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"Historical" Red and Green Ink Question.


afishhunter

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think this is where I should post my question.

Concerning the red and green fountain pen inks commonly used in the 1920's/1930's to the 1960's/1970's:

Was the Red a "Fire Engine" bright red (similar to that of today's ballpoint red) or were there commonly available variations, such as maroon, "brick red" or a "red-black" commonly available? 

Was the Green a Grass/Bright Green (similar to that of today's ballpoint green) or were there commonly available darker shades of green commonly available?

 

Aside from Black, Blue-Black, Red, and Green, were other colors of fountain pen inks, such as (but not limited to) Browns and Purples, commonly available?

 

Thank you in advance

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I have no experience with vintage red inks.  The only vintage green ink I have every tried was some vintage Quink Green, which leans a little blue (I'm not overly enamored of the color).

As for other colors, blues of various shades are commonly available -- both in washable and permanent formulations -- plus turquoise (I scored a 3/4 full pint bottle of Sheaffer Skrip Turquoise in a booth in an antiques mall a few years ago, and it's GLORIOUS).  Several companies made purple inks (I have bottles of vintage Parker Quink Washable Violet and Permanent Violet).  Several companies also made brown ink (Parker, Sheaffer and Carter's come to mind).  I'm not sure how long ago it was made, but several people on FPN have waxed nostalgic about some yellow or gold color Skrip ink as well.

Hope this helps.

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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Regarding reds: i can’t really help. I don’t have any vintage reds 

 

regarding greens:

Parker “51” Pan American Green:


Parker Superchrome Jade green:

 

waterman patrician purple:

 

waterman Aztec brown

 

The yellow-gold ink that @inkstainedruth is referring to is Sheaffer’s king’s gold if i recall correctly. I have no experience with it. 


 

Just give me the Parker 51s and nobody needs to get hurt.

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33 minutes ago, IThinkIHaveAProblem said:

The yellow-gold ink that @inkstainedruth is referring to is Sheaffer’s king’s gold if i recall correctly. I have no experience with it. 

 

Thanks -- I couldn't remember the name.  I MIGHT have a cartridge of it (from a No Nonsense calligraphy set), but have never used it -- most yellow or gold inks tend to be too light on the page to be legible for me, even if using an italic nib.

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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4 hours ago, afishhunter said:

think this is where I should post my question.

Concerning the red and green fountain pen inks commonly used in the 1920's/1930's to the 1960's/1970's:

Was the Red a "Fire Engine" bright red (similar to that of today's ballpoint red) or were there commonly available variations, such as maroon, "brick red" or a "red-black" commonly available? 

Was the Green a Grass/Bright Green (similar to that of today's ballpoint green) or were there commonly available darker shades of green commonly available?

 

Aside from Black, Blue-Black, Red, and Green, were other colors of fountain pen inks, such as (but not limited to) Browns and Purples, commonly available?

 

Thank you in advance

Apologies for my frankness, but you have not done any research before posing your inane question. Of course, there was no cabal determining what was "red" or "green" just as there isn't today. Go to any stationers to purchase current production ballpoints, rolling balls, or gel pens from a variety of manufacturers to learn "red" varies quite a bit. What is the basis to think it was any different in the past?

 

Understandably, there's a vast spread of knowledge and expertise between individuals in the online world. However, it doesn't seem disrespectful to ask for reasonable research before such questions are posed. Do you expect someone else to do all the work for you?

 

By the way, there are a little more than a couple gallons of inks from the 1930s through the 1950s on my shelves with more up to the 1990s. There is no consistency because formations came and went. Also, as just one example, Sheaffer had a dozen color variations in the 1950s.

 

Just a little effort, please.

 

Z

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18 minutes ago, Z man said:

Apologies for my frankness, but you have not done any research before posing your inane question. Of course, there was no cabal determining what was "red" or "green" just as there isn't today. Go to any stationers to purchase current production ballpoints, rolling balls, or gel pens from a variety of manufacturers to learn "red" varies quite a bit. What is the basis to think it was any different in the past?

 

Understandably, there's a vast spread of knowledge and expertise between individuals in the online world. However, it doesn't seem disrespectful to ask for reasonable research before such questions are posed. Do you expect someone else to do all the work for you?

 

By the way, there are a little more than a couple gallons of inks from the 1930s through the 1950s on my shelves with more up to the 1990s. There is no consistency because formations came and went. Also, as just one example, Sheaffer had a dozen color variations in the 1950s.

 

Just a little effort, please.

 

Z

All i found in old inks online were bright reds and greens.

Sorry. Didn't mean to upset you.

I'll get lost.

bye

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5 hours ago, Z man said:

Apologies for my frankness

The term is gatekeeping. 

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@afishhunter I have seen many variations of the reds and green inks for both periods.

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

Create a Ghostly Avatar and I'll send you a letter. Check out some Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 

Don't know where to start?  Look at the Inky Topics O'day.  Then, see inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

 

 

 

 

 

 

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@Z man and @recluse please limit your "gatekeeping" as it has a chilling effect on the speech.

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

Create a Ghostly Avatar and I'll send you a letter. Check out some Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 

Don't know where to start?  Look at the Inky Topics O'day.  Then, see inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Just some observations and I'll try to post actual samples later:

 

I have a few bottles of Skrip Red. My first ones had visible sediment and very much a pink color.

More recently, I've acquired two 32oz bottles of Skrip Red, one I'm guessing from the 30s and the other probably 50s or 60s. They were/are both nearly full and they do both have a faint pink tinge but are a nice red color. I have one from the 90s that's a similar color.

 

Quink Red I have in both a 16 oz and two smaller bottles. It's a really nice brick red color, although I haven't sampled my 16 oz yet.

 

Waterman Carnation Red is the most interesting of the bunch..it's actually in a pen in my pocket now, and I need to show that one. Hopefully later.

 

I LOVE Skrip Emerald Green(#72, or at least that's its number in a 2 oz bottles...best I can tell on Skrip, the first number is the color and the last digit/2 digits indicate bottle size in ounces). It's a nicely saturated medium green color.

 

I have an "Art Deco" bottle of Quink green. It's a lighter green more reminiscent to me of Pelikan Brilliant Green.

 

Waterman Tropic Green is somewhere in tone between the two.

 

One I just started playing with yesterday(loaded in a Waterman safety that I owned for a while, sold, and then just bought back) is Skrip Washable Purple. I have a 32 oz. bottle of it. It's a "blurple" to my eyes, but shades nicely out of the decently flexible nib in that pen.

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On 8/1/2022 at 11:53 PM, recluse said:

The term is gatekeeping. 

No, the term is "being RUDE".  

There was NO reason for Z man to answer a newbie that way.  None whatsoever.

I'd like to apologize to the OP for Z man's behavior.  (Of course, it would be NICER if Z man did his OWN apologies in future....)

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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To bring this hopefully back closer to on track...

 

Here are several swatch cards of 1940s-1990s bottles of ink I have in green and red...

 

Since making that particular card that I labeled Carnation Red, I've acquired a couple of additional bottles with labels intact and can confirm that this bottle matches them.

 

IMG_2156.thumb.jpeg.33ab36ec914fee7edb7104762aef7ac7.jpegI

 

I wish that I could find a bottle of Patrician Purple to round out this set...

 

IMG_2144.thumb.jpeg.d470dfa36fe5e01d9cfdbe83a3ff0a15.jpeg

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2 hours ago, bunnspecial said:

Here are several swatch cards of 1940s-1990s bottles of ink I have in green and red...

 

These are quite nice colors. Thanks for posting!

 

How do these inks perform? For some reason, I have this idea that old red inks are trouble-makers, for instance, may stain the grip section or something. This is not from the personal experience, since I've dealt only with the couple of old blue-blacks, so, I guess, this is from something I've read or heard.

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1 minute ago, recluse said:

These are quite nice colors. Thanks for posting!

 

How do these inks perform? For some reason, I have this idea that old red inks are trouble-makers, for instance, may stain the grip section or something. This is not from the personal experience, since I've dealt only with the couple of old blue-blacks, so, I guess, this is from something I've read or heard.

 

I find, in general, that they behave about as well as any modern red inks. I use these on and off-I used the Quink as my grading ink this past spring and used Carnation Red this summer.

 

I can say also that I've had a few pens that were pretty obviously used with red ink. Most recently acquired was an Eversharp Skyline. They can be a bit more work to clean up, but do seem to clean up fine.

 

The one exception I can point out is the Platinum Pure Red above, which I find very similar to Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Red both in behavior and color. Both inks can make an absolute mess of the pens they're in...

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24 minutes ago, bunnspecial said:

I find, in general, that they behave about as well as any modern red inks. I use these on and off-I used the Quink as my grading ink this past spring and used Carnation Red this summer.

It's good to know. Thanks!

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9 hours ago, inkstainedruth said:

No, the term is "being RUDE".  

There was NO reason for Z man to answer a newbie that way.  None whatsoever.

I'd like to apologize to the OP for Z man's behavior.  (Of course, it would be NICER if Z man did his OWN apologies in future....)

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

Agreed.  The word “inane”. Welcome to the FPN community @afishhunter

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Thank you, @bunnspecial those are wonderful comparisons.

 

@afishhunter when you asked about purples and browns what timer period were you asking about?

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

Create a Ghostly Avatar and I'll send you a letter. Check out some Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 

Don't know where to start?  Look at the Inky Topics O'day.  Then, see inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

 

 

 

 

 

 

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From what I remember (and the few notebooks I still keep around), there were all.

 

I remember Sheaffer red (which I still keep a bottle of) as a bright, vibrant red, and red from other brands (Waterman, Pelikan, Montblanc, Pilot, Parker, etc.) being somewhat darker. I preferred already (70s) darker red as less eye-shearing, and for that Burgundy/Ruby reds were also available (MB comes to mind, but not only). Sheaffer's was so vibrant it was eye shearing and made longer texts tiring to read, which is why I use it so seldomly to still have it. But other bottles of darker reds I would empty relatively quickly as a student.

 

Same for greens, Sheaffer green was light and eye shearing, but most others were darker and better suited for formal/extended use (not that they were much used in formal writing, though). I still have an old bottle of Sheaffer green for the same reasons I still haven't emptied the bottle of red. bot other bottles came and went away fairly quickly, so much so I don't even remember them, their brands or their names. I do remember there were variations to choose from.

 

There would be variations within brand, like between blue, royal blue, permanent blue... and similarly for other colors. Even black... oh, man, was black a nightmare! Black doesn't (or didn't, or so we were told) exist, so it was obtained by mixing colors and/or increasing saturation, which meant some blacks would come out greenish, reddish, brownish, bluish... I particularly hated greenish-brown blacks, specially because when used on absorbent paper (where they would slightly spread -as in a chromatography) they would have a tiny halo that looked like dirt and I found disgusting.

 

In other words, there was large variation and one had to try different brands -and sometimes products- to get to know them. And I am sure there were even more. Just consider there was no Internet and no social networks, so you could only be aware of what you saw on brick and mortar local stores, or an ads in papers (well, color magazines, papers were black and white only, color pictures would come to papers later, in the 80's-90's if I remember well).

 

The thing was, one would only have access to (and know of) a limited offer of inks (say, ~30 different ones, usually if one visited several shops or had a really good one nearby), not the bazillion of inks one is aware of today. Note that I lived in a smallish (~50-80.000 inhabitants) relatively remote town. And even so, variation was enough that I would be mindful of the brand and model I bought to get the precise kind of color I wanted. At some points, I could have two or three different bottles of the same color so I could use them for different uses (e.g. Sheaffer red or green were great to draw attention, but darker reds were better for writing important warning notes and darker greens to write important "positive" notes).

 

At least that is what I remember from those times. I went to primary in the 60s and secondary in the 70s, so, too long ago to trust feeble memories.

 

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There was a good variety of ink colors in the 1920s through 1970s, but not like there is now, where some manufacturers have hundreds of distinct shades.

 

Most ink was made by pen manufacturers, and many manufacturers had at least black, blue, blue-black, red, purple, green and brown.  There were specialty inks, like white ink for writing on black-and-white photos, laundry ink for permanently marking clothes, and victory ink for writing letters for V-Mail during WW2, as the letters were reduced onto microfilm for the trip across the ocean, and then blown back up onto paper for delivery, because there was an overwhelming amount of mail to deliver to the troops.

 

Good search terms, for Google and for placed like eBay are "vintage ink" followed by waterman, parker, sheaffer, montblanc, carter's, sanford, herbin, and maybe add a color choice.  Vintage ink, if it isn't moldy or deteriorated, is quite usable.  I regularly use Sheaffer Skrip Blue from 80 years ago.

 

Vintage ink is a huge topic, and people's writing habits and color choices from when fountain and dip pens were the only choice is quite fascinating.

-- Joel -- "I collect expensive and time-consuming hobbies."

 

INK (noun): A villainous compound of tannogallate of iron, gum-arabic and water,

chiefly used to facilitate the infection of idiocy and promote intellectual crime.

(from The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce)

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What Kalessin said. 

The only vintage ink that I really ever had trouble with was a bottle of Sanford Blue-Black -- probably an iron gall ink -- that had deteriorated (and ate the sac on a Con-B converter on one of my Pilot Metropolitans).  And there was a lot of grit in a bottle of what I think was either vintage Quink Brown or Quink Red I found in an antiques mall in north central PA a few years ago (the same trip where I found my first Parker 45, about a decade ago).

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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