Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies






Photo

Will Luxury Fountain Pen Brands And Inks Still Exist In About 100 Years?


  • Please log in to reply
39 replies to this topic

#21 Intensity

Intensity

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,509 posts
  • Location:U.S.A.
  • Flag:

Posted 30 July 2019 - 13:32

Theres always demand for the retro gear: it might be small, but its there. The vintage pen market will still exist with all the pens made up to that time, and the makers of new pens will likely be in specialty and/or luxury category, increasingly so with time. Simply due to low demand and willingness of hobbyists to pay high prices for collectibles and limited stock.

Edited by Intensity, 30 July 2019 - 13:33.

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 


Sponsored Content

#22 Arkanabar

Arkanabar

    Ain't I a stinker?

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,589 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 30 July 2019 - 22:15

Certainly.

What people tend to forget is just how ephemeral and fugitive digital media are.  How many of you still have a CD-ROM in your PC, let alone a 3.5", 5.25", or 8" floppy drive?  How many of you even have a motherboard to which you could attach one?  Even if the data has survived on a floppy all those years, it would probably take a specialist to put together some sort of breadboard rig to connect the drive, and write and compile suitable device drivers to have any hope of recovering that data.  Right now, I have little confidence that any formats currently in use (with the possible exception of the Flexible Image Transport System) will remain so for even fifty years.  There's hardly any software available today by which I could open files I generated in Microsoft Works some fifteen years ago.

There is no data storage format or medium which has the demonstrated durability of print, which (by default) includes handwriting.  There will always be handwriting, and so there will almost certainly always be fountain pens.



#23 inkstainedruth

inkstainedruth

    Ancient Artifact

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16,568 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 30 July 2019 - 22:37

Sorry, I'll be a little off subject. In the French forword of Brunner's SciFi novel Zanzibar, it is explains how, at the moment of the publishing of the book was also publisher a report for the US government about what life and society would be the year 2000, about half a century forward. The report was talking about flying cars and on,where the oven was talking computers; the report was planning on an ongoing economy, peace and progress, the novel talking about violence, environmental problems and so on (sorry of I am not very accurate, it's a very long time I've read anything SciFi indeed, bit you get the idea). 

 

Well, given that they still haven't perfected self-driving cars, which were being researched in the 1960s (I remember an old episode of this series that Walter Cronkite did called The Twenty-first Century); and that those credit card sign pads at stores everywhere was based on technology from the 1970s (at a family picnic at the IBM location where my dad worked you could stand in line and get a copy of your signature printed onto the old green and white striped printer paper and every Nth person also got to have it engraved into a name plaque)?  I don't think we'll have to worry about books and fountain pens being obsolete anytime soon.  

I also remember an episode of the SF TV show Babylon 5 (which was set a couple of centuries into the future, IIRC) where the station doctor was complaining about how "Every time they say we're going to be going to a paperless society, I have more forms to fill out...."  B) 

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


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

#24 BDarchitect

BDarchitect

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 94 posts
  • Location:Seattle
  • Flag:

Posted 31 July 2019 - 04:54

 

 

Man your idea of the star trek utopia comes a lot sooner than I think it will.

 

 

My vote is yes. Who knows what the next hundred years will bring, but we are kind of bumping into the limits of how technology can truly engage with people as a replacement for the faculties that our brains are tied to. We will never be able to really get past the fact that we're still animals, and animals don't learn from technology. Kids learn from interacting with real people, not watching screens and playing games, no matter how educational they may be. Studies are showing more and more the critical importance of physical manipulation - those "adventure playgrounds" have been studied to death and show that they are phenomenally better than the sanitized playgrounds we give kids today.

 

My wager is that we will start to settle into technology filling its really good niche roles, but no matter how good it is, an apple watch will never replace an automatic rolex for some people. 

+1



#25 cobalt

cobalt

    Fluid

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 257 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 31 July 2019 - 14:48

This is a great topic!! Apart from the likely emergence of self-writing pens (joke, I think), a few 'signals' may be worth adding to the discussion mix.

 

1. Don't downplay the power of nostalgia. The past is for many the undiscovered country, and we see technologies going from being virtually obsolete to being reborn in a new form by today's adventurers. Think of the following: instant film and Polaroid; tube amplifiers and indeed whole tube based recording studios; vinyl records and turntables and I bet folks can add their own. What distinguishes these items today from the past is that the technologies that go into them are now better and more reliable. So technological advancement pulls past technologies forward which in turn creates a market for vintage. I'm surprised we haven't seen more 1930's styled cars on the road for example with better engines (electric...) and suspension systems, instead of the cars that look like storm troopers from Star Wars.

 

2. Human creative processes are physical. For example, architecture firms may use digital technology to do the designs (some of you may remember sheets of paper the size of rooms and drafting tables), but the creative work is still a paper sketch. I suspect that the physicality of writing is still baked into our cortex and the hand/eye/paper connection with its non-linear processes is comfortable. Creative origination is not replaced by digital or artificial intelligence, it is merely augmented. So future generations will still use pencils and pens and coloured markers and big sheets of paper.

 

3. Advances move technology from the hands of the few into the hands of the many. I suspect we'll have 3d printers in our homes to make pens and inks, so the suppliers will start looking more like the back pages of Popular Science.. We've been here before: Radio Shack. We are here now with Crispr-Cas9 home gene editing kits -- if we can do DIY bacteria, we can DIY pens.

 

There's a great little book, Wasn't the Future Wonderful? by Tim Onosko.


...be like the ocean...


#26 A Smug Dill

A Smug Dill

    飽食終日無所用心

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,628 posts
  • Location:Sydney, Australia
  • Flag:

Posted 31 July 2019 - 16:39

Well, given that they still haven't perfected self-driving cars, which were being researched in the 1960s

 

 

Nobody has (objectively!) "perfected" the fountain pen, either, or even human language.


Let's give each other due respect, and approach discussion rigorously. I believe we're all peers and equals here as fellow hobbyists, with common interests in the acquisition and use of fountain pens, but no shared values and no obligation to offer each other moral support for one's narrative.

Don't think 'cos I understand, I care
Don't think 'cos I'm talking', we're friends

'6 Underground' by Sneaker Pimps


#27 Freddy

Freddy

    Museum Piece

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,775 posts
  • Location:Gold Coast, NY
  • Flag:

Posted 31 July 2019 - 19:22

Will Graf von Faber Castell be around in 100 Years?

RomeoBravo120134.....Why not?

  Fred

when in the jungle   move like a tiger  in irregular patterns......


Edited by Freddy, 31 July 2019 - 19:24.


#28 MHBru

MHBru

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 615 posts
  • Location:Southern CA
  • Flag:

Posted 31 July 2019 - 19:49

i agree with honeybadgers.... in 100 years no one will know what an apple watch was and for the most part they will all be in landfills.... that Rolex tho?  It'll still be worn and will be running just fine.



#29 madeline

madeline

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 177 posts
  • Location:Wisconsin
  • Flag:

Posted 31 July 2019 - 22:42

If one believes that artists will still be creating work 100 years from now--which I do--then I believe the fountain pen will still be in the hands of many of them (as well as all of those people of the future who will be looking for the tactile experiences found only with fountain pens).  If someday the "virtual" completely mimics or replaces the "real," a lot more than fountain pens will have been lost.


Moderation in everything, including moderation.     

                                                                                     --Mark Twain


#30 Charles Rice

Charles Rice

    Mr. Pink

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,180 posts
  • Location:Osceola, WI
  • Flag:

Posted 31 July 2019 - 23:33

We'll just have to wait and see.



#31 toml4185

toml4185

    NOS (New Old Stock)

  • Member - Silver

  • PipPip
  • 13 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 01 August 2019 - 01:30

i agree with honeybadgers.... in 100 years no one will know what an apple watch was and for the most part they will all be in landfills.... that Rolex tho?  It'll still be worn and will be running just fine.

 

I completely agree though there is quite a difference in price between them (and for good reason). Consumer electronics are priced to be in landfill in the not too distant future for the most part.

 

I am into my cameras as well as fountain pens and I feel the same way about modern digital cameras versus a nice mechanical Leica M3 from the 60's.

 

I almost forgot to answer the original question - I think quite a few FP brands will still be around but I'm almost certain Mont Blanc will still be around.


Edited by toml4185, 01 August 2019 - 01:31.


#32 Addertooth

Addertooth

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 252 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 03 August 2019 - 03:09

Simply Yes.

   As to the why....  I have to convey complex ideas and network theory on a regular basis to Clients, Engineers, Government and Co-Workers.  Often it means pulling out a pen (or two if I am color keying critical elements).  I draft out a rapid example or explanation on paper.  A good drawing saves 15 minutes of discussion (or arguments).  Yes, I suppose I could use a digital pad, but it lacks the tactile and emotional elements of inscribing something in ink.  A drawing is something which the co-worker can take back to their desk and ponder (I would not let them walk away with a tablet computer, and E-Mailing a drawing is problematic, as the same diagram may get forwarded in ways which are undesirable/incorrect application/ or just plain unflattering.   

 

  A good Fountain Pen connects with our sense of art, and provides a connection with the drawn result in a very primal way, much in the way a painter feels about a good brush, or a sculptor has a favored set of chisels and mallets.  Even the ancient caveman liked to draw on cave walls.  A good tool helps in making good art.  Not all I do with a pen is technical, often I free-associate and doodle.  Out of some of the amorphous bits of lines, an idea takes root and a full fledged drawing starts to emerge; it is the nature of the mind, and art.  Writing and drawing with ink rewards care and practice, with a sketch pad computer, nothing is permanent, planning ahead and thoughtfully structuring a drawing (before the stylus moves) is not as critical.  Lets face it, on a computer or drawing pad, any drawing which comes out unbalanced, mis-aligned, badly scaled, is an easy fix.  No thought is required.  But ink and paper makes the artist visualize more fully, before the first stroke of the pen. 

 

  As others have mentioned, that nostalgia, perhaps a longing for days which have faded, is a very powerful thing.  I would much rather ride down main street in a 57 Chevy, or an early Corvette, than the most modern Dodge Charger or Ford Mustang.  History and time have a texture which is hard to define, but can be clearly felt and sensed.  The phrase "they don't make them like that anymore" is largely true with fountain pens.  At one point, stiff nibs were the exception, and NOT the rule.  Some of the flex nibs from the 1910s to 1920s simply humiliate our modern approximations of them.  Yes, a Falcon FA is nice, but to get it in the same zip code of some of the older nibs requires some work with replacing feeds and serious tuning of nibs.  And yes, those older pens have proven their chops, they are a hundred years old and still writing, the same will likely not be true of pens purchased today (with notable exceptions).  I fully expect to see some 200 year old pens still in use, perhaps reverently, and maybe even in a utilitarian fashion.  As society grows more mechanized, digitized and computerized, there is a thirst for things that are unique and crafted.  Although few of the old pens are unique, the are certainly unusual and scarce (which evokes a similar response).  

 

   So yes, fountain pens will still be around.  A hundred years from now, there may even be some young pup jumping excitedly, as he found a "vintage Lamy Safari" in Hello Kitty livery, or perhaps the "Grail" Pokeman version.  Perhaps the future pens will borrow from fuel injector technology, and allow you to adjust your wetness electronically, the same may be true with the level of flex, or the width of the nib.  Such things are inevitable.  I am certain that future collectors will be happy, that so many people of this generations restored, cataloged and curated pens, which we currently consider old.  I can only imagine my pleasure of receiving a good writing pen from 200 years ago, I know my 100 year old writers give me immense pleasure.  

 

   I have only begun to understand how much more impactful a written Thank You note, is over a tweet, text, or E-Mail.  Words gain a significance when they can be held, posted on the fridge, or, preserved with other documents.  As many times as computers crash, with the resultant loss of pictures, music, videos and letters, paper has a permanence to it which is rarely achieved by digital documents.  The Constitution and the Magna Carte exist today, but my E-Mails from the 1980s are long gone.  My spread sheets crafted in Lotus 123, and WordStar documents are gone as well.  The cherished letters from an ancestor who was in World War One still exist.  It is unlikely my descendants will revive one of my computers from decades ago, and recover a trove of letters and pictures, which are resting on their failing hard drives, but they will have paper letters and paper pictures available.  This should be considered, legacy is important.


Edited by Addertooth, 03 August 2019 - 15:09.


#33 5Cavaliers

5Cavaliers

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,527 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 03 August 2019 - 05:31

This may seem a bit off topic, but it isn't.  

 

Today, I stopped into a jeweler's to get my wedding ring resized. I have developed arthritis in my ring finger which has caused joint enlargement and I can't get my wedding ring on and off.  It happens.  Anyway, I was have a great discussion about jewelry with one of the owners.  She was saying that over the last 5-10 years, many people are bringing in their parents' extensive jewelry collections as their parents have passed on and the children now need to settle the estate.  Her point was that 30-40 years ago, collecting expensive jewelry was the fashion.  Now, here in the United States, collecting expensive gems and gold jewelry is not nearly as popular.  But, when there is a special occasion - like a wedding, or anniversary - people spend more money on that special piece of jewelry now that they did before.  

 

People change.  Generations change.  Interests change.  Trends come and go.  Just today I heard that fashion trends are going back to the 90's.  Time to dust off your high waisted baggy pants.   :yikes:  

 

Yes, in 100 years, there will still luxury pen brands, perhaps not as many, or perhaps even more.  Who knows?


Edited by 5Cavaliers, 03 August 2019 - 05:31.

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours.  When it is gone, it is gone.  Be wise, but enjoy!  - anonymous today

 

 

 


#34 txomsy

txomsy

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 408 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 03 August 2019 - 11:30

Simply Yes.

   As to the why.... 

 Very well argued.



#35 PAKMAN

PAKMAN

    Say that again, I have a pen here somewhere...

  • FPN Super Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 27,010 posts
  • Location:Arkansas, USA
  • Flag:

Posted 03 August 2019 - 14:35

I don't guess any of us will be around to see, well maybe Willie Nelson and Steven Tyler will be! LOL 

 

I imagine that the fountain pen will survive the next 100 years like it has the last. Some of the nearly 100 year old pens I have now, if properly taken care of, will probably still function then! Many of the quality pens from now will likely still be serviceable then too. As to new pens, I still think that it's likely they will still be made, maybe with different filling and delivery systems and inks but still here. Which brands will survive one can scarcely imagine...


PAKMAN
 

minibanner.gif             fpn_1321906507__vanness_sign.jpg 

                  My Favorite Pen Restorer                            My favorite Brick and Mortar              

                                                                   now selling online!


#36 como

como

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 338 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 03 August 2019 - 15:03

The desire of expressing and creating is human nature. A paint brush, a music instrument, a dance, a song, a fountain pen are all just tools to serve this very need. These objects themselves often turn into a form of art. We achieve happiness in such activities. So I would say that all these things will still exist in 100 years and beyond.

#37 stuartk

stuartk

    Collectors Item

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 835 posts
  • Location:Close to one of the Great Lakes
  • Flag:

Posted 03 August 2019 - 15:36

The companies and people making pens (or other writing instruments) may change, but I think there will still be fountain pens for purchase.

 

I'm assuming that the current trend of not emphasizing handwriting in schools and the increased and increasing use of keyboards and especially touch screen devices leads to pens for writing being seen 100 years from now somewhat as horse-drawn vehicles are now. Not something solely found in museums, but (perhaps outside of small enclaves) not something anyone you know uses on a daily basis.

 

Let's break this down into what's needed for a fountain pen. We need something (like plastic or metal) to make the pen body, cap, etc. with, and then we need a nib. That will give us an eyedropper pen of some sort. If we want a different filler method then there might be other materials needed.

 

3D printing and other technologies may change the way fountain pens are manufactured though. I could see pens fountain pens being made on 3D printers if they're still a good general-purpose way of making small items like this.

 

I'm not quite sure about nibs, but maybe 3D printing of metal will become widely used and they could be 3D-printed as well?

 

Nibs are probably the more critical component. As long as someone is making nibs I predict there will be fountain pens being made.

 

I'm less certain that the brands we see today will continue to make fountain pens. If demand drops some of them will probably go out of business and others will develop new products to sell.

 

For ballpoint and roller pens, I think the critical components are the ball and the point/socket. If nobody is making ceramic or sintered carbide balls of the proper size then there probably won't be any pens. 3D printing could make it possible to produce points to use the balls in, so perhaps they might still be made in small quantities.

 

For pencils, the critical component is the lead. From what I've read, it's difficult to grind the graphite just the right amount and mix it with the right amount and type(s) of clay. Then you have to fire it in something like a kiln. I suppose you could do all of this yourself more or less by hand, but will the result be usable?

 

Now that I think of all of this a bit more, perhaps there might be other critical components that aren't readily available? It's hard to predict if there will continue to be wood available that's usable for wooden pencils, or if using wood for a pencil that's going to be cut into shavings and thrown away might not be seen like wearing fur is today?

 

I think plastics will continue to be available, although perhaps more expensive, and maybe not all types will be available. A lot depends on whether we stop burning valuable hydrocarbons and leave them available for making polymers. Or perhaps we would see more use of polymers made from recently-living plants, rather than from petroleum? Maybe we'll be mining the rest of the solar system in 100 years and manufacturing in orbit, so a lot of there problems with pollution and scarcity of resources will be a thing of the past?



#38 inkstainedruth

inkstainedruth

    Ancient Artifact

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16,568 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 04 August 2019 - 01:18

I don't guess any of us will be around to see, well maybe Willie Nelson and Steven Tyler will be! LOL 

 

Don't forget Keith Richards....  :lol: 

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


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

#39 txomsy

txomsy

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 408 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 04 August 2019 - 12:31

I think plastics will continue to be available, although perhaps more expensive, and maybe not all types will be available. A lot depends on whether we stop burning valuable hydrocarbons and leave them available for making polymers. Or perhaps we would see more use of polymers made from recently-living plants, rather than from petroleum? Maybe we'll be mining the rest of the solar system in 100 years and manufacturing in orbit, so a lot of there problems with pollution and scarcity of resources will be a thing of the past?

 

Casein certainly will be around as long as we continue being mammals. :)



#40 KingsCountyWriter

KingsCountyWriter

    NOS (New Old Stock)

  • Member - Silver

  • PipPip
  • 12 posts
  • Location:NYC
  • Flag:

Posted 09 August 2019 - 00:28

As someone who actively uses Mamiya and Leica film cameras, and teaches eager students about darkroom photography, I think fountain pens will be around. 








Sponsored Content




|