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Anne Frank's fountain pen.


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#1 Shangas

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 11:02

Dear Kitty,

Thursday, 11th November, 1943.

I have a good title for this chapter:

"ODE TO MY FOUNTAIN-PEN IN MEMORIAM".

My fountain-pen has always been one of my most priceless possessions; I value it highly, especially for it's thick* nib, for I can only really write neatly with a thick nib. My fountain-pen has had a very long and interesting pen-life, which I will briefly tell you about.

When I was nine, my fountain-pen arrived in a packet (wrapped in cotton-wool) as "sample without value" all the way from Aachen, where my grandmother, the kind donor, used to live. I was in bed with 'flu, while February winds howled round the house. The glorious fountain-pen had a red leather case and was at once shown round to all my friends. I, Anne Frank, the proud owner of a fountain-pen!** When I was ten I was allowed to take the pen to school and the mistress went so far as to permit me to write with it.

When I was eleven, however, my treasure had to be put away again, because the mistress in the sixth form only allowed us to use school pens and ink-pots.

When I was twelve and went to the Jewish Lyceum, my fountain-pen received a new case in honour of the great occasion; it could take a pencil as well, and as it closed with a zipp looked much more impressive.

At thirteen the fountain-pen came with us to the "Secret Annexe" where it has raced through countless diaries and compositions for me.

Now I am fourteen, we have spent our last year together.

It was on a Friday afternoon after five o'clock. I had come out of my room and wanted to go and sit at the table to write, when I was roughly pushed to one side and had to make room for Margot and Daddy who wanted to practice their "Latin". The fountain-pen remained on the table, unused while, with a sigh, it's owner contented herself with a tiny corner of the table and started rubbing beans.

"Bean rubbing" is making mouldy beans decent again. I swept the floor at a quarter to six and threw the dirt, together with the bad beans, into a newspaper and into the stove. A terrific flame leapt out and I thought it was grand that the fire should burn up so well when it was practically out. All was quiet again, the "Latinites" had finished, and I went and sat at the table to clear up my writing things, but look as I might, my fountain-pen was nowhere to be seen. I looked again, Margot looked, but there was not a trace of the thing; "Perhaps it fell into the stove together with the beans," Margot suggested. "Oh, no, of course not!" I answered. When my fountain-pen didn't turn up that evening, however, we all took it that it had been burnt, all the more as celluloid is terribly inflammable.

And so it was, our unhappy fears were confirmed; when Daddy did the stove the following morning the clip used for fastening was found amongst the ashes. Not a trace of the gold nib was found. "Must have melted and stuck to some stone or other," Daddy thought.

I have one consolation, although a slender one: my fountain-pen has been cremated, Just what I want later!

Yours,

Anne.


I thought this would be a nice entry for all you fellows. It's from the Diary of Anne Frank.

* - I assume that the pen probably had a broad nib.

** - This is the entry where my signature-quote comes from smile.gif

And now - Does anybody know what fountain pen Anne might possibly have owned? I read somewhere that it might've been a Montblanc...Hmm. Since the pen doesn't exist anymore, I suppose this might be a hard question to answer...but I thought this might make for some interesting reading-material, if nothing more.
"I, the proud owner of a fountain pen!" - Anne Frank.
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#2 Romeo Dog

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 12:03

Nice post.

Possibly a MD or maybe a Danish Parker. Just too many choices, unless someone has a particular insight.
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#3 goodguy

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 12:56

As far as I know Anna Frank used a Mont Blanc pen.
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#4 burmeseboyz

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 19:27

Thanks for this amazing post. It does highlight the value that a fountain pen really has. I don't mean the value in the market place, but the value that a fountain pen has as a tool and also as a companion in your creative or professional endeavours. Add to that it's use for communication with loved ones.

It makes me want to stick with just one fountain pen regardless of how much I paid for it. Because the most valuable fountain pen in my collection isn't some expensive bling bling, it's a 30 dollar sheaffer snorkel. However, I still can't resist the expensive bling bling. rolleyes.gif
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#5 George

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 20:07

I remember reading that she had a Mont Blanc FP.

George

#6 Thornton

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 20:34

Beautiful. I've always been fascinated by Anne Frank and her life. Tragic and captivating at the same time. I forgot the relationship with her fountain pen.
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#7 hcsk8ter

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 20:45

She speaks of the fountain pen, as a close friend. Funny, sometimes I feel the same way. Ms. Frank may you rest in peace.

#8 LedZepGirl

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 05:46

That's sort of tragic, but the whole of the story is. I have one pen in my small collection that I know I could never part with or lose.
I'd rather spend my money on pens instead of shoes and handbags.

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#9 Jarno

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 09:07

I googled and did find a picture in a dutch article, but I think it's too modern. I'll have a look on the Anne Frank museum site, perhaps they actually have the pen, or a pen like it, overthere.

Best regards,

Jarno.

Edit:
I have attached the picture I found.

Edit again:
They can't have the actual pen, because it acidentally fell in the fireplace.

Attached Images

  • Ode_aan_mijn_Vulpen_209242d.jpg

Edited by Jarno, 25 February 2008 - 09:12.


#10 Shangas

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 09:30

Yeah as noted in the diary-entry, the original fountain pen was destroyed by fire.
"I, the proud owner of a fountain pen!" - Anne Frank.
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#11 ruud2904

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 10:45

Montblanc is often mentioned as the brand of her fountain pen. But are there any indications about the brand name ?

Ruud
Filling a fountain pen is much more fun than changing a printer cartridge

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#12 Shangas

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 10:59

Her pen is mentioned as a Montblanc in an article SOMEWHERE - But for the life of me, I can't remember where. I think it might be Penspotters.
"I, the proud owner of a fountain pen!" - Anne Frank.
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#13 lisa

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 11:20

QUOTE(Shangas @ Feb 23 2008, 01:02 PM)  
** - This is the entry where my signature-quote comes from smile.gif



Sorry I should have said something when you first put that signature under your post but I wasn't sure if maybe the English translator got it wrong.

Could you please change your quote to correct her grammar? If you translate "Me, the proud owner of a fountain pen" back to Dutch it makes her sound really stupid. I'm sorry I don't know how else put it. "Me" instead of "I" is an error that is hardly ever made in Dutch. Could you please change it to "I, the proud owner..." like in the quote of the text. smile.gif

I'm sorry if I don't sound nice. Errors in posts don't bother me but in signature they do because it gets repeated over and over again. smile.gif

Thanks for the interesting post though. smile.gif

#14 Shangas

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 11:28

Yes mother... sad.gif
"I, the proud owner of a fountain pen!" - Anne Frank.
Political Correctness [Definition]: A pitiful attempt by mankind to please all, disguise the truth, and fail at both.
"Not Yet Published". My Writing and History Blog.

#15 lisa

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 12:20

QUOTE(Shangas @ Feb 25 2008, 01:28 PM)  
Yes mother... sad.gif



Sorry embarrassed_smile.gif

Thanks! smile.gif

#16 Shangas

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 12:24

There, done! Now, back to Miss Frank and her fountain pen...
"I, the proud owner of a fountain pen!" - Anne Frank.
Political Correctness [Definition]: A pitiful attempt by mankind to please all, disguise the truth, and fail at both.
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#17 ruud2904

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 12:39

Her writing looks like this. Looks indeed a tad broader than medium. The question remains what FP this has been. A German brand is likely, as it was shipped to Anne from Germany. And sources speak of Montblanc. However, I have not seen or heard any indications for that assumption.

Ruud



Edited by ruud2904, 25 February 2008 - 12:40.

Filling a fountain pen is much more fun than changing a printer cartridge

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#18 lisa

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 13:03

Is this written with her fountain pen though? The ink seems to get thicker and thinner like with a dip pen. I'm not sure...



#19 ruud2904

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 13:37

QUOTE(lisa @ Feb 25 2008, 02:03 PM)  
Is this written with her fountain pen though? The ink seems to get thicker and thinner like with a dip pen. I'm not sure...


I can't tell. What it does tell me is that the size of the letters compared to the line thickness seems to me as belonging to a person used to write with a broader nib...
Filling a fountain pen is much more fun than changing a printer cartridge

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#20 ruud2904

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 16:29

Here is a view on one of Anne's diaries. I believe there were three of them.
Ruud


Filling a fountain pen is much more fun than changing a printer cartridge

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#21 Deirdre

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 20:56

I think it'd be interesting if MB issued a Writer's Series pen for Anne Frank. (I thought I posted this comment, but I don't see it.)
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#22 Thornton

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 21:46

QUOTE(Deirdre @ Feb 25 2008, 03:56 PM)  
I think it'd be interesting if MB issued a Writer's Series pen for Anne Frank. (I thought I posted this comment, but I don't see it.)

I was thinking the same thing! What a great tribute to someone who loved her fountain pen so much and gave us such invaluable reading material.
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#23 captnemo

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 22:08

As a teen when I first read The Diary of Anne Frank, I often wondered what she would have thought if she knew that her humble diaries would be read by millions and that she would become one of the most famous names from the WW II era.

#24 Shangas

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 23:17

The original diary was a red & white checkered autograph book, when she filled that out, she started filling out other books. It's possible she could've had as many as five, because she actually started editing them for publication at one point...

Dear Kitty,

Wednesday, 29th March, 1944,

Bolkstein, a Minister, was speaking on the Dutch programme from London, and he said that they ought to make a collection of diaries and letters after the war. Of course, they all made a rush for my diary immediately. Just imagine how interesting it would be if I were to publish a romance of the Secret Annexe. The title alone would be enough to make people think it was a detective story...

"I, the proud owner of a fountain pen!" - Anne Frank.
Political Correctness [Definition]: A pitiful attempt by mankind to please all, disguise the truth, and fail at both.
"Not Yet Published". My Writing and History Blog.

#25 amh210

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 04:16

What a sad irony that Anne Frank viewed her lost pen as "cremated."

Another sad victim of the holocaust. Both Anne and the pen lost in the fires of madness.

Forever-Damned Nazis.

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#26 captnemo

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 04:24

QUOTE(amh210 @ Feb 25 2008, 11:16 PM)  
What a sad irony that Anne Frank viewed her lost pen as "cremated."

Another sad victim of the holocaust. Both Anne and the pen lost in the fires of madness.

Forever-Damned Nazis.

Andy


Indeed, and a sobering and disturbing reminder of what humans are capable of.

#27 Luca

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 22:17

Let see... Anne was born in 1929, June 12, and received the pen when she was already nine (made in June 1938) and in February, that is she had the pen in February 1939. The grandmother might not have gifter a nine years old kid with her own pen, so we can assume it was new. So, how many fountain pens are out there, made in 1938 or earlier, with a "thick" "gold" nib and celluloid body? Of course, we shall restrict the range to those made in Europe, and possibly in the neighbourings of Aachen, Germany. The following industries were certainly up and running at that time, and their products could well be sold in Germany, although I think that the politics might have favoured German products only. If we restrict to Germany only...

1761 Graf von Faber-Castell (EU, DE)
1832 Pelikan (EU, DE)
1883 Kaweko (EU, DE)
1906 MontBlanc (EU, DE)
1919 Bossert & Erhard (EU, DE)
1928 Rotring (EU, DE)
1930 Lamy (EU, DE)

Rotring did not use regular nibs; so we exclude it. Bossert & Erhard might have been inappropriate for a kid's present, so we exclude it too. Lamy used plastic instead of celluloid, so I would exclude it too.

This is an image of a Kaweko and a Pelikan:
http://image.blog.li.../3/e34db93b.jpg

A Pelikan 1938, with the famous zip (search for 1938 in the page):
http://www.pentrace....icle.asp?id=368

To me, Anne's pen might have been a Pelikan 100 with the zipped pouch. At that time, Pelikan had its nibs manufactured by MontBlanc.

Luca

Edited by Luca, 27 February 2008 - 19:56.

My Writing Instruments (selection):
Graf von Faber-Castell, Classic, 18k nib in ebony wood dress
Pelikan, M800, 18k nib in black resin/plastic dress
Stipula, Etruria Nera, 18k nib in black celluloid dress
Parker, Jotter, black gel ink refill in stainless steel dress

Classification of Paper, Inks, and Writing Instruments

#28 captnemo

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 19:34

Speaking of Anne Frank, she's in the news today:

http://news.yahoo.co...ch_annefrank_dc

#29 gregoron

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 20:42

It's a Mont Blanc according to Rick Conner at Penspotters here:

http://www.rickconne.../montblanc.html

I think there is a kind of universal sensitivity among people who write journals and use fountain pens.

You are what you write
More than you are what you say
But, do more than write


(my haiku)


-----------------------------------

- No affiliation with any vendors or manufacturers mentioned above.
- Edits done for grammatical purposes only.

#30 QM2

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 21:01

Sorry, but what a morbid discussion : (( You are chatting about Anne Frank's fountain pen and suggesting that MB should make a writers series of it?.. I expect that many people would find it problematic if MB did this. Commercialisation and trivialisation of the Holocaust and all that. A bit like finding out what underwear she wore and then making an Anne Frank lingerie line.

: (((
QM2