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Edison Pen Company


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#1 Doug C

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 00:30

First Impressions
5/5

Yes, I did have Easter dinner with my kids, but now that I am home, I thought it would be appropriate to review a pen that was right at home in my pocket for this holiday.

This was my first Edison so be kind if you've heard all of this before. Buying (i.e. ordering) a pen from Brian Gray of Edison is unlike any other experience I have had. More on that later.

The first surprise I received when I opened the package was that it actually came in an Edison Pen box. I had always heard that they came in plastic tubes. Sorry, but I forgot to include a shot of the box.

I like all of Brian's designs, but when I first saw the Huron in the Lavender Ebonite, something just clicked. I am a big ebonite fan, but I had never seen a color like this. I was worried that it might be a little feminine, but then after seeing the way it looked on the Huron, I threw caution to the wind and decided to order it with the bulb filler, a clear window (Brian's suggestion since he said that most of the tinted plastics didn't quite work with it; I agreed), and an 18k nib customized to a .9 stub.

The first picture shows it as being pinker than it really is. In reality it actually has a little gray in it, and is much more subdued The subsequent photos do a better job. I especially love the little black specks in the ebonite. There is no pen I own with a transparent body that is as stunning when it is filled with ink.

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Filling System
4.5/5

It is a bulb filling system, and since this pen holds so much ink, I can't comment on how easy it is to clean (haven't use the first fill up yet), but I really enjoy the bulb system. In addition to being unique, it is fun to watch the ink incrementally fill the barrel.
Brian said that should this fail, it is very easy to replace.
Others might not like this system, but I happen to love it.


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Construction
5/5

One of the more unique aspects of Brian's pens is that he will let you watch your pen being built via two webcams. This turned out to be almost as much fun as getting the pen (but not quite).
He has a fan club of people that tune in just to watch pens being made. He will also instant message with you in between work sessions.

I was under the impression that he would use an fully automated CNC machine, stick some stock ebonite in it and come back later with a fully finished pen. Nothing of the sort; he will turn each piece little by little (and I had to admit that some times I didn't have a clue which part he was making). You can watch his face grimace as he finesses each little piece, fitting and refitting parts together.

He will periodically come over to the keyboard and tell you what he plans to do next ('the next piece I will be working on for your pen is the section').

After watching the transparent section being made it is easy to see where the cost comes in. It is fairly labor intensive, but great to watch.

My pen was finished over the course of two days (obviously he is working on other pens at the same time). At the end of the process, he will place the finished pen on his lathe (I'm assuming that is what it is), and let you see how the entire pen came together. A day or two later he engraves it (I have heard this is optional, but I love the way the white lettering looks on the barrel, contrasting with the ink color).

This is a long winded build up to get the actual construction of the pen which is fabulous. The finish of the ebonite is perfect, as good as any mass produced pen I own, all of the seams line up, and the joins are imperceptable, and I just have to say that this is one stunning pen. It could be my impeccable taste in choosing the options, or it might just have something to do with Brian's workmanship.

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Nib
5/5

This is an area where we talked quite a bit. I was a little aprehensive in having someone that builds the pen customise the nib. I have been moving into fine stubs more and more, and asked for a .9 stub. I was a little worried that it might be too thick (I normally use fines), and he suggested that we start with this, and if it was not right he would trim it down. As he said 'he can take away, but not add if it is not correct, which means the cost of a new nib'.

I filled the pen, and one of the first things I look for is if you have spend a lot of time priming the pen. This just flowed with the first touch to paper. So much so that I thought it might be a little too wide for me.

One of the things that he includes is a writing sample showing how it looks with your specifications. It was written with Sailor ink on Rhodia paper and just looked perfect (BTW I wish I had Brian's handwriting).
I am a cheap guy, so I just tend to use the paper I get at work which is a looser weave than the Rhodia. I took the pen and touched a little to his sample and saw the same line and flow. It was obvious that it was optimized for fine paper, which is okay with me. Had the flow been less, it would probably have been too dry for the different kinds of paper I write with.
Once again, he was right on target.
I guess you can build and tune a pen.. (but you can't tuna fish...sorry, old joke).

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Value
5/5


To get this level of customization, perfection in build quality and writing ability, and the enjoyment of watching it come to life is something you won't find anywhere else. These pens are great values, and if you are less than thrilled with your's you must have made the wrong choices.

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Conclusions:
5/5

I have said enough. In addition to building a wonderful product, Brian has cleverly found a niche in fountain pens that didn't exist before.

One final touch is that after the pen was finished, he sent me an email with three pictures of the finished product, using the same vignettes he uses on his website. The last three are what the pen really looks like.

A great pen, and it won't be my last. I have my eye on a Herald....
the Danitrio Fellowship

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#2 jde

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 00:45

The lavender ebonite is very striking. And the bulb filler has always intrigued me. Congratulations on your new Edison!

I never tire of how great an experience by Brian provides with his pens. I love my Huron. It's an eyedropper. Hold a ton of ink and writes like a dream.

Cheers,
Julie
 
...writing only requires focus, and something to write on. —John August
...and a pen that's comfortable in the hand.—moi

#3 sfs6205

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 00:45

Hi doug, Happy Easter!

Yes, that new pen of yours was appropriate for the holiday, and a beautiful color. I've just discovered Edison and watched Brian a few times - I know there's an Edison in my future.

It's nice to know how satisfied you are with the pen, especially the nib. And yes, "I guess you can build and tune a pen.. (but you can't tuna fish..." or a banjo, or so I've been told. (Another old joke - What's the difference between a Harley and a banjo? - you can tune a Harley. We banjo pickers get no respect!)

Enjoy!

Sarah
"I'm not superstitious -- I'm just a little stitious." Michael G. Scott

#4 Doug C

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 01:38

Julie, Sarah,

I think you will be very happy if you decide to order one of his pens.

I am planning my next...
the Danitrio Fellowship

#5 Ed Ronax

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 11:53

Great review of this great pen, been seeing a lot of Edisons lately really must try one soon.
And how can this be, because he is the Kwisatz Haderach.


#6 sfs6205

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 11:59

I'm curious - do you know just how much ink it does hold? It looks like you could use it nearly forever between refills.
"I'm not superstitious -- I'm just a little stitious." Michael G. Scott

#7 Rosa Mundi

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 12:02

What a coincidence! I just sent Brian an e-mail about lavender Huron (with a stub nib as well) last Saturday! :) He has not answered me yet, but thanks to your wonderful review and gorgeous pictures I want that pen really badly now! I will be checking my mailbox every 2 minutes!

Congratulations on your Edison!

Katrin

#8 rogerb

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 13:19

When I saw the first pic I thought "Yuck, what a 'orrible colour!" ....then changed my mind when I saw the others! A very nice pen, thanks for sharing.

You might like to consider changing that first pic ...it doesn't flatter...IMO!
If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; But if you really make them think, they'll hate you. Don Marquis US humorist (1878 - 1937)

#9 dannyboy

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 15:13

Congratulations on your new Edison bulb filler! I had Brian make a #76 Bulb Filler in Yellowstone for me and have been thrilled with it! And Brian also customized the nib to left oblique cursive italic and got it spot on as I wanted. I'm a very satisfied customer and believer in the quality of Brian's workmanship. No affiliation except as a happy customer. I'd recommend Brian's work to anyone considering one of his pens.

#10 Doug C

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 01:20

Thanks to everyone (and Roger, it is not an 'orrible color').


Katrin, did Brian respond? He was very quick with me.


Doug.

Edited by Doug C, 07 April 2010 - 01:42.

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#11 MidnightBlue

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 01:25

What I like here, among other things , is that Brian doesn't ask for your soul just because you want a custom job.
Thanks

#12 edbollix

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 20:29

Fantastic Pen, great review and insight into the Edison process. On my short (lotto) list.

#13 razr

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 21:04

Lovely pen! Thanks for taking the time to post pics :thumbup:

#14 pen2paper

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 00:21

It Is stunnning! were I ever able to have an Edison, it would have the engraving on the ink vue also.. stands out beautifully against the ink!

Agree with Roger, the overexposed 1st shot, does not serve this lovely pen, or its material well.




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#15 Doug C

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 00:37

It Is stunnning! were I ever able to have an Edison, it would have the engraving on the ink vue also.. stands out beautifully against the ink!

Agree with Roger, the overexposed 1st shot, does not serve this lovely pen, or its material well.



First, thank you. I like it also.

I was just giving Roger a hard time, but this is more a testament to my non-skills as a photographer. Some of my photos come out okay, and some don't, but I don't have a clue as to why.

In fairness, it might be close to that color if I were out in the bright sunlight (bear in mind that I live in New Mexico where the sun shines most of the time).
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#16 pen2paper

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 00:46

'Doug C'
In fairness, it might be close to that color if I were out in the bright sunlight (bear in mind that I live in New Mexico where the sun shines most of the time).

Oh well then-send that pasty mauve thing up to Michigan.. I'll keep it safely in the shadows for youPosted Image

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#17 Doug C

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 01:19

'Doug C'
In fairness, it might be close to that color if I were out in the bright sunlight (bear in mind that I live in New Mexico where the sun shines most of the time).

Oh well then-send that pasty mauve thing up to Michigan.. I'll keep it safely in the shadows for youPosted Image



Right....keep looking for it in the post. I used it all day today for work, and it is quickly rising to the top of my 100+ pens.
the Danitrio Fellowship

#18 pen2paper

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 01:21

'Doug C'
In fairness, it might be close to that color if I were out in the bright sunlight (bear in mind that I live in New Mexico where the sun shines most of the time).

Oh well then-send that pasty mauve thing up to Michigan.. I'll keep it safely in the shadows for youPosted Image



Right....keep looking for it in the post. I used it all day today for work, and it is quickly rising to the top of my 100+ pens.

worth a shot-aye? what ink?

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#19 Doug C

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 01:23

'Doug C'
In fairness, it might be close to that color if I were out in the bright sunlight (bear in mind that I live in New Mexico where the sun shines most of the time).

Oh well then-send that pasty mauve thing up to Michigan.. I'll keep it safely in the shadows for youPosted Image



Right....keep looking for it in the post. I used it all day today for work, and it is quickly rising to the top of my 100+ pens.

worth a shot-aye? what ink?



Waterman, what ever the light blue is ...Florida???? not sure since I tend to take the labels off of my bottles.


Basically a turquose (You'd think in NM, I would know how to spell that word)...
the Danitrio Fellowship

#20 pen2paper

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 01:27

'Doug C'
In fairness, it might be close to that color if I were out in the bright sunlight (bear in mind that I live in New Mexico where the sun shines most of the time).

Oh well then-send that pasty mauve thing up to Michigan.. I'll keep it safely in the shadows for youPosted Image



Right....keep looking for it in the post. I used it all day today for work, and it is quickly rising to the top of my 100+ pens.

worth a shot-aye? what ink?



Waterman, what ever the light blue is ...Florida???? not sure since I tend to take the labels off of my bottles.


Basically a turquose (You'd think in NM, I would know how to spell that word)...

that would work for me:) (the color)
I play the word game, but never mark in red ink;)

Edited by pen2paper, 08 April 2010 - 01:27.


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