Well, there certainly must be Something to them because, if nothing else, FPN has dedicated an entire sub-forum to these wonderful pens. If Esties have caught your eye and you think you might like to try one out before you buy one of your very own, we here at the Esterbrook forum would like to help you out.
There are just a few things we'd ask you to agree to in return, keeping in mind that this is a TRUST-BASED PROGRAM:
1) You must be an FPN member for at least 30 days with at least 30 posts, not counting posts in the Chatter area. This is the same minimum requirement to post an ad in the FPN Classifieds. (FYI - your post counter automatically excludes posts to Chatter)
2) Do some research and decide which size Esterbrook you'd like to try. Currently, the Estie Loaner Program has these models available: SJ, LJ and J. If you aren't sure which model you'd like, at the very least tell us if you prefer a thinner or thicker pen. Either Richard Binder's page on Esties (Search Richardspens.com for "Esterbrook") or our Moderator Brian Anderson's Esterbrook.net website can provide you information on each different size/model Estie. Then decide and POST IN THIS THREAD which model pen AND which nib width - XF, F, or M - you'd like to try in that pen. Also please indicate whether you have some bottled ink to try in your Loaner Estie (they don't take cartridges). If you don't have any bottled ink, your Loaner Member may be able to provide you with a small ink sample. You will be contacted by the Estie Forum Loaner member with the pen that most closely matches the one you want to test fly.
3) Please carefully open your incoming Loaner pen package so that you can reuse the same packing materials for its return and be sure to email or PM the Loaner Member the day you receive your Loaner pen. Enjoy using the pen for NOT MORE THAN TWO WEEKS and have the pen boxed up and back in the mail to the Loaner Member at the end of that 14 day period. Remember, this is a short-term loan program, not a keep-it-as-long-as-you-like program. Please notify your Loaner Member when the pen is en-route back to them. Of course you will need to pay the postage back to your Loaner Member, and we also ask that you send $3 to the Loaner Member via PayPal Personal/Gift to cover shipping to the member after you (or you can put in $3 cash with the pen when it is returned). The $3 is a "pay it forward" arrangement - no one is benefiting from the $3 except that it will cover postage to the next person in line who wants to borrow a pen. If you are in the US loaner pens will be sent to you via First Class Mail WITH Delivery Confirmation. If the pen comes to you with Delivery Confirmation, please be sure you return it with that option selected. (The reasoning on the U.S. Delivery Confirmation is that it's the cheapest way to get a pen parcel electronically wanded *at least once* should it then turn up missing.) Pens may be returned from overseas via the least expensive non-tracked method. I do not recommend postal insurance for Esties. I think the chances of you actually ever seeing proper value reimbursement for a lost vintage pen is all but non-existent.
4) Lastly, please try and take as good of care of the pen while it's in your possession as you would your own pen, and please notify your Loaner Member if the pen has any shortcomings they may not be aware of. ENJOY! your little visit with your new Esterbrook friend and see what the excitement here is all about. Perhaps if you are so inspired, you might post a pic of your Loaner pen with your own writing in one of the various threads here on FPN where members are doing that.
As of 7/24/12 we have the following pens available for test loaning;
Green SJ, Medium 2668 nib
Blue LJ, 9556 F or 9550 XF nib (Borrower to specify which nib)
Green J, 9788 M nib
Red J, 2668 M nib
Copper J, 2556 F nib
Estie Loan Program Loaner Member notes:
Please POST IN THIS THREAD if you have a pen you'd like to make available under the Estie Loaner Program, with the model and color and what nib you have available. A pic isn't necessary unless you so desire. Please try and have an example in as nice a condition as possible and be sure it is in good writing condition. Remember, your pen is an Ambassador for you, the Esterbrook Sub-Forum and the Estie brand itself.
When your Loaner pen is returned please at least dip test it to ensure its nib is still in the same writing order you sent it out in and maybe one quick water flush to be sure it's still filling correctly. Should your pen arrive back damaged, (other than perhaps with a user fixable tine misalignment) please either post here what the problem with the pen is or contact me backchannel about it. We will attempt to get your Loaner pen back into Loaner condition if reasonably possible.
Please also post here if you'd like to contribute a replacement nib in waiting or perhaps funds for replacement nibs should that become necessary.
If it is absolutely critical that you remain anonymous, feel free to contact me via PM with your donation details however, this is being done as a function of the Esterbrook Sub-Forum and we'd appreciate knowing who our gracious Loaner Members are, so please play out in the open on this unless you'd really rather not.
In closing, Welcome! to our newer Esterbrook Sub-Forum members and thank you Loaner Members for your help in making their welcome a gracious one. (And, thanks to DCPritch for his editing mania^h^h^h^prowess.)
Bruce in Ocala, FL and the members of the Esterbrook forum
Edited by Brian Anderson, 28 July 2012 - 00:47.