as examples than items I want more of. The deep burgundy colour of this pen’s finish is noteworthy while the fittings are gold filled. I usually will replace a steel nib on a vintage pen but if the nib is branded by the manufacturer I leave it be. So - steel nib but carrying the Arnold name."

For more information on Scripto and Arnold fountain pens, check out the entries in the "Glossopedia" section of Richard Binder's excellent pen blog (Scripto info and Arnold info).

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Blackwing pencils

(click on image to enlarge)

While waiting for my new Blackwing pencils (Volume #840) to arrive from Ontario, I thought I'd post a quick photo of the rest of my Blackwing collection (if you're wondering why these wooden pencils have a cult-like following, check out the little write-up I did on them here).

The numbers on the pencils refer to their Volume numbers and the Japanese graphite in them ranges from Soft to Extra-Firm (with Balanced and Firm in between), so there's something to please everyone. For more information on these iconic pencils, click on the official Blackwing link above, or go to Jet Pens' guide to Blackwing pencils.