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The good news is that interest in these pre-war fountain pens is rising significantly precisely because they are so beautiful and so different from the pens of today; this is not merely a trend perceptable by slight growth in numbers of collectors.

This is only partly because of the inherent beauty of the pens themselves. The fact is that writing is different with an old pen. The feeling is completely different, and more importantly the look is completely different. The top executive who is proud of using a cheap throw-away ball point is making such a strong statement about his personal style that he is becoming the rarity amongst cognoscenti. Ask anyone who would deny this whether the chairman of the board of a major international conglomerate would write inter-office memos with a child's coloured crayon.

The reason for this difference lies in the method of construction of the nib. Most pen companies of today seem to have lost the capacity to make flexible nibs or more probably their executives understand so little about both pens and what their customers want. It is the flexible nib which imparts to the writing the real aura of having been created with a rare and precious pen.

Even a cursory glance will prove that no such aura whatsoever is created by writing with a ball point.

A similar aura can be created with a modern pen by writing with a stub or chisel point nib. The reason for this is that on down strokes, the line described by the nib will be broad, as the surface presented to the paper by the nib will be a broad one; on cross strokes, the line described will be thin. The nib will dictate that there will be relatively little variation in the lines between the thick and the thin.

For ultimate character, there is at present no escaping the use of the old (pre-war) nib with the flexibility to describe varieties of different types of lines on the page, effortlessly and with no concentration on the procedure of writing rather than the substance of what is being written.

Thus people are finding that even with unreadable handwriting, character can be imparted to the page/style ; merely by writing slightly larger, an unreadable page can be turned into a readable one.

(for another opinion on this general point, see http://www.io.com/~tyrbiter/whyold.html)

So except in the hands of the users of today who cannot express their ideas of 'style' with the pens designed by accountants and committees, the pens shown belong to a past age.


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