Jump to content
Classifieds is broken, please do not submit any new ads ×

New Esterbrook Book - Quick Review


AAAndrew
 Share

Recommended Posts

Brandon McKinney is a collector of Esterbrook's steel dip pens, and he has finally finished his book on the subject.

 

I have corresponded with Brandon for a couple of years now and he has helped me better understand my collection and Esterbrook. Other than that, I have no connection with him, and I am writing this review based on my personal copy of the book which I purchased myself.

 

The book covers several major types of information.

1. Company history, general information

2. The pens and their physical characteristics, especially changes over time, maintenance, grinding vs. stamped grooves, etc...

3. Chronology of the pens and their boxes.

 

The history is a sketch just to set context, and is not meant to be complete nor thorough. There are some interesting pieces of general information including a list of presidents, office locations, and patents and trademarks that are useful.

 

The sections on the pens themselves better show the great care and time Brandon has spent looking at the pens, especially important numbers like the flagship 048 Falcon and the 128 Extra Fine Elastic.

 

For collectors, it's the sections on the chronological dating of nibs and boxes that is the most useful and is not found anywhere else. I have been using this system for dating Esterbrook's steel pens for over a year now with my own collection and research. So far, I've not found any problems with his system. I have found one example of a stamp he does not have, but it's a very rare copper-coated example he and I are still trying to figure out. For 99.9% of all of the examples you will find in the wild, his system of dating to general eras will work perfectly well, and combined with his description of how the earlier differed from some of the later pens, should help you find just what you're looking to add to your collection.

 

Overall, despite a weak area here and there (especially the history, but then the history is my area of interest, so I'm not sure how much would be enough), and I may not agree with every conclusion Brandon has (see the "gravity well" section), and the very rare error (the 314 Relief was made of a brass alloy, not bronze), the book is a highly welcome and useful resource for anyone interested in Esterbrook and their steel pens.

 

You can purchase the book from his Etsy store in either a digital version, or a limited-run physical copy.

 

fpn_1538408301__front_cover.jpg

Edited by AAAndrew

 

“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928

Check out my Steel Pen Blog

"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

-Montaigne

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 4
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Brian Anderson

    1

  • AAAndrew

    2

  • corgicoupe

    2

Popular Days

Top Posters In This Topic

Andrew,

 

Where is it documented to be brass (CuZn) rather than bronze (CuSn)? They can be difficult to distinguish by color with some of the alloys.

Baptiste knew how to make a short job long

For love of it. And yet not waste time either.

Robert Frost

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll try to find the reference that explicitly cites these as a brass alloy, but these as well as the Colorado and other "indestructible" pens are made of a brass alloy trying to reproduce "pinchbeck," a brass allow imitating gold invented by a jeweler in England named Pinchbeck. The material actually has a fairly interesting story. When Pinchbeck made it, his technique was so close to gold that France outlawed anything made of it larger than small ornaments, as they were afraid people would be defrauded. The technique to make the real stuff seemed to have died out with his son, but people continued to make an attempt at making it to greater and less success. Any bronze I've seen also tends to be much stiffer than this very soft brass that they made the pens out of.

 

Andrew

 

“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928

Check out my Steel Pen Blog

"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

-Montaigne

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Any bronze I've seen also tends to be much stiffer than this very soft brass that they made the pens out of."

 

True, which is why bronze was used for bells rather than brass. And, now that I think about it, bronze is usually used in its cast form whereas brass ingots can be readily forged and rolled into foil. I would like to know the specific alloy used for these nibs.

Edited by corgicoupe

Baptiste knew how to make a short job long

For love of it. And yet not waste time either.

Robert Frost

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share



  • Most Contributions

    1. amberleadavis
      amberleadavis
      37808
    2. PAKMAN
      PAKMAN
      30921
    3. Ghost Plane
      Ghost Plane
      28220
    4. jar
      jar
      26101
    5. wimg
      wimg
      25595
  • Upcoming Events

  • Blog Comments

    • Matthew TWP
      @Ruaidhri This was an absolutely wonderful bit of writing, and I hope that you're able to maintain the style once all of the medications are out of your system.  Take care and recover quickly!
    • Dr.X
      Very punny daniel
    • danielfalgerho
      These comments make me sad as I sympathise with Ruaidhri, having great difficulties in being taken seriously. Or being taken at all (no off-colors jokes, please!) In spite of overwhelming odds,  Ruaidhri -now I know how to spell it- made a courageous decision and stuck to it. I was diagnosed with a similar growth in a place I will not reveal. Oh, well, if you insist it was Mount Sinai Hospital. But I firmly intend to walk in Ruaidhri's footsteps, if he will let me, on my next visit to Dublin.
    • ParramattaPaul
      Reminds me of the day my associates and I developed a cure for all mankind's ills and mistakenly wrote it down with invisible ink.
    • AnneD
      Was that the end of the Laboratory? Somehow the exactitude created a fully destructive device, as always!
  • Chatbox

    You don't have permission to chat.
    Load More
  • Expiring Soon

    • By benbot517
      51 years and 11 months
    • By benbot517
      51 years and 11 months
    • By benbot517
      51 years and 11 months
    • By Okami
      51 years and 11 months
    • By Okami
      51 years and 11 months
  • Random Adverts

  • Files

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. Arnie62
      Arnie62
      (59 years old)
    2. baldonia
      baldonia
      (63 years old)
    3. bard694
      bard694
      (59 years old)
    4. callmeavis
      callmeavis
      (47 years old)
    5. carbon27
      carbon27
      (56 years old)





×
×
  • Create New...