Nib Types

Here’s a thought. I have them occasionally. Why is it that Mabie Todd and to a lesser extent De La Rue have greater variety of nibs than all the other manufacturers combined? We know and accept that this is so, but why? Conway Stewarts are mostly fine, medium or broad, yet I have seen Conway Stewart advertising showing a large range of nib types. It is true that once in a while you will come across a stub or oblique Conway Stewart nib but they are decidedly uncommon.

Similarly, Mabie Todd advertises the huge range of nib types that they offer. The difference is that you can find them in the field, and in appreciable numbers, too. Can it be that if you are the discerning type and not satisfied with a medium or a fine, you naturally think of Swan?

Or is it the other way around, that Mabie Todd’s advertising penetrates the market so well that if you want a stub the fine array of nibs that they show comes immediately to mind? As an aside, in a closely related subject, most by far of the Summits and Mentmores that come my way are mediums. Stephens seem to have provided their pens with a lot of broad nibs. I’m writing this with an early 30s Conway Stewart and yes, it’s a medium and a very good one.

I can understand why medium was the most popular size. It lays down enough ink on the paper to be easily read without going to the excess of broad. In some hands the use of a fine tends to become rather spidery.


4 thoughts on “Nib Types

  1. Dear Deb,

    yes, the number and quality of nib variants is a great feature of our Swans. 🙂
    So it was a surprise to get an stubbish OF (by Pelikan’s nomenclature) or a double pointed F + needlepoint nib…

    Best wishes

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