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Esterbrook Nurse Pens Restoration


RedRinger
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Hello folks!

I have been hunting for the past...little while and have assembled a complete set of nurses' pens. I've been really lucky to have nursing colleagues over the years who have regaled me with wonderful lore of nursing history. Among their stories, I learned about these pens. "Back in the day" of hand-written medical charting, nurses' reports of events that occurred during their shift were color-coded. The most common color associations seem to be blue/black with day shift, red with night shift, and green with the overnight shift. I know of other pen companies that have made black- and red-designated pens, but Esterbrook is the only company I know of that has made pens that are clearly for all three colors --anyone with knowledge otherwise, please chime in!

Anyhow, a close friend who is a nurse and who collects nursing memorabilia often listens to my pen stories at work, and she became quite excited when I told her about these pens. She told me she would love to own one or more of these, and that sent me into hunter-gatherer mode. Here are the fruits of my pursuits.

I managed to find all three colors and a matching pencil. The majority of outside finishing was done with a bit o' Flitz, but I had to lean into the micro-mesh for some really troublesome spots. The furniture (as with so many Esterbrooks) is spotless. The nibs are original to the pens as I received them -- the red and black with 2556, and the green with 9556. The pencil has a used (perhaps by a nurse -- !) eraser, and many leads, and the mechanism works perfectly. Imprints are gorgeous, the red and green jewels seem mildly faded as is often seen, and the threads were so hard to clean, but I did my best. I didn't want them showroom-new, and neither did my friend. It's wonderful to be reminded of the history of their use.

Hope you all enjoy the photos! I'm sad to sell these, but -- alas! -- they're promised. The best part, though, is that they're going to a good home where I know they'll be kept safe, talked about, occasionally used, and loved by many nurses for years to come.

Photos are essentially before and after -- but with a fun surprise! The green barrel jewel is stunningly translucent, as I had to replace this pen's broken J-bar, and used the occasion to plumb its depths with my borescope.

Not sure why I'm still so bad at image posting, and I think some of the images are upside-down, but clicking them shows them properly and allows incredible zooming.

Cheers!


Matt

fpn_1545189635__esterbrooknurse1.jpg

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fpn_1545189781__esterbrooknurse4.jpg

fpn_1545189801__esterbrooknurse5.jpg

fpn_1545189824__esterbrooknurse6.jpg

fpn_1545189843__esterbrooknurse7.jpg

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Very, very nice!

"It's funny; in this era of email and voice mail and all those things that I did not even grow up with, a plain old paper letter takes on amazing intimacy."  Elizabeth Kostova

 

 

 

 

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Great story, and featuring a very hard to accumulate "color set". The company also did the black and red-banded pens in the Dollar and "Transition" styles. i've not seen the green in the older pens.

 

Waterman put out a pearly white pen that c-worders have called either a nurses' or doctor's pen/pencil set, and there are also thermometer cases shaped like pens with pocket clips ...

 

A great friend you are, to do this for another.

 

Best Regards
Paul


“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
– Albert Einstein

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Thanks everyone for the encouragement! The pens were well-received and appropriately oogled over by my friend. Now to continue to dream about owning a set myself...!

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Great story, and featuring a very hard to accumulate "color set". The company also did the black and red-banded pens in the Dollar and "Transition" styles. i've not seen the green in the older pens.

 

Waterman put out a pearly white pen that c-worders have called either a nurses' or doctor's pen/pencil set, and there are also thermometer cases shaped like pens with pocket clips ...

 

A great friend you are, to do this for another.

 

 

 

Thanks for the compliments and information, Paul -- I have seen the Waterman doctor's set with thermometer case for sale here and there, and have fantasized about purchasing and using it at work, though I think many would be of the opinion that those are better shown than used. I wonder if the relative rarity of these seen today reflects how well they sold -- I haven't seen any around in bad condition, so I don't know. I have also recently seen the pearly Waterman and yeah, I'd bet that was intended as a nurse's pen!

 

I saw one of the Dollar white pens (ostensibly a doctor's pen?) and passed up the opportunity -- dunno why! I try not to purchase pens that I wouldn't write with, (a slippery slope I'm sliding from the days of "I will write with every pen I purchase!") and I would definitely write with one of those...

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Great job on the restoration!

PAKMAN

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great job on the restoration!

 

 

Thank you so much! They are safely in her hands now... and I am close to completing another set for myself! *embarrassed*

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Thank you so much! They are safely in her hands now... and I am close to completing another set for myself! *embarrassed*

Wow! Such temerity to get it done nearly twice! Bravo!

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Wow! Such temerity to get it done nearly twice! Bravo!

 

 

Well, we'll see I guess!

I'm not sure as much about "temerity" as perhaps "pathology" :unsure:

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Don't forget the thermometer holder (4th from left)

 

white-pens-esterbrook.gif

 

Regards, greg

Don't feel bad. I'm old; I'm meh about most things.

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I didn't see any tranny nurse pen pics, so I thought I'd add one. Wouldn't want them to feel left out ...

 

post-242-0-75127500-1546823210_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

 

Best Regards
Paul


“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
– Albert Einstein

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A white A101? Great....now another hunt begins...

I hope you have better luck than I did. The white 101 was one of the hardest Esterbrooks for me to find. Mine is MIB.

 

Regards, greg

Don't feel bad. I'm old; I'm meh about most things.

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Ugh the doctor pens! And of course the rare birds -- thanks everyone so much for sharing!

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Y'all are evil. Any time I think I've at least seen pictures of everything Esterbrook made, something else pops up.

 

Good thing I'm not a "completist" kind of collector.

 

“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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Y'all are evil. Any time I think I've at least seen pictures of everything Esterbrook made, something else pops up.

 

Good thing I'm not a "completist" kind of collector.

 

You mean, like this?

 

fpn_1541703851__esterbrook_prototype_2.j

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You mean, like this?

 

[picture of amazing anomaly pen]

 

Thank you for making my point. :wacko:

 

What IS that clip? That material? That incising on the band????? And what's with a blank nib??!!??

 

Evil, I tell you, evil!!

 

(of course, I have a 447 dipless set coming that I've never seen before either, so I'll be sure and contribute to the evil once it's here)

 

“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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