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Great-Grandfathers Pen


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19 replies to this topic

#1 Oshi

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 09:24

Hello All :)

 

My great-grandfather gave me his old Pelikan Pen, and he told me its about 60 years old.
From my research i identified it as a 400n or 400nn. Im not sure, because of the shape of the top and bottom of the Pen (round bottom, flat top).

I hope you can help me out here.

Unfortunatly it got burnt by a cigarette through the hood.
I removed the babies bottom, partially repaired the broken piston mechanics insde and did a ultrasonic cleaning.
Anyone can tell me where i can get replacement parts for this pen?

This is my first pen with a flat nib (called Schönschreibfeder in german), i hope you can tell me the right labeling for this nib... stub or italic, or something else?
I love how it writes, and want to get the same thing in new too with a bi colored nib, so i need the name of the nib.

From what i`ve seen, Pelikan only makes EF, F, M and B nibs, but there is a special "Make A Wish Nib program", anyone is experienced with this service?

Anyone could give me a quick insight (links etc.) of this kind of nib, that i dont have to waste alot of money until i find the right italic/stub nib for my liking?

 

here are the pics, with a writing sample:

28CEqSl.jpg

 

HaOZPEi.jpg

 

Lva2fnO.jpg

 

9kqm5CZ.jpg

 

KTjoMAQ.jpg

 

rYZgOi3.jpg

 

6tBFZH1.jpg

 

IE0sAay.jpg

 

hckobYb.jpg

(Faber Castell Midnight Blue + some Water deluted)

 

 

Thank you for taking the time!

 

cheers


Edited by Oshi, 28 March 2018 - 09:24.


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#2 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 13:08

I doubt if it had baby bottom....in it's a stub semi-flex.....a 400nn....'56-65.

 

You might be able to polish much of the burn off the barrel with something like semi-chrome or a bit of rouge on a cotton dremel pad.

 

There will be caps of the 400-400nn on German Ebay. Save the still green cap top to swap in to the new cap....in still being green is better than worn off. The 400n has a longer cap than the 400/400nn and rare enough I'd not worry about that..


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.

 

 

 


#3 PAKMAN

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 14:38

I'm surprised we don't see more pens from back in the day with cigarette burns, maybe they were tossed after they were damaged. I think since it is your great grandfathers pen I'd keep it just like it is and enjoy writing with this piece of history. Enjoy!


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#4 CS388

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 15:06

 I think since it is your great grandfathers pen I'd keep it just like it is and enjoy writing with this piece of history. Enjoy!

 

Completely agree. Cigarette burn included.

 

Congratulations, it's a great pen.



#5 Oshi

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 15:22

Thanks for the infos,

why do you doubt the babies bottom? there where hard starts all the time until i grinded a little bit :unsure:

however, im happy it works now well for me.

 

Yeah, i thought so too about the mental worth. just repairing the piston mechanics inside would be nice.



#6 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 15:36

Stubs are relatively flat......plus decades of use should have gotten rid of any baby bottom.

I have some 40 vintage stubbish German semi-flex & maxi-semi-flex pens, and never even thought such was possible.....much less had such a problem.

 

But if it worked for you....fine.

 

Baby bottom is more a problem with over polished modern post '97  round bottomed Pelikan nibs.


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 Ghost Plane

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 15:37

Oh no! Ground it?! Argh! :yikes:  :gaah:  :crybaby:  :crybaby:  :crybaby:  :crybaby:  :wallbash:

 

Look at the feed. You'd be a bit shrunken and clogged after 60 years of use, too. Sigh... Oh well. It's done now.

 

I'll let the Pelikan experts tell you where to get repairs since I'm on the wrong side of the ocean. Writing with a 70+ year old Waterman that was my grandmother's. You can't get nibs like those anymore. Next time, PLEASE get the pen serviced by an expert before you touch the nib.



#8 Oshi

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 16:49

I did not take much off of the nib. I used a 8.000, 10.000 and 12.000, and always checked it in between.

Is it possible that i did damage the characteristics of this nib? :o

There are alot 400nn on ebay, or what do you mean by "You can't get nibs like those anymore"?

Is this a special nib or something?



#9 Ghost Plane

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 17:08

I’ll let Bo Bo explain to you about the differences between vintage Pelikan nibs & the newer ones. He’s made something of a specialty of all the technicalities.

Let’s just say the nibs from the heyday of fountain pens have a different feel from the same size in a modern nib. Assuming you can even find a stub now Pelikan has discontinued all the nibs that made their pens interesting.

I’ve seen more high end pens lose the grinds that make them special because the cheap pen contingent repeat the claim of baby’s bottom on wider nibs when the skipping is almost always a feed issue. Statistically any pen that survived 60 years is unlikely to have had a bad grind. There were too many pen shops in those days with people who knew exactly what to do if the pen didn’t write immediately out of the box.

#10 mana

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 20:22

Nib > Going by the looks it is a later model (with the chevrons and round logo) vintage B nib (aka. Breite Spitze Mittel), age appropriate for Pelikan 400 > 400NN. The wider nibs of the day (from B > BBB) were stubby/flat instead of blobby/round (like they are today). There is actually this one really handy chart I found from the Interwebs back in the day which showcases most of the Pelikan nib variants of that era (mid 40s to late 50s or so, 100N to 400NN).

 

fpn_1522267605__pelikan_nib_sizes.jpg

 

Ok, that "you can't get nibs like that anymore" bit... there is the fact that they were stubby from B onwards but also the fact that most of them were either somewhat flexible (produced some line variation when writing due to change in force the nib was pressed down) to very flexible (produced greater line variation with less effort). They have a feel all of their own. Also, when combined with the ebonite feeds of the day they are rather wet writers. A very desirable combination methinks...

 

They are not overtly smooth though, I would classify the feeling more to a driving a German car vs. a US car. There is nice amount of feedback and a sense of being in control. I really love my vintage Pelikans due to those nibs... actually, one of my current EDC pens and all time favorites is a Pelikan 100N with a similar but earlier generation B nib. I have a few BB/BBB nibs also but that one is the most practical for daily use.

 

Writing sample with the 100N mentioned earlier:

29389409_10156579353699063_1051342783572



#11 gmathio

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 20:31

It's a great gift, enjoy it exactly as it is, with the "character" it carries all these years ! My first pen, a Parker 75 cisele, was also a a gift, but from my grandfather and I still love it and use it as it is.  



#12 mana

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 20:37

Oh yeah, the pen/barrel is a 400NN and the cap from a 400. The wider nibs... are also rather more difficult to come by (they were made in much smaller quantities than EF > M nibs). When pens with them appear for sale they usually go rather quick unless the premium added is something absurd. So you can expect to pay more for a pen with a wider nib like that, sometimes a lot more.



#13 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 21:14

:thumbup: Ghost Plane

The fabled Old Corner Pen Shoppe.

Ohsi, your 400nn is either semi-flex or maxi-semi-flex with more chance it's semi-flex. More on that under.

 

When you use a ball point pen, it's like plowing the south forty with out the mule.

Gel pens are much better but you still need pressure to make the ball roll....like getting a mule.

 

Fountain pens float...skate like ice skating, no pressure at all is needed.

 

Somewhere about the '90's there had been a generation gap of fountain pen use, where ball point users came for the first time to fountain pens......( :rolleyes: or came back) and were Ham Fisted. :crybaby: They bent the nibs.......no one told them to hold a fountain pen very lightly and behind the big index knuckle.

 

In the '50's-65 and before with German semi-flex nibs they were stub nibs....some few with a ball on top of the nib and a thicker point, for those who liked to hold a fountain pen like a pencil........but they were still flat and stubbish on the bottom. So you could hold the pen both ways....the K nibs, KF or KM. I have two KM pens from other companies.

 

After '82 to 97 Pelikans had a ball under the nib and were regular flex..........I'm not an expert but haven't noticed any K nibs from that era. (Never chased the Pelikans from '66-81)

 

After '97 they (outside the 200) all Pelikans had a ball top and bottom and a thicker tip....explained later.

 

OK, I use a 1/2 system of flex grading. 1/2 the pressure needed to mash a regular flex 3 X a light down stroke = semi-flex's 3 X max; half of that or 1/4th the pressure needed to mash a regular flex to 3x is what a maxi-semi-flex needs. (Helps to have any regular flex nibbed pen when hunting semi & maxi flex.....out side of Osmia, semi&maxi are not marked.) :huh:

xxx

Nails or manifold nibs, are 1X. There is no tine spread or bend. Great for folks coming 'in from the cold' of ball points..................very hard to bend.....but not the least impossible, as many a sad tale here will tell.

Parker has been mostly nails (Late Vac's &P-51) since the late '30s.  Some Sheaffer's are that, some are regular flex and a few rare semi-flex can be had from Sheaffer. Some Esterbrook nibs also.

(Yes, in Pelikan if you look hard you can find a nail's nail the D nib....don't have an H nib but that is a hard nib. They are marked and are '50-65 era nibs.....are seldom.)

 

Semi-nail, with lots of pressure you get a 2X tine spread. Many of the US '70-80's pens can be had in that.....P-75 and certain Sheaffers, some Esterbrook nibs also. 

 

By the mid-late '90's many to most pen companies have gone over to the nails and semi-nails as regular issue so they don't have to repair so many nibs.

 

Once many companies made what was then regular flex, in it was the normal issue.

Pelikan made in the '50's 120 school pen, the '82-97 and '85 to now 200's along with the '87-97??? '87-90 for sure....in that is the grand W.Germany nib.

 

A regular flex is a very nice springy regular flex nib. (Some folks using nails having heard of semi-flex, and think just because the nib's tines both spread and bend :yikes:  (heavy pressure in normal by many nail users) think the regular flex nib must be semi-flex......wrong. :rolleyes:

 

Regular flex, semi-flex and maxi-semi-flex are in a max 3 X tine spread set. Don't try to press them to wider.

Regular flex...when well mashed will go 3 X a light down line.

is a basic nib to understand my system of understanding flex rating.....Esterbrook, some Sheaffer even Wearever made regular flex nibs. Most companies did. The modern 200 is that also.

From '82-97 the no piston cap ring M400, 381, Celebry pens and the then 200 were all regular flex. I'm not sure when the 800 became a nail....but think it was after '97.

They were 1/2 a size narrower than modern.

 

After '97 the 400/600 became fat and blobby semi-nail and the 800 lost its grand nib for a fat and blobby nail. That was so folks didn't bend the nib....and could hold it still like a ball point and write with it...(not so well as holding it like a fountain pen.....but that's another story.) It is my thought more folks buy a Pelikan ball point or roller ball than a fountain pen, and the company didn't want to scare them back to roller balls, so never put instructions on how to hold a fountain pen.

The 200 remained a nice springy regular flex....1/2 a width narrower than modern. A well balanced pen, when posted as are the standard sized 400& medium large 600's.

 

I'm going to leave out the '30-40's. In Pelikan I don't have an '30's...do have a couple '45-54 pens 100n & Ibis.

 

The '50-65 outside of the 120 school pen was a stubbed semi-flex and maxi-semi-flex era.

It takes half as much pressure to reach the safe max of 3 X of a semi-flex as it took to mash a regular flex to 3 X.

Maxi-semi-flex half of that or 1/4th the pressure needed to mash a regular flex to 3 X...(repeated but that's ok.) My first maxi that I recognized was :yikes:.  But I did feel the nib didn't want to go past 3X, so it wasn't superflex.

Osmia/Osmia-Faber-Castel is the only company I know, that marked a difference between it's semi-flex Diamond nib and it's Supra maxi-semi-flex nib. The rest is hunt and guess.

 

I have three Pelikans of my 16 maxi-semi-flex. One is an Ibis, one is a 500 and that one I'm sure was probably only made in maxi-semi-flex in it's a fancy rolled gold cap and piston cap pen. And a 400nn OF. I do know others have that in semi-flex. I have two 140's and 4 other ('50-54) 400's in semi-flex.  (I'm quite sure there are other '50's 400's out there that are maxi, in I have a Ibis maxi.)

From my WAG some 1 in 5 might be maxi.

Of my 4 Geha 790/760's one is maxi.

Of my three '50's MB's one is maxi.

I have some 27 semi-flex nibbed pens, and 16 maxi's but a number of them are Osmia Supra nibs.

 

My first known semi-flex was a 140...that I'd read about here on the com. At the flea market, I tested the nib against my thumbnail, and suddenly knew what the fuss was about with out even inking it. :notworthy1:

 

I mentioned being heavy handed or Ham Fisted..........I was even though I'd been back to fountain pens for a couple of years.....but I spent 4 decades plowing the south forty.

. :doh: I had that nib maxed  giving me that fat wet line many noobies desire. It took me some three months to lighten my Hand, so I wasn't maxing the nib all the time. (Had I read Richard's article before I might have forced myself into a lighter Hand earlier.)

 

Semi-flex and maxi-semi-flex gives very nice line variation, with out doing a thing out side of writing.

No twisting of fingers, arm or hanging off of chandeliers needed.

 

Semi-flex will give you that old fashioned fountain pen flair. It is not a real fancy wirting nib.

How ever if you get a Calligraphy book, you can learn to draw an occasional fancy decender.  Does take a bit of pressure.....

A maxi-semi-flex will give you a fancy letter or decender with half the work of a semi-flex. You can fancy up your writing by learning to properly draw the letters, but is not a nib for Spenserian.

 

Remember there is a 3 X max....and one should not press a nib always to it's max. Richard Binder has a very good article on metal fatigue. I call it 'how to spring your nib'. 100% need to read.

After reading that I took lots more care of when and how often I max a nib....even in Superflex. My 100n will go 5 X, but I strive to keep it at 4 X. I have a Waterman 52 that will if I sweat hard go XXF to BBB.....I strive to go no wider than BB.

 

If you want big fat letters, get an Ahab, and have the Pilot half moon modification made to it (grind with a round Swiss file or a Dremil two half moons in the sides of the nib) ....it will be the first stage of superflex; what I call Easy Full Flex.....and fun to use.

With out that mod the Ahab is a superflex nib with heavy pressure only.


Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 28 March 2018 - 21:17.

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.

 

 

 


#14 Dickkooty2

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 21:40

My vote is keep it as it is ... it has character and is a direct-as-used remembrance of your great-grandfather.



#15 torstar

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 21:41

I'm surprised we don't see more pens from back in the day with cigarette burns, maybe they were tossed after they were damaged. I think since it is your great grandfathers pen I'd keep it just like it is and enjoy writing with this piece of history. Enjoy!

 

I'd assume 90% of "heirlooms" are bitter disappointments.



#16 jmccarty3

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 01:03

I agree with those who recommend getting the piston working, but otherwise leaving the pen as is. It should serve you well for many years.


Rationalizing pen and ink purchases since 1967.


#17 Oshi

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 19:53

wow Bo Bo, you have 18k posts, and everyone is that detailed, answering noobies questions?

i have to take my hat off, thank you! even if i dont understand everything yet.

you gave me all that info, but i dont know where to start. from what i can tell of your post, you dont like new nibs :P

i know i like the nail of my cheap F nib parkers, and i love the semi flex of th 400nn, but theres so much more i dont know yet. about the writing, i think im quite relaxed... watched some videos about it, you saw my hand pos in the other thread. (after the big knuckle)

maybe im wrong here at the pelikans camp and should gather some general info. I have max 250 €, and want it to spend it... i also thought of just getting the M600 body and attach a old nib...

 

@mana

thx i already found that nib info too, i have to ask my great grandpa about the cap  :P 

 

 

for now ill leave the 400nn as it is, maybe someday i replace the broken screw thread inside.

 

cheers


Edited by Oshi, 29 March 2018 - 19:56.


#18 jmccarty3

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Posted 30 March 2018 - 14:56

Bo Bo is the Antonio Vivaldi of FPN.  ;)


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#19 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 30 March 2018 - 15:44

Thank you.

Sadly I grew up before we used thumbs to talk....and I do try to be a 'bit' too exact when talking to 'noobies', but I was once a noobie....then I ran into my first semi-flex a 140 OB.....and even when I tested it on my thumbnail, suddenly knew what all that fuss was about for semi-flex. :notworthy1:

 

Some folks get hit on the head with a bible, I got hit on my thumbnail with a semi-flex OB nib.

 

Never been the same since.....why one day, I'll even learn to write. ;)


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.

 

 

 


#20 Green Ink

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Posted 30 March 2018 - 20:20

Bo Bo, thank you for every one of your posts. When I first got into pens, I chose a 400NN tortoise after reading what you wrote. It's semi flex. The pen is still a thrill. Today it's inked and writing as dependably as ever. It's nickname is "Joyride". (My best pens get names.) Thanks!

Oshi, enjoy your treasure! I have a Sheaffer Carmine Tuckaway my mother wrote shorthand with during WWII and a Sheaffer Jade Green Flat Top that belonged to my Grampa Joe from the early 1920's. I enjoy so much the connection to them as I write.






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