Saturday, May 25, 2024

June meeting at the RENFREW branch! (Thurs. June 20)

Where: The Branch Meeting Room of the Vancouver Public Library's RENFREW branch at 2969 East 22nd Avenue, in Vancouver, BC. The library is located on East 22nd Avenue, between Renfrew and Nootka.

Date: THURSDAY JUNE 20, 2024

Time: 5:00pm to 7:30pm (we have to leave the room by 7:30pm, as per the library's room rental policy)

Primary/Secondary Topics: NONE!
I thought we'd do a non-structured meeting in June, to give members more time to socialize. I think it's also a great opportunity to sell/trade pens/inks/paper as the meeting room at Renfrew is large and has lots of tables and chairs.

Hope you can make it! (no need to RSVP)
Questions? Email us at

Saturday, May 18, 2024

May meeting pics! (Topic: Design Features You Like in a Fountain Pen)

Our May meeting was held at the Kitsilano branch of the Vancouver Public Library on Thursday the 16th. Seventeen members were in attendance, including two brand-new members (Christina and Mmina).

The meeting's primary topic was "Design Features You Like in a Fountain Pen" and we saw several examples, as well as some new fountain pens that our members recently acquired. I took some photos during our meeting, so here they are!

(all photos by Maja ~ please click on images to enlarge)
Clockwise around the table, from lower left corner: Asifa, Nathan, Stuart, me (Maja), Grant, Christopher, Phil, Peter R, Paul, David C, Hadi, Jerred, Peter H, and Christina (missing from photo: Mmina, Shona and James, who arrived later).

The design features mentioned by our members (for our primary meeting topic) ranged from favourite filling systems and materials to decorative elements and favourite colourways. For my examples, I brought the top two pens above - my Magna Carta 'Sapphire Grand' brown demonstrator fountain pen (because I love how its coppery-brown nib colour matches the pen's metal trim--an aesthetically-pleasing design choice) and my Penlux 'Masterpiece Grande' Blue Swirl fountain pen, whose grip section matches the rest of the pen body (another feature I love). Grant brought in a handsome Parker 'Vacumatic' Golden Pearl (third pen from the top) because he's a huge fan of the Vacumatic's patented filling system, and he likes the size of this Vac model. 

Our secondary topic (which is always "Newest Acquisitions") was also well represented; among other new writing instruments we saw were Christopher's beautiful sterling silver vintage mechanical pencil, also seen above. I should have photographed both sides of it because I believe it’s a demonstrator model, used to show customers its inner workings.

Two more new purchases --a very cool modern Wahl-Eversharp 'Skyline Technik' fountain pen in shiny black aluminum belonging to Phil, and my bright red Kaweco AC Sport, which I bought online from Blades Canada this week.

The lovely vintage Pelikan in the middle is Shona's '400NN' model. Shona said that she likes it when piston-filling fountain pens have an ink view window, so you can tell how much ink is left in them. Some pen barrels---like her Pelikan's---are translucent, though, which also allows the pen's user to see the ink level.

Another new acquisition belonging to Phil---a vintage Parker '51' fountain pen in the rare Plum colour! Phil found the pen --in its original cardboard presentation box--- at the annual Fraser Valley Antiques & Collectables Club Show last month. I love the shape of the box's sleeve, which is a tribute to Parker's famous "arrow", a design feature found on Parker clips.

Peter R's gorgeous new Aurora '88' (top pen) and James' new Asvine 'P20' fountain pen.  This attractive (and economical!) piston-filling Asvine has been getting great reviews, including this one on YouTube, done by our fellow pen club member, Nathan.

Above: Paul's newest acquisitions, including two fountain pens he found at a Muji store-- a white plastic Muji-branded Platinum 'Preppy' and the well-known & well-loved Muji metal fountain pen (middle pen). The shiny hammered copper pen was given to Paul by his nephew, who made the pen using pen kit parts (the barrel and cap body were made by hand, though, not pre-made).

That's James' eye-catching Opus 88 'Demo' Red fountain pen at the top of the photo (James loves that the pen is a bulk-filler, but wishes there was an all-ebonite version) and, below it, Jerred's newest Delta fountain pen, a beautiful green marbled ‘Write Balance’. This unusual Delta model has a weight-balancing system -- a small metal weight hidden in its barrel's blind cap, which allows the user to adjust the pen's balance to their liking. Jerred mentioned that he liked pens with hourglass-shaped grip sections, such as the one on his new Delta.

The pen on the bottom is, of course, a classic vintage Parker 'Duofold' belonging to David C., who is an avid fan of vintage Parkers. David is a huge Parker 'Vacumatic' fan, but he said he brought in this 'Duofold' for our primary topic because he liked its girthiness. David also brought a Sheaffer 'Snorkel' (not pictured) and told us how much he admired its unique filling mechanism.

Above: Another Opus 88 fountain pen —new member Mmina's nice blue 'Koloro' (she likes the ink shut-off valve feature, as it allows you to prime the nib)  — and one of Hadi's favourite fountain pens, the sterling silver Parker '75' Cisele that was his first fountain pen.

Hadi also showed us an Asvine V200 fountain pen (top pen), a Titanium and clear resin-bodied demonstrator that uses a vacuum-filling system. Hadi's particular example has a replacement Bock Titanium nib. You can purchase the pen with a stock Asvine nib or pay extra for a Bock steel nib. Hadi opted for the latter, bought the Bock Titanium nib separately, and then swapped the steel one out. It's a very cool nib on a cool-looking fountain pen.

The three pens below it belong to Asifa, who got them for free from Jessica at our last meeting! The attractive red fountain pen with cream-coloured ends is the ubiquitous Jinhao 'Century 100'. I'm not sure what brand the other two pens are, but the cute light blue Lamy Safari clone has a rainbow-coloured nib

(a closeup of Hadi's Asvine V200, showing the Titanium trim and section)

Above: My little red Kaweco 'AC Sport', next to another pocket pen, Nathan's stainless steel Gravitas ‘Pocket Pen’. Nathan explained how well-made the Gravitas was, with its expertly-machined cap & barrel threads, and excellent cap seal --  features crucial to producing a well-performing pen. 

Nathan also brought a newer pen to show us, his Ensso 'Bolt' (not pictured), a bolt-action capless retractable fountain pen that was introduced via Kickstarter. The pens haven't been shipped out to Kickstarter supporters yet (that's happening this summer) , but Nathan got a sneak preview for his YouTube channel and did a review of it there.

  Last, but not least, here are some of the fountain pens that Stuart brought! (I didn’t photograph his newest Parker ‘51s). The middle one is Stuart's brand-new Graf von Faber-Castell 'Tamitio', purchased from the Vancouver Pen Shop. Flanking it are two pens that have design features that Stuart really likes--a glossy black Sheaffer 'Snorkel' with a wide cap band (Stuart said that it makes the pen look longer when posted...and it does!) and a stunning Montblanc 'StarWalker Doué' (pen at top of photo). Stuart liked how Montblanc cleverly incorporated its famous snowflake logo into the cap's finial as a snowflake suspended in clear resin.

Many thanks to everyone who came to the meeting on Thursday! Special thanks to VPC member Steve --who couldn’t make it to the meeting-- for the door prize fountain pens and free ink flush (both of which he also gave away at April’s meeting), as well as to Christopher for donating a cancer charity novelty ballpoint prize.

I'll post the details about our June meeting once I finalize the venue booking. Have a happy & safe Victoria Day long weekend, everyone!

( ~Blog post by Maja~ )

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Our next pen club meeting is tomorrow (Thursday May 16th) at the Kitsilano branch of the Vancouver Public Library! All details in this post:

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 518

Here's another installment of our virtual show & tell, this time featuring a vintage fountain pen with an interesting filling system, recently acquired by Christopher!

(photos courtesy of Christopher ~ please click on images to enlarge)

Christopher writes: "When the word ‘Rexall’ comes up, most can only think of one thing, and that is drugstores. Still, I am sure a lot do not know the history behind the name. As the story goes, in 1902 Louis Liggett, founder and CEO of the United Drug Company, persuaded all of 40 druggists to invest in a drug company that would manufacture and distribute products in franchised stores. This franchise was branded ‘Rexall’, as were the products sold. The business saw wings and Rexall became a household word with the invention of the drugstore, which spread all over North America

One of the many Rexall products was a quality line of fountain pens, which saw many different models over the years. My Rexall pen is a sleeve filler --referred to on its barrel as a ‘Self Filler’-- and was made by the Samuel Ward company of Boston, but supplied to the United Drug Company by De Witt-La France company of Cambridge, Massachusetts for United to retail under their Rexall branding throughout their extensive line of drugstores in North America."

"The pen in question is an early black hard rubber model, with a beautifully chased finish on both cap and barrel. The cap is long and clipless, but covers a grip section sporting a superb 14K Gold super flexy, high quality Warranted nib. Moving aft, the barrel houses a movable sleeve under which is a nickel-plated tube with a oval hole at the mid point. In this hole is a long flat metal bar under which is the ink sack. By pressing down on the bar --having been exposed by sliding down the sleeve on the barrel-- a thumb can be used to depress the bar expressing the air out of the ink sack. This, in turn, allows the sack (through capillary action) to suck in ink when the pen is inserted into an ink bottle. The system works extremely well, as does the pen to write with.

Personally, I have only come across one other sleeve filler, a Waterman. Subsequently, it is not a stretch of faith to realize that fountain pens with sleeve fillers are somewhat rare. This fine quality vintage writing instrument posts at all of six and a half inches, but caps back responsibly to five and an eighth inches. The overall condition is, for all of its many years of service, very fine and, I am pleased to add, will make a excellent addition to my vintage pen collection."

Congratulations to Christopher on a very nice vintage find, and our thanks to him for sharing it on our club's blog!

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

May meeting info (back to our usual day + time)!

May 2024 meeting information:

Where: Branch Meeting Room (in the basement) of the Vancouver Public Library's KITSILANO branch at 2425 Macdonald Street (between Broadway and West 8th) in Vancouver.

Date: Thursday May 16, 2024

Time: 5:00pm to 7:30pm
(we'll have access to the room at 5:00pm, but the meeting won't start until 5:30pm or so)


If there's some design feature(s) you like in fountain pens, please bring a couple of examples to show us. We've never used this topic before, so it'll be fun to see what people bring in!

Secondary Topic: NEWEST PEN-RELATED ACQUISITIONS (don't worry if you don't have any :)

No need to RSVP---just drop in! Any questions? Send us an email at: