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Why Is It A Gregg Nib?


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6 replies to this topic

#1 PDW

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 23:19

I've just installed a 1555 nib on my SJ and tried it out. Writing normally with it, it seems like a fairly typical medium nib - nothing out of the ordinary other than a slightly greater scratchiness.

So, people, does anyone know what characteristics make this nib so suitable for Gregg shorthand? Any tips while I wait for the Gregg shorthand tutorial manual to arrive? Should I refrain from using it until then - will using it for non-Gregg writing reduce its Greggfulness?

Edited by PDW, 02 January 2011 - 23:26.


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#2 Gr8bald1

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 04:13

O.K. I'll be the first to present an opinion.

The design of the nib is to be very firm, "wet", of a fine line width, and for short strokes. The strokes in Gregg are much shorter than general cursive writing. There is usually a pressure applied to the pen in Gregg, rather than a "touching" of the pen to paper in longhand/cursive.

The pen must continually start and stop immediately and take abrupt changes in direction. Therefore, the steel must be harder and/or thicker and/or stiffer and/or have a somewhat wider taper/neck from the widest part of the body to the tip of the point in order to take this motion (some may say "punishment") without excessive material fatigue and/or wear. I would expect the distance between the tines to also be a little wider to provide this "wet" flow to insure the immediate starting and stopping. (But -- in all honesty since I have never seen the design prints of the nib it’s hard to tell for sure).

A "writing" nib is made for more continuous use and corresponding flow.

From a recently retired aerospace engineer (if you couldn't tell).

BTW -- Does anyone know if any of the Esterbrook design prints are available? The patents should be expired. Perhaps some entrepreneur could start remaking "Renew Nibs" again -- or under license from Berol, -- that I presume own the patents – and have the drawings.

#3 PDW

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 16:44

After I posted this I tried a few of the Gregg gestures using this nib, and it seemed happier used in this manner than when I used it for my usual writing.

Your transferable skill (=expert opinion) accords with my brief experiment, so thanks Gr8bald1

#4 thaugen

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 21:43

I just received a NOS 1555 today in the mail, inked it and really like this nib. It's smooth, nice line width and good wetness. However, you're right about this feeling like an "ordinary" nib.
"There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice." -John Calvin

#5 watchin

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 08:24

I can write cursive longhand just fine with a 1555 Gregg nib. I have never even seen Gregg shorthand so I don't know how it feels with those strokes but from my experience there isnt an amazing amount of difference from Esterbrook's stiffest nib to their most flexible. I do have some flexible estie nibs and they really are not that flexible (the ones I have). The most I have noticed is that with considerable pressure the tines of the flex nibs open somewhat but not like some of the old dip pens I have used in the past. Smooth writing is more important to me than line variation at the moment.
-William-

#6 redbike

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 18:28

I have one of these and use it for general writing - notes, letters, etc. The Esterbrook nib chart describes it as a firm, fine, which is how mine looks and feels. I know nothing about the Gregg system, other than what is written above, but this nib functions well as an all purpose nib.

#7 mstone

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 14:49

I've just installed a 1555 nib on my SJ and tried it out. Writing normally with it, it seems like a fairly typical medium nib - nothing out of the ordinary other than a slightly greater scratchiness.


If it feels medium, it may just be worn. The 1555 is an untipped nib, and a lot of these old Estie nibs are quite broken in and probably don't write anything like they did when they were new.

BTW -- Does anyone know if any of the Esterbrook design prints are available? The patents should be expired. Perhaps some entrepreneur could start remaking "Renew Nibs" again -- or under license from Berol, -- that I presume own the patents – and have the drawings.


As with many of the old companies, I think all the records were destroyed when the company was sold to a non-FP company.






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