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  1. The middle of the 20th Century saw an italic handwriting and calligraphy renaissance in the U.K. and the U.S.A. Alfred Fairbank was the leading proponent in England of italic script as the best choice for handwriting. In the United States, Paul Standard (on the East Coast) and Lloyd Reynolds in Portland Oregon were leading advocates. In fact, the majority of professional calligraphers I have met on the West Coast to this day were students of Reynolds or students of his students. The fountain pens that were most available for italic writing in that era, at least in the United States, were the Osmiroid models and those made by Platignum, both from England. Both of these companies went out of business in the late 1970’s, but Osmiroid pens and nibs remain quite available on internet auction sites. Complete sets - a pen and six nibs of different widths - are found fairly often, many never used. Sets of Osmiroid italic nibs included the following widths: Fine, Medium, Broad, B2, B3 and B4. A “F inter M” width was also made. These sets came in Straight, Oblique and Left-handed versions. Osmiroid also made quite a variety of round-tipped nibs, but I am not going to discuss those. The most popular Osmiroid pens were the Model 65, a lever filler, and the Model 75, a thinner pen that was a small-capacity piston filler. Late in its life, Osmiroid produced a C/C filler with what they called “Easy change” nibs. These nibs came attached to a feed and section which screwed into the pen’s barrel. It used International Standard cartridges and converters. With the “Easy change” model, Osmiroid produced a series of shadow nibs of various widths, in addition to the round nib and italic nibs for which they were known. An Osmiroid Italic Set. The pens are a Model 75 in back and a Model 65 in front. Besides a pen and six nibs, the Osmiroid Italic sets also came with a product catalogue and a nice little instructional booklet for Foundational and Gothic lettering in some packages and for Italic in others. Osmiroid nibs are 23 Kt plated steel. They are un-tipped. In my opinion, they are among the best writing italic nibs ever produced. Osmiroid pens were always inexpensive. I suspect they were meant primarily for the student market. They certainly were not meant to compete with Parker, Conway-Stewart, Onoto, Mabie-Todd, Waterman and the like. So, we had excellent writing nibs in cheap pens. My very first fountain pen was an Osmiroid 65 I bought in the college bookstore my Freshman year. it came with the set of 6 italic nibs described above. I bought it to learn italic handwriting. Now, more than half a Century later, my taste in pens and my means are both quite different. I don’t recall exactly how I got the notion of having a pen made for me that accepted Osmiroid nibs, but I asked Shawn Newton to make me a piston filling pen with two sections - one that would accept Pelikan M800 nibs and the other that would accept Osmiroid nibs. This worked so well, I asked Shawn to make two more extra sections for Osmiroid nibs to fit two other pens of his in my collection. Now, Osmiroid nibs for the Model 65 and 75 have a nipple on the end of the carrier, and they did make a converter in the day. It was a little push-pull device of mediocre quality. They are not easily found today. I have been unable to find another make of converter that fits on the Osmiroid nib without modification. The nibs work well in piston fillers. Shawn’s suggestion for a less expensive alternative was to attach a squeezable bladder to the section - essentially a bulb-filler. I thought we should give that a try. And it works just fine! Close-up photo of the nibs, showing the carrier nipple, as described. The two new sections that make it possible to use Osmiroid nibs on Newton Pens. One section is installed (on an Ebonite Bamboo Eastman) and the other un-installed, allowing a view of the attached ink sac (for an Ebonite Quapaw). My old nibs now have a new life in rather upscale digs. They will be used a lot more than they had been in their original pens. I know many FPN members (at least those of mature years) with interests in italic writing or calligraphy first learned using Osmiroid pens, as I did. Chances are, unless the pens have been restored, the more common Model 65s have seriously deteriorated sacs. I am delighted to have found a great way to keep these marvelous nibs in use. I am happy to share it. Happy writing! David
  2. I picked up this Wearever bulb-filler at a junk store, but have been unable to identify it. The cap band is missing (and those two smudges on the cap are from my inky fingers). Any idea of the model and approximate production date? Thanks. (corrected a spelling error)
  3. Inkysloth

    Sheaffer Bulb Filler?!

    Hi all, I bought a cluster of "old pens" from Ebay as one was a Sheaffer I thought might scrub up well. A photo will follow when I've charged my phone up. My confusion is, it has a sac fixed in place, but no other sign of a filling mechanism - no moving blind cap, no snorkel, no nothing. Just an ink sac. Did Sheaffer make any bulb fillers?! Or is this someone's cartridge pen that they've glued a sac into, to make a bulb filler?
  4. Hi I'm about to embark on my first (very simple) fountain pen repair, and I've got a very simple question. The pen in question is a Congress bulb filler (cheap to buy, but I rather like it). The bulb has previously been replaced with a sac that appears to be almost new so I'm leaving that bit alone. The section and the barrel are a press or push fit. When I received it, it was leaking through the joint. My simple question is how should I seal it? Shellac, epoxy or something else? I'm not convinced that shellac will seal, and whilst I cannot see any reason to ever want to break the connection, epoxy seems rather irreversible. Your thoughts please Thanks Andrew
  5. jj9ball


    Okay, so I live in Nebraska. Where I live there are farms and cattle everywhere. The cows actually do outnumber the people. So if you have ever been to a dairy farm.... you can't help but think this pen looks like a cow with one utter. Anyway, its a bulb filler with a 14mm body and 17 mm cap. The pen is 6 inches long capped. I got that whole length thing figured out since the last one. The pen body is 5 1/2" long. As near as my terrible math tells me the pen holds about 6.5ml of ink which is about 5 times as much as a converter. I would love to hear what everyone thinks... moo, because all I can.... mooo, think about... mooo, is a cow. Jeff.
  6. Ok so here is about 7 hours of work... These things really do suck in more ways than one. This is (obviously) about the hardest pen build I have ever had. The pen ended up WAY too long (I'll remedy that on the next one ). It ended up 6 5/8" long capped... oops. Its still 6 inches long uncapped, but surprisingly comfortable to write with. If you are wondering what the black tint is... its my over zealous need to throw in some x feather and see what happens. And it actually does work. It sucks up ink and everything. The nib is a fine point polished bock (haven't figured out how to do the JOWO feeds with the breather tube yet). The sack is a #17. The next one will have a shorter sack... I just guessed at the size this time and the next one will have a different connection/nipple mechanism. There are a few other things I will probably do different, but all in all I do feel like I just climbed a big ole mountain. I would love to hear what people think. I would love to hear about anybody else's issues making and designing pens like this. In particular I would really like to know how big the reservoir is on everyone else's (Mine ended up being around 1 3/4" long and 11.25mm in diameter). I think I made mine too big which is what contributed to the excessive length... that and sack size. Enough ranting please comment. Jeff.
  7. I don't know what to call this resin. It is sort of a dark mica blue with very light turquoise swirls and slightly pearly light and dark brown chunks. It reminds me of the celluloid found on some old Waterman Patricians that I've seen. I really like it, but it is a bear to make. This is a bulb filler, my favorite filling system to make. I've got a full writeup on my website if you care to look: http://www.pensbylyleross.com/richland-2.html I liked the material so much that I decided on a smaller ink window than I normally like on a bulb filler. I did a little plumbing inside to keep ink capacity fairly high, though I haven't measured it. You can see a tube that serves as an extra ink reservoir in the last photo. I also beveled the seam between the ink window and the barrel sleeve just a bit, which should help to avoid sharp edges as the resin wears over time. Large sized Richland (14mm cap threads) #6 JoWo nib And some photos. I'll answer any questions. Thanks for looking. Lyle http://www.pensbylyleross.com/uploads/1/2/6/0/12608908/2380072_orig.jpg?171 http://www.pensbylyleross.com/uploads/1/2/6/0/12608908/5951539_orig.jpg?119 http://www.pensbylyleross.com/uploads/1/2/6/0/12608908/7200777_orig.jpg http://www.pensbylyleross.com/uploads/1/2/6/0/12608908/1913592_orig.jpg?197I really need some black sacs for these
  8. InvisibleMan

    First Bulb Filler

    I think this is where this post belongs . This is my first completed bulb filler. It took a bit of trial and error to get the bulb filling system to work, but it fills up like a champ now. I don't know how much ink this thing holds, but it is a lot. It takes about 14 squeezes of the bulb to fill it up completely. The body of the pen isn't perfect, but this was sort of a "get it done" pen for me to use. I think this may end up being my favorite filling system. It's fun to use, and I think it looks cool too . It's made from Alumilite resin that I poured myself. Medium JoWo nib. It's a big pen - 14mm cap threads (triple start), 135mm long uncapped, 147mm capped. http://www.pensbylyleross.com/uploads/1/2/6/0/12608908/4201526_orig.jpg http://www.pensbylyleross.com/uploads/1/2/6/0/12608908/2748028_orig.jpg http://www.pensbylyleross.com/uploads/1/2/6/0/12608908/7551900_orig.jpg Private Reserve Black Cherry - about 3/4 filled probably http://www.pensbylyleross.com/uploads/1/2/6/0/12608908/3374510_orig.jpg Blog entry about the pen:

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