Tuesday, November 22, 2011


dads pilot FO[dad's pen]

My dad doesn't even remember how he got this pen, but my brother and I remember it from our childhood. Cleaning out an old desk a few years ago, I chanced upon and claimed it. But it was full of dried up, crusty ink. Even after buying a new converter nothing would come out of the feed. Frustrated, I put it aside, where it stayed for a good year or more.

A few months ago I brought the old fountain pen to a shop and had it professionally cleaned. The shop owner told me that even he had trouble, it was entirely clogged. He also told me that the entire tip of the nib was missing, giving it a small, flat edge a bit like a calligraphy pen.

[pilot fp cap + nib]

I did some research on what type of pen I had; the only markings on it are the brand name, Pilot, on the cap, and "14k" and "pilot" on the nib. A quick browse through eBay put the pen in the 1970s-1980s range, which is about right. I didn't see any with the decorative design on the cap like my pen has and am left to wonder about that.

Now that the pen's in working condition, I've been on a kick to play around with it and also to do more research into purchasing a fine pen for myself. It's harder for a lefty like me, for whom holding the pen tilted to the left results in "pushing" instead of "pulling" the ink from the feed. Even with this pen, sometimes I have to write with it "up-side down," where the feed is over the nib instead of vice-versa.

My research has opened up to me the world of pen, ink, and paper blogs, which I find fascinating.  I am appreciating the passion and detail with which these bloggers write their reviews and experiences with such a variety of writing implements.  My pen-related vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds, as is my knowledge of the same.  Perhaps I'll find my perfect left-handed fountain pen sooner rather than later after all.  The search is on!

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