{ Phil Olin }

Musings of a geek.

Tag: fountain pens

Festercrook, the Modern Esterbrook

Update: I would just like to make a note of the phone call I just received, from Mr. Rosenberg himself. I did not continue the call once I realized who it was because I didn’t not want to have to deal with a bully, plus I was working. Mr. Rosenberg, if you would like to have a discussion, you can use the contact page like a civilized person. Calling my personal phone is NOT fucking cool.

Oh, and if you want me to edit this post or remove it, ~~you can just go fuck right off~~ I can’t be bothered to.

The new Esterbrook company is quite the show. I remember when the new Esterbrook J pens were announced. It was a turd of a pen. A cheap Chinese pen being sold under the name of a great historic pen company. Reviews of the pen were not good. King of Esterbrook, Brian Anderson, did a review of the pen, and pretty much said it was crap.

They fell under the radar mostly. I hadn’t heard about them very much recently, but apparently Robert Rosenberg hasn’t given up. He recently put a new pen up for sale, on both eBay and Massdrop, the M-2. For “sale” for $50, the pen looks like a cheap Chinese pen that has been made to be as ostentatious as possible. A pen that you could easily find on eBay for $5.

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The drop didn’t even make it a day before the truthful but “negative” comments started coming in. For the $50 price of the drop, you can get a nicely restored vintage Esterbrook (a true Esterbrook). You’ll have a much better pen, and even some money left over. Or if one still desires a cheap Chinese pen, plenty can be found on eBay at their appropriate price point.

But the best part of the entire drop wasn’t the comments, or the fact that Massdrop closed the drop after only 10 people purchased pens, it was the after the drop was closed and then cancelled when Massdrop sent out an email to the people that were participating. I should also mention that the first 100 people to buy the pen would also get a set of ink cartridges. Ink cartridges that didn’t work with the pen they were buying.

Massdrop has deleted the listing now, so unfortunately we can’t go back to read the comments, but the email that they sent out to buyers said that Mr. Rosenberg wanted Massdrop to censor the comment section and delete everything negative about the company.

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Interesting. If you check out the company’s Facebook page, you will find it devoid of anything negative. Must be nice to be able to make your company look like a perfect little angel. Of course it also means that customers can’t see the true company.

From Esterbrook’s website:

“We are thrilled to bring back the Esterbrook brand of fine writing Instruments and we look forward to restoring this iconic name with products which utilize the Esterbrook Heritage of design and quality”

Well Mr. Rosenberg, I suggest you actually read your own statement, because you are doing a pretty shittastic job at it so far, and the majority of the fountain pen community thinks you are greedy and are just using the Esterbrook name to make some quick cash, before you sell it off like you did with Conklin.

InCoWriMo Results

InCoWriMo is over. It was a blast. Over the month I wrote 41 letters, and received 27 letters (I do expect that a few will trickle in over the next month or so). Many of the letters I received were from new people, but some were replies from letters I sent, and my usual penpals.

I got to see new inks, papers, and some beautiful handwriting. A few international letters came in. I sent only a few international letters, Australia, Slovakia, Wales, and Canada, and received some from Australia, and the Netherlands. Most of my letters incoming and outgoing were domestic letters. Next year I’ll put my address up on the InCoWriMo website, this year I only shared it on the FPGeeks forum.

I expect I’ll keep writing to many of the people that wrote to me. I’ll respond to any letters I receive. Analog correspondence is much better than anything online.

Pilot Vanishing Point in Copper

Pilot has released a new Limited Edition Vanishing Point fountain pen. This year’s color is copper. I think copper is a beautiful color, and the Vanishing Point looks fantastic in copper.

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While the pen looks fantastic, it is an expensive fountain pen, retailing around $200. As much as I’d love to have the pen, I can’t justify spending that kind of money on a pen. So for those of you that do pick it up, enjoy!

The Ink Journal

When I first bought my fountain pen, I started a small “ink review” notebook. I wasn’t happy with it though. I just wanted a simple page with a small sample of writing and if I liked or disliked the color.

I found such a page template online. It includes spaces for ink brand and name, pen and nib used, and a writing sample. Exactly what I wanted.

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I still have all the ink from the samples I ordered from Goulet Pens that I can put in the journal. The only ink that I’ve used and don’t have more of is the Lamy blue that came with my Safari. I really don’t care though, as I didn’t like the ink at all. It was a very boring and ugly blue.

Fountain Pen Ink

I ordered my first batch of ink samples for my Lamy Safari fountain pen. I placed an order for a few awesome blues, two greens and two reds. I’m eagerly awaiting filling my fountain pen with new colors. I ordered samples of Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-peki, Private Reserve Electric DC Blue, Noodler’s Baystate Blue, Diamine Oxblood, J. Herbin Rouge Hematite, Private Reserve Sherwood Green, and Private Reserve Speramint.

I really wanted to try the Diamine Sherwood Green, but it was out of stock at the time. I’m not sure which color I’m most excited to try as they are all pretty nice colors. I am slightly afraid of trying the Baystate Blue though. I’ve read plenty of horror stories about it staining everything, including the pen.

Now that the ink has arrived, Goulet Pens was fantastic, the order was placed on the 14th, arrived on the 17th, I immediately flushed out the rest of the Noodler’s black that was in my pen and cleaned the pen. I inked up the Kon-peki first, which is a very deep cerulean blue. I love it. It has nice shading and a deep saturated color. It’s an expensive ink, but I want a bottle on my desk. Up next will probably be the Diamine Oxblood.

Fountain Pens: A Different Writing Experience

I’ve never written with a fountain pen until recently. I picked up a Lamy Safari Fine point recently with a gift certificate (otherwise I probably wouldn’t have purchased it). I have to say that I’m very impressed with it. It’s easier to write with, the pen glides over the paper. No need to work the pen to get your words to appear on the paper.

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I bought a bottle of Noodler’s Bulletproof Black ink to go with the Safari. Nothing special about it, it is just a basic black ink. I didn’t want anything too fancy to start with, just to make sure I liked the pen. Aside from the basic black ink, ink selections are amazing. So many unique colors. I just recently finished the cartridge that came with the pen, Lamy blue. Now my pen is filled with Noodler’s black in a converter.

There are disadvantages to a fountain pen. Maintenance, price, leaking ink, but for once I enjoy putting pen to paper again. I’ll see how long it lasts, it could be just due to getting a fancy new pen. I feel that the advantages of a fountain pen far outweigh the disadvantages. I’m eagerly looking forward to trying out some of the more unique ink colors.

© 2017 Phil Olin

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