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Birmingham Pen Museum

dip pen birmingham museum

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13 replies to this topic

#1 Tadeo

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Posted 03 October 2019 - 23:09

When you wander off the usual road, sometimes you find small treasures.



Here is a video from the Birmingham pen museum.

Hope is not a duplicated post.

Tadeo

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#2 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 04 October 2019 - 08:16

Looks like I'll have to stop in Birmingham, something that was was not on my list of things to do. :mellow:

 

There were good US pen(nib) makers also....some Birmingham makers ended up in the states early @1840-50.

Somewhere I read....more than likely on the com, some US nibs were better than English....not being jingoistic....or any more so than the young lady.


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 inkstainedruth

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Posted 04 October 2019 - 16:55

Very interesting video (although my understand of quill pens is that in actual use the feathers were mostly cut off, leaving a little triangle part at the end to brush away pounce or sand).

I do like the fact that people can try pens out.  That's a neat feature.

Thanks for posting the video, Tadeo.  I had not realized how many women actually worked in the industry.

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."

#4 Bibliophage

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Posted 04 October 2019 - 17:05

Looks like I'll have to stop in Birmingham, something that was was not on my list of things to do. :mellow:

 

There were good US pen(nib) makers also....some Birmingham makers ended up in the states early @1840-50.

Somewhere I read....more than likely on the com, some US nibs were better than English....not being jingoistic....or any more so than the young lady.

Well, when you have 40 manufacturers, at least, it wouldn't be surprising if the US manufacturers were better than many, or most, of the Birmingham makers.   It's like knives in Sheffield, or swords in Toledo.   Not everyone was great :)



#5 Bibliophage

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Posted 04 October 2019 - 17:06

Very interesting video (although my understand of quill pens is that in actual use the feathers were mostly cut off, leaving a little triangle part at the end to brush away pounce or sand).

I do like the fact that people can try pens out.  That's a neat feature.

Thanks for posting the video, Tadeo.  I had not realized how many women actually worked in the industry.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

As most people cut their own, I suspect that it varied from person to person.  Some didn't want the vanes brushing their hand, others didn't care. 



#6 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 04 October 2019 - 17:31

Windy drafty rooms, lots of feather to move when you don't want it too, while writing....and the feather  tip was left to brush off the ground up cuddle fish that we now call sand. Cuddle fish absorbed extra ink....sand only kept a page from touching a still wet one.....as far as I know.

 

Hollywood is at fault for that I'd think.....Hollywood is often very wrong with historical details.

A big feather is flashy....a feather tip, not.


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 ParramattaPaul

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Posted 04 October 2019 - 17:58

Watching the video (not for the first time) of the nib press being used, I couldn't help thinking that it would be fantastic to make a nib (or a dozen) and a nib holder.

#8 Tadeo

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Posted 04 October 2019 - 22:50

Watching the video (not for the first time) of the nib press being used, I couldn't help thinking that it would be fantastic to make a nib (or a dozen) and a nib holder.


Totally agree!

#9 Tadeo

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Posted 04 October 2019 - 22:56

Windy drafty rooms, lots of feather to move when you don't want it too, while writing....and the feather  tip was left to brush off the ground up cuddle fish that we now call sand. Cuddle fish absorbed extra ink....sand only kept a page from touching a still wet one.....as far as I know.
 
Hollywood is at fault for that I'd think.....Hollywood is often very wrong with historical details.
A big feather is flashy....a feather tip, not.


It would be interesting to bring someone from the past to tell us their impressions of our interpretations of everyday life.

We are bounded in time and look at everything from the lens of our current culture.

Tadeo

#10 Parker51

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Posted 05 October 2019 - 02:18

In reading contemporaneous accounts from different time periods it appears that there have been few changes in people, but many changes in demographics, economics, technology, politics and religion.
This means on the surface things appear more significantly different than they really are.

#11 AAAndrew

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Posted 05 October 2019 - 21:36

Some information about how pens were made with those machines. 

 

https://thesteelpen....-1857-and-1890/

 

In the early 1830's several manufacturers in Birmingham figured out how to make steel pens at an industrial scale. They began importing at a large scale into the US (mainly Gillott and Perry) in the 1830's. In the 1840's several Americans tried to make their own pens, but none were terribly successful. 

 

In 1850's a group of investors and an inventor brought a couple of toolmakers from Birmingham, as well as a group of the young English women who made pens and started up the Washington Medallion Pen Company. 

 

In 1861, a family of Quakers from Cornwall brought a small group of toolmakers from Birmingham to start up the Esterbrook Steel Pen Company factory. 

 

The two toolmakers from Washington Medallion and one of the toolmakers from Esterbrook went on to found most of the rest of the main steel pen companies. (Harrison and Bradford, Warrington, Turner & Harrison, Miller Brothers)

 

Quills were used from the 7th century up through the 19th. most quills did not keep the vanes on, or very few. Not only do they get in the way, but they also make it harder to pack them tightly into a bundle, which is how they were sold. Most people did not know how to cut or mend a pen at the time and so either threw away worn out quills, or sent them back to the stationer to have them re-cut. Some big companies kept their own cutter on staff. 

 

My research is primarily on the US steel pen industry, but there is still some info on Britain as well. You can check out more at https://thesteelpen.com/  and also if you get a membership to the Pen Collectors of America you can get the Pennant magazine in which I am writing a series of articles on the history of steel pens. 



“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928



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#12 wags

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 15:21

oh dear, I was trying to work out an excuse to drive down to Alabama when I clicked on the video...

 

hope springs eternal



#13 txomsy

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 06:16

Most interesting. Thanks.



#14 inkstainedruth

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 17:59

oh dear, I was trying to work out an excuse to drive down to Alabama when I clicked on the video...

 

hope springs eternal

 

:lol:

I feel your pain -- because Birmingham Pens is local to me, here in Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh's South Side was originally called Birmingham, after the English city).  

Really wishing they'd find a new location for their B&M store....  I think nearly every time I went in the place, I was not the only customer....

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."





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