I have been hunting for the past...little while and have assembled a complete set of nurses' pens. I've been really lucky to have nursing colleagues over the years who have regaled me with wonderful lore of nursing history. Among their stories, I learned about these pens. "Back in the day" of hand-written medical charting, nurses' reports of events that occurred during their shift were color-coded. The most common color associations seem to be blue/black with day shift, red with night shift, and green with the overnight shift. I know of other pen companies that have made black- and red-designated pens, but Esterbrook is the only company I know of that has made pens that are clearly for all three colors --anyone with knowledge otherwise, please chime in!
Anyhow, a close friend who is a nurse and who collects nursing memorabilia often listens to my pen stories at work, and she became quite excited when I told her about these pens. She told me she would love to own one or more of these, and that sent me into hunter-gatherer mode. Here are the fruits of my pursuits.
I managed to find all three colors and a matching pencil. The majority of outside finishing was done with a bit o' Flitz, but I had to lean into the micro-mesh for some really troublesome spots. The furniture (as with so many Esterbrooks) is spotless. The nibs are original to the pens as I received them -- the red and black with 2556, and the green with 9556. The pencil has a used (perhaps by a nurse -- !) eraser, and many leads, and the mechanism works perfectly. Imprints are gorgeous, the red and green jewels seem mildly faded as is often seen, and the threads were so hard to clean, but I did my best. I didn't want them showroom-new, and neither did my friend. It's wonderful to be reminded of the history of their use.
Hope you all enjoy the photos! I'm sad to sell these, but -- alas! -- they're promised. The best part, though, is that they're going to a good home where I know they'll be kept safe, talked about, occasionally used, and loved by many nurses for years to come.
Photos are essentially before and after -- but with a fun surprise! The green barrel jewel is stunningly translucent, as I had to replace this pen's broken J-bar, and used the occasion to plumb its depths with my borescope.
Not sure why I'm still so bad at image posting, and I think some of the images are upside-down, but clicking them shows them properly and allows incredible zooming.