Happy New Year

Or, as the song says,

A guid New Year tae yin an’ a’ an’ monie may ye see,

An durin’ a’ the years tae come O happy may ye be.

An’ may ye ne’er hae cause tae mourn

Tae sigh or shed a tear.

Tae yin and a’ baith great an’ sma’

A hearty Guid New Year!

I realise that some of my non-Scottish readers may have a little difficulty with that! It should be sung in a Fife accent.

I have a collection of Mabie Todd and Mabie Todd & Bard advertisements. I’m sure they must have been famous in their time both for the quality of the copy and especially for the delightful illustrations. The names of the talented artists responsible have sadly been lost.

This is a splendid example and the advice is very good to this day. A well-restored Blackbird is as fine a writer today as it was when new and it is available at a fraction of the price of today’s equivalent.

Most Blackbirds are lever-fillers. I find the lever-filler a good system, quite clean and convenient in use. However I read recently someone reporting that they avoid lever fillers because they almost always get ink on their fingers and they fear an accident with the ink bottle. Though I don’t have that difficulty I understand why they feel that way. Such a pity though, they deprive themselves of some of the best fountain pens ever made.

Filling any pen requires a little thought and preparation. Glass ink bottles are slippery things and it’s best to find some way of preventing them slipping around while filling the pen. I set the bottle on a small rubber mat. Someone else I know uses a piece of Blu Tack. Kitchen towel should be to hand to wipe the nib. It’s best to lift the lever before inserting the nib into the ink; you don’t want to be fiddling with the pen while the nib is in the ink. Release the lever and give a slow count to ten to ensure a good fill. Remove from the bottle, re-cap pen and bottle. What could be easier?

3 thoughts on “Happy New Year

  1. Deb what surprises me ,after ‘all this time’ is the number of ink manufacturers that still make bottles that have either very narrow necks, or ones that are deep enough that the lever is restricted from entering when in the open position…coupled with a depth of bottle that still has ink left that is below the level of the nib/feed .
    Iroshizuku has attempted to address this with its little depression, but it’s still not enough. A classic example is the Diamine 30mm bottles which , when stir containing a quarter left , are pretty much impossible to access for any but the longest lever fillers.
    And for ‘us’ collectors of the little ‘ladies’ lever fillers, most bottles are impossible to fill from below about half full…..
    I know ‘decanting’ and syringes are a solution ….but really ?
    Some companies like Shaeffer and one or two others did address this issue , but it limits which inks one can buy.
    This almost slips over into another subject doesn’t it …..oops
    The typing box is showing as ‘one line’ so I can’t see what I’ve written here , making it hard to proofread, so forgive me if there are errors ! I’ve tried to rectify on my machine to no avail …so it may be ‘your’ site ?
    Happy new year to you and Eachan . 🙋🏻‍♂️🙋🏻‍♂️🌺

    1. I agree. It seems to have got worse lately.
      I have a Swan ” Last Drop” bottle into which I decant ink from the large bottle of Swan Blue/Black that I have. I need more of those bottles.

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