Lauritz Melchior is going to be my next screen name
My ink pen of choice is the simple stick pen that gives you the freedom and flexibility to use different nibs to get different effects. I also like the way the ink sits on the paper before it dries and the occasional drip and splatter testifies to its soulful imperfections.
Had one of these (51 Converter). Gave it to a kid on his Bar Mitvah (in addition to the other gift) because I regretted that nobody had given me the canonical fountain pen.
Should get another proper fountain pen.
Now this is making sense. I myself prefer pen styles reminiscent of the days when ornament was taken seriously, but clearly the Parker 51 is a respectable candidate for the title.
(P.S.: if anyone's looking woefully at the price tag, try "Hero 616" or "Hero 100" on Ebay for knockoffs of inferior quality but similar visual appeal)
The Hero 100 is arguably of better quality than the 51.
I've owned a few 51s and a few 100s... and here's a comparison!
I guess you've all been to the pen website with one of the silliest domain names ever:
Has Parker's quality improved? Parker were the epitome of a cheap fountain pen in the 70s - I had several and they didn't last - the nibs were rough and scratchy, the ink pump tended to jam or break and the barrel was not very robust. I got given a Mont Blanc fountain pen in 6th form and I've not used a Parker since. My Mont Blanc is still a great pen even if I don't use it so much these days.
To be honest, I can't stand the "aerometric" filling mechanism, I suppose, so perhaps that's where my frustration with the 616 I have lies. Never gotten one to rival a piston fill.
I had a 51 at school for a few years when I was 13 back in the '80s. We just thought they were average workaday pens - I had no clue until now that they were in some way classic. I didn't like that squeezy rubber thing you had to use for the ink. It always seemed to be running out. But the pen seemed to serve me well. For non-classroom stuff though, we were Rotring people - oh yah. Rotring were really cool.
The 1970s were well past the prime of Parker -- the classic "51" was from the 1940s. By the 1970s,the company had gotten into providing temporary workers for other companies through its "Manpower" division and the executives became more interested in that than making pens.
Parker Jotter fan here. Their latest ballpoints are great, they did a big upgrade a year or two ago to the ink. Quinkflow is what it's called.
I have a Parker 51 with a Pendleton cursive grind on the tip that I love.
Yes, the squeeze filler thingie is not my favorite, (I like pistons too), but I've finally learned how to squeeze it to actually get the thing filled all the way.
It's by far my favorite writing pen. It
Peyton Street Pens is my store of choice. They sell a lot of what they call "New Old Stock, along with refurbs, (my Parker is one of those... the only way I could afford one)
I think the Fjader pen much superior as it actually fits your hand, just like the good old seagull feathers used to, as opposed to most everybody else's attempts to bash crude cylinders cranked out on a lathe into something vaguely ergonomic. Lamy fountain pens aren't a bad second.
I look at this post, the ad, and I see stereotypes needing pointing out, appeals to elitism needing discussing and one awesome illustration.
But pens? OK. This is why some consider me a party-pooper, I guess.
I found myself pretty impressed after looking into this. $100+ for an ancient, probably used pen with high maintenance needs was more than a little out of the question for me. This site has a fairly indepth set of reviews for a variety of different models (includes scans of the results) and quite a few of them seem to hold up really well.
The Hero 100 appeals to me the most but ~$40 still seems like a lot to me for a pen so we'll see.
Did I wander into a William Gibson novel by mistake?
No, I'd say your insights are right on. In a discussion you should feel free to ask questions or point things out. You're not a party-pooper IMO. On the contrary, you're adding something of interest to the conversation. How boring if everyone saw everything the same way.
Geocities called, They want their website back.