In reply to comments by Paul Stirling and Rob: surely, to each his own! You are not as alone as you think, Paul. I supply several collectors who never ink a pen. Most of my customers are writers but what or how much they write I cannot tell. I do have several correspondents though I don’t keep Royal Mail all that busy with our conversation. The main bulk of my writing is this blog and other things that I am involved in. Everything I produce is created in draft using a fountain pen. That’s thousands of words, day in day out.
For many years the only pens I wrote with were flexible but as I came to write more – and often in uncomfortable circumstances – I turned to firm nibs. What is most convenient for me and allows me to write at the speed that I wish, is a fine or EF nib. Those are the ones that are in my pen wrap that I take with me everywhere along with a spiral-back, hardcover A5 notebook which is convenient on the occasions when I wish to write but do not have a desk or table to hand. I still have flexible pens and I enjoy and admire them but they are not practical for everyday use.
It is the fountain pen’s place in social history that attracted me in the first place. Unlike many other items that we use, or used, the fountain pen, as the primary writing instrument, existed for a discrete period, say, eighteen ninety to nineteen seventy. Before that, it wasn’t efficient and after that it has become a purely specialist interest. The interplay between the development of the fountain pen, its manufacturing companies and the historical events of that period make it very interesting. The pen has reflected events on numerous occasions: ink pellets for soldiers at the front in the Great War, cheaper pens in the hard times of the 1930s, silver used as a base metal in World War II and innumerable other examples.
And you may start a sentence with any conjunction that you like, Paul; language is our servant, not our master.
(This was much too long for a comment so it became a post. My apologies to those who were looking for Parkers, Mentmores, Wyverns and the like. It’s a rambling day.)