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How old are fountain pen enthusiasts?

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Touchy topic.

I was born in 1950 and used a fountain pen in elementary school (an Esterbrook, which I still have!). I also used ballpoints, roller balls and gel pens as they came along, but always perferred fountain pens.

I think that is understandable.

What about people born into the era of ballpoints? What causes them to develop an understanding and love of quirky, sometimes difficult fountain pens?

My kids are 23,25 and 28 and all look at me with love and pity when I pull out a fountain pen. To them I might as well be driving a Model T Ford instead of a Mustang. Despite my example, none of them have the slightest interest in using anything but a Pilot G2.

Are there many members here my kids ages? I would love to hear how you got the bug.

Dr. Scrawl

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I'm 24. At the core of my personality lies a deep and lasting love of gadgets, and I think that's what initially made fountain pens so appealing. There's something much more "gadgety" about them than other pens. I also like the way the ink flows, the wide selection of inks, and the really cool lettering I can do with a flexible nib. And that's where my current love of fountain pens lies: I still like them for everyday writing, but I'm currently especially interested in copperplate calligraphy. It's so completely different from any other pen-based activity I've tried, and I find it mesmerizing.

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Well, I'm 50. I recall brief usage of fountain pens in my youth, but those memories are filled with leaky pens. I've only recently turned my attention to fountain pens. While I love writing with them and consider them more works of art than writing instruments, my interest in them is more the result of a realization that some things in life have not necessarily changed for the good. My use of fountain pens is an effort (albeit futile) to recapture a bit of the elegance and grace that seems to have been lost in the quest for that which is new and improved.

Edited by penaddict


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I'm 22. I perhaps don't count, though, as I wasn't really 'born into the era of ballpoints': I learnt to write with pencils, and moved onto fountain pens when I was around 6, as most British children do (or certainly did when I was a child: I notice that my 11 year old cousin has no idea about fountain pens, and writes exclusively with ballpoints, when he writes at all). I continue to use fountain pens largely to avoid hand cramp (I'm a soon-to-be postgraduate student, I need to write a lot and ballpoints and some rollerballs hurt), and partly because they're prettier, and allow the use of much nicer ink (I dislike blue, and in the non-FP line that leaves me with black, which is boring). My handwriting is much more legible in fountain pen than in ballpoint/rollerball, and I also enjoy using italic and flexible nibs. Additionally, I've always been very into stationery, and as I get older and desire 'nicer' stationery, it makes far more sense to buy the fountain pen version of a 'luxury pen' than the ballpoint or rollerball, which will feel exactly the same as a £2 disposable. It's primarily just what I grew up with, though: using anything else on a regular basis, or for long stretches, would feel really weird.

<font size="1">Inked: Pelikan 400nn, Pilot VP, Pelikan M400, Pelikan M200, Pelikan 400, Pelikan M101n, Esterbrook SJ<br> | <a href=http://www.flickr.com/photos/27410410@N05/>Flickr</a> <br></font>


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I recently turned 17.


Ballpoints are much more convenient than fountain pens, because users don't get ink on their hands, don't have to ever clean them out and they're more disposable. Even if you can refill ballpoints too, it's easy to just throw it away and buy a new one. I can't imagine doing that with a fountain pen because it's so easy to form an attachment to your fountain pen. Fountain pen users get to know their pens too well. Rationally, it seems to make more sense to use ballpoints.


For the same reasons, ballpoints are also much less personal. They're scrawly and people seem to write in more similar styles to each other when using ballpoint pens. I don't know why I feel that they do, but it feels like everybody's writing becomes more generic with ballpoints. Fountain pens just give writers much more freedom in their script when it comes to ink, nib size, nib shape etc. Fountain pens are more customisable, so I like them better. They can be adapted to whatever takes your fancy.


I also definitely appreciate the art of beautiful writing and this art does not appear in the world of ballpoints.

Edited by kvka
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28 here. I got into fountain pens just because I started writing a lot.


Hmm, that might need some explaining. ;) I mean that I wanted to use (as always when I'm doing something) the best suited equipment. Fountain pens are still the best way to deliver writing into a piece of paper by hand. Ballpoints and felt tips don't come even close when it comes to the least amount of effort needed - and the beautiful result in the letters, smoothness and shading and ...


You know.


I mainly see it as a perfect instrument to write, content is (so far :rolleyes: ) far more important than the writing. Sure, I have ordered different colour inks and have more tha... :headsmack:


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I'm 19, and in the Netherlands we where thought to write first with pencils, and later with fountain pens. However, it was mandatory to use the pens and ink given to you by the school, so one could not pick a pen that you personally liked. (Also, always when someone tells me I MUST do something, like use THIS pen with THAT ink, l always tend to do exactly the opposite :rolleyes: )


To make things worse, the pens given to you by the school where not all that great quality. Indestructible, I must say, but they often leaked. The supplied ink was also pretty bad as far as I can remember (cartridges that came in bulk boxes of 100+ pieces, I think, so it must have been cheap) On top of that, the paper we were given was also pretty bad quality. Combine these things and the results are a lot of ink stained fingers and sleeves, and smudged assignments, resulting in everybody switching to ballpoints as soon as they got the opportunity.


I got back into FP's my first year of university. I have to take a lot of notes, and noticed that when using ball points my handwriting was really terrible. My dad advised me to use RB's which did help a little, but I decided to give FP's another shot, and well, we all know how that ends up. My handwriting did get better, and since I always liked nice writing instruments, I got in to collecting FP's, and now I really love them.


To bad the schools here used (don't know if kids are still learning to write like I did) bad quality writing instruments, as this caused people to dislike FP's, which is a shame. My girlfriend proved this when I gave her one of my FP's to use (she went to the same school as I did). First thing she said: "Oww, a fountain pen, it better not leak!". She then told me that she also always had ink stained fingers and clothing, because of the crappy pens she had to use too.





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I'm 29, and had literally never even touched a fountain pen until about a year ago - now I have about thirty of them.


I've always been really fussy about the writing characteristics of a pen and really appreciative of a pen that writes well, so it's actually a little surprising that it took me 28 years to discover fountain pens. I can barely use a ballpoint now - the feel of writing with one is just repulsive. I carry a Fisher Space Pen around, though, for those moments when a fountain pen isn't ideal.


I feel like a bit of an oddity being a young IT professional who uses fountain pens, but I'm certainly not alone around here. :)


Vancouver Pen Club


Currently inked:


Montegrappa NeroUno Linea - J. Herbin Poussière de Lune //. Aurora Optima Demonstrator - Aurora Black // Varuna Rajan - Kaweco Green // TWSBI Vac 700R - Visconti Purple

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I'm 30 years old. I am a computer programmer and always enjoy good gadgets of just about any sort. In my early 20's someone introduced me to Franklin Covey planners. I really liked having a way to keep my calendar, address book etc without having to worry about my computer crashing, hard drive dying, file corruption, etc.


Fast forward a few years and I stumbled across diyplanner.com I ended up buying some Levenger Circa products and then read about fountain pens. After seeing multiple pen pretty much throwing away 3 year old computers because they were busted and buying the latest & greatest, I was drawn to a world where the only "upgrade" you need to do for decades is buy new ink.


After using fountain pens for a couple months, I realized that it feels so much better writing with one than ballpoints and I don't have to throw them away when they are out of ink.


I'll still use non FP pens for some things (signing checks, writing on envelopes) but I can't stand using ballpoints for the most part now. I still use Pilot G2's and Uniball Signo RT's at work, but I stick with FP's when I can.

-Hello, my name is Kenny and I'm a fountain pen addict with a taste for Lamy and Esterbrook.

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21 and a college student.


Not touched or known what an FP was until I discovered the pen my dad used at school when I was 8 and I inked it up to use at school. Bought my first FP soon after. It was a hero 51 clone. I almost use only FPs and pencils now and own too many FPs that I am starting to feel guilty about it.


p.s. This sounds like me looking for fun on Cra;gsl;st. [Not that I was ever that desperate. lol]

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I am nearly 60, grew up with fountain pens. I like mechanical things, and also the variety of inks and points available. I remember in medical school I had a friend who shared my interest in fountain pens and we both had Mont Blanc 320 pens with different points. We would periodically swap pens to try them out, and I'm still not sure if I wound up with mine or his.

In today's world, where we type more and more and write less and less, writing should be more of a pleasure than a chore. I think that's what keeps me interested.

Now if I could get my kids to try fountain pens...

Dr. Scrawl

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18 here.


First used fountain pen at 7, stopped at 11, restarted at 15. I was raised in (semi-rural)China where fountain pens were required, but the quality of the pens and ink available to us as everyday users were extremely poor, and I switched to ballpoints/gel pens when I emigrated. I was reintroduced with a gift from a relative.


For me scribbling with a ballpoint just don't feel right for my hand, and I liked how the fountain pen feel on paper. I was awarded for my affection to fountain pens when I walked out of my AP Euro History exam being the only one who's wrest wasn't hurting. We had to write 3 (not that long) essays by hand in ~1.5 hours.

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I came to fountain pens late in life. As a child starting school we had to bring our own stones to scratch lines into the cave wall. For art we had to chew charcoal and ocher to spit over our hands leaving shadow paintings. Later we learned to sharpen sticks and make better drawings of the bison that almost killed us yesterday and the mastodon that used to chase us on our way to school.


Later we learned to search for the GREAT Fire bird and steal feathers. We went down to the stream and found rocks that we could split giving us sharp edges that could be used to shape the end of the feather into a nib. We would chew up the charcoal or ocher and mix it with water and fat to get lovely inks, red and black, purple and brown. But we had no paper and so tried to write on the hide of the antelope. Unfortunately they refused to stand still so writing became a challenge and often left us gasping for breath.


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45. My first fountain pen was during my high school stufy in France. Then years later used Hero pens every day in Asia learning to read and write Chinese (never got good at it). Now I just love them because they are old fashioned and gadgety.

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I'm 34. Always loved pens and paper, art supplies, etc. Liked to write and try calligraphy. I think fountain pens was an inevitable for me.

I subscribe to The Rule of 10 (pens, that is)

1) Parker Sonnet 1st gen 2) Pelikan 200 yellow 3) Parker 51 vac 4) Esterbrook trans J 5) Esterbrook LJ "Bell System Property" 6) Sheaffer Snorkel Valiant fern green 7) Waterman 52.5V 8) Parker 75 cisele 9) open 10) open (I'm hankering for a Doric)


<img src="http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/606/letterji9.png" border="0" class="linked-sig-image" />

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54, been using FP's off and on since high school.


I'd love to see this topic as a poll.

Curnow Bookbinding & Leatherwork

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http://img356.imageshack.us/img356/7260/postminipo0.png http://img356.imageshack.us/img356/8703/letterminizk9.png

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18, and started a year ago. I just can't pass up a good mix of aesthetics, quality, and practicality.

Edited by PigRatAndGoat

Montblanc 145, F nib
Faber Castell E-Motion in Pearwood, F nib
Montblanc 149, F nib
Visconti Divina Proporzione 1618, S nib
Montblanc Cool Blue Starwalker, EF nib
Montblanc Solitaire Silver Barley BP
Montblanc Rouge et Noir Coral, M nib

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