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  1. TwizzlerNibs

    Relief 3-L

    In anticipation of the San Francisco show I scored a lot containing some beautiful Conway Stewarts, a few Parkers, some smaller makers, and this bad boy. I haven't touched it yet as there are a bunch I need to restore, but this is exciting and will clean up really nicely. A fine example and I wanted to share it.
  2. I'm quite fond of using an Esterbrook Dipless inkwell because it ensures that a nice pen will always be at my desk, so I don't have to fish around in my satchel for a fountain pen or remember where I put it. Naturally, the pen holders these inkwells are designed for are designed to accept Esterbrook "renew point" nibs. After I realized that my previous nib was so dry because of nib damage, I swapped it out for a new-in-box one (both 9550). This new one writes wet enough, but is very scratchy. Before I go beyond the paper bag method of polishing the nib, I was thinking of perhaps fitting the pen holder with a different make of nib... say, one from Pelikan. My Pelikan nibs have always been glass-smooth out of the box. Has anyone tried this? What were your results?
  3. After having re-read the Jean Esterbrook thread, I was inspired to do some delving of my own back in the Old Country. I reached out to the fine folks at the Liskard History Museum in the town in Cornwall where Richard was from and asked if they had any information. I received a nice note back with some interesting tidbits which I thought I'd compile into what else I've figured out and share it with you all here. The first thing that pops up is that the Esterbrooks really liked "Richard" and "Mary" as names. The Richard Esterbrook who was the founder of the company here in the US, is often called Richard Esterbrook Sr. and his son, who was first to the New World and brought his dad over, is commonly known as Richard Esterbrook Jr. The confusion begins to set in when you realize that there was a Richard Esterbrook before "Sr." and another Richard Esterbrook after "Jr." who was also often called "Jr." So, let's start in Liskeard Cornwall. A small town in Northeast Cornwall, just about a 30 minute drive west of Plymouth. In 1778, the first Richard Esterbrook was born in the parish and married Mary Anne Oliver. At some point he moved just down the road to the small hamlet of St. Austell. It was here that Richard (Sr.) Esterbrook was born in 1813. At some point they moved back to Liskeard where Richard (Sr.) married Mary Date from Travistock in West Devon, (where the Esterbrooks are first found in the 17th-century). By 1841, Richard Esterbrook (Sr.) was running a Bookshop/Stationer at 20 Pike St. in Liskeard. The building, just down from the museum, is currently a travel agency. He was still there in 1851, but gone by the 1861 census, though he still owned the bookshop. In the collection of the museum are posters dated 1844, 1848 and 1850 showing Esterbrook as the printer. This means that Esterbrook was like most stationer/bookshops of the time, he also did printing. He eventually sold the bookshop in 1866, the same year in which he dissolved the original partnership with Cadbury and Bromsgrove, and formed R. Esterbrook & Co. with his son, Richard Jr. who had just turned 30 that year. (Sr. also voted in local Liskeard elections in 1861 and 1863/64. So, he hadn't completed severed ties with this home, despite becoming an American Industrialist.) Speaking of Richard Jr., he was born in Liskeard in 1836. The nice person at the museum found the deed of sale for the shop in 1866 and said that someone, no identification of who or when, had placed a note in along with the deed which says, "Richard junior was apprenticed to a well known pen and nib manufacturer and eventually emigrated to America and set up business on his own account ….with great success.. The firm he founded, still in existence, the Esterbrook Corporation, is a firm of international repute but particularly in the USA of the standing of the Parker Pen and Shaffer Pen companies." The reference and comparison to Parker and Sheaffer tell me that this was a 20th-century, fountain pen reference, perhaps in the 40's? There's no indication where the info on the apprenticeship came from. But it leaves a key question unanswered. Was that Richard (Sr.) who was really a Jr, or Richard Jr. who was really Richard the Third? (can understand why you'd not want to be known as that) If we look at the date, apprenticeships traditionally started when one was 13 or so. That would have been c. 1826 for Richard Sr., or c. 1849 for Richard Jr. My guess is that it was Richard Jr., not Richard Sr. In 1826, the pen industry was in its real infancy in Birmingham. Only a few years earlier, Gillott was tempering his pens in a cast-iron skillet and selling them in boxes he packed personally. It's highly unlikely that someone would have come all the way from Cornwall to do an apprenticeship with a relatively new and small industry way up in Birmingham. But by 1849, the industry is growing tremendously, and it's much more likely for this to happen. This could also help explain why Richard Jr. would have left instead of sticking around to take over the family business. It was not uncommon for apprentices, after finishing their proscribed time, from taking off and seeing other ways of doing the same work, or looking for fresh fields away from where they did their apprenticeship. John Turner, later founder of Turner & Harrison, and possibly one of Richard Esterbrook's skilled workmen from Birmingham, went to France after his apprenticeship. So, Richard Jr., assuming he actually finished his apprenticeship, would have completed his time around 1855. Just in time for him to come to Canada and the US and try and get his father to come over. Fortunately for us, his father left his shop behind, but, prudent man that he was, he didn't sell it right away. He kept a second basket for some of his eggs until it was clear the new venture was going to work after all. By 1858 they had their factory in Camden and offices and warehouses in Philadelphia. The rest is history, that has been told elsewhere. I just wanted to fill in some of the early history that has been so foggy up to now, at least for me. There are still many gaps, like how Richard Sr. ended up with a bookshop, or if Richard Jr. did finish an apprenticeship, and if it may have been some of his friends who were the skilled workmen his father supposedly brought from Birmingham? I always assumed that being in the stationery business, Richard Sr. had contacts in Birmingham, which is how he got the workmen. Now, it's possible that Jr. came to the US to find out how pens were made here, realized that we didn't really know what we were doing, and that there were only a couple of people making pens here, so had the idea to bring Birmingham here and start their own factory along "modern lines." If I find out more, I'll let you know. Andrew
  4. tadas

    Why "radio" Nibs?

    I don't use dip pens, but the nibs constantly come up on my eBay searches, as I collect Esterbrook fountain pens. I've been intrigued by the designation "Radio nib" - why a special nib for writing for radio? I did some searching on Google, and found, from the "Esterbrook Project" site, that they were introduced in 1913 and were nickel-plated versions of regular nibs. Where I'm confused is that, in 1913, radio was the bailiwick of scientists, and the turn-of-the-20th version of what we now call "geeks" or "nerds". How did Esterbrook come to name their plated nib line after what was then an obscure technology? If it was the 1920's, I could understand, just like the products from the '50's that had stylized atoms, or '60's "space age" products. Just some idle curiosity on my part....
  5. I just recently found (as in actually found, more on this later) an Esterbrook pen in surprisingly nice condition. The only issue is that it was missing the cap, but the nib, section, and barrel were all there and in mostly working condition. I decided I wanted to restore it as it's my first lever filler, and have since removed the old sac and fully cleaned its remnants. All that's left is waiting for parts to arrive. From what I can tell, the pen appears to be an Esterbrook dollar pen (*actually most likely a J series, as pajaro pointed out), but without the cap it's difficult to tell. It's also difficult to tell if it's red or copper in colour -- in person, it looks too dark to be copper, but also too dark to be red. The attached pictures make it look noticeably more red than it is in person. I'm also curious where the best locations to buy parts are. I've of course tried ebay, but I haven't seen just a cap yet. On a few of the other sites I've googled, just trying to buy a cap runs you more than the whole pen without even factoring in shipping. I was wondering if there are a few recommended sites or people to buy parts from at a reasonable price? Link to album with pictures: https://imgur.com/a/c6bCn (The pen itself, see linked album for more pictures) As for the "more info", I actually found it during a daily walk around the park. It was just lying in the grass without a cap in a location that's seldom traveled. The sac was completely useless, and definitely hasn't been recently restored. I spent a couple hours looking for the cap but wasn't able to find it, assuming it was even with the pen. The area I live in likely doesn't have many fountain pen users either, and it was obviously not there long -- the whole situation is definitely mysterious.
  6. I've replaced the J-bar of one of my Esterbrook J pens with an 54mm aftermarker J-bar. After doing that I noticed that the lever is loose. While the pen otherwise worked, the rattle of the lever annoyed me enough to pull the pen apart again and try to fix it. Googling for the issue revealed some insight from Brian Anderson here. However I haven't found any information about how best to do this. So I thought I would try on my own and grabbed a couple of pliers and used that to flatten the metal on sides of the J-bar. However it didn't give easily, and I'm not sure if it helped at all. I still can't insert the J-bar in a way in which the lever isn't loose. On one occasion I almost succeeded, but after trying to use the lever 2 or 3 times, it returned to being loose once again. I must admit, I have no idea how to do this properly. Could somebody help with some advice, please?
  7. I just put up a page on my blog listing research resources for Philadelphia, including a ton of links to online Philadelphia Directories. Something I thought y'all might find interesting is a diagram of the Esterbrook factory in Camden, NJ from 1885. It's from a Sanborn map used by insurance companies. The red buildings are made of brick, and the yellow ones are wooden-framed. The location is currently a parking lot across Cooper St. from Camden City School District Office. It was in the middle of the block, along Cooper, between Front and Delaware, on the south side of the street.
  8. I got a sample of Sailor Sei-Boku from the Writing Desk. I love how it looks on reviews, so I figured it would be nice to try it. So I filled my Esterbrook J (9550 nib) with it. It did not write, so I thought maybe I forgot to clean that pen. So I pulled out my other Esterbrook J (9461 nib) and filled that. It wrote nicely. But next day when I tried to write with it, I noticed that the nib unit is clogged. It did not write at all. So I emptied the pen and cleaned it thoroughly. Now the pen works, but I'm not sure what to do about Sei-Boku. I have not dared to try it with other pens. What do you guys think? Is it normal for Sei-Boku to clog a pen, or does it just hate Esterbrook Js? What kind of pen would you try Sei-Boku with?
  9. eastonp

    Greetings From Skokie, Il

    Hello! I am an high school English teacher and a modest collector of Esterbrook pens and a fan of Waterman's washable blue. I come to this site primarily to find out more about the Montblanc Hemingway LE pens, as I fell into owning the ballpoint, and was considering passing that on. But I am glad to find a group and a literal font of information. I've been a fan of fountain pens ever since owning my first, a Parker, which was a graduation gift in 1990, and visiting the Pen Hospital in Chicago in the early 90s....a magical place, that. Paul Easton
  10. Hello all! I picked up an Esterbrook fountain pen at an estate sale today, and I am having trouble identifying the model. On the cap are three sets of two angled lines. Hopefully my photos are clear enough. I hope you experts can help me.
  11. I know that there are plenty of threads regarding some issues I'm having with my Estie Lever fill circa '40's (sac not expanding when filling though it's a new one, feed not running properly, etc..), but what I am posting for was some recommendations from you all for an F or EF preferably non-flex nib. I'm already aware that the #1550 (EF) or #1461 (F) can't get the hob done, but a less scratchy EF would be sweet. I've got. Zebra G Comic on it now, but would like to have the option of putting her into my daily carry rotation and I write small so usually carry F/EF. I'd prefer to have an entire unit for her (section, feed, nib). Also, is there a comparable silicone sac that I could fit her with as the silicone had a better fill property because of the former spring of the material over latex)? Andersen Pen for example has listed 14, 15, 17, and 18 1/2 sized silicone sacs, but no 16's... does someone have 16's for an Estie JS? Or can I put a 15 silicone sac on an Estie? I'm sorry if these seem like silly questions. So suggestions for either the nib/unit, silicone sac, and/or sellers would be greatly appreciated and I thank this entire community that helps each other out with rare animosity displayed in the public area. Thank you for your indulgence and I do hope this discussion might be beneficial to many more than just my needs.. I'll edit this with pictures this afternoon because she really is a beauty. S\F, -B
  12. I'll just paste my 'about me' from my profile. I'll not get on the soap box again, thanks to you all already -BIn the second half of my life, I'm using my time while retired/disabled after 23+ years as an Officer of Marines; CWO4 (Marine Gunner) and former Master Sergeant (prior to my Officer lobotomy) I stay busy when not swamped with stuff or just feeling down right horrible as a book reviewer, editor, and still continue analytical work for various people/businesses and occasionally still do consulting work for the Marine Corps and DoD ....... Advocating for Liberty and Veterans who suffer with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Severe Memory Impairment, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumas, and those with Crohn's Disease and Seizure Disorder. Of course too I may muster the courage to begin my Scale Models again but in addition to it all fight pain,tremor, and atrophy caused by neuropathy so bad that it maybe something best to just hang up and sell off. I've lost nearly every enjoyable skill and struggle with the idea of "doing it at all if I can't do so to the ability I once had". My 1965 Galaxie 500 LTD and Harley are gone as a result of the desires and memory issues so that and losing the opportunity of a second careeer sucks big time. I'm most busy with doctors appointments and maintaining my 118 year old house, my shop, ranting, retirement, and sometimes more... I spend most of the day in my library/study and may sometimes blog aside from my other stuff. My blog was begun right before my health, career, and entire life's direction was wildly changed, so though the page is 3+ years old, it is bare boned. My wonderfaul wife and partner of 21 years and I have 3 daughters (23, 20, & 10) and my service/seizure dog 'Reagan' (a Transylvania Hound).I have always insisted upon myself, my Marines, and my girls that their handwriting and deliverables that leave their desks are an example and often a first impression of their own character of professionalism and disciple. If it's your notes or your journal, that's one thinks; but if it is going to be seen by someone else it must be your best. I don't have extremely expensive pens, but what I have are of good quality and they are used extensively with my very rarely using a ball point pen or marker. Of course math/hand-analysis and editing markup is still often done with pencil, but everything aside is ink 'properly. I had to learn to read and write all over again after my brain injury, but I continue my journal that is now beginning it's 27th year and in addition I still write my wife of 21 years a love letter each day. I look forward to learning from each of you and pray I will be of assistance to many as well. I have much experience with different mediums aside from fountain pens to include, dip, technical pens, pastels, pencil, and alcohol pens with a solid background in what works and what doesn't with all brands, mediums, and surfaces while making sure the combination matches the intended purpose.Semper Fidelis, CWO4 Shannon Beaman USMC'Smooth is Fast, Fast is Smooth' Edited for errors only, content not altered. -B
  13. Hello Estie lovers, My first real "rabbit hole" into fountain pen collecting was the serendipitous purchase of an Esterbrook that had an 8668 palladium-silver nib attached. I have a background as a chemist and have long been in love with palladium; that coupled with the WWII history (another interest of mine) made this a fantastic discovery for me. It writes just beautifully! The first thing I did, being new to the game (and I still am!) was to look for advertising about these nibs and Esterbrooks in general during WWII. I loved finding ads stating that "only a few pens can be made" due to the war effort, and, "If your stationer cannot supply you immediately with Esterbrook Pens we know you will understand why." Just amazing stuff, and a wonderful look into one aspect of WWII American culture viewed through the lens of a fountain pen lover. I wondered if the 8000-series nibs ever showed up in advertising, and I had not been able to find any such ads until recently. I thought the other Esterbrook fans here might enjoy a look at this Argentinian ad I found that shows the 8000 series... I wonder if anyone else knows of 8000 series Esterbrook nibs showing up in ads or being mentioned in period literature? Cheers! Matt
  14. Hello Wise Ones, Has anyone had to repair a loose desk pen base whose ball joint (which holds up the pen) is loose and lays flat? I’m considering buying an Esterbrook desk pen set. The style of desk pen is the ultra flat base with a swiveling ball joint. But the ball joint is loose and the “holster” can’t hold the pen up. The best research info I have is from model and toy enthusiasts who recommend Pledge Future Polish. However, these suggestions assume a disassembly of parts that I may not have the luxury of. Has anyone had experience in this? Thanks in advance!
  15. Hello, I bought a Model J pen recently and it is in transit from the seller. I've attached a photo from the seller. I've just noticed that the cap has the ribbed jewel with no Esterbrook stamp on the clip, which (to my understanding) is an early "transitional-era" cap (1943-1948). The barrel also has a jewel, which comes from the final version of the Model J (1948 and onward). What I've gleaned from Richard Binder's website is that the ribbed cap jewel was gone and replaced by the smooth jewel even before Esterbrook started adding jewels to the barrel end. So my initial thought is that this is a mismatch of two Model J eras. To those more informed than I on this matter, is this a mismatch? Or is this pairing documented somewhere? Thanks in advance for your information!
  16. IndigoFiberCottage

    Replacement Cap For Esterbrook J In Green

    Hello, I recently bought a nice enough Esterbrook J pen body with an intact bottom jewel and a 1554 nib in decent shape. Only trouble is, this pen had no cap. I've been looking on eBay and Etsy for folks that have a cap to sell with no luck. FPN looked like a great place to advertise for said cap, but I'm not allowed to post in classifieds until I'm a Gold Member. So, I'm asking here if anyone has a spare parts cap that they are willing to sell at a fair price. If push comes to shove, I am willing to buy a cap that doesn't match color-wise and just call it a Frankenpen! I just want to have a complete pen in hand some day. I had success with putting a new sac in an Esterbrook desk pen, so with that under my belt, I wanted to also gain experience by putting a new sac in this pen. However, a pen without a cap... Thank you FPN members for any help you can give me.
  17. The red and chrome carries a fine nib and seems to be a mix between a deluxe and a cx-100. I didn't smooth and polish the plastic yet, but I have cleaned everything up and replaced the sac. Interestingly enough, it has a 12/64's neck on the section, so I used a size 12 sac. I may replace with a necked 14 that I just picked up. The second is a cleaned and polished LJ (?) that I spent a good bit of time on. I think it turned out pretty good. It has a 2668 firm medium nib, and writes a rather wet line. Both write smooth as silk, the nibs are smooth and do not scratch a bit.
  18. JDHudson

    Replacement Section For An Sj

    Can anyone direct me to the best place (besides eBay) to find an Esterbrook section for an LJ? I am in the process of restoring my first Estie, and the section cracked on me. I stupidly tried to take it out after removing the nib..... If anyone can help, I would greatly appreciate any guidance. I am also restoring an Esterbrook that resembles an M2, but is a lever fill...it is immaculate, other than needing a new sac and general cleaning.
  19. A couple of months ago, I picked up an Esterbrook Model J (Green) at a market. I paid $20 for it, and after a little homework, picked up sac, talc and shellac from Anderson Pens and fixed it up myself. However, the thing came with a 1555 "Gregg" nib, which was the scratchiest nib I have ever experienced in my life. Its feed was also in poor shape (even after lots of soaking in water), so that even if held at the "sweet spot" for writing, it would dry out pretty fast. Instead of doing a whole bunch of nib tuning + ammonia soaking, I decided to try replacing the nib + feed (since Esties have the "renew point" system). I found good advice here, and decided to pick up a Durachrome 9668 (found NOS on eBay for $25, incl. shipping). With the new nib installed, I am in love with this pen! It is not the contrast alone... the new nib is one of the smoothest writing experiences I have had, ever. Currently using it on Tomoe River paper, which is a personal favorite of mine. Anyway, I thought I'd share my positive experience and document it for the possible benefit of other newbies. If you have a scratchy Estie from a flea market, don't give up on it -- instead, take advantage of its "renew point" design. Thanks, -Rahul
  20. Blue-Nose-Bear

    Osmiroid Nibs

    Hello All, I have recently learned that Osmiroid nibs can be used in Esterbrook pens. Despite this, the only nibs I've seen that look like they could fit in an Estie are these, which I don't really trust (I mean, this is a vintage barbie seller!). Is there are particular rarity about them, or am I not looking hard enough?
  21. Runnin_Ute

    My Family Of Estie's

    My newest Estie acquisition arrived today. The blue transitional J, 1555 Gregg nib. Decided to take a family photo. Picked up this ready to use cigar box to to use for pens at a local smoke shop while running errands today. (freebie) The transitional is in need of a sac, and thus far the section has been very stubborn.... The photo...... http://i1016.photobucket.com/albums/af283/Runnin_Ute/Mobile%20Uploads/2017-02/20170211_182439_zpsidewgvox.jpg
  22. chromantic

    General Nib Questions

    Hi, everyone. I'm expecting my first Esterbrook this week, an SJ with a 1550 nib. I've been looking over the nib list at esterbrook.net and had some newbie questions. > First off, how do the nib sizes compare with other brands/regions? > I understand flex and rigid/manifold but what's the distinction between firm and relief? > What's the difference between the lower and higher numbered ones? Materials, quality? I use mostly fines, with some mediums thrown in. I see the 1550 is a Firm Extra Fine so I'm looking at maybe the 2442 Falcon stub or 2556 Firm Fine, or possibly a 5556 Firm Fine or 5668 Firm Medium; that's where I'm wondering about the difference between, say, the 2556 and the 5556. How broad would the 2442 stub line be compared to the fines and mediums I'm used to? Thanks in advance for any advice. edit: I found Richard Binder's nib list which contains helpful pictures with very basic descriptions of the various numerical series - Durachrome, Palladium, etc - that sheds a little light on that aspect for me; so it does seem the higher the number the better the quality, which makes sense. But is there any 'practical' difference between the various materials that will affect the writing experience? The esterbrook.net list describes the 2442 as "firm smooth, popular with execs" while RB's list says "backhand writing". Huh? I take it, also, that "fine writing" refers to line width and not, like the 1314, for "social use and manuscript".
  23. So... I got a cool Fern Green Esterbrook J (with 1 cap) and really like the thing. The body of the pen has a crack around the cap-threads, but it's only apparent when removing the section and bladder. Which I did. because I wanted to see it. but that's not the issue. The issue is the constant seepage of ink around the feed/section interface. Again, I took the feed and nib out, but this time for a good reason! It was 0.1mm off-center and bugging me. So now it leaks, it gets into the cap, it spreads onto the section and gets on my fingers. How to fix it?
  24. shannonkd

    Unknown Esterbrooks

    Hi! I found these two pens at an antique shop. One is missing the nib and the other has the nib which says Esterbook 9556. Can you tell me what those numbers mean? Do any of you guys know the actual model for these? I'm guessing they are both Esties since they're so similar, but I could be completely wrong!
  25. Driphtwood

    Esterbrook Ebonite Section Soaking

    First of all, I've tried searching for more information on this topic, and didn't find what I was looking for. Forgive me if this subject has already been flushed out. I recently purchased an Esterbrook J on a whim, and set to work on restoring my first pen to working order. I was able to pull the section off and remove the disintegrating sac, but found my first roadblock in removing the nib unit from the section. Long story short, I soaked the pen in a solution of ammonia, water, and dish soap and was able to clean out all the old ink and successfully unscrew the nib unit. Now however, I think I may have damaged the pen! Apparently you're not supposed to soak ebonite in water right, and I could be wrong but the whole section is ebonite. I can't imagine soaking in ammonia did anything to help either. The section is now a different color than the barrel, slightly greenish very dark grey instead of black, and is more matte than glossy, again unlike the barrel. My questions are as follows. If you're not supposed to soak ebonite, how would i have cleaned out the ink from the section? I'm considering attempting to restore the old finish by buffing away the damaged surface of the section. Should I go ahead and give this a try? I've attached a photo of the pen. As a final note, it's possible that it already looked like this. I honestly can't tell. This is a photo from the original ebay listing. It looks like it might already have been even less slightly discolored?





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