BY DON FLUCKINGER • A few years ago, I started a vintage pen collector group on Facebook. Just for the heck of it. I don’t do much maintenance on it; it must have been a coincidence of good timing, because as of today it’s rounding into 500 members including collectors, some of the hobby’s heavy hitting dealers, and even thought leaders such as Nancy Olson and this site’s own Richard Binder.
|Follow your passion. If you don’t find anything, check back in a few months. This thing is exploding, and chances are if you don’t find what you’re looking for now, you will then.
In that community there are active posters, lurkers, and a lot of people in between, including something I find fascinating: Collectors from locations worldwide, posting pictures of the pens they love, from old favorites they photographed for the fun of it to today’s finds.
The one thing that keeps them coming back: It’s an egalitarian little community, grown organically by people who care about vintage and modern fountain pens, whether they’re hawking pens for sale, bragging about their purchases, looking for identification help, or just plain expressing the joy of acquiring and using our writing instruments of choice.
Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of other excellent fountain pen content on Facebook, and I exhort you to cruise the site and use that search box to guide you to what trips your trigger in the pen universe. I’ll give you some ideas for search terms for starters…make it a jumping-off point for what you want to like for yourself:
The Official Sheaffer Page. A celebration of new Sheaffer pens and stationery and a lot of pictures to die for.
Favorite collectors like David Isaacson, whose recent post enumerating his Balance collection find in, of all places, Parker’s Janesville, WI, is a fun read.
The Official Waterman Page. It’s totally lame, but you’re getting the idea: Pick your fave pen brand and help shape that community.
The Fountain Pen Collectors group. I’ve got the vintage page, but this group has more members and different frequent posters.
FPN’s Facebook page. If you’re a frequent flyer over at the most popular bulletin board (man am I dating myself as an Internet Fogie with that characterization), you’ll want to flit over here and post your two cents’.
The DC Pen Supershow. If your local pen show doesn’t have a Facebook page, encourage the organizers to get off their collective keister and start one, so attendees can congregate and get dealers fired up about bringing more-better pens to their tables. I know a lot of people — just by reading Facebook posts — are already fired up about DC, which is still six weeks away.
Anyway, you get the idea. Don’t just follow these links. Follow your passion. If you don’t find anything, check back in a few months. This thing is exploding, and chances are if you don’t find what you’re looking for now, you will then. Better yet, start your own community. And friend me — and tell me to like your page. I’ll do it!
|Don Fluckinger lives in Nashua, New Hampshire, and is the son-in-law of Richard Binder. His articles have been published in Antiques Roadshow Insider, The Boston Globe, and on the Biddersedge.com collectibles Web site. Please note: Any opinions stated in this column are Don’s alone and do not necessarily reflect those of Richard Binder or this Web site.