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  1. CALICUT CITY- SOME UNTOLD STORIES I don’t how many could believe that Calicut, a city of Kerala, have such a rich heritage in fountain pens- so that it may be called as the pen city of Kerala. Probably as the only man in FPN from Calicut, I take the responsibility to present our city in this forum. The pen productions have started in early 1950s. By 1955-1960, there are four major firms of pen making. Don’t think that these are big companies producing pens and marketing in wide areas. Actually these are four pen shops, and each shop produced pens for their own shops only. And because of this poor marketing strategy, they are almost unknown to the outside world. As the healthy competition continued, many beauties have born. The pen history can be roughly be divided into 6 phases. 1950 - 1955 PEN PRODUCTION begins . 1955 - 1960 CONSOLIDATION PHASE – By this period all the 4 pen shops came into existence and production started at full swing. 1960 - 1970 THE GOLDEN ERA. This period have witnessed these shops running in full glory, churning out the maximum number and variety of pens. 1970 - 1980 THE DECLINE STARTS 1980 - 1990 THE BIG DECLINE 1990 - PRESENT. All the things happened right here- in the SM Street. The most busy street of Calicut. SM stands for Sweet Meat. Wondering what’s sweet meat ? . It’s nothing like meat. A hard rubbery confectionary -or Calicut Halwa- as known outside Calicut. You can see a lot of shops selling this here. They are available in a variety of colours and flavors—atleast twenty I think- more that what colours you are getting for a Sheaffer Skrip or Waterman range of inks! ABOUT CALICUT For those who don’t know, Calicut ( or KOZHIKODE) is a city situated in the coastal Malabar area of Kerala, India. It’s the only place in Kerala where fountain pens are made. Calicut is also known as the Biriyani capital of Kerala. Wonder why .. all pen cities are famous for their biriyanis also ..!? the Malabari biriyani is made in process were all the rice, meat and the spices are cooked in a closed container where the soft aromas and infused to rice in a slow process of around 5-6 hrs. Now, coming to the story part - The whole credit of fountain pens of Calicut goes to one and only person- Mr. M. Haneefa Rawthar- for without him the story would not have happened. People called him Haneefa Saheeb. He came from somewhere in Tamil Nadu in around or before 1950. At that time ( and now also) many people comes from other states to Calicut as merchants. His first visit was somewhere around 1950. He came with a huge collection of fountain pens- used and new, along with a lot of spare parts. Usually persons coming to Calicut are attracted by the hospitality and friendliness of natives and most of the merchants and traders later decided to settle here. Haneefa Saheeb was no different. Don’t think that there was no pens at all before Haneefa Saheeb. Imported pens like Waterman, Black bird, Swan were there. These were costly and not afforded by all. Apart from regular pens, dip pens were also popular. Ink tablets were also popular at that time. For making ink, you have to dissolve tablet in water! For dip pens, thicker inks were made with tablets dissolved in lesser water. Also they were available at very cheap rate compared to an ink bottle. Any ink manufacturer reading this? Coming back to Haneefa Sahib, a man with no formal education, but lot of experience from worldwide travelling and visiting so many countries, now at his fifties or sixties, toying with the idea of starting a pen shop at Calicut. FIRST PEN SHOP OF CALICUT The first pen shop of Calicut opens in SM street in 1950. As expected the shop flourished very quickly. This shop later became Kim and Co pens, as known today. As he sold new and old pens, he provided them with good service, as he had a huge collection of spares. Kim and Co shop at Calicut.( at present)
  2. Hi FPNers, I have been a member here a for a long time. My passion to fountain pens took me to launch a new website, which sells Indian pens (mainly KIM ACR Handmade Ebonite Fountain Pens). Please visit http://www.kiwipens.com and get the website launch offer (up to 15% off). Thanks -saji
  3. SOME MORE PEN STORIES ( and models) Hi friends, Pen makers experiences and stories I find always interesting. When ever I go to Calicut town, I have a tendency to go to Kim and Co and Krishna to see what all are happening there. As the shops are always busy, I stick up there either buying some pens, or as a silent bystander or if lucky I can find some senior pen collectors and share their experiences. One fine morning, as usual I found myself ended at Kim shop. Asked for any new model pen, one man in the shop ( around 25 years old) say to my surprise say yes. Delighted! New model! Then one customer comes to the shop with a Kim Big pen, says this is not writing properly ( I think he have bought it recently) Shop man takes the pen and writes it. I stood there , silently observing both customer and the shopman. To his and my surprise, the pen is writing with a beautiful fine line! sir, this has no problem no, I like to write it thicker ( it seems he dont know the word medium,calligraphy etc) Now the man goes inside. After 5 or ten minutes he comes back with the pen. Now its writing in a thicker line. Still our customer not happy. this is not the real way he says. Shop man asks are you an artist? yes pen is for drawing? both writing and drawing Now he goes inside and comes back in 10 or 15 minutes. And pen writing with a good line variation and have more flow also. A calligraphy nib! This is what exactly I want! He Exclaimed . Another happy ending story! Coming to the second part of the story, Of the many prototype models made in the workshop of Kim pens, only very few models hit the market after extensive testing . Even after that, if response from people is negative, they are stopped very soon. So what was that new modeloffered to me?. After successful completion of many years of production, Kim now feels that its time for its Small pen to retire and replaced by another model. I think now people prefer bigger pens. The New Small is dimensionally equal to Small, but looks and feels bigger. I think Small should be compared to Sachin Tendulkar, as both are retiring at the same time after many years of service! http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7418/10770156183_aa2580cfaa.jpg 20131109_170300 by mohancv, on Flickr THE NEW MODEL PEN FROM KIM. They are planning for yellow, lighter green, pink, black, rippled green finishes for this. Coming to the third part of the story, http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2882/10769946566_14212932a4.jpg 20131109_221144 by mohancv, on Flickr KIM LADY PEN This Lady pen is an answer to Kims own Lady pen of the past. Made by Sreekumar, the student of veteran pen maker Ramachandran, this pen do not go to production if I assume right. http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7313/10769947406_d8bd108ec8.jpg 20131109_221551 by mohancv, on Flickr KIMLADY- OPEN. This is a small pen, well suited to small purses of ladies and is clipless. An eyedropper, and made of ebonite. ( earlier Lady pens were made of Celuloid).Cap opens in less than a turn. http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7345/10770004094_342b5ef16b.jpg 20131109_221438 by mohancv, on Flickr Ink capacity only less than 1cc. May be due to its small size, or may be to reduce burping? http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7324/10769902525_e6dd6d5468.jpg 20131109_221456 by mohancv, on Flickr THE JEWELS http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2878/10769902085_76010bd80d.jpg 20131109_221528 by mohancv, on Flickr NIB. Nib is RITE SHARP, Made in Japan.( As far as I know, Ritesharp was an Indian Pen Maker, yet the nib does nt look Indian). http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7342/10770002364_5aa290624d.jpg 20131109_221725 by mohancv, on Flickr COMPARED TO A VECTOR. This is a phone conversation with me- why you want this? This is scrap( he have already sold me some antique Kim Lady pens) my wifes birthday, this should be my gift but its not finished I have no problem..I want a medium nib Medium? NoNonsense Nib, Wearever Nib,. both costs 150rs That I already have.. Townsend Nib is there costs 800rs .... is it too much? ( after few more discussions, I settled for a Ritesharp Japan nib for a 100 rs). After 2 days, I got this pen. One more happy ending story! Thanks for reading, Mohan.
  4. Valley - A pair of deskpen and a pocket pen. New color rods obtained used . Green with Brown swirles in place of usual Black swirles. Thanks for looking Sree
  5. Hi fiends, Here is a dip pen made by Kim and Co. I have not seen a dip pen before. No cap, no feed. http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3735/10606730965_f0d6585374.jpg 20131101_161556 by mohancv, on Flickr http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5495/10606724435_d312d56871.jpg 20131101_161633 by mohancv, on Flickr Once dipped in ink remains on a curvature under the nib. At least two or three lines can be written before ink finishes of. And may be more if I am getting an ink formulated for dip pens. On nib it is written as 456 MACNEVAN & CAMERON GOLD WING BIRMINGHAM ENGLAND. http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5539/10606729164_01fee5ce4e.jpg 20131101_161612 by mohancv, on Flickr Any idea about this nib? Kim people told that this nib is at least 50-60 years old. Thanks, Mohan.

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