February 4, 2015 13 Comments
I wrote about the Osmiroid 75 back in February 2011. You’ll find it here: http://wp.me/s17T6K-osmiroid. To reiterate some of what I said then, the 75 is the best Osmiroid. It has an excellent piston filling system and the plastic is rather better than that of the 65. Generally there is less shrinkage with the result that these pens still cap well and the cap rings are usually in place. They are not collectable but they are much appreciated for calligraphy.
This one is plain black, but that’s okay. Nobody buys Osmiroids for their decorative quality! It’s in very good condition and works well – what more can you say about an Osmiroid. Well, in this case you can say that it has a couple of extra nibs in addition to the medium soft that it is photographed with. There’s also a B2 italic, and that’s a very broad nib. There’s also a gorgeous B3 music nib. This one looks, at a glance, like a very broad italic but on closer examination you see the twin slits. That’s not the only type of music nib that Osmiroid made. I’ve seen a pointed one, with the general shape of the medium soft in the photograph.
Despite the fact that they were inexpensive pens aimed at the school market I’ve always liked Osmiroids. Part of it is for that very reason. I have no doubt that James Perry expected to make a good profit from sales of Osmiroids, but he evidently had a genuine wish to provide school pupils with the tools to develop good handwriting – and at an affordable price. Platignum, to its credit, did the same thing. Yes, I have no doubt that they competed for market share, but Platignum pens were the result of good intentions too. Platignums have not lasted as well as Osmiroids, so the used calligraphy market concentrates on the latter.
Collectors and high-end sellers ignore pens like this but I think that they are something that we should at least take note of even if we do not use them ourselves. If you had looked in a kid’s pencil case back in the 50s or 60s this, or a low end Burnham or Platignum, was what you would have found rather than the more collectable Conway Stewarts, Swans or Onotos. They are part of our writing heritage and are admirable in their own right.