Tuesday, March 10, 2009
My 2nd most recent acquisition. A Sheaffer Statesman fountain pen, circa 1950.
I've been back and forth on my thoughts on vintage pens. Part of me wants to write with an unused pen - to inject it with my own creative energy, and another part of me thinks it's just so darn cool to use something that's been around for 60 years... Who used it? How did they use it? There's also a part of me that doesn't want to buy/use a vintage pen for fear of damaging it in a way that would render it useless because they are not so easy to replace.
I absolutely love the curves on this nib...
I've tried a few other vintage pens, in fact paid a small fortune to have a Parker 51 restored only to find out that I couldn't get it to write nor could I easily flush/fill it. (My inability to get it to write may have had to do with my writing angle and the way it was set up.) The filling mechanism was beyond my comprehension. I could not for the life of me get ink into that pen.
Most modern fountain pens use either a cartridge/converter system or a piston filling system. Older pens utilized a number of different filling mechanisms such as lever fill, vac fill, or in this case, a touchdown filler. Screw off the blind cap at the end of the pen and a plunger mechanism is exposed. You simply place the nib into a bottle of ink and press down on the plunger. Viola! Pen filled. Screw the blind cap closed and you are ready to go. (Wipe pen nib first.)
This is an extremely thin and lightweight pen- more so than any other I currently own. It's a smooth writer, and the sac seems to hold a reasonable amount of ink. The F (fine) nib seems to write fairly true to it's size - maybe just a little wider and wetter when filled with certain inks. (I have Diamine Imperial Purple in it right now, or I should say had.... It needs to be refilled.) Flushing is easier with this pen than with my other piston fillers.
I included this last picture because I wanted to show off the heart shaped breather hole. Love that!
I paid $30 for this pen from another pen enthusiast on the Fountain Pen Network. He had replaced the sac (commonly needed in older pens) and it was ready to go. The plastic was a bit scratched from normal use, and I was able to smooth it out somewhat with some light grit sanding paper.
I'm happy with it, and it's going to stay in my stable for at least a little while. :o)
Read more about Sheaffer Touchdown Fountain Pens Here
More pictures from this set can be found Here.