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Fountain Pen From Behind Iron Curtain.


konis
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Neat, thanks for sharing!

PAKMAN

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That is very cool, thanks for sharing! :thumbup:

“It has forever been thus: So long as men write what they think, then all of the other freedoms - all of them - may remain intact. And it is then that writing becomes a weapon of truth, an article of faith, an act of courage.”

-Rod Serling

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I lent that pen to Kim Il Sung to fill in his state pension application and he never gave me it back! :angry:

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  • 6 months later...

Found something interesting... while I don't typically like to dig up really old threads, I felt I needed to add something to this one. I was having a heck of a time trying to figure out the name of the brand on this box. I'd never seen Korean block orthography written in this way until I realized... the Hangul on the box is rotated around 180 degrees... it actually reads: 평양만년필 which means Pyongyang Fountain Pen hope that helps anyone trying to find one.

<em class='bbc'>I started nowhere, ended up back there. I caught a fever and it burned up my blood. It was a pity, I left the city; I did me some travelin' but it's done me no good.</em> - Buffalo Clover "The Ruse"

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Interesting to note that while so many of his countrymen are starving, they still have enough money to buy gold to make fountain pen nibs.

But yes, it does seem interesting, and I would like to know how it writes. Wonder how you got it too. Things from across that iron curtain are usually either (1) worthless or (2) sold to visiting foreigners as souvenirs.

On another note, when you first mentioned the iron curtain, my thoughts were of the GDR and maybe the Soviet Union. It never occurred to me that it would be the North Korea.

Edited by Joker4Eva
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Interesting to note that while so many of his countrymen are starving, they still have enough money to buy gold to make fountain pen nibs.

But yes, it does seem interesting, and I would like to know how it writes. Wonder how you got it too. Things from across that iron curtain are usually either (1) worthless or (2) sold to visiting foreigners as souvenirs.

On another note, when you first mentioned the iron curtain, my thoughts were of the GDR and maybe the Soviet Union. It never occurred to me that it would be the North Korea.

 

If you think about it, North Korea is the only country still tucked neatly away behind the iron curtain, though they are loosening up a bit. In a broad sense, the term iron curtain could have applied to the entire Communist Bloc, from the USSR, GDR, and other East Bloc European countries to Cuba as well as China, Vietnam, Cambodia and North Korea

Edited by paultyler_82

<em class='bbc'>I started nowhere, ended up back there. I caught a fever and it burned up my blood. It was a pity, I left the city; I did me some travelin' but it's done me no good.</em> - Buffalo Clover "The Ruse"

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If you think about it, North Korea is the only country still tucked neatly away behind the iron curtain, though they are loosening up a bit. In a broad sense, the term iron curtain could have applied to the entire Communist Bloc, from the USSR, GDR, and other East Bloc European countries to Cuba as well as China, Vietnam, Cambodia and North Korea

 

No need to be broad, seeing that that term can easily be applied to North Korea. Just found it surprising that my mind wondered in that direction, despite the fact that I was born after the dissolution of the USSR.

 

Back onto that pen, could the OP tell us how did it come into his possession? Did he carry out a super-secret spy mission into North Korea and stole one just for keepsakes? :ph34r: Or did Kim Jong-un gave it to him for extraordinary efforts in some field? :lol:

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If you think about it, North Korea is the only country still tucked neatly away behind the iron curtain, though they are loosening up a bit. In a broad sense, the term iron curtain could have applied to the entire Communist Bloc, from the USSR, GDR, and other East Bloc European countries to Cuba as well as China, Vietnam, Cambodia and North Korea

 

No need to be broad, seeing that that term can easily be applied to North Korea. Just found it surprising that my mind wondered in that direction, despite the fact that I was born after the dissolution of the USSR.

 

Back onto that pen, could the OP tell us how did it come into his possession? Did he carry out a super-secret spy mission into North Korea and stole one just for keepsakes? :ph34r: Or did Kim Jong-un gave it to him for extraordinary efforts in some field? :lol:

 

I've actually thought about taking a trip to North Korea, as it is now possible, despite being basically a guided tour of what the DPRK wants you to see, complete with constant government minders ushering you everywhere and propaganda. Supposedly you will have opportunities to buy North Korean goods at state 'tourist' stores and (if your minders trust you enough) at the occasional state-approved non-tourist store... I'm wondering if one of these could possibly be purchased at one of these stores... I seem to recall reading an article that indicated the fountain pen factory in Pyongyang was still in use and staffed by 'honorable soldiers' (read - injured DPRK military veterans)

<em class='bbc'>I started nowhere, ended up back there. I caught a fever and it burned up my blood. It was a pity, I left the city; I did me some travelin' but it's done me no good.</em> - Buffalo Clover "The Ruse"

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Hi,

 

Wow! That's a really neat pen!

 

Dillon

Stolen: Aurora Optima Demonstrator Red ends Medium nib. Serial number 1216 and Aurora 98 Cartridge/Converter Black bark finish (Archivi Storici) with gold cap. Reward if found. Please contact me if you have seen these pens.

Please send vial orders and other messages to fpninkvials funny-round-mark-thing gmail strange-mark-thing com. My shop is open once again if you need help with your pen.

Will someone with the name of "Jay" who emailed me through the email system provide me an email address? There was no email address provided, so I can't write back.

Dillon

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The pen looks really like a Chinese design built at Hero's Changsu branch where the Guanleming and Jinrong brands were based; unused examples still turn up often on eBay. So this design could have been bought or licenced from Hero.

No, I am not going to list my pens here.

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Interesting. Is this fountain pen recent production ? Or vintage ?

Can you estimate the relative quality of this pen ? Is it likely to be found in

a governor's suit pocket or a student's book bag ?

 

May I conclude that "Phenian" means "Pyongyang" ?

 

 

Thanks for the posting.

Auf freiem Grund mit freiem Volke stehn.
Zum Augenblicke dürft ich sagen:
Verweile doch, du bist so schön !

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When I was in elementary school in the 1970s in Poland, I used a Polish-made fountain pen, Zenith, which now seems to me like a copy of the Parker 51. I remember that pen as very pleasant to use and something to be really proud of. I had one type of ink for it, which now seems to me to have been very close to Parker's Blue-Black. I don't recall any other fountain pens being available in retail stationery stores, but I do remember that you could buy a Parker pen in Pewex, which was a chain of hard currency stores where wealthy Poles could buy things otherwise not available on the market. The Parker Jotter ballpoint was also something to aspire to, and Zenith made a copy of it, as well. I used to have it and remember it as being a terrible writer, spilling ink all over my copy books.

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Not the OP but I thought I'd answer some questions

 

The pen looks really like a Chinese design built at Hero's Changsu branch where the Guanleming and Jinrong brands were based; unused examples still turn up often on eBay. So this design could have been bought or licenced from Hero.

 

Doubt it was licensed, Hero wasn't the only company in the Commbloc to make these pens. GDR had Heiko, USSR had Soyuz and Karkov, and N. Korea had Pyongyang and possibly Chollima though I haven't found anything but a passing reference to this company. The Korean, Cyrillic, and English on the box all say the same thing "Pyongyang Fountain Pen" and it also says Made in D.P.R.K (Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea)

 

Interesting. Is this fountain pen recent production ? Or vintage ?

Can you estimate the relative quality of this pen ? Is it likely to be found in

a governor's suit pocket or a student's book bag ?

 

May I conclude that "Phenian" means "Pyongyang" ?

 

Thanks for the posting.

 

 

Yes... I'm assuming they got 'Phenian' from the Cyrillic which, properly romanized is:

Pkhen'yanskaya Avtoruchka

Pkhen'yan is the Russian name for Pyongyang. Avtoruchka means fountain pen or, literally, Autopen.

The Korean is romanized:

Pyungyang Mannyeonpil, mannyeonpil being the Korean word for fountain pen.

It looks from the pictures that this one is vintage but it's my understanding that the Pyongyang factory still operates in it's namesake city... hard to get much worthwhile info about the reclusive nation though. I've wanted to go on one of the group tours to the DPRK, despite the government minders and all the propaganda, it just sounds like an interesting trip and who knows, if I could get the minder to trust me, I might ask them if I would still be able to get a Pyongyang Fountain Pen.

 

 

 

When I was in elementary school in the 1970s in Poland, I used a Polish-made fountain pen, Zenith, which now seems to me like a copy of the Parker 51. I remember that pen as very pleasant to use and something to be really proud of. I had one type of ink for it, which now seems to me to have been very close to Parker's Blue-Black. I don't recall any other fountain pens being available in retail stationery stores, but I do remember that you could buy a Parker pen in Pewex, which was a chain of hard currency stores where wealthy Poles could buy things otherwise not available on the market. The Parker Jotter ballpoint was also something to aspire to, and Zenith made a copy of it, as well. I used to have it and remember it as being a terrible writer, spilling ink all over my copy books.

 

Thank you for this information, I didn't have any info on a fountain pen company from the People's Republic of Poland, so you helped me add another name to the list of Commbloc FP companies. Any chance that you've seen any of those Zenith FP's around anywhere since?

Edited by paultyler_82

<em class='bbc'>I started nowhere, ended up back there. I caught a fever and it burned up my blood. It was a pity, I left the city; I did me some travelin' but it's done me no good.</em> - Buffalo Clover "The Ruse"

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