Update 3/22/2012: This beautiful Extended Mina is no longer in my pen collection. It was sold to another Edison pen fan in order to make way for a different customized Mina.
Original post March 15, 2011:
Arriving last February, the Edison Mina is never far from my writing hand. Of course given the Proper Writer’s Thought Pause Pose afforded by the Extended Mina, it became my Mina choice. My selections for the pen were a “chocolate ebonite” material I had seen in a couple of non-Edison pens, a steel nib ground into a fine stub, and a little more “bore depth” in the barrel. I even ordered a 1.9 italic nib for tasks like birthday cards. (BTW: no writing sample at the moment, but the italic writes like a dream!)
The ebonite is a dark black/red material that is very difficult to capture in photos. Well, you know at least in my photos. And I must tell you now: any scuffs, marks or whatnot you see in my photos below…that is only dust. Apparently I am a very dusty person with a dusty environment.
Back on, uh, point: the ebonite looks quite dark brown; yes “chocolate,” in hand. The color is very satisfying to this lover of brown fountain pens. There is no Edison logo on the Mina. When I asked Brian Gray (aka Mr. Edison Pen Co.) about the lack of the logo, he wrote me that the look was purposeful, as he didn’t want anything to detract from the sleekness of the pen. I’m of mixed mind about the logo. On the one hand, I love how absolutely clean the pen looks. On the other, if I drop dead tomorrow I hope someone will figure out what I have left behind. *ahem* Hey, these are the kind of thoughts one occasionally has.
Weenie confession: I made an error in one of my selections. Please know the error resulted in a slight aesthetic issue not a functional issue! Truth be told: The steel nib belies the elegance of the pen. You can see in the photos…against the gorgeous ebonite the nib looks like, well, a steel nib. Not as pretty as a gold nib. However, deep in writing mode the nib material is not something I notice at all. I notice only that my words are clean, crisp and flowing smoothly. More truthfully, deep in writing mode I notice nothing—I would only notice if a pen was not writing properly, ya know? Brian grinds a lovely stub. I had asked Brian that all things being equal, could a steel stub be as smooth as a gold stub? The answer is yes indeed. And so is it vanity or something that makes me wish the nib were gold? I believe it is merely an aesthetic preference in this case. For moi, regular readers will know, the fountain pen experience is not only about functionality.
Brian gave my Mina a little more ink room in the barrel. Ink capacity is somewhat important to me because (1) I like kind of small-ish pens, (2) I prefer to use them eyedropper-style, and (3) I don’t want to have to refill the pen during intense writing sessions. The normal Mina barrel holds 3ml of ink. Brian squeezed in another 1/2ml and so the pen reasonably holds 3 1/2ml on ink. All I know is that is a lot more pages! (Sometime this year I think will attempt to quantify ink fills to writing output.) Note that the weight of a filled pen is the about same whether using the twist converter or eyedropper mode. The difference is in ink capacity: the converter holds approx. 1.2ml and the barrel holds 3ml.
The Mina remains a very elegant, handsome pen that is wonderful to hold and write with. In my tiny collection of fountain pens, the Mina is one of my core keepers.
*This update comes from moi…no one asked for it…paid for it… or sponsored it…just thought you’d wanna know. I was inspired to write this update after hearing from a reader sharing his own Edison Mina love.*