The pen restoration and sales seem to have swallowed my life whole recently. Some time ago I found that the most I could reasonably do was twenty pens a week and that somehow became a target which I’ve aimed at – not always successfully – ever since. Each pen takes a minimum of two hours, which may seem a lot, but there’s much to be factored in: purchasing, paperwork, assessment, repair and restoration, testing, research and description, photography, listing and despatch. That’s fairly demanding for a decrepit restorer no longer in the first flush of youth nor the peak of good health. Something has had to suffer and it has been this blog. Neither lack of interest nor a shortage of things to write about caused the falling-off in blog entries recently. I just couldn’t find the time.
This wasn’t the way it was meant to be. Switching to restoring pens rather than collecting them was to be a way to see and handle all the wild, weird and wonderful pens that would never have come my way otherwise. The other side of that was to write about them here, and get more information about (mostly) British pens out here on the Web where it’s freely available to all. For a long time the only good information on British pens was Jonathan Donahaye’s admirable Conway Stewart site. All the major American manufacturers like Waterman, Parker and Sheaffer were comparatively well-represented on the net, but I remember how I used to despair over the absence of useful data on almost any British pen. The situation has improved with the arrival of the excellent websites on Burnham and Summit, but there is a long way to go. So for the foreseeable future, and until the plenitude of British brand websites makes me redundant, I’ll carry on adding what I find to this blog. It may be – sometimes at least – short on hard information and long on speculation, but it may provide a starting point for someone in their quest for knowledge about that odd pen that they found.
I think the method must be to firmly scrap the target. If I fix twenty pens that’s wonderful. If I only fix five, that’s equally wonderful. At least I’ll have time to do more in this blog.