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Exotic Norwegian Fountain Pen


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15 replies to this topic

#1 Waski_the_Squirrel

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 01:38

One of my favorite things to do as a fountain pen reviewer is turning out to be finding an exotic old fountain pen from a lesser known brand. So, in part thanks to my earlier review of the Centropen 100820, I was contacted by a Norwegian gentleman who was interested in trading a Norwegian pen for an American pen. The pen he offered was a plain looking Pan 52, made some time in the very late 1940s to early 1950s.

 

fpn_1482368601__pan52_7.jpg

 

The color on these photos doesn't show it well, but the pen is a very dark brown. Honestly, the pen doesn't look like much. From these closeups of the nib and finial, you can see it is not very decorated.

 

fpn_1482368583__pan52_6.jpg

fpn_1482368565__pan52_5.jpg

 

 

The pen does not have much for branding. There is just a simple Pan 52 engraved on the side of the pen which is really difficult to photograph.

 

fpn_1482368509__pan52_3.jpg

 

The pen itself is a button filler. It's my first button filler, but I have seen pictures. I thought there was something wrong because the button was so short compared to photos of others I've seen. But, it filled the pen with just a few pumps.

 

fpn_1482368526__pan52_4.jpg

 

Of course, the main point of interest in a pen like this is that it has an ebonite feed and a spectacularly flexible 14K gold nib. It may not be my most flexible, but it is perfect for everyday writing.

 

fpn_1482368495__pan52_2.jpg

fpn_1482368475__pan52_1.jpg

 

 

 

The pen writes smoothly and provides just enough fun to keep me coming back for more. It is well weighted and feels good in my hand. Frankly, my only complaint is that the grip section should be a little longer. This is an incredible pen. Here is the writing sample from my review with an attempt at drawing a button filler.

 

fpn_1482369833__pan52_8.jpg

 

This pen brand is a piece of Norwegian history. The factory was built in 1946 in Siggerud near Langen by farmer and entrepreneur Arne Karlsrud. He also ran a grocery store, cafe, and several "small industries in modern buildings at Langen." By 1950, the plan was to make 10,000 pens in 2 months. These were to be quality pens that would compete with imports. Here is a vintage display case. Link below it takes you to the licensing. Also, here is a vintage advertisement. Watching the pens hit a dart board makes me cringe a bit.

 

fpn_1482368739__pan_pen_display.png

https://digitaltmuse...berh-oppi-50-ar

 

Vintage Video Advertisement

http://urn.nb.no/URN...o-nb_video_5678

 

Sadly, the factory closed in the 1990s, and the factory is in really tough shape. It was close to being torn down. However, it was purchased in 2013 by Lars Aas who plans to build 3 apartments and a staircase carpentry workshop.

 

Below is my "bibliography" followed by my YouTube review.

 

 
 
[2] Vintage advertisement for Pan Pens  http://www.nb.no/nbs...digital?lang=no
 
[3] Article on the origins of the Pan Pen factory http://www.oblad.no/....2610-1.7177016
 
[4] Pan Display case and license for photo use https://digitaltmuse...berh-oppi-50-ar
 
[5] 2012 article on the state of the Pan factory building  http://www.oblad.no/....2610-1.7176996
 
[6] 2013 article about street art on the old Pan Factory building  http://www.oblad.no/....2610-1.7907932
 
[7] 2016 Update on the Pan factory  https://niume.com/pa...t/?postID=45517
 
[8] 2016 Update on plans for the Pan factory  https://niume.com/post/46104
 
 

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#2 catbert

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 02:11

Interesting pen! Thanks for an excellently documented review.

 

I'm guessing the pen they fired at the dart board in that ad didn't have a flexy nib.



#3 Bobje

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 02:51

Great photographs of a quirky and uncommon pen, company history, personal impressions, and a bibliography -- capped off by a video with excellent production standards! You've set a new high standard for completeness in pen reviews. Nice work, Waski.


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#4 Waski_the_Squirrel

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 04:14

Thank you both for the comments! I only really put this kind of interest in my special vintage fountain pens. I really love the small manufacturers, and am excited to discover more.  These pens are a part of history. It's a special kind of fun to review them.


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#5 Kaweco

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 07:04

Hello Waski

Thank you for this excellent review. I think that Pan had German sources:

http://www.fountainp...-fountain-pens/

The foundation date in my old research is wrong, PAN/ Germany had been founded before 1945 in Mannheim, 1947 they moved to Heidelberg/ Germany.

Kind Regards

Thomas



#6 usk15

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 10:59

Very nice nib!



#7 stephanos

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Posted 23 December 2016 - 22:52

I enjoyed the video review, too. Thank you!

 

There is a whole brigade of really good quality (mostly) black-and-gold pens to be had, which perform really well. And they can be had reasonably cheaply, at least in Europe and if you're prepared to risk the odd dud. The most recent one I have come across is a Böhler, with a very nice steel nib. It still has the original cork (after about 6 weeks of soaking it with water, I've finally concluded that it's still OK, and inked it up).



#8 Waski_the_Squirrel

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Posted 24 December 2016 - 01:37

Thank you all for watching and reading!

 

From my research, there is a German Pan company and a Norwegian Pan company. I'm a bit unclear from my research how closely they're related. Sadly, a lot of my research on the Norwegian version is in Norwegian, so I need to rely on Google Translate. Even then, the information is very limited.

 

I agree with Stephanos: there are a lot of lesser known vintage pens of high quality out there!


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#9 Kaweco

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Posted 27 December 2016 - 19:56

Hello Waski

According to the register of residents in Mannheim/ Germany, PAN Fountainpens had been founded there in 1925 by Zahn, Leser & Co. The last input in the Volume was in 1943, there is no register until 1946. In 1947 PAN moved to Heidelberg/ Germany which is located ca. 25 Kilometers East and had not been bombed down throughh WW2. I never identified the name PAN, it does not go together well with the names of the owners. Pan or sometimes Pan jr. the name of the Norwegian company is a little bit different, not all capital letters. The nib surely had been made by Bock in Heidelberg/ Germany.

Kind Regards

Thomas



#10 line

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 19:52

Thank you for sharing. As far as I have experienced, these Norwegian Pans are difficult to get hold of, especially the pens with gold nibs. I have two Pan Jr. pens from the same factory. My pens has steel nibs.



#11 Parcival

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 19:13

I have two Pan pens. Unfortunately, they do not have original nibs. One is with piston filler /black, 12.5 cm/ and the other one with a button filler - 13.8 cm.

Attached Images

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Edited by Parcival, 26 April 2018 - 19:16.


#12 Maritime

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Posted 16 December 2018 - 22:37

Hi Waski,
Thanks for great information on the Pan’s. I’m from Norway and got a small collection of the Pan pens. I’m a newbie and haven’t used a fountain pen for years, I’m getting excited to try them out.
Parcival; I have many NOS nibs for the Pan pens, if you’re interested let me know. I’m not a vendor and they shouldn’t cost much. Your pen is so beautiful it should have a proper nib. Send me an PM. They’re made of iridium and some 14ct. I have no 4,5,6. You can see some pictures of them with my collection here;

http://www.fountainp...nted/?p=4142058

#13 EdwardSouthgate

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 19:50

Looks like I have a new pen to watch for . Very nice and informative post , rates an AAA+++ 5 star in my book . Congratulations on finding such an interesting pen .

 

  Eddie



#14 Azuniga

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 21:59

I never saw this thread when uploaded. Although late, thanks for the very good review...

I have two PAN pens, they are very solid and good writers.

Mine have the same clip as the one shown by Parcival.

Their nibs imprint is PAN 14 kt 585 Osmiridium point. One is black and the other one Brown & Black with three gold rings on the cap for both.



#15 tincansailor

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 22:50

Thanks for the excellent review! 

 

Have been watching your latest videos on these vintage gems.  Appreciate the hard work you do to dig up all the interesting facts.  Always was interested in vintage pens, but you have sparked interest in these lesser known beauties.



#16 spacecoastpenny

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 00:11

great article, thanks for sharing


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