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Portable Pens Before The Fountain Pen


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#1 moylek

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 19:31

I have a few dip pens - including a glass one - which I use mostly for testing ink. Most of the nibs and holders date back to my comic-book inking days of my youth.

But I have this one odd duck which an antique dealer threw in for free along with an old Waterman's pen-and-pencil set: a black-and-gold dip pen with a broad, flexible nib ...

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I've long know that it comes apart, and imagined that the compartment was used for storing spare nibs or some such ...

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But just today, I had an epiphany: the nib holder does not come off in order to reveal a storage compartment; it flips over to "cap" the pen. It's pre-fountain-pen pocket (or bag) pen ...

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Funny: since we can now carry fountain pens (or, ball point, I guess), we never bother making such straight pens as are made to be portable.
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#2 jbb

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 19:39

That's a really beautiful dip pen you have! :thumbup: Here's a retractable Eagle Arrow dip pen from the late 19th century. You push the button on the end to realease the nib. I have some other retractble dip pens where the nib slides out plus a few traveling inkwells.

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#3 Frank C

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 21:22

Wow! Those are beautiful pens. Thank you for sharing those photos. I never considered carrying a dip pen.
"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson
I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

#4 moylek

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 00:06

That's a really beautiful dip pen you have! :thumbup: Here's a retractable Eagle Arrow dip pen from the late 19th century. You push the button on the end to realease the nib. I have some other retractble dip pens where the nib slides out plus a few traveling inkwells.


Interesting. Have you tried carrying that retractable pen about and using it? It seems like it might still get ink on things, even after a wipe.

I'm thinking about trying it with the one that I have, just as an experiment.

Edited by moylek, 07 January 2013 - 00:08.

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#5 jbb

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 00:52

Interesting. Have you tried carrying that retractable pen about and using it? It seems like it might still get ink on things, even after a wipe.

I'm thinking about trying it with the one that I have, just as an experiment.

I always put my retractable pens & traveling inkwells in either a sealed small purse or ziplock bag just in case but I've never had either leak.

#6 jbb

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 01:13

Traveling inkwell & retractable dip pen open:

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Traveling inkwell & retractable dip pen closed:

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#7 jptech

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:17

Traveling inkwell & retractable dip pen closed:



That is amazing. Does the back slide open just for balance?

#8 jbb

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:49

That is amazing. Does the back slide open just for balance?

Yes, I think so.

#9 rwilsonedn

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 19:52

Traveling inkwell & retractable dip pen:

That is a beautiful set. And it's always great to see a sample of your writing.
ron

#10 jbb

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 04:35

Here's a Retractable Dip Pen & Pencil for a Necklace:

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It retracts to about 2¼" long:

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Here's the pencil:
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#11 Vintagepens

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 14:04

Note that most of the spring-catch traveling inkwells (as shown in the post above) are found with the cap seal hardened. The original seals were usually, in my experience, a disk of thick sheet rubber, although some might have been greased or waxed leather. In any event, a replacement seal is easy enough to make, and is a must if you want to use your old traveling inkwell.

#12 jbb

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 14:16

Note that most of the spring-catch traveling inkwells (as shown in the post above) are found with the cap seal hardened. The original seals were usually, in my experience, a disk of thick sheet rubber, although some might have been greased or waxed leather. In any event, a replacement seal is easy enough to make, and is a must if you want to use your old traveling inkwell.

+1. :thumbup: I agree. I replace the seal with a leather disc. Then I test the traveling inkwell with water... turning it upside down and on its side for a spell to see if it leaks.

#13 chiaroscuro

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 21:14

Traveling inkwell & retractable dip pen open:

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Traveling inkwell & retractable dip pen closed:

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That is so cool. Open and shut, cool!

#14 jbb

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 00:48

Thanks. :ninja: BTW. I've had a traveling inkwell listed in the FPN Classifeds forever just waiting for someone to notice it. :bonk:

Edited by jbb, 11 January 2013 - 00:49.


#15 N2theBreach

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:15

I really would like to see the look on the bank clerk's face when you open the purse, take out the inkwell and remove the cap. Remove the pen and open it, carefully dip it, sign your name in your nice cursive, pull a small cloth from the purse to wipe the nib, and then reverse the whole process.

If you also carried a Midori type journal, the clerk could well be convinced you climbed out of a Harry Potter book! :ltcapd:

#16 jbb

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 13:22

I really would like to see the look on the bank clerk's face when you open the purse, take out the inkwell and remove the cap. Remove the pen and open it, carefully dip it, sign your name in your nice cursive, pull a small cloth from the purse to wipe the nib, and then reverse the whole process.

If you also carried a Midori type journal, the clerk could well be convinced you climbed out of a Harry Potter book! :ltcapd:

That would be fun but I don't do all that when I go the bank :headsmack: When I switched to dip pen several years ago my bank called me to vertify my signature as dip pen had altered my writing to such a great degree. I had to go into the bank with my dip pen & ink and sign a second signture card.

Edited by jbb, 18 February 2013 - 13:24.


#17 Kuryaka

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 17:03

I happened upon a poor student/tourist's version. Bought a "quill pen" from a gift shop, the feather merely served as a body for the dip pen. After throwing the feather away, I found that the pen was much too short to comfortably write with...
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So then I fixed it.
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#18 Frits B

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 18:32

I really would like to see the look on the bank clerk's face when you open the purse, take out the inkwell and remove the cap. Remove the pen and open it, carefully dip it, sign your name in your nice cursive, pull a small cloth from the purse to wipe the nib, and then reverse the whole process.
If you also carried a Midori type journal, the clerk could well be convinced you climbed out of a Harry Potter book! :ltcapd:

Don't forget that when dip pens were common, i.e. before fountain pens came into use, people didn't really need to carry inkwells on their person. Inkwells were available wherever people were expected to write: banks, offices, schools. All you needed to carry was your pen - if you preferred to use your own.

#19 Korybas

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 20:34

Don't forget that when dip pens were common, i.e. before fountain pens came into use, people didn't really need to carry inkwells on their person. Inkwells were available wherever people were expected to write: banks, offices, schools. All you needed to carry was your pen - if you preferred to use your own.


That's a very good point, Frits B! And the traveling inkwells were just when someone was "on the road"...
I have yet to see an antique dip pen in person... :bawl:
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#20 jbb

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 14:01

...I have yet to see an antique dip pen in person... :bawl:

Antique (19th century) dip pens are not terribly hard to find on Ebay.... at least in the U.S. Here are a few of mine.

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#21 paperballs

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 07:34

I happened upon a poor student/tourist's version. Bought a "quill pen" from a gift shop, the feather merely served as a body for the dip pen. After throwing the feather away, I found that the pen was much too short to comfortably write with...
Posted Image
So then I fixed it.
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:eureka: :clap1: