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Steel Dip Pen Shapes: A Proposed Glossary


AAAndrew
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Steel pens come in a myriad of shapes. US pens tend to have less variation than European pens, especially by the early 20th-century. As I've worked to rigorously catalog my collection of mostly US pens, I've felt the need for some kind of standardized name for the shapes of my pens. I've not encountered any standard list from the old days, and different companies often used different names for the same shape.

So, I've finally gathered a modest list of shape names and descriptions that seem to make sense to me and are useful for the pens I've cataloged so far.

Take a look and let me know what you think. As I say in the intro, I'm sure not everyone will agree with either my names or my categorizations, but that's OK. I'm willing to hear suggestions, especially if you can point to an older source (and even better, multiple sources) that use another name.

Also, if you have better images, especially for the shapes for which I only have imperfect images from old catalogs, I'm happy to accept contributions.

Thanks to the Esterbrook Project for letting me use so many of their images. Until I photograph my own collection, theirs is the best source out there for American shapes.

 

https://thesteelpen.com/2018/12/07/pen-shapes-a-proposed-glossary/

 

“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

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Fascinating, right in line with all the great content you provide! I know they're not for writing, but maybe an entry for scratch-knife type nibs is warranted?

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Really, really nice. You do great work, that will last a long time as a research tool for 'western's' and even 'easterns'....besides folks that indulge in Spenserian.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

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Fascinating, right in line with all the great content you provide! I know they're not for writing, but maybe an entry for scratch-knife type nibs is warranted?

I had Scratch Knife as a shape but want to gather a couple more images to refine it first. I only have one example in my collection. Good catch that this was missing!

 

“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

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Really, really nice. You do great work, that will last a long time as a research tool for 'western's' and even 'easterns'....besides folks that indulge in Spenserian.

Thanks, Bo Bo. There is so little reference material out there that it’s all “low hanging fruit” as they say.

 

“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

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Not really, one needs the will and drive, to find the trees with the low hanging fruit.

To do anything ...well, one needs a bit of obsession for drive. In this case a wish to know, a wish to teach. :thumbup:

No BS, you leave a well marked path that others may follow, with out needing their machete.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

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I had Scratch Knife as a shape but want to gather a couple more images to refine it first. I only have one example in my collection. Good catch that this was missing!

I didn't even know they were a thing until I noticed one hiding in the hinge of an old cigar box I bought at an antique store :lol: I thought it was surely some rare thing until I googled it and found that Speedball is still producing the 113, though mine is older and branded Hunt.

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