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How Old Are Fountain Pen Users?

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74 replies to this topic

Poll: How old are fountain pen users? (207 member(s) have cast votes)

How old are fountain pen users?

  1. <15 (2 votes [0.97%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 0.97%

  2. 15-24 (25 votes [12.08%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 12.08%

  3. 25-34 (45 votes [21.74%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 21.74%

  4. 35-44 (36 votes [17.39%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 17.39%

  5. 45-54 (38 votes [18.36%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 18.36%

  6. 55-64 (40 votes [19.32%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 19.32%

  7. 65-75 (17 votes [8.21%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 8.21%

  8. >75 (4 votes [1.93%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 1.93%

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#41 e-beth

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Posted 13 September 2015 - 19:11

My 7 year old grandson already has a pen collection but his cursive is still pretty weak. He primarily uses fountains to sketch. Right now his cursive is pretty weak and hopefully with time his eye hand coordination will improve. The real trick to teaching your grandchildren to use fountain pens is to teach your kids and the grandchildren will mimic their parents.

 

My 3 year old daughter loves my fountain pens, but I'm a little leery of giving them to her to use.  I have gotten a pilot varsity one for her to write with for the moment, but I'd like to get her one of thesegreenfield_pens__07192.1433091122.600.60

 

which are apparently quite popular in Waldorf schools.


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#42 Zhenni

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Posted 13 September 2015 - 23:34

I'm 33 and teach high school in Southern California.

Fountain pens were not part of my school experience at all. I've introduced my high schoolers to the world of fountain pens just by using them myself. I've had an interesting school year so far, with 20 kids asking me to buy Preppies for them!

#43 hbquikcomjamesl

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 00:17

. . . Of course, not all fountain pen enthusiasts are on active on the FPN . . . .

Neither are all FPN users "enthusiasts," "hobbyists," or "collectors."

 

Some of us are merely people who prefer FPs to other writing implements (in my case, to the point where I even use them to mark cuts and hole locations in pieces of wood!), and/or loathe the feel of ballpoints.

 

And my scrawls are somewhat less illegible with a FP (or my second choice, a Sharpie) than they are with a BP or a pencil.

 

Further skewing the data is the simple fact that not everybody is computer literate.

 

Oh, and for the record, my own cursive skills (reading as well as writing) have long-since atrophied (not that they were any good to begin with) to the point where about all they're good for any more is signatures. (On the rare occasions when I need to hand-write something with more than just basic legibility, my letterforms are based on Garamond Roman type.)


Edited by hbquikcomjamesl, 14 September 2015 - 00:38.

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#44 Dragonmaster Lou

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 02:37

I'll be 39 in a couple of weeks.



#45 bongo47

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 03:31

Neither are all FPN users "enthusiasts," "hobbyists," or "collectors."
 
Some of us are merely people who prefer FPs to other writing implements (in my case, to the point where I even use them to mark cuts and hole locations in pieces of wood!), and/or loathe the feel of ballpoints.


Right, I think that's a very good point: there are multiple identities and relationships embedded with in the FPN. You're saying it's merely a utilitarian preference and eschew a social component that would link you to collectors or hobbyists, while others I suspect find that conventions, and local clubs a very important component of their relationship with the pens. You may be a bit of an outlier with respect to such avid engagement with an online community, but there may be others (perhaps a silent majority) like you. Others in the utilitarian camp may have within their vocation the sale or manufacture of the pens.

What would be interesting is how this may play out across objects. Let's say there's a bicycle forum out there. Could there be passionate enthusiasts who are mixing with those who use their bikes just to get to work and back? Or perhaps live in countries where bikes remain far more common in proportion to cars than say the U.S.?

How might these variations explain various behaviors relevant to the object and those within the shared community? Questions like these keep us social psychologists busy.

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#46 pankaj

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 07:24

Roosevelt was in Casablanca when I was born.

 

AbE:

 

I forgot to discuss my  introduction to fountain pens but that was covered here.  Basically the progression was crayons, pencil, fountain pen.

Hahahaha.. never had a cue antelope could be an awesome writing board ! But what's the point learning it now - I can barely walk, let alone running after an antelope. :lticaptd:

 

couldn't stop laughing out after reading your post . I must stop as I know its not good for my wrinkled heart.  



#47 martinbir

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 08:07

I am 61. Up to the age of 9 we used pencil at school when we moved to fountain pens (or dip pens supplied by the school). At 14 ballpoints were permitted so obviously everyone swapped but after a couple of years I went back to a "proper pen".

Since then I have always preferred a fountain pen or mechanical pencil although there have been long spells where ballpoints were the only practical proposition.



#48 Dhruv_Sood

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 09:57

I'm 22.

I went through the first page of the thread when there were less than 20 posts.
The thread has asked your age which is a number in all cases. I can't see why members are associating it with certain events.
If it's that uncomfortable revealing your age, just vote and be off with it.

#49 Reevers

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 12:22

I'm 34.

 

I grew up in an era / environment of cartridge razors, digital watches and ballpoint pens.

 

It seems like I've rejected them all.

 

Shaving with a straight razor or DE razor, wearing a precision mechanical watch and writing with a beautiful fountain pen are all things I take pleasure from.


Edited by Reevers, 14 September 2015 - 12:23.

Matt


#50 edebill

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 12:26

I'm 40. I grew up in Texas going to public schools. No fountain pens in school - it was all pencils and ballpoints.

 

I was into calligraphy for a while in middle-school and used a Shaeffer calligraphy pen with the little cartridges for ink. I didn't use one for years after that.

 

While I was in college I kept losing my ballpoint pens. They were cheap and it wasn't a big deal until eventually I'd lose all the pens in my bag and I wouldn't have one when I needed it. I thought "what if I actually cared about my pen? Maybe I'd hold on to it better."  They were selling Parker Vectors for $15 in the university book store. I bought one and the brain hack worked. I used it for several years. The tipping was half gone when realized I could get other models of fountain pen and picked up a Safari.

 

I seem to go back and forth between taking notes on paper with a fountain pen and taking them on a laptop. It seems to be about a 4 year cycle. This latest round of fountain pen mania has lead me to discover a lot more about my personal taste in pens and got me journalling regularly for the first time in my life. Who knows? Maybe they'll be here to stay.


Edited by edebill, 14 September 2015 - 12:27.


#51 ISW_Kaputnik

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 13:46

I'm 22.

I went through the first page of the thread when there were less than 20 posts.
The thread has asked your age which is a number in all cases. I can't see why members are associating it with certain events.
If it's that uncomfortable revealing your age, just vote and be off with it.

Why not?  You've never noticed an Internet thread straying from the original topic before?  And simply noting one's age isn't very interesting.

 

There's also an assumption implicit in the original question that older fountain pen users may have grown up with them.  That's not necessarily the case.  A given user in his fifties or sixties may be as much of a newbie as a given teenager.


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#52 inkstainedruth

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 14:11

I *could* say it's not polite to ask a lady her age....  :P

 

Nothing wrong with the question, but it's not the whole story.  Born in the mid 1950s and growing up in the 60s, I might very well have used fountain pens as a child, but I didn't.  In fact, although I was vaguely aware of their existence, and they were certainly still available in office supply stores, I have no memory at all of seeing anyone using them.  My parents, born in the 1920s, just told me that they were prone to leakage if you weren't careful.  They always used ballpoints.

 

In fact, I didn't even think about using a fountain pen until I was past fifty.  I'd discovered that gel pens could be much smoother than regular ballpoints, and happened to read some things about fountain pens as well.  So I don't think it was so much a generational thing; I came to them in much the same way that a twenty year old might.  If my age played a role, it was more that I already preferred to write by hand, and I was still using cursive.

I'm pretty much in the same boat, but a tad younger than ISW_Kaputnik.  I remember maybe having some sort of cartridge pen when I was a kid, after sort of inheriting my grandfather's [something leverfiller] which I think may have been a pen/pencil combo.  My mother *definitely* preferred BPs (it was her decided opinion that fountain pens leaked).  

I was always "arty" though.  Used a variety of dip pens and Radiographs in high school and college.  Finding my way to fountain pens was a relatively recent development (past decade or so overall, but seriously in the past 3-1/2 years), but probably in retrospect not an unexpected one when push comes to shove.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


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#53 Dhruv_Sood

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 14:19

Why not?  You've never noticed an Internet thread straying from the original topic before?  And simply noting one's age isn't very interesting.
 
There's also an assumption implicit in the original question that older fountain pen users may have grown up with them.  That's not necessarily the case.  A given user in his fifties or sixties may be as much of a newbie as a given teenager.

I think you didn't get what I wanted to say. My mistake that I didn't elaborate enough. Sorry.

I am not at all opposed to sharing stories or experiences. They make the thread an interesting read. What I wanted to say is, relating your age with such incidents or part of histroy gives you a range of age, not the exact age. I follow a thread i post on for 7-8 pages of the goes on for that long, and I like to summarize results. Poll takes care of that in this case. But exact ages would be better. :)

Sorry, if my love of numbers offended anybody. :)

Edit: here is my story,

I didn't know anything about fountain pens except from the fact that they had bigger nibs than gel or ball pens. We had an environmental science class in 7th grade in which we were enocouraged to take up fountain pens as they don't pollute the environment with those plastic refills. So, the same day I went home and asked my mother to give me the pens grandfather had left behind for her. :)
This was back in 2005. So I have been writing with them for 11 years now. IIrc, we had that class in the month of septmeber. :)
Better order a FP design cake. :D

Edited by Dhruv_Sood, 14 September 2015 - 14:23.


#54 PAKMAN

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 15:26

Born in the mid 50's but never exposed to fountain pens at school or at home. Folks wrote with those nasty government issue ball point pens. Bought one in '72 on a whim (Sheaffer School Pen) and played with it until all the cartridges were gone and I had ink all over everything. I was reintroduced to them about 12 years ago and have been hooked ever since!


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#55 jar

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 15:41

I think there may be a few general generational breakpoints. 

 

For those of us (US centric) born in the 40s and earlier fountain pens were pretty much the norm.  In banks and post offices there were dip fountain pens with the inkwell attached to a counter.  Ball points were the new gizmo and frankly, as messy and even more temperamental than fountain pens.

 

Those born just a decade later enter when the ball point was the norm.  In the same banks and post offices you now found ball points chained to the counter.

 

Time passes.  There are fewer buggy whip makers yet one of my friends makes his living as did his great grandfather making tack and (you guessed it)  buggy whips.  It's unlikely today any of his products ever even see a horse but that's another story.

 

Unfortunately, what is really needed is probably something that shows a history of uses, continuous, periodic, new as relates to someone's age, station and lifestage. 


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#56 inkstainedruth

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 16:28

Time passes.  There are fewer buggy whip makers yet one of my friends makes his living as did his great grandfather making tack and (you guessed it)  buggy whips.  It's unlikely today any of his products ever even see a horse but that's another story.

Actually, it occurs to me that your friend should be looking at the harness racing industry.  Also, possibly, in areas with a strong Amish presence (although they're more likely to patronize their own community rather than dealing with the "English").

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

 

edited for formatting


Edited by inkstainedruth, 14 September 2015 - 16:29.

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#57 subbu68

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 17:33

I'm 47 now and had been using FPs since i was 10. Had a small collection of FPs but never took care of them and was hard at them No FPN those days to get some advice how to stop leaks or how to smooth nibs  ;). so spoiled many a pens.

 

In my engineering Reynolds exploded the scene in India with their 045 and for general notes that was the way. FPs were still for fair notes, lab records and exams. After landing up my first job, FPs became occasional use but a stint in UAE got me a few good pens Birdie, Pelikan Future etc. They have been in use but my wedding anniversary last year got myself a Lamy Studio and that "switched off" my BPs.

 

As a user for 37 years and as an enthusiast only since last year.

 

I have one more vote for <15 category - my daughter  with a collection of nearly 50 fountain pens now. 



#58 heavyhorses

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 18:48

I think there may be a few general generational breakpoints. 

 

For those of us (US centric) born in the 40s and earlier fountain pens were pretty much the norm.  In banks and post offices there were dip fountain pens with the inkwell attached to a counter.  Ball points were the new gizmo and frankly, as messy and even more temperamental than fountain pens.

 

Those born just a decade later enter when the ball point was the norm.  In the same banks and post offices you now found ball points chained to the counter.

 

Time passes.  There are fewer buggy whip makers yet one of my friends makes his living as did his great grandfather making tack and (you guessed it)  buggy whips.  It's unlikely today any of his products ever even see a horse but that's another story.

 

Unfortunately, what is really needed is probably something that shows a history of uses, continuous, periodic, new as relates to someone's age, station and lifestage. 

 

You might be surprised - as my username implies, I am (or was before spinal problems) active in the heavy horse and other harness horse worlds, and there are more of us than you'd think here in the UK, and in the rest of Europe!

 

And there's definitely a UK-US divide here (not sure about other countries?) - many or even most people I know in their 30s or older used fountain pens in school!



#59 Sasha Royale

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 19:00

I disagree with the "image".  Most people born prior to WWI were fountain pen / dip pen users, but also mostly dead.  Prior to 1945, "pen" meant dip pen or fountain pen.   There were no other options. 

I suspect the oldest person to use a fountain pen would be 177 year old Louis Waterman (Nov 1837).


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#60 Dhruv_Sood

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 19:02

So what did the maker of J. Herbin use to write with his ink?





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