Hey, did you know that old cameras aren’t the only kind of obsolete technology I collect? I’ve also collected fountain pens for a few years now, and lately have been getting more into vintage pens. That culminated this weekend with my getting up at 5:00 am on Saturday and driving 6 1/2 hours to attend the Little Rock Pen show–basically just one room in the Riverfront Wyndham. But you know, pens are small, and one small-ish conference room crammed with tables of them is still a LOT of pens.
I gave myself a budget of $200 and that’s what I spent, to the penny.
Left to right:
The black pen with mother-of-pearl chips is a Sheaffer Balance from the 1930s. Sheaffers are like the Kodak of mid-century fountain pens. This is my 2nd vintage Sheaffer (I also have a modern Sheaffer 100); a while back a pen friend gave me a brown Sheaffer Craftsman from the 1950s. (If Sheaffer is Kodak, than the Craftsman is the Brownie; they churned out millions of them over the decades surrounding WWII and they’re still floating all over the place.) Like the Craftsman, this is a lever fill. It has new ink sac and a NOS Sheaffer #3 nib, which is about about a modern M-F nib.
The blue and orange pen is a Bexley BX701 in Blue Shimmer. I’m having a hard time pinning down when this series was made, although I can say it’s no longer in production. Bexley was founded in 1993 by a group of vintage pen enthusiasts/refurbishers, so it’s not real old. They are known for oversize pens in funky color designs; I’ve always wanted one but the fact that literally every one I’ve ever seen is amazeballs is kind of why I’ve never bought one. However, blue and orange is one of my favorite color combos, so as soon as I saw this one I knew it was the Bexley for me. It’s NOS with the original M nib (although it’s a large nib for a large pen, and the Bexley M is almost a B in any other pen) and a new converter.
Both of these pens were $100 each, but they were being sold by the same seller so I was like I got cash, make me a deal. And he gave me the pair for $150.
…Which left me with $50 to spend on the green and black pen, a piston-fill Reform 1745 with a custom ground .09mm italic nib. This is in no way an expensive pen, that price was for the grinding, which if done wrong can ruin a pen. I tried their tester pen and wow, worth every penny.