Continuing to Refine the Pen Collection

The pen count has exceeded 20 and it’s time to follow through on my commitment to let go of some wonderful pens. Last October I set Spring as the time to do so. It has been difficult, in a fun way, to figure out which pens are staying and which must be re-homed.

In February I started keeping a pen log as a way to measure how long a pen stayed in use and to guarantee each and every pen was used. When a pen ran out of ink, it was flushed and put back in the storage box. Occasionally certain tasks (like traveling) demanded a repeat of a pen before moving on to another.

Piston filling pens lasted the longest between ink fillings—the exception being the Edison Huron which I use as an eyedropper. That sucker lasted nearly 3 weeks before it went back into the box. I can’t say how many pages were written during that time. Now that I’m in full writing mode on a new play I will begin to track that as well. Pens with cartridges lasted two or three days. How long any given inked pen writes is always fun to explore. As I weed the pens out, I will examine ink capacity in greater depth with the pens that stay in the stable.

During the last two months two pens needed repair. The Ragtime Blonde showing its use and age began leaking ink out the piston knob. At the end of February that pen went off to Italy to be repaired by Visconti. It has not yet returned. A more recent acquisition, the Ragtime Black turned out to have a cracked collar. A trip to Italy for that pen was averted by a friend who happened to have a spare nib unit.

Pens making the cut to stay include, of course, the Visconti Ragtimes. Of the Visconti Pontevecchios two remain but whether both will stay I have not yet decided. The Edison, of course, stays as well as a Bexley Submariner, and the Levenger True Writer. I’ve decided to refocus my Wahl collection and keep only the Wahl-Oxfords. There are also two 1950’s Pelikans and two Conklins which, for the moment, are remaining.

The Pelikans posed some difficulty. These were the very first piston filling pens I acquired. They have a wonderful ink capacity, but during my pen log experiment I remembered why they were not making regular rotation:
Pelikan 400When writing with a bit of flourish the nib would spray! This drove me a little batty. Apparently there is a cure, and the nib is said to be singing.

What didn’t make the cut? Three wonderful Sheaffers and several lovely Wahl-Eversharp pens. Note to self: Don’t wax on about the beautiful pens, don’t think too hard about them, just do it—let ’em go to new homes! And then there will only be 18 and within my commitment to maintain a small pen collection.

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