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Vintage Broad Nib Rarity

vintage broad

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18 replies to this topic

#1 nrum97

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 20:10

I have recently gotten into fixing up and using vintage pens, and now I find that I quite prefer them over modern pens. However, my problem is that I prefer broad nibs and most vintage pens (at the very least American vintage pens) have nibs that are quite fine.

 

So I know they're rare, but what I want to know is whether they're somewhat hard-to-find or Holy Grail/Arc of the Covenant/Jimmy Hoffa's Remains hard-to-find. I know the nibs on older ('30s-'50s) English pens tend to be broader than their American counterparts, but those pens aren't exactly falling out of the sky in these parts (Washington state). I am also aware that somewhat younger ('50s-'70s) German pens with broad and oblique nibs are in rather plentiful supply, but those are problematic for a variety of reasons: 1. German broad nibs seem to be rather stubbish, which I don't like, 2. I have absolutely no idea how to go about fixing German pens (most seem to be piston fillers), and 3. I dislike buying things online, which is kind of a necessity since I don't intend to fly all the way to Germany just to buy a pen.

 

tl;dr: I like vintage pens and broad nibs, so what is the probability of me finding them together? Also, how should I go about finding vintage broad nibs? Any specific brands/time periods to look for? 



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#2 tmenyc

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 20:13

There are broad-nibbed Esterbrook nibs that are easily available.  And broad-nibbed Parker 51s, 75s, 61s..and I have a Sheaffer Balance with a factory BB....they do exist.



#3 nrum97

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 20:18

There are broad-nibbed Esterbrook nibs that are easily available.

I've poked around a bit on the internet and it seems to me that the broad Esterbrook nibs are among the hardest to find, especially the tipped one (the 9698, iirc)...



#4 Cyber6

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 20:26

There are broad-nibbed Esterbrook nibs that are easily available.  And broad-nibbed Parker 51s, 75s, 61s..and I have a Sheaffer Balance with a factory BB....they do exist.

 

 

Don't know... Broad Parker 51's are hard to find.   I took me several years to find a Parker 51 with a BB nib.   

 

 

 

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#5 nrum97

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 20:30

There are broad-nibbed Esterbrook nibs that are easily available.  And broad-nibbed Parker 51s, 75s, 61s..and I have a Sheaffer Balance with a factory BB....they do exist.

 

 

 

Don't know... Broad Parker 51's are hard to find.   I took me several years to find a Parker 51 with a BB nib.   

 

 

 

C. 

I should also just state plainly that I dislike the Parker 51...I just think it's an ugly pen. I know this makes me somewhat of an outlier here on the Parker 51 Network, but it is what it is.



#6 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 21:49

As far as I can tell the German pens of the era '50's with semi-flex or maxi-semi-flex are all stubbish (including the EF, F and M)....adding that to the flex does give you flair that you don't have to work at.

 

I don't know how many pens you have or how long you have been collecting....but stubs seem to grow on folks...and stubbish semi-flex becomes well loved by many. Have you any? They are not like the nail US stub....not really. They have more life to them...charm and etc.

 

I do have some '60's second tier semi-flex nibs with the American Bump Under that you like...gives a real nice springy soft ride...but the '50-65 main companies are still stubbish, with semi or maxi-semi-flex.

 

A P-75 is not stubbish at all, nor are the P-51. P-75 is not that rare in B....and I've seen P-51's talked about in B. I live in Germany so don't chase many American pens....just a few grand place holders...the got to have pens.

 

I have a chart from the '90's I can't seem to transfer here....that showed...both Parker and Sheaffer wider than Pelikan or Waterman. (Conway Stewart was by far the widest nib on that chart.)

I do know modern fat blobby semi-nail Pelikan nibs are fatter than vintage....just like MB.

My vintage Pelikans, Geha, Osmia and MB 's and other German pens of the '50-65 era are thinner than modern...a B is like a modern M or fat M.


German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#7 flipper_gv

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 00:33

My 51 is a solid broad. Not that hard to find.



#8 nrum97

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 03:57

As far as I can tell the German pens of the era '50's with semi-flex or maxi-semi-flex are all stubbish (including the EF, F and M)....adding that to the flex does give you flair that you don't have to work at.
 
I don't know how many pens you have or how long you have been collecting....but stubs seem to grow on folks...and stubbish semi-flex becomes well loved by many. Have you any? They are not like the nail US stub....not really. They have more life to them...charm and etc.
 
I do have some '60's second tier semi-flex nibs with the American Bump Under that you like...gives a real nice springy soft ride...but the '50-65 main companies are still stubbish, with semi or maxi-semi-flex.


I'm not really that much of a flex guy, mainly because of my grip, which is an affront to all that is good and holy (I'm a righthanded overwriter/sidewriter). I have not used any real stub nibs, but it's not the feel that I find offputting; it's the line variation. Doesn't really look good with my handwriting.

A P-75 is not stubbish at all, nor are the P-51. P-75 is not that rare in B....and I've seen P-51's talked about in B. I live in Germany so don't chase many American pens....just a few grand place holders...the got to have pens.


My 51 is a solid broad. Not that hard to find.


So I gather that Parker is a good brand for broad nibs...cool.

#9 sidthecat

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 00:32

I had a Waterman with a broad nib that was also quite flexible...I gave it to a friend who could get more out of it than I could.

 

Mabie Todd seems to have made a lot of broad nibs, but my current favorite is an Edward Todd ringtop. You need to look at a lot of pens to find what you want.



#10 Ghost Plane

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 14:04

Welcome to my world! All the grinders who butcher broad and specialty nibs to make their nasty needle-tips have a lot to answer for.

They seem to come in waves as collections are released into the wild and tastes change. Cultivate patience and close relationships with the consignment sellers.

#11 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 17:25

A shading ink can change your mind with out needing a semi-flex...which is often a tad wet for shading inks...depending on the paper. You do need 90g & + to have reliable shading in F&M or even B nibs.

There is not the 'line variation' but there is two tone color variation with shading inks.

 

Semi-flex is very, very, very far from "flex" or Superflex. They are not even in the same book, much less the same page.

 

Semi-flex is a very, very nice riding nib with great spring to the nib...one writes normal with semi-flex with out 'trying' to make the nib do something........unless you wish and then only for a bit. It is not a "Flex"/Superflex  nib...


German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#12 Runnin_Ute

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Posted 28 July 2016 - 01:18

Here is a list of all the different nibs available for Esterbrook pens.

 

http://www.esterbrook.net/nibs.shtml

 

Many of these Brian Anderson of Anderson Pens will have in stock. I have a 2464 (manifold Broad), two 9550's (EF), a 9450 (EF), a 1555 Gregg (Fine), a Venus Fine and either a 9460 or 9461 I forget which it is. Two of them are not in pens at the moment.


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#13 nrum97

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Posted 28 July 2016 - 18:19

Here is a list of all the different nibs available for Esterbrook pens.

 

http://www.esterbrook.net/nibs.shtml

 

Many of these Brian Anderson of Anderson Pens will have in stock. I have a 2464 (manifold Broad), two 9550's (EF), a 9450 (EF), a 1555 Gregg (Fine), a Venus Fine and either a 9460 or 9461 I forget which it is. Two of them are not in pens at the moment.

The 9968 is the nib I was thinking of. The untipped (1xxx and 2xxx) Esterbrook nibs worry me; I have a J with a 9550 that my grandparents gave me.

 

I had a Waterman with a broad nib that was also quite flexible...I gave it to a friend who could get more out of it than I could.

 

Mabie Todd seems to have made a lot of broad nibs, but my current favorite is an Edward Todd ringtop. You need to look at a lot of pens to find what you want.

I'll keep an eye out.



#14 inkstainedruth

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Posted 28 July 2016 - 19:31

The Esterbrook 9968 nib is not that hard to find -- I have one.  What *is* nearly impossible to find is the 9312 (italic medium).  I've seen precisely *one*, and that was quite recently (the owner of the pen sporting it and I had a lovely time geeking about pens and inks).

Most of my vintage pens do have F nibs on them (with a few M and EF nibs thrown in for variation).  I *did*, however, find a Snorkel in the wild last Thanksgiving weekend with a factory stub nib on it.  And a friend of mine picked up a burgundy 51 awhile back with what I think was a broad stub ("No, Karl, it's not a Plummer.  Yes, the nib is still really awesome, and I'm totally jealous...").  B) 

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#15 nrum97

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Posted 28 July 2016 - 21:06

The Esterbrook 9968 nib is not that hard to find -- I have one.  What *is* nearly impossible to find is the 9312 (italic medium).  I've seen precisely *one*, and that was quite recently (the owner of the pen sporting it and I had a lovely time geeking about pens and inks).

Most of my vintage pens do have F nibs on them (with a few M and EF nibs thrown in for variation).  I *did*, however, find a Snorkel in the wild last Thanksgiving weekend with a factory stub nib on it.  And a friend of mine picked up a burgundy 51 awhile back with what I think was a broad stub ("No, Karl, it's not a Plummer.  Yes, the nib is still really awesome, and I'm totally jealous...").  B) 

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

I'll keep an eye out for a 9968...gotta get me one of them. I'll be out and about antiquing this weekend, so let's hope I get lucky! Even though I'm not that much of an italic guy, I have heard wonderful things about the factory stubs (both modern and vintage) from the American companies.



#16 nrum97

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 00:04

Update time!

Apparently the fountain pen gods have smiled upon me because this weekend I not only found an Esterbrook 9968 nib unit (New in box for $4, nonetheless!) but also a really weird (and ugly) Franklin combo pen with a tiny, stubbish, and slightly oblique B or BB flex nib (which I will be selling in the near future).

The Esterbrook nib is absolutely wonderful and smooth (as one would expect from Esterbrook) and, most importantly, broad!

This is slightly off topic, but I also found an awesome Medford ring-top fountain pen with an extra-fine and somewhat flexible nib. It should be a perfect pocket pen.

#17 sidthecat

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 03:07

Congrats on your ringtop. They're a bit undervalued these days so you can sometimes find a real bargain (don't tell anyone).

#18 mmg122

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 04:44

The Esterbrook #2284 (#9284) is a beautifully smooth broad nib and my favorite. Esterbrook broads can still be found quite easily, although usually with a premium price to pay. It took me many years to find a Parker 51 with a broad nib...actually broad stub, and it is currently one of my favorite EDCs...second only to the Esterbrook J with a #2284 nib. To find an affordable vintage pen with a broad nib just takes persistence...but they're out there.

Good hunting!

#19 sidthecat

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Posted 27 August 2016 - 00:18

There's a Wahl ringtop with a lovely stub nib on eBay this week, but it's mine! Mine!

 

I'll note that my fancy changes quite a bit, so I keep an assortment of mostly vintage nibs. I'd never dream of regrinding them, either.







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