(This page revised November 19, 2019)
BY DON FLUCKINGER • It’s kind of strange, as I wind down the production of cigar box pen chests — I’ll run out in either November or December — that I’m cleaning out everything. Most of the boxes are gone. I used to keep more than a hundred on hand, and it’s down to about 30 plus a few I’ll score here and there en route to using up my other supplies.
|There’s some stuff in my mental desk drawer that I’d been meaning to mention in this space. On their own, these items can’t be expanded into a whole Extra Fine. Put together, however, they do!.|
But the room’s getting bare.
In the same mode, there’s some stuff in my mental desk drawer that I’d been meaning to mention in this space. On their own, these items can’t be expanded into a whole Extra Fine. Put together, however, they do! So without further ado:
Am I the only one that thinks “Parker!” every time I hear Republican veep candidate — and Janesville congressional representative — Paul Ryan’s name? I might consider voting for the guy if he appreciated fountain pens as much as he does the P90x fitness regimen.
While both political sides make the GM plant in Janesville a political battleground, there’s been little mention of the Parker plant closing in 2009 outside of a few Facebook posts I’ve read from collector pals. Rabble-rousing lefty Charlie Pierce recently pointed out in an Esquire article that Ryan presently occupies the George S. Parker II mansion. He even used a short history of Parker Pen to lead off his screed, a writer after my own heart.
As a writer published exclusively on the Web nowadays, I’ve been forced to think of how to write in ways that search engines notice. This syllabic alchemy known as search-engine optimization, or SEO, is basically using human intelligence to dupe the artificial analytics of Google and its peers to think you’re writing important stuff. And there are leeches and vultures out there doing the same thing with B-grade or C-grade content trying to suck the life out of your own legitimate writing, SEO-wise. When you Google “vintage pen collecting,” it’s comforting to see old friend David Nishimura and his excellent content (pictures and text) ranked #1 on Google, above the eHow and WikiHow vultures. There’s no Flash, no ads, no fat on Nishimura’s site.
I’m still waiting for the world to jump on my Wearever bandwagon. People still send them to me with little “Hey, you like these, right?” messages as if they couldn’t possibly keep them in their collections. Old pal Ron Zorn just sent me a couple more this week. Keep them coming! I still like them.
David Kahn Yes. Wearever No.
Richard seems to have discovered David Kahn pens. He’s got a couple Wearevers, and he’s also got these. The top one is a Pioneer 191P, the bottom one is a prototype twist-filler that could have been a first-tier pen if it weren’t for that funky nib.
Tip of the cap to Richard for publishing his Glossopedia. If you could understand how much effort and hours went into creating it…you’d see that while he’s not literally giving it away, it’s safe to say he’ll never earn back the sweat equity he poured into it. Nice cover, too!
The e-book format is ironic for that Glossopedia project. Paper is drying up and going away, a trend that eventually will make pens themselves obsolete. And Richard’s book will likely never see a print edition. So on one hand, it’s kind of sad that even such an important fountain pen book will only be available in electronic format, bits and bytes, no ink, no paper. On the other hand, it probably never would have been published in paper — so the hobby gets the benefit of this reference exclusively because of this downloadable format customized for the iPad.
Did you know that January 23 is National Handwriting Day, as set forth by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers’ Association (WIMA)? They chose that day because it coincides with John Hancock’s birthday. Perfect excuse to bust out all those pens you received as holiday gifts and get journaling. And try out new hues of ink. You’re welcome!
Further Reading: The RichardsPens Guide to Fountain Pens, Volume 1: Glossopedia, by Richard Binder
Richard says his Glossopedia is “a compact glossary/mini-encyclopedia of words, phrases, and names, with more than 1,475 entries comprising (with subentries) more than 1,625 individual terms, more than 950 illustrations, more than 190 patent citations linked to their respective patent documents at various archives, and extensive cross-references.” He says a lot, and there’s a lot of it in his ebook.
|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.|