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Pitman Shorthand Pen & Nib

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10 replies to this topic

#1 lorr1e1



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Posted 27 June 2012 - 16:34

Hi, I am new to this forum. I am looking for helpful advice and links etc.

I am learning 'Pitman Shorthand New Era', a friend offered to teach me as she learned this system rather the more recent versions.

I wanted to purchase an Esterbrook Shorthand pen, I absolutely LOVE the marbling effect and unique colours, I believe IIRC 1554, 1555, 9555 and 9128 which is marketed for the Pitman only are the nibs to look out for, from what I read somewhere on this site, though i cant be sure if this is correct?! I also need to buy the pen as i dont own an Esterbrook, just some Parker's and Schaeffer's. I have read that there is a range of Renew points, it would be great to get such a pen then I can change the nib for other Esterbrook nibs for purposes other than just shorthand writing.

Can anyone help me with this. Please note that I am not knowledgeable about Esterbrook pens.

I live in UK.

Many Thanks

Edited by lorr1e1, 27 June 2012 - 17:47.

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#2 Hobiwan


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Posted 28 June 2012 - 00:35

If my knowledge of "pens used for shorthand" is still valid, and depending on the size of your hand, you'd be looking for one of the LJ (full sized slender) or SJ (small slender) pens. They'd be the most reasonably priced. As to points, I'd go for one of the 9xxx series, as I think it'd be smoother, but there are others on this forum who are fine-point specialists more knowledgable than I.

After that, it's color preference. Black, Blue, Red, Green, Brown and Grey are the standard colors. Finer Steno-type points are more reasonable than Medium or Broad, and there are many people selling them; so you're OK there.

Sounds like you're in for some fun. :clap1:

Edited by Hobiwan, 28 June 2012 - 00:36.

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#3 loeshab


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Posted 29 June 2012 - 03:03

Hello lorr1e1 and :W2FPN: ,

Post #9 in the following thread is interesting in describing the need for a flexible nib for Pitman-


The "Pitman" and "Gregg" glossary entries on the member's website offer more information and mentions both the Esterbrook n128 and n555 shorthand nibs.


And lastly for fun, there are some wonderful old Gregg shorthand ads on Anderson Pens site-


I know nothing about shorthand (and am new here myself) but if you're interested in seeing them, I could post pictures of the Esterbrook 1555 and/or 9128 nibs and writing samples.

Good luck and enjoy your search for these wonderful pens!

I feel that I am entitled to my share of lightheartedness and there is nothing wrong with enjoying one's self simply...~ Leo Tolstoy In response to criticism for learning to ride a bicycle at age 67

#4 checkrail


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Posted 09 July 2012 - 12:19

Hi lorr1e1
I do not know a great deal about shorthand, but I understand that varying the thickness of strokes is a feature of Pitman, but not of some others. This would mean that points designated as firm and for Gregg shorthand would not be suitable for Pitman as firm points will not give the line variation.Also it is the nib, in the case of Esterbrook, that is really for shorthand rather than the entire pen, with the nib being changeable.

Recently I have been experimenting with some of the (semi-)flexible Esterbrook nibs, but after decades using FPs always following my father's advice on no account to press down on a pen nib, the experimentation has shown that they are unlikely to work for my writing. In the course of this I have acquired two 9128 points, mint as far as I can see. One was part of a salvage pen that was consequently cheap on eBay and the other was on a pen offered to me by Writetime as a substitute at the same price for one already sold which had had a far less interesting nib, a generous action on their part.

Although I do not have a spare pen to go with it, I would be happy to send you one of these nibs for nothing as they cost me next to nothing and it would be good to have it used properly for its intended purpose.
If you are interested e-mail me: mitchellbirrell@googlemail.com

#5 lorr1e1



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Posted 09 July 2012 - 19:52

Hi Timothy

I read your post with such excitement, I have such a wide smile on my face :D. Thank you for your kind gesture, I think in return when I get a complete pen, I shall write some shorthand with the nib and give an demonstration and post it on here.

I'll send you an email now.

Thank you :thumbup:

#6 pensaro



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Posted 08 April 2017 - 09:38

a bit late I know, but just found this topic.  I have the Esterbrook Shorthand Pen with a 9128 Ex Fine Nib (Fine Pemanship & Pitman Shorthand).


I bought this in 1968 - I remember it clearly - I was starting a very important secretarial new job (to me) ........ Looking at the Pen now - it is like new - my shorthand was not required as Dictaphones were used!!!!!!!!

#7 AAAndrew


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Posted 11 April 2017 - 13:39

Interesting, the 9128 used for shorthand. The 128 Esterbrook steel pen (dip pen nib) is one of their premier "penman" pens and is called the Elastic Pen. I hadn't noticed a x128 renew point. Now I have a new acquisition target in mind.


[sigh] It's never finished, is it? At least not with Esterbrook. Just when you think you're getting close you find out about the Esterbrook Compass, or Esterbrook pipes and pipe cleaners, Esterbrook clips, their line of rare stainless steel nibs called Esterchrome, plus the hundreds of styles and numbers and imprints from their regular steel pen line, or dozens of styles of pen holders, most long forgotten and never seen, ... 


Give it up. You might as well just forget about collecting Esterbrooks. Save a single J pen for yourself and send the rest to me for respectful disposal. (into my collection)

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#8 inkstainedruth


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Posted 12 April 2017 - 00:09

I never took shorthand.  I do have both the 1555 and 9555 Gregg Shorthand nibs, but I didn't know that there were specific nibs good for Pitman shorthand.  Now you've got me curious, especially since I do have a couple of SJs with 9128 nibs on them.

Thanks for resurrecting this post.

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#9 pensaro



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Posted 12 April 2017 - 16:44

Photos of the Estie.  The steel cap has an unusual crevice end....

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Edited by pensaro, 12 April 2017 - 16:45.

#10 gweimer1



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Posted 12 April 2017 - 16:56

The M2.  One thing that Esterbrook did well was capture the look of a decade in their pens.  The M2 is very much a '50s pen. I like them.

#11 pensaro



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Posted 17 April 2017 - 10:23

Photos of the Estie.  The steel cap has an unusual crevice end....


purchased WHSmith Cardiff 1968

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