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Edison Morgan


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#1 tonybelding

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 21:44

Today I want to review my Edison Morgan bulb-filler. I've had this pen ever since early January, but there have been a number of hold-ups along the way to reviewing it.

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This pen is my second Edison -- the first being my Glenmont bulb-filler. So, by this time I had a pretty good idea what to expect from Edison and from the bulb-filling mechanism. Unlike the Glenmont, this Morgan was not a bespoke pen made to order. I spotted this already-made pen on the Edison inventory page and loved the look. Little did I realize how much more lustrous the "bedrock flake" acrylic is in sunlight, which photos can't capture. (The Glenmont had fooled me that way too.)

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These pens have an attraction, a kind of charisma, that's hard to pin down. They're big and beautiful, but lightweight, and the lack of trim parts (cap bands, etc.) gives them a smooth profile. They beg to be examined, handled and used.

The nib is steel IPG and has a bit of history. I originally bought a Taccia Merit with the broad nib, planning to have it stubbed. I sent it to Pendemonium where they did a great job in a short time, and it didn't cost much. To me the result is a perfect fine stub: I guess about 0.8mm, which is fine enough and smooth enough for everyday writing, yet wide enough to give my handwriting that bit of extra flair I was looking for. It's fairly wet and has just enough friction on the page to give a sense of precision control. However, with a lubricated ink, such as PR Invincible Black, it becomes very smooth! It's an IPG nib which also happens to be the same size and make as the ones on most Edison pens. So. . . Not that there was anything wrong with the Taccia (they are surprisingly well made pens for the money), but I thought this especially nice customized nib deserved an even better home. I sent the Merit to Brian and he swapped the nib into the Morgan, and he supplied a new medium IPG nib to the Taccia.

I should mention that Brian Gray can grind nibs too! It just happened that I already had this customized nib that I knew I liked, but I would have no qualms about having a nib customized in-house at Edison Pens. I did that before with my Glenmont and was happy with how it came out.

The bulb-filling system, as I've noted before, is very cool. I measured the Glenmont's capacity at 2.5ml, and the Morgan's should be pretty close to the same. That's more ink than any piston-filler I'm aware of, and is second only to large eyedropper-filled pens. Filling is a bit slow. You have to repeatedly squeeze the bulb, then release it and give it a few seconds to expand and draw in ink before squeezing again. It's an easy motion to perform while holding the pen in an ink bottle, and it's fun to watch the ink level rise in the ink window with each pump. One advantage over an eyedropper is that the bulb-filler can top off the tank any time without having to open up the pen.

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Flushing the pen and changing inks isn't quite so convenient. The best way is to bypass the bulb-filler. You can unscrew the section from the barrel -- just like opening up a C/C or eyedropper pen -- and pour out any remaining ink, then flush the insides of the pen with water. It's also easy to reach inside with a cotton swab and scrub any residual film from the inside surface of the ink window.

One small difference between the Glenmont and the Morgan is the clip. Although the round ball clip on the Glenmont is traditional-looking, I found it stiff and rough, and it doesn't always go onto a pocket easily. The Morgan's clip has a smoother hemisphere on the end, which makes it easy for me to clip into my vest pocket with one hand.

I'm not usually in the habit of posting my caps, although it seems I've been doing it more often lately. The Morgan does post nicely. It looked awkward to me at first because the long cap makes it seem huge when posted -- but it's so lightweight that it doesn't actually imbalance the pen at all.

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Another notable difference is the grip. The Morgan has a step up from the section and cap threads to the larger diameter of the main body. Some might find that uncomfortable. It didn't bother me, since I tend to grip my pens lower down, closer to the nib. However. . . I found the sharp edges of the section and the threads sometimes became iritating to my fingers. I asked Brian Gray if he could smooth those areas just a bit. He said sure, and I sent the Morgan back to him for a bit of tweaking.

When I got it back I found the rough spots were polished down, but now there was another problem. The section was cracked! It was a very fine crack, hard to see; the colored flakes in the acrylic were almost like camouflage, and there was no telling how long it had escaped our notice. Even though it was nearly invisible, the section is a structural component, and I didn't want a crack in it. So, the pen went back to Brian Gray again, this time to get a new section made.

He didn't waste any time completing that repair and turning the pen around to me. Since then, with the issues sorted out, the Morgan has been a super-pen. It's got everything:

  • it's big but not impractically so
  • it's lightweight and comfortable to hold
  • it's beautiful but not garish
  • the cap posts nicely
  • it's convenient to fill and holds a lot of ink
  • it has a large ink window
  • the nib writes well and adds flair to my handwriting
  • the cap seals well and the pen doesn't tend to dry out
  • the whole thing easily comes apart for cleaning

I'm trying to think of what else I'd want in a pen, and I'm not coming up with much. What else could I ask for? Oh yeah. . . It's made by hand in the USA too, in Milan Ohio, the birthplace of Thomas Edison.

What do you do after you've found your ultimate fountain pen? Where do I go from here?

I guess I just have to decide whether my next Edison is going to be ebonite or celluloid!

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#2 RedSox04

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 21:59

I like to read the Edison reviews. Each is so personal.
Glad to hear the clips are secure, even huge companies (Pilot/MB) have trouble with a nice clip.


Is the acrylic more or less durable than "normal" plastic? Like a Pilot Custom 74

Nice grail pen, though :thumbup:
To hold a pen is to be at war
-Voltaire

#3 JefferyS

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 22:01

Nice review, and nice photos.
Jeffery
In the Irish Channel of
New Orleans, LA

#4 tonybelding

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 22:25

Is the acrylic more or less durable than "normal" plastic? Like a Pilot Custom 74


I'm no expert on various plastic formulations. Acrylic is a generic term for a whole family of plastics, and the companies that supply pen blanks are usually pretty vague about exactly what went into them. Acrylic does have a reputation for being pretty stable, though -- at least as stable as ebonite and celluloid, if not moreso.

I noticed Bear Tooth Woods now have a whole series of new blanks made from something called "RhinoPlastic" which they say is tougher to work with but "spectacular when finished" with outstanding "sparkle and depth". Those might be worth looking into.

#5 RedSox04

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 23:28

Great find, Tony. They have some amazing color options and they put an emphasis on domestic production

http://rhinoplasticb...com/colors.html
To hold a pen is to be at war
-Voltaire

#6 watch_art

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 23:41

Those Edisons are just stunning.

fpn_1432247667__cropped-20150427_0641231 sigpic14481_1.gif vanness.jpg?t=1321916122


#7 J_Rock

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 03:09

These reviews on Edison pens are killing me. I plan to order mine in July but seeing these reviews makes two months seem like 2 years!!!!

I enjoy reading your reviews and the honesty in them. Very well done. Thank you for taking the time to post it.

#8 Painterspal

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 06:23

Great review, I enjoyed it a lot and love the shape of the Morgan.
D A N i T R i O f e l l o w s h i p

#9 SHK

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 17:24

Great find, Tony. They have some amazing color options and they put an emphasis on domestic production

http://rhinoplasticb...com/colors.html


Thanks for the link.
The really have amazing colors.

Sascha

#10 RedSox04

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 17:48

Great find, Tony. They have some amazing color options and they put an emphasis on domestic production

http://rhinoplasticb...com/colors.html


Thanks for the link.
The really have amazing colors.

Sascha


Check out blue panther and purple illusion! I wonder what Mr. Gray's thoughts are on these :thumbup:
To hold a pen is to be at war
-Voltaire

#11 pmsalty

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 18:47

Beautiful pen! The step on the section would be a bit of a bother for me,since I tend to hold my pens fairly high. You had me until then! Very nice review!
PMS
When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty -Thomas Jefferson

#12 jniforat

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 18:52

i'm wondering if you can post a writing sample as i've been thinking of sending some stuff to pendemonium lately...

#13 tonybelding

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 20:16

good idea. . .

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EDIT: I should also add that I have had three nibs stub-ground: one by Edison, one by Richard Binder, and one through Pendemonium. I couldn't complain about any of them, but the Pendemonium nib is my favorite.

Edited by tonybelding, 14 May 2011 - 20:30.


#14 JefferyS

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 01:21

Before joining this forum, I had never heard of Edison pens (and it is unlikely that one would). They are certainly more exciting to read about than pens from companies that offer only a handful of models. I wish that we could erect a forum dedicated to American pens, not because they are from America (though that has become a bit of a rarity these days) but because there is considerable diversity among the Edison/Bexley/Gate City pens and I would like to see them have a niche/forum here. Okay, it's easy enough to do a search using Edison or Bexley or Gate City on the search line, but these are some very nice pens that deserve the attention.

Again Tony, great photos of your pens.
Jeffery
In the Irish Channel of
New Orleans, LA

#15 JonSzanto

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 01:29

Thanks, Tony. I haven't yet made the step up into more expensive pens, and frankly, this is the first one that made me want to. None of the over the top, "look at me", ostentatious stuff I see on many (or most) of the high-end pens. I like the features, I like the subtle look, and the fact that it is hand crafted.

Very nice. Congratulations1
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