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Esterbrook Dip Pen Nib Resource


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19 replies to this topic

#1 Estycollector

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 10:50

I discovered this resource while searching on the relationship between the 2556 Esterbrook nib and the 556 dip pen nib. 

https://theesterbroo....com/INDEX.html



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#2 corgicoupe

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 16:03

AAAndrew contributes to that project.


Baptiste knew how to make a short job long

For love of it. And yet not waste time either.

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#3 AAAndrew

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 01:18

Phil was the original compiler of this amazing resource. I'm helping him create a new re-write of it. It's been taking a while, but still in progress. 

 

If you have any questions about Esterbrook dip pens, I'd be happy to answer them if I can. 



“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



Check out my Steel Pen Blog


"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

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#4 Estycollector

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 10:29

Phil was the original compiler of this amazing resource. I'm helping him create a new re-write of it. It's been taking a while, but still in progress. 

 

If you have any questions about Esterbrook dip pens, I'd be happy to answer them if I can. 

 

Phil has been very kind and responsive to the emails I've sent. I'd like to know more about the nib holders. 



#5 AAAndrew

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 21:14

Nib holders are still a bit of a black hole. Brandon McKinney may know some. I do know they were selling holders at least by 1876. I'm pretty certain they were selling them earlier, but evidence is just not there. 

 

See the 1876 price list of holders here

 

I don't have any information when or if they made their own holders rather than have them made for them. If we think steel pen history is sparse, pen holder history just doesn't exist until we get closer to the fountain pen era, and then only because some of them started to make fountain pen bodies. 

 

What specifically are you interested in? 



“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



Check out my Steel Pen Blog


"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

-Montaigne


#6 Estycollector

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 22:50

Nib holders are still a bit of a black hole. Brandon McKinney may know some. I do know they were selling holders at least by 1876. I'm pretty certain they were selling them earlier, but evidence is just not there. 

 

See the 1876 price list of holders here

 

I don't have any information when or if they made their own holders rather than have them made for them. If we think steel pen history is sparse, pen holder history just doesn't exist until we get closer to the fountain pen era, and then only because some of them started to make fountain pen bodies. 

 

What specifically are you interested in? 

 

I'd like to know if holders were important to  buyers or they focused more on the preferred nib.  if there was a preferred or most popular shape. I assume most were wooden. 

 

I have one that is pretty well used, but it works. It's wood or synthetic. 

 

If I were to get a new one the cork and wood are appealing. I have little experience using dip pens, but I feel that I need to have some experience. 



#7 AAAndrew

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 03:16

It seems that people had preferences, otherwise they wouldn't have made so many styles. Most I've seen were wood, but you also had fancier ones made of bone, hard rubber, and later there were the early plastics like celluloid. I have a small number of these more exotic materials. Gold nibs, because they were so much expensive, often came with exotic holders, ranging from ebony to ivory, and including elaborate enamels, etc... 

 

But, overall, the vast majority made were simple, wooden holders. The shape and size could differ, to fit different hands and grip preferences. The holding end of the holder could also differ. That's where the patents came in. Some holders, like one made by Gillott, were made for a very long time. I have seen examples of this style that can be dated from 1865 (the pen which was used to sign the surrender at Appomattox) to the 1960's (Gillott was now branded as British Pens). 

 

This one is from the 1950's-60's. (my collection)

 

fpn_1580439908__appomattox_pen_holder.jp

 

 

Here's the one mounted in the museum at Appomattox. 

 

fpn_1580440046__appomattox_pen.jpg

 

 

Most holders are a fairly simple insert-type. The early Bramah holders used a swivel and sliding ring to hold the nib against the shaft. Some claimed to have special properties, like this 1880 ad for a special holder. 

 

fpn_1580440389__anti_nervous_triangular_

 

 

 

But most look like these made by Hanover and sold in a box of 1/4 gross. 

 

fpn_1580440324__hanover_pen_holders.jpg

 

 

One of my favorites are the Palmer Method holders. They came in various colors. Here are some red ones. I also have some green ones, and one peach/pink one. 

 

fpn_1580440466__example_2.jpg



“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



Check out my Steel Pen Blog


"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

-Montaigne


#8 Estycollector

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 10:44

It seems that people had preferences, otherwise they wouldn't have made so many styles. Most I've seen were wood, but you also had fancier ones made of bone, hard rubber, and later there were the early plastics like celluloid. I have a small number of these more exotic materials. Gold nibs, because they were so much expensive, often came with exotic holders, ranging from ebony to ivory, and including elaborate enamels, etc... 

 

But, overall, the vast majority made were simple, wooden holders. The shape and size could differ, to fit different hands and grip preferences. The holding end of the holder could also differ. That's where the patents came in. Some holders, like one made by Gillott, were made for a very long time. I have seen examples of this style that can be dated from 1865 (the pen which was used to sign the surrender at Appomattox) to the 1960's (Gillott was now branded as British Pens). 

 

This one is from the 1950's-60's. (my collection)

 

fpn_1580439908__appomattox_pen_holder.jp

 

 

Here's the one mounted in the museum at Appomattox. 

 

fpn_1580440046__appomattox_pen.jpg

 

 

Most holders are a fairly simple insert-type. The early Bramah holders used a swivel and sliding ring to hold the nib against the shaft. Some claimed to have special properties, like this 1880 ad for a special holder. 

 

fpn_1580440389__anti_nervous_triangular_

 

 

 

But most look like these made by Hanover and sold in a box of 1/4 gross. 

 

fpn_1580440324__hanover_pen_holders.jpg

 

 

One of my favorites are the Palmer Method holders. They came in various colors. Here are some red ones. I also have some green ones, and one peach/pink one. 

 

fpn_1580440466__example_2.jpg

 

Thank you for the history of nib holders. I especially enjoyed seeing the fine penmanship at Appomattox. museum. Right now I am considering getting some Esterbrook bank nibs to experience. 



#9 AAAndrew

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 21:55

The 14 Bank nibs are nice nibs. They’re long, so only work with a straight holder, not an oblique holder. (A whole other post).

Charles Schultz, the artist behind Peanuts used the 914, the Radio (coated) version of the 14, to draw all of his cartoons.

“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



Check out my Steel Pen Blog


"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

-Montaigne


#10 Estycollector

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 22:53

The 14 Bank nibs are nice nibs. They’re long, so only work with a straight holder, not an oblique holder. (A whole other post).

Charles Schultz, the artist behind Peanuts used the 914, the Radio (coated) version of the 14, to draw all of his cartoons.

 

I just noticed the link for your steel pen blog. Thank you. :)



#11 Estycollector

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 22:40

So, my new ancient Esterbrook #14 Bank nibs arrived, seven in all. I cannot get over how smooth and how so little pressure it takes. 

Attached Images

  • Esterbrook #14 Bank Nib 2.jpg

Edited by Estycollector, 05 February 2020 - 22:41.


#12 AAAndrew

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 19:49

So, my new ancient Esterbrook #14 Bank nibs arrived, seven in all. I cannot get over how smooth and how so little pressure it takes. 

 

Welcome to the slippery slope of vintage dip pens.  B)

 

Now, that is a semi-flexible, medium point pen. Which way do you want to go from here? More flexible? smoother? finer? broader? 

 

There were thousands of different styles made. There's something for everyone. 



“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



Check out my Steel Pen Blog


"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

-Montaigne


#13 Estycollector

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 21:52

 

Welcome to the slippery slope of vintage dip pens.  B)

 

Now, that is a semi-flexible, medium point pen. Which way do you want to go from here? More flexible? smoother? finer? broader? 

 

There were thousands of different styles made. There's something for everyone. 

 

Since the Falcon #48 was so highly regarded, I seems only right I should seek one or three out to experience. Agree? 


Edited by Estycollector, 06 February 2020 - 21:53.


#14 AAAndrew

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 22:07

Falcon 048 is a definite one to try. 

 

Also try an Estebrook 788. It's a spoon pen with an oval point. An oval point means that they've made the sharp point into a tiny shape like the back of a spoon. It makes for a very smooth writing experience. It also holds a lot of ink and is moderately flexible. A very different experience than the 14 or 048. Also very common and inexpensive. The line it lays down is thicker than the 14 or 048, because it is a round tip rather than a pointed one. But it was also one of the top pens sold by Esterbrook. 

 

The Jackson Stub #442 is a falcon that has a stub point. Also very common and easily found. It's a very good stub pen and holds a lot of ink. Another writing experience altogether. 

 

Yes, I did mention the slope is rather slippery. Here's some more grease. 

 

Andrew



“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



Check out my Steel Pen Blog


"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

-Montaigne


#15 Estycollector

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 22:35

Falcon 048 is a definite one to try. 

 

Also try an Estebrook 788. It's a spoon pen with an oval point. An oval point means that they've made the sharp point into a tiny shape like the back of a spoon. It makes for a very smooth writing experience. It also holds a lot of ink and is moderately flexible. A very different experience than the 14 or 048. Also very common and inexpensive. The line it lays down is thicker than the 14 or 048, because it is a round tip rather than a pointed one. But it was also one of the top pens sold by Esterbrook. 

 

The Jackson Stub #442 is a falcon that has a stub point. Also very common and easily found. It's a very good stub pen and holds a lot of ink. Another writing experience altogether. 

 

Yes, I did mention the slope is rather slippery. Here's some more grease. 

 

Andrew

 

Thank you for the grease, Andrew. :)

 

I just noticed I have an Eagle Magistrate 50 which looks like the 788. 

 

Just bought the Falcon and Jackson nibs off eBay apparently unused. 


Edited by Estycollector, 06 February 2020 - 22:47.


#16 Estycollector

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 23:21

So, I have the #14 Bank, 048 Falcon, and the Jackson #442. I've enjoyed experiencing the difference and find the Falcon to be smooth, flexible, and that it holds a good supply of ink in reserve. I'm choosing to use the Waterman inks I use in the FP's. My copy paper is 20# and does bleed through some, but I suspect this was the case with vintage paper as well. 



#17 AAAndrew

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 03:43

I find 20% cotton paper works well. Rhodia and Red n’ Black notebooks also work great and don’t bleed.

The 048 Falcon was the most popular for a reason. It’s a good, all-around pen.

Sounds you’ve got a good start. Now there are only 12,673 more styles to try. (Well, the number may not be completely precise, but there are a lot. You get the idea.)

“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



Check out my Steel Pen Blog


"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

-Montaigne


#18 Estycollector

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 10:36

I find 20% cotton paper works well. Rhodia and Red n’ Black notebooks also work great and don’t bleed.

The 048 Falcon was the most popular for a reason. It’s a good, all-around pen.

Sounds you’ve got a good start. Now there are only 12,673 more styles to try. (Well, the number may not be completely precise, but there are a lot. You get the idea.)

 

Based on what I have, what would be the next 2-3 that you would recommend for a different experience? Phil and I have been emailing back and forth. He is very kind and generous with information. 



#19 AAAndrew

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 17:37

What are you looking for? Pointed? Stub? Flexible? Firmer? 

 

I would suggest buying a mixed lot of vintage pens on eBay and seeing what you like. 

 

Andrew



“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



Check out my Steel Pen Blog


"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

-Montaigne


#20 Estycollector

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 19:36

What are you looking for? Pointed? Stub? Flexible? Firmer? 
 
I would suggest buying a mixed lot of vintage pens on eBay and seeing what you like. 
 
Andrew


Im actually happy with the three I have unless there is one or more you think are really that special.






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