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The Feel Of Celluloid - Am I Imagining It?



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All,

 

Over the last two years I finally expanded my collection and found what feels like the ultimate pen in my hand - and Omas Special Edition Paragon in the Arco Brown Celluloid. I also have some Omas Arte de Italiana (?) a Pelikan, and several Pilot Fountain pens including a two Custom 912's.

 

My issue is: the Omas Celluloid feels different in my hands. The plastic feels plastic. The Omas Arte de Italiana pens have metal in the grip section and get slick after a bit. The plastic gets a little slick but also just feels plasticy (new word). The celluloid never gets slick, isn't cold, always grips well, and just feels good after writing for over an hour straight.

 

Am I just imagining this? Is this a placebo effect in that I love the pen for other reasons as well? Do others feel this way or is just me?

 

Regards,

Chris

 

 

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inkstainedruth

All,

 

Over the last two years I finally expanded my collection and found what feels like the ultimate pen in my hand - and Omas Special Edition Paragon in the Arco Brown Celluloid. I also have some Omas Arte de Italiana (?) a Pelikan, and several Pilot Fountain pens including a two Custom 912's.

 

My issue is: the Omas Celluloid feels different in my hands. The plastic feels plastic. The Omas Arte de Italiana pens have metal in the grip section and get slick after a bit. The plastic gets a little slick but also just feels plasticy (new word). The celluloid never gets slick, isn't cold, always grips well, and just feels good after writing for over an hour straight.

 

Am I just imagining this? Is this a placebo effect in that I love the pen for other reasons as well? Do others feel this way or is just me?

 

Regards,

Chris

 

 

 

No, it's probably not your imagination. Different materials *do* feel different. I'm not a fan of most modern acrylic pens (plus there's this sort of "sameness" to how they look), but love my vintage celluloid pens. And the Lucite bodies of my Parker 51s feel different from those. And ebonite feels different from pretty much everything because it gets warm to the touch (I have my fingers crossed that sooner or later Noodler's will issue ebonite Konrads in some new colors -- especially in the colors of the original ebonite Neponsets).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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I may be completely wrong, but I thought celluloid is more dense as a structure than other modern plastics and acrylics. At least, that is how I feel and sense it. I also have the feeling it may be somewhat smoother. My finger seems to glide across celluloid easier; but that may be down to imagination! (or to better polishing techniques by the manufacturer)

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PaganArcher

I doubt that you're imagining it. It's quite a common phenomenon in the knife world. Matte micarta feels stable, G10 feels cold but bombproof. Antler is wonderful, but the king of them all is stacked birch bark. Warm in hand no matter the weather, velvety but robust.

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What you describe about Celluloid's feel in hand is definitely not your imagination. Older, more organic plastics such as Celluloid definitely have more grip when in hand, due to how they interact with skin moisture and oils, and they also feel warmer than modern plastics. Certainly not a placebo effect. What you are experiencing is one of the reasons Celluloid has such an appeal, the great colours and designs notwithstanding.

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I wasn't really able to spot any tactile difference between my M200 and M400, but it's possible that only the binde of the M400 is celluloid. But ebonite, that definitely feels different. I plan to try an ebonite pen when I am able, and it's possible that I'll prefer it to all other materials.

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When I got my first celluloid pen (Parker Vacumatic) I definitely noticed a different feel. I actually feel like it makes my fingertips a bit sweaty, so I slightly prefer the modern plastics I have (but I love the look of the Vac).

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I'm right there with you on this. Celluloid pens do feel (and look) differently than plastic.

 

I have no experience with a special edition Paragon, but I do have the standard Paragons (old and new versions), Milord, etc., but find that their celluloid is more polished and "slicker" than the celluloids of 50 years ago or even some of the modern versions like Bexley. I'm talking about the celluloids with the Vapo Rub smell. Those have a nice oily "sheen" rather than a shine and are a joy to use.

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I used to own an Edison Purple Web Celluloid Pearl & absolutely loved the feel & smell of the pen. If my Pearl would not have had a sharp step down from the barrel to its grip, I would still have it among my pens. The feel of the celluloid was warm, almost as if it was alive.

Yes, I too would agree that celluloid has a different feel to the resin pens out there (either the cast or the lathe turned acrylic resin).

*Sailor 1911S, Black/gold, 14k. 0.8 mm. stub(JM) *1911S blue "Colours", 14k. H-B "M" BLS (PB)

*2 Sailor 1911S Burgundy/gold: 14k. 0.6 mm. "round-nosed" CI (MM) & 14k. 1.1 mm. CI (JM)

*Sailor Pro-Gear Slim Spec. Ed. "Fire",14k. (factory) "H-B"

*Kaweco SPECIAL FP: 14k. "B",-0.6 mm BLS & 14k."M" 0.4 mm. BLS (PB)

*Kaweco Stainless Steel Lilliput, 14k. "M" -0.7 mm.BLS, (PB)

 

 

 

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What you describe about Celluloid's feel in hand is definitely not your imagination. Older, more organic plastics such as Celluloid definitely have more grip when in hand, due to how they interact with skin moisture and oils, and they also feel warmer than modern plastics. Certainly not a placebo effect. What you are experiencing is one of the reasons Celluloid has such an appeal, the great colours and designs notwithstanding.

 

Does anyone know of any Modern Pen materials that feel like the Omas Celluloid? I was watching a review of a custom Alumilite Scriptorium pen on the Pen Habit. He said it felt warm in the hand. From his description it sounded a lot like celluloids. Does anyone have experience with this stuff? If so, how does it feel/compare?

 

Thanks,

Chris

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Hi,

 

Another +1 for celluloid. (The MB claim for 'precious resin' can go stand facing the corner. [Yes I have an MB149.])

 

I also have a thing going on with Sterling Silver, but that's something else entirely, (Sheaffer Touchdown.)

 

Bye,

S1

Edited by Sandy1

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.

 

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Does anyone know of any Modern Pen materials that feel like the Omas Celluloid? I was watching a review of a custom Alumilite Scriptorium pen on the Pen Habit. He said it felt warm in the hand. From his description it sounded a lot like celluloids. Does anyone have experience with this stuff? If so, how does it feel/compare?

 

Thanks,

Chris

 

As far as I know, Alumilite is a proprietary commercial name for a formulation of Polyurethane, and as such, is considered a fully synthetic, relatively modern plastic polymer. Polyurethanes are fairly ubiquitous in everyday life https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_polyurethane_applications

 

To me, acrylic and alumilite pen blanks and turned pens do not feel the same as celluloid. Some other plastics and rubbers that feel similar to celluloid in my experience are the cotton resins that Omas used for the more recent Ogiva Alba lineup, as well as older plastics such as bakelite. Ebonite has a unique feel too.

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Kapanak,

 

Your killing me bringing up the Omas pens. That is the exact feel I am looking for. That feel is what I want. It is sounding more and more like I need to just buy every Omas pen I can find - if no one else is making anything that feels like it.

 

Thanks,

Chris

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We really need one of the chemists on the forum to chime in here. But as I understand it, there are two quite different materials going under the name celluloid today: cellulose nitrate and cellulose acetate. The nitrate was the original celluloid. If I remember what I've read, it is both highly flammable and quite slow to fabricate (it has to be laminated a layer at a time to build up a sheet), so it is used today only in a very few high-end pens. Some people prefer its translucency and feel. The acetate is not so explosively flammable, and more friendly to mass manufacturing, and can also make beautiful pens.

In addition to that there are all sorts of other plastics that feel and smell quite different from either form of celluloid, but that can be somewhat translucent and can be colored. Sometimes these also get called celluloid by the marketing department. And unlike the celluloids, some of them can be injection molded, allowing for cheap volume manufacturing. Again, we need an expert here: I'm just repeating what I've read.

ron

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  • 1 month later...

Celluloid is plastic. It simply has a different way of being manipulated into shape. Celluloid cannot be injection molded. It is lathed, or thin strips are formed, like tge binde on a Pelikan.

Cellulose Acetate is injection moldable. The so-called "cotton resin" that my Omas is made of is simplt cellulose acetate. CA resin is made from two main sources of cellulose: wood chips or raw cotton. CA has a much nicer hand feel than any other plastic resin. The same CA resin that makes pens is also used for a myriad of things like screwdriver and toothbrush handles.

Fountain Pens.

Senator 721 piston filler.

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Well now this makes me want to buy an Omas pen. I've never owned one. I don't think I've even ever held one. Sadly, now that they're gone from this world, I guess second-hand is the only option.

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The odor given off by bunches of resin Noodler's pens (and the fact that a premium is charged for the acrylic models) suggests that his default material for the Flex/ Nib Creaper, Ahab, and Konrad, is cellulose nitrate. They do feel a little different from acrylic.

 

I think you meant celluloid acetate. Sort of an acetic acid smell when they are rubbed or are washed. They definitely don't smell like camphor.

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