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Why Some Of Us Hold Little Or No Interest In Vintage Pens

we being hobbyists no us-and-them here unless you insist

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156 replies to this topic

#41 A Smug Dill

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Posted 12 March 2020 - 08:52

In German I would call it a “Gedankenspiel”. I found “intellectual game” as direct translation, but am not sure if that is appropriate, since I feel the term invokes some sort of competition or conflict.

 

I could have made it more clearer I guess and I'm sorry for that.

 

 

No worries. (That means, as least in Australian English, "Please don't be concerned about it as if one may be indebted or have offered affront. It's not big deal at all.")

 

I'm happy to play that "intellectual game", but I simply don't think this is the discussion thread for it. I wanted to answer a question asked of me by a fellow member, without derailing a discussion thread that wasn't concerned with that question. I'm giving voice to the seemingly unpopular and frowned-upon position of not seeing superior or lasting value in vintage pens, and invite others to share their views — and I've offered myself up to take the brunt of the backlash, be accused of stirring things up "as usual", etc. just because they don't pretend what someone else holds dear is actually a priority or concern for themselves.


As always:  1. Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment.  2. I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong. My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published.  3. I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself and see the results, I entreat you to do so.


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#42 vicpen123

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Posted 12 March 2020 - 08:59

Different strokes for different folks.

 

Like whatever turns you on.

 

I have a mixture because that is how I get the types of pen I am interested in.

 

Let it go.



#43 Estycollector

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Posted 12 March 2020 - 10:00

 

 

No worries. (That means, as least in Australian English, "Please don't be concerned about it as if one may be indebted or have offered affront. It's not big deal at all.")

 

I'm happy to play that "intellectual game", but I simply don't think this is the discussion thread for it. I wanted to answer a question asked of me by a fellow member, without derailing a discussion thread that wasn't concerned with that question. I'm giving voice to the seemingly unpopular and frowned-upon position of not seeing superior or lasting value in vintage pens, and invite others to share their views — and I've offered myself up to take the brunt of the backlash, be accused of stirring things up "as usual", etc. just because they don't pretend what someone else holds dear is actually a priority or concern for themselves.

 

Is there a need for that voice? Maybe I just haven't been keeping up, but I don't see vintage vs modern competition when both are readily available. I chose vintage because of the cost. I've got some inexpensive modern as well. 


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#44 A Smug Dill

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Posted 12 March 2020 - 11:57

Is there a need for that voice?


Is there a need for any discussion at all in a forum of individuals who enjoy their preferences in fountain pens? Why do we come to FPN?

As always:  1. Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment.  2. I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong. My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published.  3. I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself and see the results, I entreat you to do so.


#45 Karmachanic

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Posted 12 March 2020 - 12:52

Can't say that I have particular interest in vintage pens either. I do have two vintage pens, but I did not purchase them because the are vintage, but for the nibs and the way they perform. That itch scratched I see no such purchases in the future. I have modern nibs that perform similarly.


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#46 Estycollector

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Posted 12 March 2020 - 13:00

Is there a need for any discussion at all in a forum of individuals who enjoy their preferences in fountain pens? Why do we come to FPN?


Not inventing a problem that does not exist, I would think. Most of the responses have tended to be tolerant for others doing as they wish. I just dont see the issue, but perhaps I am out of touch.

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#47 A Smug Dill

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Posted 12 March 2020 - 13:14

Not inventing a problem that does not exist, I would think.

 
It was in answer to a question asked of me in the open, specifically why I have no interest in vintage pens, so apparently someone else is curious to know.
 

Most of the responses have tended to be tolerant for others doing as they wish.


Good to see.
 

I just dont see the issue, but perhaps I am out of touch.


Uh, discussion of something that may not be the "majority" position does not mean it's an issue or a protest. If our community is diverse, then I think there is value in not making it appear more like-minded on individual preferences to observers than it really is. So, while there may not be a strict need, I certainly think there is value is giving it voice. I wonder if I'm only imagining a subtext in your replies that you think it is being unduly divisive, even though there is no unity in the first place and no need for tighter alignment.


Edited by A Smug Dill, 12 March 2020 - 13:16.

As always:  1. Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment.  2. I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong. My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published.  3. I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself and see the results, I entreat you to do so.


#48 Beechwood

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Posted 12 March 2020 - 13:26

Not inventing a problem that does not exist, I would think. Most of the responses have tended to be tolerant for others doing as they wish. I just dont see the issue, but perhaps I am out of touch.

 

Spot on Esty, I think this is correct. Pen collection and use is a broad church and I am sure that most on FPN will be tolerant and even appreciative of the interests of others.

 

There are the usual select few who for their own reasons just want to create a fuss.


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#49 sirgilbert357

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Posted 12 March 2020 - 14:51

As usual, Dill like to stir things up.  I'll play.

 

I'm not a fan of vintage anything - cars, watches, pens, etc.  But that does not mean that I have a problem with anyone who does.  I have a couple of vintage Parkers, 1940 and earlier, but I keep meaning to sell them off since I never use them.  I'm a user and not a collector, so just owning something doesn't do it for me. 

 

My interest in fountain pens is about the entire user experience.  I am interested in how the nib writes, how the pen feels in the hand, the esthetics of the materials and the design.  Has little to do with how old the pen is.  And I really don't care for or chase after flex nibs.

 

So, much of my aversion to vintage pens is due to their size.  I simply prefer larger pens.  I have a Parker 75 that is a fabulous pen, but is simply too small for me to use regularly.  But then again, I'll never sell that one because it is the first really nice pen I ever bought.

 

 

This is pretty much where I stand.

 

- I am rarely attracted to vintage stuff, in general. There are exceptions (American muscle cars from the late 60's, for example).

- I'm all about the user experience. A pen is a tool to me. But I like nice tools. Everything from the feel of the material of the pen, to how it feels when it caps, the nib on paper, the look, reliability, etc is weighed when considering a pen. I prefer bigger pens, and this rules out some vintage options I would otherwise possibly consider (Pelikan 400nn, for example).

- I don't do sacs. Period. Been there, done that, tried to enjoy them and every single one was a disappointment for one reason or another.

- I don't care about "flex". This seems to be a big reason many are drawn to vintage. I do, however, enjoy the line variation of a stub or cursive italic nib. But I don't have to go vintage to get that.

 

I don't think people that love vintage are crazy or anything, but I get irritated with others thinking I am for not loving vintage. I can't help what I'm attracted to, it just is what it is, and I've stopped fighting it (I have owned quite a few vintage pens, so I can honestly say "I've tried", but I've sold them all).


Edited by sirgilbert357, 12 March 2020 - 14:52.


#50 sirgilbert357

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Posted 12 March 2020 - 14:57

 

Is there a need for that voice? Maybe I just haven't been keeping up, but I don't see vintage vs modern competition when both are readily available. I chose vintage because of the cost. I've got some inexpensive modern as well. 

 

 

I have seen first hand what A Smug Dill is talking about. I've had others express an air of superiority over me because I didn't prefer vintage. I would say that most on here don't act like that, but I'm just being honest when I say it has happened plenty and I've seen it enough that I've put people permanently on ignore. I don't see any harm in discussing our preferences or even listing the pros and cons, as we see them, of different classes of pens.

 

Wait...what is going on here? I skip ahead three pages and people are acting offended at A Smug Dill here? What? Why?


Edited by sirgilbert357, 12 March 2020 - 14:58.


#51 sirgilbert357

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Posted 12 March 2020 - 15:01

So, while there may not be a strict need, I certainly think there is value is giving it voice. I wonder if I'm only imagining a subtext in your replies that you think it is being unduly divisive, even though there is no unity in the first place and no need for tighter alignment.

 

Agreed 100%, and well said. Anyone that doesn't see the value is welcome to read other threads, lol. What's the problem here?

 

Even now, the "air of superiority" seems to be creeping in! Ugh...



#52 sirgilbert357

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Posted 12 March 2020 - 15:05

 

Is there a need for that voice? Maybe I just haven't been keeping up, but I don't see vintage vs modern competition when both are readily available. I chose vintage because of the cost. I've got some inexpensive modern as well. 

 

You may not, but others sure do. They seem to have a bone to pick with anyone that speaks negatively about vintage. Even if there were no actual competition as seen by anyone on the forum, why should someone not post about their affinity for modern pens, especially when we see so many extolling their vintage pens?



#53 Estycollector

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Posted 12 March 2020 - 16:33

 
You may not, but others sure do. They seem to have a bone to pick with anyone that speaks negatively about vintage. Even if there were no actual competition as seen by anyone on the forum, why should someone not post about their affinity for modern pens, especially when we see so many extolling their vintage pens?


Well, if thats occurring, its a sad commentary. Ive just encountered lots of support and education myself. And, Ive got at least two modern pens.

Not sure why, but I just settled on Esterbrooks because they were an inexpensive way to dive into a FP. Ive discovered how nice to use they are and might be overzealous at times when someone is thinking of spending hundreds, but the truth is, I enjoying folks doing as they please as long as they are armed with good information.

"Respect science, respect nature, respect all people (s),"


#54 Arkanabar

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Posted 12 March 2020 - 23:42

It hardly matters the community, you'll find elitists. 

 

I remember taking issue with some Fedora Linux fanatic once, who went so far as to declare to one and all that only when they too took up use, development, and support of Fedora, and discarded every (and I do mean EVERY) other linux distribution currently under development, presumably including Red Hat (Fedora's sponsor and primary source of funding), would they be well off.  I had no interest in dissuading him from using Fedora, but had no patience for his insistence that only Fedora should be used, developed, and supported.  Certainly the idea that people who use other distributions are less competent with deep Linux runs through the Slackware, Gentoo, and at times Arch communities (though none are composed only of such elitists).

I am content with my modern pens.  I started out without any knowledge of any secondary market in fountain pens.  When I did learn of it, I was too chicken to enter it, and uninterested in gaining the knowledge required to make prudent purchases with my extremely limited funds, or spending the time needed to find bargains.  By the time I had knowledge enough to consider purchase of vintage pens, I had adequate modern pens to suit my needs.  But I have never chided people for liking pens different from what I do; I've only cautioned people that their tastes may not run to that of the crowds (in particular, regarding the Lamy Safari, Pilot MR, and Faber-Castell Loom).

I suppose that if I were to take wandering antique malls, and in so doing find potentially interesting pens for cheap, I might buy them up and have them repaired.  But I'm only going to get a vintage pen as a gift or in an instance of serendipity.


Edited by Arkanabar, 12 March 2020 - 23:43.


#55 TheDutchGuy

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Posted 13 March 2020 - 07:34

I like vintage pens.  They have character, they have personality, and every one is different because they have had a "life" and all were used differently.  They can be repaired, while many moderns can not.  The materials, like hard rubber and celluloid are warmer in the hand, VS acrylic which to me feels hard and cold.  The nibs are more interesting VS the cold, sterile feel of a modern Schmidt or Jowo nib.  They can be quirky, irritating, incontinent at times, but I like them.

 

 

Well-said. I couldn’t find the right words myself.



#56 TheDutchGuy

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Posted 13 March 2020 - 07:41

 

You may not, but others sure do. They seem to have a bone to pick with anyone that speaks negatively about vintage.

 

 

In the years since I joined FPN, I’ve rarely (if ever) come across anyone who had a bone to pick. This is a place of enthousiasts, not zealots. Quickly written message on a computer do not always accurately reflect the author’s true intentions and on the receiving end, people sometimes read things with a certain bias. That’s only human. Overall, this is one of the most civilized forums I’ve encountered.

 

Going back on topic, personally I enjoy both vintage and modern pens and everybody’s personal choices are fine with me.



#57 A Smug Dill

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Posted 13 March 2020 - 13:31

After reading comments in several recent threads, including one on Montblanc, one on iron-gall inks, and of course this one, I had a long hard think today, and formed my theory of why some fans of particular interests in this hobby find it necessary to be combative, or feel actively antagonised, in the face of disinterest or apathy (and more so if it is outright low esteem) of those same things expressed by others of equal standing in open discussion.
 
However, since (I sincerely hope!) that has nothing to do with why some of us simply don't care for vintage pens, and probably don't particularly care whether interest in and accessibility of such dwindles in the foreseeable future, I'll leave my thoughts on such outside of this discussion.


As always:  1. Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment.  2. I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong. My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published.  3. I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself and see the results, I entreat you to do so.


#58 TheDutchGuy

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Posted 13 March 2020 - 15:48

...why some fans of particular interests in this hobby find it necessary to be combative, or feel actively antagonised, in the face of disinterest or apathy...

 

 

Personally, I can’t remember ever feeling combative or antagonized or even irritated on FPN. So I can only hope that I’m not one of the “some”. Now please excuse me while I’m off to Appelboom for some Diamine Florida Blue and some iroshizuku ama-iro  :) . 



#59 5Cavaliers

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Posted 13 March 2020 - 16:40

Great discussion!  And this is a discussion, as my father used to say when we sat around the dinner table talking of current events.  

 

I confess!  I have tried several times to enter the "vintage" genre, and have had less than pleasant experiences.  And part of the reason is that I neither have the time, talent or knowledge of vintage pens, or the mechanics involved to take apart pens, fix them and reassemble them. 

 

Any vintage pen I have purchased has needed "work", which required being sent off to a pen restorer.  In most cases, the price of the purchase plus the restoration costs exceeded the pen's optimal value.   About a year ago, I purchased a lovely vintage pen from the daughter of the original owner who had passed away.  I sent it out to an excellent pen restorer who restored it as best he could.  But the pen just doesn't function well.  If I did have the time, talent and knowledge I probably would have recognized that it wasn't worth the purchase in the first place!  

 

And that brings up another issue.  I also don't have the time and knowledge to know where to look for quality vintage pens.   Like with any collectible, you need to research and then find out where to look.  I just don't have the time or the motivation for that right now.  Maybe in the future, after I have taken a pen restoration class or sat at the feet of a great pen restorer, I might.   :D

 

Now, some may ask, what do I do about those brand new pens that I buy which are "lemons"?  If it is an expensive pen (i.e. Montblanc, Pelikan, etc.) I only buy from a reputable dealer who will work with me to make things right.  For example, last year I purchased a special edition pen from a reputable dealer.  The writing experience was terrible. Since it was the only pen like that he had and could not replace it,  I sent the pen back and received a full refund.  He even paid shipping both ways.   Do I end up paying more?  Probably.  But I have learned the hard way that you get what you pay for.  And I don't know of any pen dealer who is actively trying to cheat their pen customers.  

 

Please don't take offense at any of this.  Some of it is imparted with levity . . . i.e. is meant to be humorous.  


Edited by 5Cavaliers, 13 March 2020 - 16:40.

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#60 inkstainedruth

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Posted 13 March 2020 - 17:21

@ A Smug Dill -- It occurred to me just now, while reading the most recent posts, is that you have a desire to quantify experiences (such as being able to have a complete list of inks listing various criteria (as to their wetness, saturation level, etc).  And I'm now thinking that is the reason you prefer modern to vintage -- that you don't have any "surprises" (especially negative ones).  This is not a bad thing of course (nobody likes unpleasant surprises, like the Vacumatic I bid on on eBay a few years ago after the seller told another potential bidder that he didn't see any cracks in the cap... even though it was pretty clear from the photo...  :().  Just a possible reason why you feel the way you do.  A modern pen is going to more likely be more uniform in experience from another pen that came off the production line at the same time; if there's a problem, it's easier to return/exchange it (either from the seller or the manufacturer).  A used pen (particularly a vintage one) may need a new sac, have a missing clip, a sprung nib, etc.  Or, as in the case of that Vac, a cracked cap and I didn't realize what was involved in that sort of repair (or, for that matter, the time and expense...  :o).  I'm still trying to save up to get the repairs done (which of course would have meant NOT buying some of the pens I've gotten in the meantime...  :rolleyes:).

OTOH, I've had vintage pens that just needed a good flushing out and they wrote like a charm.  But if someone doesn't want to take that sort of risk, it's completely understandable.  

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