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Fountain Pen Suggestion For Pitman 2000 Shorthand?


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4 replies to this topic

#1 xwingrox


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Posted 11 June 2014 - 06:24

Below is a video showing Pitman 2000 with a Noodler’s Flex pen. Please watch it before replying so you get a sense of what the shorthand system looks like.

ààà https://www.youtube....h?v=bgqimduDWd8 ßßß


I bought an Ahab, Konrad, and a Creeper and they only work okay for Pitman shorthand. Part of the issue is the reliability of these DIY pens. I don’t feel comfortable carrying around a Noodler’s flex pen because they are simply not as reliable as the Pilot pens I usually favor. I've had my Ahab/Konrad/Creeper dry out mid-sentence as well as burp up ink randomly when writing/shaken. 


Pitman 2000 shorthand requires a fine, semi-flexible nib. The Pitman system revolves around differentiating between light and heavy strokes of the same character (e.g. P and B share the same stroke “ \ ” but B is a heavier stroke "\"). You also need to be able to flex/make a heavier line diagonally (an upward stroke like “/”) and in half circles (like the bottom of a U). I’m worried that the Falcon nib and Falcon (pen) are not designed to be flexed diagonally or in half circles –I’ve read that the nibs will cut the paper if you flex in any direction other than DOWN.


I currently have a Custom 91 with a soft fine medium nib and it can be challenging to tell the light strokes from the heavy strokes when I am writing. That said, I have no trouble flexing the nib diagonally up and down as well as in half circles.  But I would like a pen that can write with a fine line (not needle point) and can be flexed ever so much in every direction so I can tell the difference between a light stroke and a heavier stroke.


Which Pilot fountain pen would work better for Pitman 2000 shorthand?

·        Pilot Custom 91 – Soft Fine nib

·        Pilot Custom 74 – Falcon Nib

·        Namiki Falcon – Fine nib

·        Pilot Justus 95 – Fine nib

I’m hoping to stay with a Pilot pen so I can share ink cartridges (refilled with a syringe) with my Vanishing Point


At this point, some of you may be thinking I should look at vintage flex pens. After all, they were designed to be flexed. However, I have thought about this and am generally ruling them out.

  • First, I don't need full flex wet noodle or even a true flex pen. All I need to be able to is differentiate between a light and heavier stroke. So I don't NEED a vintage flex pen.
  • Second, I need reliability in an office environment.  I gesture a lot when I am talking and I've had pens (the Noodler's ones especially) burp ink randomly/when sharply gestured. I also can't afford to have ink burps or inky hands in the middle of a meeting. I'm not entirely sure if ALL vintage pens burp ink when shaken but I do have an older,quite flexy Pelikan Celebry that reliably burps ink when jolted forward. My Vanishing Point, Safari, Pelikan M205, Parker 51 do not burp ink in similar situations. 
  • Third, I want to stick to a cartridge converter system. (I can hear the piston purists crying softly). Again, I work in an office environment and I need to be able to change inks in the middle of a meeting. A TWSBI inkpot might be viable for desk filling but I'm definitely not going to bust one out in a meeting! So I think that also nixes vintage flex pens, as most of them (I think) use a ink sac filling system.  



If you have a recommendation for another pen, please share why you think it is better suited. I'm open to suggestions.  





(P.S. Check out Pitman 2000 shorthand. It’s pretty neat and uses phonetic spelling versus symbols based Gregg shorthand) 

Edited by xwingrox, 11 June 2014 - 06:26.

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#2 discopig


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Posted 11 June 2014 - 15:53

I'm using a Pilot Metal Facon with SEF nib to learn it and it works fine. I don't think any fountain pen is better than another for learning Pitman 2000. A semi-flex is ideal for it, but you can also learn it with a pencil or stiff nib if you want.

Edited by discopig, 11 June 2014 - 15:53.

#3 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 18:42

Rare vintage Pelikan S nib...is a flexible nib made for shorthand.


 German 400NN with a 'flexi'/maxi-semi-flex nib in F or EF......in the tines spread only 3 X a light down stroke is not a Super-flex (4-5-6 or 7 X) nib.

Having re-read, perhaps a semi-flex '50-65 140-400 might do, but would be I think too much work. The 'flexi' 400nn would do well.



By the way...any pen when well shaken shoots ink into the cap...on to the page, floor. That use to be the way in the class room back in the day of the big nickle Snickers to get the pen to work in a class room.


Either you have a poor converter or a nervous habit of jabbing your Celebry at  the paper...not that you hit it. 

I  only use my Celebries for old vintage Pelikan  '90's cartridges in I 'm not much into cartridges or converters.

I am real surprised about a Celebry doing what happens to you.


Ye :huh: p...just took a huge :yikes: shake at the paper...and some ink drops flew onto the paper....a casual light, a medium hard shake didn't....of course I stayed a good half foot above the paper in I didn't want to bend a nib....by shake spearing a nib at the paper.




My two Celebry pens are true semi-vintage springy regular flex (= to my '90's 400)....not real flexible...a very nice nib, 1/2 under a semi-flex in flexibility....3/4th under the "flexi" 400nn's nib.


A 200's nib can be = to a '90's be it my gold=steel Celebry or semi-vintage '90's gold nibbed 400.

Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 11 June 2014 - 18:44.

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#4 LWJ2



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Posted 12 June 2014 - 14:13

Esterbrook's #9128 nib was designed for Pittman, you may try to find an Estie with that nib.

Edited by LWJ2, 12 June 2014 - 14:13.

#5 rwilsonedn


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Posted 12 June 2014 - 15:33

+1 for the Namiki Falcon in EF or F. If you have a proper light touch for normal strokes, you can get quite visible line variation with firm down-strokes. (You won't get really thick lines no matter what you do, however.) And you get the beauty, quality, and reliability you are used to from Pilot. I have tried an Esti 9128 nib, and I find it all but incapable of line-width variation unless you put your shoulder into it. I would think it would be pretty useless if the goal were speed and control.


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