Our discussion on inks and subsequently on paper is very much in line with the times. I don’t read a lot of pen discussion boards. I’m only active in Fountain Pen Geeks but my husband reads them all though he doesn’t comment much. He confirms my suspicion that serious discussion of vintage pens plays a much smaller part than it used to, while discussion of modern pens, ink and paper is busy.
Changed days indeed. A decade or so ago matters were very different. We had the wonderful Lion and Pen which was entirely about vintage pens and was scholarly. Later, Isaacson’s Fountain Pen Board was similar and a real haven for collectors and users of old pens. Then it went to Facebook where I wouldn’t want to follow. Pentrace, in its eccentric way, remains essentially a vintage pen discussion but it isn’t for everyone. Fountain Pen Network from its inception (yes, I was there!) was the home of the “what ink shall I put in my brown Lamy Safari?” post. The level of vintage pen discussion was never very profound, and in the case of the disgraceful Conway Stewart section discussion was stamped out in favour of commercialism.
Time moves on and things change. I find the current emphasis on ink and paper rather than old pens unappealing and it is part of the reason why I began this blog a few years ago. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with an interest in inks and papers. I’m just saying I’m set in my ways and I don’t move with the times.
9 thoughts on “Sunday Ramblin’”
Personally, I suspect that vintage pens are appreciated more by those of us who have a deep sense, connection if you will, with history, from an association with the times and deeds of our recent ancestors, or an awareness of how the world of today is the product of times past. With that, I wonder if those who only see history as a study of dates, places, and events do not have the same value of past times and generations.
For me, a vintage pen, say one from the 1920s, 1930s, or 1940s are a connection to those times, the people who experienced them, and their deeds — big and small — that have shaped the world I live in.
Nicely put, Paul. I think you’ve caught the reason for my very modest preference for vintage pens.
I agree with that completely. It mirrors my own viewpoint – and it’s rather better expressed than I can do.
I am definitely more about the pen than the paper. As a metaphor, if you get the right car it should handle all sorts of road conditions decently well. Issacson’s group on Facebook is rather nice when discussions happen and knowledge is shared.
Well said Paul! When i first started my interest in pens and being a newbie, I stuck with the modern ones. But my first vintage purchase at an estate sale – a Parker 51 – started me down the vintage path, and I haven’t looked back since. I love the history of them, and their inherent simple beauty.
I love your blog Deb! It makes my day when my email pops up a reminder that you sent a new one.
Thank you. Very kind.