I am quite short on fountain pens at the moment, after the burglary at my French house, where all my Mont Blancs, plus Pelikan, Lamy and Graf von Faber-Castell fountain pens were stolen. I am therefore resurrecting an old Esterbrook, which sits on a pen stand on my desk and I normally just use as a dip pen, when signing letters, documents and cheques at the desk.
I did a basic warm water flush and then left it for 5 minutes with Herbin pen cleaner fluid in it. I had had a new bladder put in around 8 years ago and it now seems to be filling and emptying very freely. It has a medium oblique nib, which is a bit stiff and not very oblique. It is OK for occasional use but a long way from the lovely smooth OB nib on my stolen Faber-Castell Classic and particularly the beautifully flexy OBB nib on my Pelikan 800. Sadly Pelikan no longer seem to offer the OBB flex nibs on new M800 or M1000 Souverän pens. I have bought a second hand Pelikan 400 with OB 14ct nib, which is very smooth but not very oblique and quite stiff. I also find the 400 rather too light.
While I was cleaning out the Esterbrook, I wondered why all older pens, like the Esterbrook, seem to have large vents in the caps, whereas most modern pens either seem to have no vent or very constricted ones. I am guessing the original idea was to equalise atmospheric pressure changes on a bladder filler pen to prevent leakage. However, to my mind, all they seem to do is to encourage leakage into the cap and drying out of the nib and ink feed. The cap was encrusted inside with dried ink.
What do others think?