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Broken Esterbrook nib - a crime against history?



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BambinoFortunato

I have a grey Esterbrook fountain pen that I love with two interchangeable nibs, a 2556 and a 9788. I've mostly used the 9788 since the 9 series is tipped, more long-lasting, I like the line it makes, etc. Well, my tines were misaligned and I made the incredibly dumb and impatient mistake of trying to even them out with my clumsy bare hands. 

 

Well, I snapped a tine right off! I feel awful for recklessly destroying an irreplaceable piece of history that made it 60-70 years only for me to go right up and destroy it. I'm out to buy another NOS 9788 and there are plenty out there, fortunately, it seems. Still, I feel absolutely awful for wrecking something that only exists in a limited supply...what are you folks' experiences with things like this? I imagine I can't be the only one...what's your perspective?

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Don't beat yourself up over it.   They're old, they can have hidden flaws, it happens.  The options are to use the pen(s) and take the risk, or let it sit in a case and collect dust.   I think that pens are made to be used and enjoyed.  FWIW, I also think that often times fingers are safer than tools.

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loganrah

To add to Ron's great point: while around here we really love our fountain pens, and a small number might be of genuine historical importance, most of them are not.

 

Even my nicest vintage pen probably wouldn't be of interest to any museum in the world, because there were simply so many made that they don't need to preserve any but the most important. 

 

There is a limited supply of vintage nibs, but it isn't very limited. And there isn't a limited supply of fountain pen nibs in general. I commiserate with you on breaking a nib you liked, but I don't think you should feel bad because vintage nibs are so precious. 

 

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inkstainedruth

Even a "rare" pen like a Plum Parker 51 (which was only produced for one model year) probably still was made in the thousands.  So while breaking the nib is of course a complete bummer, you're likely to be able to find a replacement (although whether it's affordable or not is a separate issue).

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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A Smug Dill
8 hours ago, BambinoFortunato said:

what are you folks' experiences with things like this? I imagine I can't be the only one...what's your perspective?

 

I wouldn't give a sheen about that, outside of either the replacement cost (in money and perhaps effort) of the item, or writing off the utility (or capability) I used to have through having and using that item, when it's my private property to which I have clear title and owes no-one in any way for it. It's only as precious as the rightful owner sees it; nobody else's opinion or sentiment matters.

 

So, you decide how precious the item was, and how you want to feel about having destroyed it. I'm more prone to beating myself up for making mistakes or failing in an endeavour, and it's irrelevant whether it is 200-year-old object that is irreplaceable (in that production has ceased and can't/won't be renewed), or a modern 100-pieces-only and completely sold out limited edition item — which may well be more expensive to buy in the market — that is irreplaceable (in that production has ceased and won't be renewed), that I have to write off.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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Even my nicest vintage pen probably wouldn't be of interest to any museum in the world

 

I did see a striped Duofold in the Smithsonian years ago.  It was part of a display of celluloid objects.

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Ergative

I saw an Esterbrook dipless (I think) in the African American History Museum. But that was because it was the pen used to sign the Civil Rights Act.

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BambinoFortunato

Feeling much better! Thanks, everybody!

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mizgeorge

I broke a 9128 tip this afternoon. I suspect it was already on its last legs when I got it, but it just went whilst writing. I'm glad it was at least on a pen with incredibly easy to change nibs, and such a huge variety of options. It's now sporting an Osmiroid copperplate, and seems to be rather liking it. As my daughter already has her eye on it (she's got a thing about green pens right now) I suspect it will end up with something a bit less demanding!

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Bristol24

I have a nice 1946 Parker Vacumatic that had a factory fine point nib.  I had the vacumatic filler restored and was using the pen on a very regular basis.  One evening, while writing notes in a journal, my hand started the upstroke on a cursive "h" and one tine said, "later...I'm out of here!" and just broke off.  Obviously the tine had been stressed long before I acquired the pen.  I lamented for the better part of a year before finding an original factory replacement Parker stub nib dated 1946!  The pen is still one of my favorites.  I also have my pieces of a military clip 875 Sheaffer Balance that I destroyed while trying to remove the section.  I keep the pieces so that I can remind myself to be patient.  Stuff happens...

 

Cliff

“The only thing most people do better than anyone else is read their own handwriting.”  John Adams

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Bo Bo Olson

I use small movements, of pushing the up tine tip under the down tine tip, hold for a second or two, and repeat up to three times....does the trick for me.

Others push& pull, which is too complicated for me, it is very seldom I have to lift a down tine.

 

The tick is small short timed motions. Not big ones as you have learned.

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.

 https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,..Bock nib factory.

 

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

 

 

 

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