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Where are the Vintage Esterbrook fans?


corgicoupe

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Thanks @amberleadavis!

I try to leave them pretty clean and resist the urge to "over-restore" them. To me, they're the gems of my meager collection!

 

@Distaff I was a little daunted by the gear I figured I needed to get one of the pens up and running. It was much easier in actual practice than how I had pictured in my mind.
My $5 bottle of talc will probably outlast me. And possibly my son, should he develop this as a hobby interest.

But once I got the first sac installed (Do peruse this Forum for key tips and tricks about that. It will save you tears and grief.) I was kinda hooked.

 

Beware!

 

Michael

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Well, I've read that Esterbrooks (particularly the J series pens) are like potato chips -- you can't have just one!  (I believe my current count is around 17 of the J series pens in different sizes and colors).

The prices have gone up since I bought most of mine, though (the most I ever spent was about $50, not counting repairs).  Mind you, there are a few 9xxx nibs that are garnering nosebleed prices at this point.  And the 8440 (superfine/cartography) nib unit are just going for WAY more than that.... :wallbash: 

Unlike some people, I'm not overly enamored of the Dollar pens -- I don't like the look of the clip (although I think I may have one or two).  

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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3 hours ago, mbhdesign said:

Thanks @amberleadavis!

I try to leave them pretty clean and resist the urge to "over-restore" them. To me, they're the gems of my meager collection!

 

@Distaff I was a little daunted by the gear I figured I needed to get one of the pens up and running. It was much easier in actual practice than how I had pictured in my mind.
My $5 bottle of talc will probably outlast me. And possibly my son, should he develop this as a hobby interest.

But once I got the first sac installed (Do peruse this Forum for key tips and tricks about that. It will save you tears and grief.) I was kinda hooked.

 

Beware!

 

Michael

Yeah, I'll get back around to it in a month or so, once my finances recover.  No regrets on the impulse vintage Platinum (my first 14K nib) purchase that took the place of the supplies - it is a fantastic pen, and gives me the preferred fine line I've only achieved with the smaller Pigma Mircons (which I use up at a quick clip). 

 

It is a beautiful pen, and deserves to be put back in order.  I'd also like to get a few more colors - the black is just so classic, and that grey has really grown on me, too.  Yes, prices have risen a bit since I purchased my green Esterbrook on e-bay, a few years ago.

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@Distaff No rush. And yes, these have gotten rather pricey these days. 
 

Sounds like the impulse to buy was the right one! Enjoy!

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@inkstainedruth Ha! Yes, they are like potato chips. Too true. 
 

I love the “J” series too. They carry a great aura of streamlined prestige.
 

My very first Esty purchase was a Pearl Grey “J” that I picked up at a flea market stand back in 1991. It had a “banana” shape (left in a hot place at some point in its life) and I cracked the barrel when I tried the lever feed (dry!). 
 

I still have that pen as a reminder to never rush a repair. 

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A banana shape?  Ouch....

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’ll dig it out and take a pic for you. Might be worth starting a “horrors of the pen drawer” thread. There must be some really fabulous grotesques out there. 

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Estys are a writer’s/artist brand. 

"Respect science, respect nature, respect all people (s),"

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Apropos of nothing in particular heretofore written [I have not read through the many comments between the last time I looked and today]:

 

My first Esterbrook was, IIRC, a burgundy colored cartridge model purchased for I have no idea how much in the early sixties.  I have no recollection of the nib size, probably a ubiquitous M.  I had acquired one or two Shaefer student cartridge pens, very popular with my sixth grade classmates; my grandmother looked at it/them and said "Why don't you try an Esterbrook? We used them in secretarial school [she attended in the twenties] and business offices.  They're a step up from Shaefer but not as good as Parkers.  But a sixth grader can't afford, and doesn't need a Parker - yet."  I think the Shaefers were $0.79, and the Estie was probably under $2.

 

The only Esties I now have are two that my wife picked up for me at an estate sale a couple of years ago.  I believe they are J's, but what do I know?  They need new sacs, and I have not been ready to take on restorations.  I might yet, or I might ask someone like Gweimer1 to do it, except it looks like he is more than overloaded with projects.

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Well, because I posted here, this message shows up in my activity. It made me go looking on eBay. I won a gray pearl with 2314 nib. I was the only bidder. With shipping, it cost $25.99 which I’d say the nib alone would cost that. It looks a touch green in the photos, but I’d hope the seller knows the color. My current gray Esterbrook is a transitional version, and the one I bought has both jewels.  Oh that nib! I have two 2314 nibs, one in M and one in B. It’s possible the one coming is also a B. I do love the 2314-M nib I have on a black LJ with Bell System Property on it. I wish the pen had been a J in red. My only red is an SJ. 

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@Misfit I think I saw that auction. Nicely snagged!

 

I have a J in Dubonnet Red (with a clip pulled away that needs careful straightening back into place) and a Dollar "A" (or, more properly "AR") in red. I'm still looking for a Dollar "B" in red, to match the rest of my Dollar sizes, but searching is half the fun anyway. No hurry.

 

All my nibs are pretty standard. A 1551, a few 1554s, 2556s, a couple of 2668s, but I do have a 9556 and a 9668.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Misfit said:

I won a gray pearl with 2314 nib. .....  It looks a touch green in the photos, but I’d hope the seller knows the color.

 

Your comment about the green hue reminded me that I have two "gray" J pens. In the attached pic, you can see (hopefully) that the one on the left is more of a colder "steel" gray while the one on the right has a warmer, slightly green-ish hue. I read somewhere* (and someone more knowledgeable than I can correct me) that often these celluloid hues shifted through production years.

 

*Naturally, I read it on Brian Anderson's excellent Esterbrook resource website page: (http://www.esterbrook.net/j3.shtml)

 

IMG_2485_2000px.jpg

Edited by mbhdesign
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I just sold everything but my red J and black J and both have 9968 nibs on them. I would love to find a Bell System J in good shape though!

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@mbhdesign I do see what you mean from the photo, so thank you. I think the gray I have is a cooler gray, so maybe I’ll end up with a pair like yours. The seller has already shipped it, and it might arrive Saturday. 
 

@Carguy I hope you find the Bell System in J size. I really like my LJ Bell System Property Esterbrook. Somewhere here I read a post that said every Esterbrook fan should have a Bell System or as it’s nicknamed Skunk. At least that’s what I remember reading. I bought a vintage mechanical pencil with Bell System on it. 

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1 hour ago, Misfit said:

@mbhdesign I do see what you mean from the photo, so thank you. I think the gray I have is a cooler gray, so maybe I’ll end up with a pair like yours. The seller has already shipped it, and it might arrive Saturday. 
 

@Carguy I hope you find the Bell System in J size. I really like my LJ Bell System Property Esterbrook. Somewhere here I read a post that said every Esterbrook fan should have a Bell System or as it’s nicknamed Skunk. At least that’s what I remember reading. I bought a vintage mechanical pencil with Bell System on it. 

You may be right and it only is in the LJ size, I thought it was in J but I very well could be wrong. It’s on my list to buy if I ever find one reasonably priced.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Black pens . . .not so much.  I was musing over a red SJ Transitional with a 2314B broad oblique.  When did I put that nib in there?  Haven't used these pens in years.  Just more collectibles . . .dustables.

 

 

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

 

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@pajaro When I get one of my vintage Esterbrooks out, and write with them, I like them more.  Then it’s back to modern pens, until I’m reminded of the Esterbrooks. They are survivors that keep on writing, with the mystery of who owned them before any of us rescued them from eBay. 
 

My newest vintage Esterbrook purchase is waiting on me.  I tried to separate the section from the barrel by hand. No budge. So I need to take time to run it under very warm water to try to get it to move some. I thought I didn’t have a sac for it, but happily found one in my storage container for parts, talc, etc. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 5/12/2022 at 1:06 AM, Misfit said:

So I need to take time to run it under very warm water to try to get it to move some.

 

Use dry heat rather than hot water. A hair dryer works well. Keep a finger near the section so you don't get it too hot.

 

Good luck!

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On 5/2/2022 at 11:30 AM, Carguy said:

I just sold everything but my red J and black J and both have 9968 nibs on them. I would love to find a Bell System J in good shape though!

 

If you haven't found one, I may have a couple down in the shop.

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