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Hilroy Graph Pad, 20+ Years Old (Long And Picture-Heavy)


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I was given half a pad of graph paper from the '80s, or at the very earliest, the late '70s (along with a few other things...). How old does something have to be before it's considered vintage?


Anyway, the only markings on the pad are "Hilroy No. 2144" and the price, 59 cents. If it had a cover, it's long gone.




I've never used Rhodia, Clairefontaine, etc. However, I think this Hilroy paper has some similar characteristics. It is very thick and has a smooth, almost slippery feel without being glossy. The colour may have been white but it has since yellowed slightly.


Other details: North American letter size (approx. 8.5" x 11"), three-hole-punched, top-bound (pages can be torn out along a perforated line) and backed by some sturdy cardboard.



I decided to sacrifice one page to experimentation with fountain pens. My thickest/wettest writer is only a Pilot Metropolitan with a medium nib, but after fantastic results and absolutely no ghosting on the back, I went further. Here's the sheet now, with various pens known to bleed on horrible paper in the lieu of broad/flex fountain pens. Many were borrowed :D.


Please excuse the inconsistent handwriting, I've been practising other scripts and now I can't write casually without interference from continuous cursive, cursive italic AND print :glare:



  1. Pilot Metropolitan (M), Pilot Blue-Black
  2. Pilot Plumix ("M" italic ~1.0mm), Noodlers Gruene Cactus Eel
  3. Lamy Logo (EF), Lamy Blue
  4. Pilot High-Techpoint V5 (0.5)
  5. HB pencil (0.5mm)
  6. Uni-ball Vision Needle micro, waterproof and fade-proof
  7. Pentel Metallic Gel Roller
  8. Snowhite Roller Pen
  9. Staedler Calligraph Duo (3.5mm)
  10. Bic Round Stic (M)
  11. Sharpie marker
  12. Grand&Toy highlighter
  13. Sharpie highlighter
  14. Sanford Dry-Erase marker
  15. Staedler Lumocolor (for overhead projectors)
  16. Pentel Hybrid gel
  17. Basics permanent marker


Most of the thick and wet markers feathered but the highlighters did not. Then again, whiteboard and overhead markers aren't meant for paper and I'd expect most alcohol-based markers to bleed.


More surprisingly, the fountain pens (no. 1-3) performed better than any of the rollerballs. They simply laid down cleaner lines. Okay, so I only tried 3 ink/nib combinations, but the Uni-ball Vision Needle (no. 6) and the Snowhite Roller Pen (no. 8) feathered in an ugly, uneven way. Certain spots looked sort of spiky. I'd rather have uniform-but-fat.


The Pilot Metropolitan with Pilot Blue-Black ink (no. 1) probably took the longest to dry, about 15 seconds.




Ghosting and Bleed-through

Let's just say that the back side is very usable aside from anything with alcohol-based ink or extreme width and wetness. I don't know about broad or flexy fountain pens, but it's safe to say that this paper performs extremely well... as long as the ink dries quickly. See below.


Noodler's Black

I've heard about some inks having long dry-times on certain papers, so I put one drop of Noodler's Black on as an experiment. It sat on the page instead of spreading. This is what it looked like, 10 minutes later:




One hour later and it was still wet. No feathering. It barely spread outwards, if at all.




At this point I drew the ink out into very thin lines. These took 2-3 minutes to dry. I can only imagine how long it would take for a wet, thick line to stop smudging.





In short, this is the best paper I've tried so far (in the one month that I've used FPs). Considering the complete lack of feathering or ghosting with my wet-writing, medium-nibbed Pilot Metropolitan, this may be a hard record to break :D

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IIRC, Any Car 25 years old or older is considered an Vintage. I think Antiques are of similar age. Pad looks like one I saw in the Book Store at Uni in 1971-1977 time period. I usually stuck to yellow , quad ruled Engineering pads with a dark green cover. Price is about right for the time period I mentioned. Jim

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