OK Foreign Pens


I suppose that many of you will have come across pens with “foreign” on the lever and “OK” on the  steel nib.  They are often very attractive pens, like this one, but all that I’ve had were impossible to repair.

Generally the section is stuck into the barrel with some mighty adhesive which could be useful in salvaging sunk oil-tankers.  It could withstand a straight lift of several thousand tons without giving an inch.  As I proved to myself recently, heat will eventually defeat it but it’s a long and tedious job.  I was utterly determined to get this one apart just to see what was in there, and because it’s a pretty pen in good condition.  Someone might have enjoyed it.
However, as you can see, there’s a plastic inner sleeve through which the inner end of the lever passes and there seems to be no way of disengaging it.  Checkmate, foreign pen.  I suppose I could go the delicate, technical route and hack the plastic sheath to bits with tin-snips, but who has the time?  I haven’t quite conceded defeat yet.  I’ll put it on the shelf and have a think about it.  Probably for years.

I finally got the bits and pieces together for the “ephemera” section and I photographed them all last night.  I’ll edit the photos, write descriptions and I should be uploading them very soon, provided I don’t get interrupted too often.

I always thought of ephemera as things of short duration – newspaper advertisements, perhaps or posters.  That kind of thing.  Now the term seems to have been expended to include anything related to the collected object – in this case fountain pens – regardless of their solidity and durability.  Some of the things I’ll be including as “ephemera” will still be around when the last celluloid pen has disintegrated into a dusty pile of chemicals.  But who am I to argue with linguistic change?  It’s not so long ago that it was a heinous crime to start a sentence with but, but now it’s OK.  In fact, reading the pen boards, most posts seems to start with “well”, as in “Well, I finally bought the Montegrappa…”  Well, that’s OK too.

That’s enough demented rambling for today.  To work!

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