PenHero 365 February

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February 17: Mabie Todd Swan Visofil 'V' Series V211 / 63 Russet & Jade c. 1935-1936

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February 16: Mabie Todd Swan Visofil 'V' Series V211 / 60 Black c. 1935-1936

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February 15: Mabie Todd Swan Visofil 'V' Series V111 / 66 Ladies Emerald Pen c. 1936

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February 14: Mabie Todd Swan Visofil 'V' Series V111 / 60 Ladies Black Pen c. 1935-1936

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February 13: Mabie Todd Swan Visofil 'V' Series V111 / 59 Ladies Italian Marble Pen c. 1935-1936

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February 12: Lady Sheaffer VIII Balicon Jet (black) c. 1963-1964

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February 11: Montblanc 144 Meisterstück Classique cartridge / converter fountain pen c. 1980s

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February 10: Lady Sheaffer IX Balicon Red c. 1963-1964

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February 9: Sheaffer Targa Matte Black with 23 karat gold electroplated trim c. 1989 to 1998

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February 8: Sheaffer Snorkel Valiant Black c. 1952-1959

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February 7: Wahl Ribbon Design gold filled medium clip fountain pen c. 1929

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February 6: Aurora Europa Limited Edition piston fill fountain pen 2007

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February 5: Wahl Wave Design silver filled large clip fountain pen c. 1925-1926

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February 4: Wahl Checkerboard Design white gold filled miniature ringtop fountain pen c. 1924

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February 3: Wahl Check Design gold filled medium clip fountain pen c. 1925

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February 2: Wahl Ripple Design 12 karat gold filled medium clip fountain pen c1922-1924

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February 1: Aurora Hastil Sterling Silver Fountain Pen c. 1980

PenHero 365 January

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January 31: Empex squeeze filler fountain pen black c. 1962-1963

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January 30: Universal G-50 black lever fill fountain pen c. late 1940s

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January 29: Indian fountain pen / pencil combo in green c. 1930s

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January 28: Wahl Hanlin Design gold filled medium size clip fountain pen c. 1921-1924

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January 27: Wahl Tempoint Hand Engraved Design sterling silver ringtop fountain pen c. 1919

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January 26: Wahl Chancellor Design 12 karat yellow gold filled medium size clip fountain pen c. 1924

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January 25: Wahl Zigzag Design 12 karat yellow gold filled small size model 437A clip fountain pen c. 1921-1924

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January 24: Wahl Checkerboard Design 12 karat yellow gold filled small size clip fountain pen c. 1924-1926

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January 23: Conklin Nozac model C-59 7M Word Gauge Jet Black piston filler c. 1936

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January 22: Welsh Manufacturing Company black and cream carved celluloid fountain pen c. late 1930s

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January 21: Eagle EPENCO Elfin? blue marble tiny fountain pen c. late 1930s

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January 20: Sheaffer Snorkel Sovereign Burgundy c. 1952-1959

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January 19: Sheaffer Snorkel Sovereign Pastel Blue or Aqua c. 1952-1959

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January 18: Sheaffer Snorkel Admiral Pastel Gray c. 1952-1959

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January 17: Sheaffer Snorkel Admiral Pastel Green c. 1952-1959

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January 16: Sheaffer Snorkel Admiral Burgundy c. 1952-1959

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January 15: Wahl Console Design 12 karat yellow gold filled medium size fountain pen c. 1928

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January 14: Wahl Niagara Design 12 karat yellow gold filled over silver medium size fountain pen c. 1927

Universal / Empex Aqua Pen c. 1959-1963

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Universal / Empex Aqua Pen c. 1959-1963

The Aqua Pen was the 1959 patented brainchild of Max Goldman and Alex Goldman of the Universal Fountain Pen & Pencil Company, Inc., and is actually an idea that goes back to the Trench Pens of World War I. It uses a replaceable "Ink Activator Cartridge" that contains a dry ink impregnated sponge that is activated by dipping the nib in plain water, squeezing it to draw in the water and making ink! Read our updated article!

Library Of Vintage Pen And Pencil User Guides Updates

We've added several new user guides to the Library Of Vintage Pen And Pencil User Guides, now 100 total! Thanks to Oleg Sultanov, Mark Woodhouse, and Liz Butcher for providing the most recent scans!

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Parker 75 1974 User Guide

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Esterbrook 1940 User Guide

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Waterman 1940 User Guide

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Sheaffer 1956 Desk Sets User Guide

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Parker 1960 61, 51, and Super 21 User Guide

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Esterbrook User Guide 1958

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Parker 21 User Guide c. 1948

There are 100 vintage user guides and instruction sheets in the library. We welcome any more that our readers can add!

John Holland Jewel Inlaid Pearl and Black Stripe c. 1938-1939

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John Holland Jewel Inlaid Pearl and Black Stripe c. 1938-1939

We've updated the article with this Inlaid Pearl and Black Stripe ringtop fountain pen. The pen barrel and cap appear to each be made from three separate pieces that are probably glued together. The two end sections of the cap and barrel are a rounded solid black plastic. The center is a tube of alternating wide black and narrow faux mother of pearl strips and given the name, the pearl elements may be inlaid. See the update and new photos!

Golden Star Pen Company Silver Teeth Pen c. 1990s-2000s

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Golden Star Pen Company Silver Teeth Pen c. 1990s-2000s

This is an unusual cartridge fountain pen made by the Golden Star Pen Company that features rows of non-repeating Chinese characters that the owner identified as representing teeth. Perhaps the design was to appeal to dentists in a way similar to doctor’s pens. This Golden Star Pen Company fountain pen is very eye catching with its eight rows of Chinese characters running down the cap and barrel. The characters create a pebbly texture in the hand. Read more about it in our new article!

Wahl Art Deco Machine Engraved Patterns 1921-1929

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Wahl Art Deco Machine Engraved Patterns 1921-1929

Wahl machine turned pens have become a focus niche, with some collectors seeking complete sets of the patterns across all the pen lines, including hard rubber pens, which also carried some of the same patterns as the metal pens. Other collectors focus on just the pencils, in their various sizes and designs, or the ringtop pens, tiny jewels, which also came in several styles. Wahl pens and Eversharp pencils were very popular and durable so many good examples exist today, allowing for the possibility of a large and varied collection of quality writing instruments. Explore the many cataloged designs from 1921 to 1929!

Parker Trench Pen in red brown and black mottled ebonite c. 1916-1918

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Parker Trench Pen in red brown and black mottled ebonite c. 1916-1918

The Parker Trench Pen was designed to meet the writing needs of World War I American soldiers in the field who could not bring bottled ink with them. The pen is a standard Parker Jack Knife Safety eyedropper pen with an extra-long end cap intended for storage of ink pellets. To refill, the user would take one or two tablets out of the end cap, unscrew the nib section, drop them in the barrel, add water, and the tablets would dissolve, making ink. This eliminated soldiers having to carry ink bottles. Take a look at a true rare and historical pen!

Plato 66 1961

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Plato 66 1961

Pen hunting often turns up the unexpected. In this case it was a Plato pen, a previously unknown to me brand from India, made by Mhatre Pen Plastic Industries. Mhatre was a pioneer in the pen industry in Mumbai, incorporated on August 18, 1951. Formerly called Bombay, Mumbai is a major financial and manufacturing center on India’s west coast and India's largest city. It is the heart of the Bollywood film industry.

Postal Reservoir Pen c. 1925-1928

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Postal Reservoir Pen c. 1925-1928

Postal Reservoir Pens were offered by mail order at least from 1925 to 1928. The company's direct to consumer strategy made them able to price the pen much cheaper than top brand pens at $2.50 when the Parker Duofold sold for $7.00. The Postal Reservoir Pen is very large even by today's standards, being 5 11/16 inches long with the cap on and 6 15/16 inches long with the cap posted on the end of the barrel.

Popura Japanese eyedropper fountain pen, early to mid c. 1930s

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Popura Japanese eyedropper fountain pen, early to mid c. 1930s

Popura Shugyo K.K., was a small pen company in Tokyo, Japan that operated probably from the 1930s to the 1950s. This Popura eyedropper fountain pen dates from the early to mid c. 1930s and the cap and barrel carving represents Heian era coins.

Sheaffer Advertisement Gallery

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Sheaffer Advertisement Gallery

We updated the Sheaffer Advertisement Gallery with more than 200 ads from 1924 to 1967. There is a slideshow of original scans with a maximum height of 1280 pixels. Below the slideshow are small thumbnails of all of the slides in date order with click to enlarge to full size.

Élysée Impression Number 1 Limited Edition 1994

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Élysée Impression Number 1 Limited Edition 1994

The third of Élysée's Limited Edition Vernissage series, Impression No. 1 "Toward the Light", was created by artist Manfred Eberhard. He believes that "art has the task of creating freedom for human feelings." The Vernissage series uses Chinese Cloisonné art as the basis for the pen design. Check out our updated article with new photos!

Élysée Edition Number 2 Limited Edition 1994

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Élysée Edition Number 2 Limited Edition 1994

Élysée's second cloisonné Limited Edition is also by artist Karl Diesner and the middle of a series of three editions using art as the basis for the pen's design. Each pen was a commissioned work, and the series was called Vernissage, a French term for a private or pre-exhibition viewing of an artist's work. The edition is based on Élysée's Parthenon, their top pen line. Check out our updated article with new photos!

Japanese Cigar Shape Jumbo eyedropper pen c. 1930s-1950s

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Japanese Cigar Shape Jumbo eyedropper pen c. 1930s-1950s

We've done a lot of pen hunting in Maine, and on one of our trips we visited a roadside antique shop with several Japanese eyedropper pens for sale. Though completely unfamiliar with Japanese pens, but we bought all of them because they were interesting. One of the pens was this enormous cigar shape jumbo pen, measuring about 6 3/8 inches long with the cap on and about an inch across at the cap lip.

Recife Andy Warhol Mona Lisa Limited Edition 1996

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Recife Andy Warhol Mona Lisa Limited Edition 1996

The Recife the Andy Warhol Mona Lisa 1996 Limited Edition fountain pen is based on the Mystique fountain and rollerball pen models. The Andy Warhol limited editions began with the 1994 Marilyn Monroe pen, followed by the Mona Lisa in 1996 and the Mao limited edition in 2001. The Mona Lisa was a 5,000 unit fountain and rollerball pen Limited Edition using a black and dark blue hand cast resin to match the coloring and tone of the 1978 Warhol Mona Lisa print. Each pen's cap band is engraved with Andy Warhol's signature. Enjoy this updated article with all new photos!

Sager Vacuum Pen c. 1926-1940

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Sager Vacuum Pen c. 1926-1940

We found this Sager Vacuum Pen in a New Bern, North Carolina antique store along with several other quite interesting pens. This pen was heavily used, but not abused. There are some light scuffs and dings. The chrome plated trim shows moderate to heavy brassing. The clear pyralin barrel that holds the ink has heavily ambered over the years, but still has some transparency in bright light. The silver color plating on the nib is wearing off. Sager was not a brand I was aware of and being a plunger filler of some type, let's find out more about it!

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Pen Show Calendar

Updated as of February 15, 2018!

February, 2018


South West Pen Show
February 4, 2018

Doubletree by Hilton Hotel
Bristol, UK

Milano Pen Show
February 10, 2018

AC Marriott Hotel
Milano, Italy

Los Angeles Pen Show
February 15-18, 2018

Westdrift Manhattan Beach
Manhattan Beach, California, USA

March, 2018


Baltimore-Washington International Pen Show
March 2-4, 2018

Marriott Inner Harbor Camden Yards
Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Eastern Pen Show
March 4, 2018

Doubletree by Hilton Hotel
Cambridge, UK

Barcelona Pen Show
March 10, 2018

Hotel Montblanc
Barcelona, Spain

Arkansas Pen Show
March 16-18, 2018

Crowne Plaza Little Rock
Little Rock, Arkansas, USA

Cologne Pen Show
March 17, 2018

Leonardo Royal Hotel
Köln, Germany

Florence Pen Show
March 24, 2018

NH Hotel Firenze
Florence, Italy

April, 2018


Atlanta Pen Show
April 13-15, 2018

Wyndham Atlanta Galleria
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Northern Pen Show
April 15, 2018

Crown Plaza Hotel
Chester, UK

Long Island Pen Show
April 21-22, 2018

Hofstra University Student Center
Hempstead, Long Island, New York, USA

Click here for links to all 2018 shows!


News Article Links

Antoni Gaudí Becomes Visconti’s Muse for the Casa Batlló Pen, by Bekah Berge, Robb Report, January 9, 2018

Decorative pen fetches a pretty penny, Buxton Advertizer, January 9, 2018

Limited Edition Bitcoin Pens: A New Type Of IPO (Initial Pen Offering), by Matthew Hrones, Bitcoinist, January 8, 2018

Ancora: Should You Invest in a Limited Edition Bitcoin Fountain Pen?, by Catherina Leona, The Cointelegraph, January 8, 2018

Inkpots Collected Over 40 Years To Be Displayed, by Benita Fernando, Mid-Day.com, January 7, 2018

The Weapon for Writing, by Sarang Sheth, Yanko Design, January 3, 2018

Montblanc Launch Bonheur Nuit Ladies’ Pens, by SuperYachts.com, December 22, 2017

Vendor Profile: Pilot, OPI.net, December 22, 2017

Own the first Luxury “Bitcoin Pen” From Ancora 1919, The Merkle, December 17, 2017

Italian Luxury Pen Makers Ancora Announces Pre-sale of World’s First “Bitcoin” Pen, by Bitcoin PR Buzz, CoinIdol.com, December 17, 2017

The Beatles Come Together for Montblanc’s Great Characters Pen Series, by Bekah Berge, Robb Report, December 15, 2017

Ancora Pen Company Announces a Bitcoin Pen, Bitsonline PR, December 15, 2017

Auction Preview: Sale of Stylomania at Artcurial, Paris, Dec 18, BLOUIN ARTINFO, December 12, 2017

Have 6.5 million dirhams to spare? Pick up the only pen of its kind, from Montblanc, by Kevin Hackett, The National, December 12, 2017

The lucky curve of Parker, by A.S.Ganesh, The Hindu, December 4, 2017

Blue Dragon: One-Of-A-Kind Titanium Sculptured Pen By Grayson Tighe, by Nancy Olson, Quill & Pad, December 4, 2017

Montblanc honours The Beatles, by Kevin Hackett, The National, December 3, 2017

S. T. Dupont x ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ is made for fans of Princess Dragomiroff, by Helen Miao, South China Morning Post, December 2, 2017

Montblanc Remembers The Beatles, by Nancy Olson, Forbes, December 1, 2017

Sculpt Your Words with the Montegrappa Antonio Canova Pen, by Bekah Birge, Robb Report, November 30, 2017

David Oscarson Honors Imperial Russia With New Pen Collection, by Nancy Olson, Forbes, November 30, 2017

Caran D'Ache's comic book capers, by Ken Kessler, Telegraph, November 21, 2017

Graf von Faber-Castell Introduces Pen Of The Year 2018, by Nancy Olson, Forbes, November 17, 2017

Grayson Tighe Takes Pens To New Artistic Heights, by Nancy Olson, Forbes, November 16, 2017

This $19,900 rocket ship pen will blow your mind, by Emmie Martin, CNBC, November 16, 2017

Shropshire retailer launches Italian partnership pen, shropshirelive.com, November 15, 2017

Montblanc creates special pens for EUROPA 2 cruiseline, by Doug Newhouse, TR Business, November 7, 2017

For the loyalists, fountain pen is still mightier than touchscreens, by Amitava Chatterjee, Tomes of India, November 4, 2017

Saying it with a fountain pen is back in vogue, by Alison Paterson, Northern Star, November 3, 2017

Immortalizing Alexander Hamilton In A Pen, by Nancy Olson, Forbes, October 29, 2017

Montegrappa Introduces a Spooky New Scribbler Just in Time for Halloween, by John Lyon, Robb Report, October 23, 2017

Custom-made pen from Augusta craftsman presented to Iceland’s president, by Betty Adams, centralmaine.com, October 22, 2017

A Pen Fit for A Viking: Graf von Faber-Castell’s Pen of the Year 2017, by Bekah Birge, Robb Report, October 20, 2017

Scriptus, Toronto's Pen & Writing Show, back for the 4th year!, Stone River Productions Inc., Cision, October 17, 2017

The Ocean Swirl Pen From Pelikan, by Nancy Olson, Forbes, October 16, 2017

Ink again: The antiquated skill of calligraphy is a huge hit on social media, by Tom Cowie , The Age, October 14, 2017

Montegrappa's Pen Of Peace Speaks Volumes, by Nancy Olson, Forbes, October 13, 2017

Design classic: Meisterstück 149 fountain pen, by Olivia Williams, Financial Times, October 13, 2017

Art Department receives Education Grant, Rushville Republican, October 13, 2017

Zebra Pen Gets Creative with New Zensations, PRWeb, October 11, 2017

Luxury investment: your guide to buying a precious pen, by Panna Munyal, The National, October 11, 2017

How ballpoint pens and a new world flight record saved us from applying deodorant by hand, by B. Alexandra Szerlip, Melville House, October 10, 2017

The pen is mightier than the stylus, by Express News Service, The New Indian Express, October 7, 2017

Ode to the Fountain Pen, by Chris Brauer, Creston Valley Advance, October 7, 2017


PenHero 2018 Calendars Now Available!


2018 Wahl Art Deco Machine Engraved Patterns 1921-1929 Calendar

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Now available for purchase on Lulu.com - click this link!

The Wahl Pen Company was the leader in machine engraved metal fountain pens and pencils in the 1920s, making numerous unique designs in solid gold, gold filled, sterling silver and enameled metal pens. Twelve memorable designs are captured here: Check, Colonial, Colonnade, Console, Dart, Grecian Border, Lakeside, Niagara, Ring Colonial, Ripple, Wedgewood, and an uncatalogued enameled design. The designs are shown on medium, slender medium, short medium and ringtop pens and dated according to when that design appeared on the particular model pen presented. With this calendar, you can take home twelve collectible Wahl pens from the 1920s and enjoy a new one each month!


2018 Lady Sheaffer Pens Calendar

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Now available for purchase on Lulu.com - click this link!

Sheaffer launched the new Lady Sheaffer pen line in 1958, looking to capitalize on trends in ladies fashion. These were cartridge only Skripsert pens that ranged in price from $10 to $35 across 18 different models and were packaged similar to beauty and fragrance products. The pens featured a metal cap and barrel with special machine engraving work, including Tweed, Corduroy, Paisley, Tulle, Moire, Brocade, Satin, Petit Point, and Damask in a variety of colors. The pens used the Sheaffer conical nib from 1958 to 1961, and then were switched to the new inset Stylpoint nib from 1962 to 1964. Each pen has a color section to match or compliment the cap and barrel finish. Some models are difficult to find and highly collectible. Enjoy twelve of these pens in 2018!

2018 Sheaffer Triumph Pens Calendar

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Now available for purchase on Lulu.com - click this link!

On January 1, 1942, Sheaffer introduced the new Triumph Lifetime pen line to its dealers and the first advertisements appeared in Life Magazine on July 27, 1942 featuring the new and innovative conical Triumph "Sheath-Point" nib. The new Triumph line was very different in look from the previous Balance pen lines, more pointed at the ends and at the nib. The new nib became an iconic Sheaffer design, and variations were used on pens through the 1990s. This calendar is a look at twelve early Triumph models from 1942 through 1947 from lever and vacuum-fil models through the top of the line Masterpiece pens.

2018 Sheaffer Snorkel Calendar

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Now available for purchase on Lulu.com - click this link!

In 1952 Sheaffer introduced the Snorkel fountain pen line, which is recognized today as one of the most complex filling mechanisms ever made. The pen was supported with a heavy advertising campaign, proclaiming its clean "dunk free" filling and ease of use where only the filling tube touches the ink. It extends to draw in the fluid and withdraws when the pen is filled, leaving the point and barrel clean and free of ink. It's one of the iconic Sheaffer designs of the 1950s and this calendar gives you twelve of them to enjoy, one for each month of 2018!

2018 Conklin Streamline Pens Calendar

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Now available for purchase on Lulu.com - click this link!

In response to Sheaffer's introduction of the streamlined Balance pen in 1929, Conklin and many other pen manufacturers found themselves scrambling to match it. The first Endura Symetrik, introduced in 1930, was essentially a rounded off flat-top Endura, having the same Endura nib and trim bands on the cap and barrel. Conklin introduced the Nozac, America's first piston-fill fountain pen, in 1931. These pens, and Conklin's All American and lever-fill models, were made in some of the most beautiful celluloids and faceted designs. With this calendar, you can take home twelve collectible Conklin pens from the 1930s and enjoy a new one each month!


2018 Art Pens of Japan Calendar

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Now available for purchase on Lulu.com - click this link!

From the earliest appearance of fountain pens in Japan, Japanese artists have applied their unique decorating styles to these new writing instruments. Four styles are represented on the pens in this calendar: engraved silver and gold fill, including use of an acid treatment to give silver a matte finish, kamakura-bori, a decorative technique done by carving patterns in wood or lacquer revealing layers of color and then polishing to finish, raden, a maki-e technique using shell inlay on the urushi coated lacquer surface, and kawari-nuri, literally “free pattern,” a decorative technique where the artist is free to produce any abstract pattern in the urushi lacquer, which is then over coated in clear urushi. The pens date from the 1910s to 1950s, giving a brief overview of how decorative techniques changed over time as well as the pen designs themselves.


PenHero Quarterly Q2 2017 Now Available!

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Read more about the new PenHero Quarterly Q2 2017

Now available for purchase on Amazon.com - click this link!

Now available for purchase on Lulu.com - click this link!

PenHero Quarterly features a new pen every day! Written and photographed by Jim Mamoulides of PenHero.com, the 100 page 8.5x11 inch perfect bound paperback book features 91 full color pages, each with large photos, including a history and description of some of the most unusual and valuable pens in the world.


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Your on-line writing instrument magazine, featuring detailed reviews, history, news, shows, and product announcements, and more links to writing instrument focused sites than any other source.