Happy International Fountain Pen Day! The first Friday in November is Fountain Pen Day, where we celebrate all the wonderful things that give our handwriting character and help us to slow down when we write. We sort of celebrate that everyday around here, but it's always nice when it's official. Ideas to celebrate:
  • Clean out some pens that need it, and ink up some up fresh
  • Head to a cafe with a fountain pen and journal or letters, and spend some time writing
  • Give away a pen or two to people you know who do a lot of writing
  • Give a kid in your life a Preppy or a Petit1 (who knows the road they could get started on!)
  • Treat yourself to a favourite meal*
I thought I would celebrate by sharing a little about my first fountain pen, which some of you know might already know about. It's actually quite germane, as it is what got the ball rolling to this whole adventure of Wonder Pens. Back when I was a teacher and Jon worked in banking, he was sent on a business trip to New York. At that time, we had been married a year or two and things were still fresh and dramatic and I was on my own with Super pretending like I couldn't survive for four days on my own (good grief). And so on his time off, he bought several souvenirs back from New York for me: a dress, some books, and some stationery. He got me some gel pens, some gel refills, some notebooks, and (gasp!) a fountain pen. I was immediately hooked, without a second's pause; something in me just knew this was something I was going to love. A click, a switch, a light turns on. I sometimes recognize this in customers because I myself was one of these people - people who love stationery and writing and writing tools, but haven't yet discovered the magic of a good fountain pen. But once they do... it's a deep rabbit hole. I knew it as soon as he brought it out, that my life was going to be changed. It sounds a bit crazy, but I just knew. I was not a dip my toe into the water kind of a stationery nut, I was an all-in-hallelujah-conversion kind of nut. After testing my pen out, my first thought was (first stationery hoarder warning) how am I going to get refills for this? Do I need to preserve its ink supply? What happens when I run out? How much ink is enough? Jon had brought back one pack of cartridges (ha! ha! ha! cartridges! one pack!) and obviously that wasn't going to cut it. Shortly after, I discovered bottled ink over the internet, and I was a complete goner. Sailor inks were some of my first and I remain faithful to them to this day, but along the way, I picked up J. Herbin, Noodler's, Rohrer and Klingner and a few more fountain pens, my first Lamy Safari (charcoal), my first Sailor (Pro Gear Slim). And on it went. I used fountain pens to get me through the drudgery of long nights of marking, my students used them as a special treat. I got a fancy pen case from Nock Co.'s predecessor, Alter Manufacturing, was made fun of my fellow teachers when I pulled my fancy fountain pens, I negotiated with Jon about orders from companies in the US and aboard, I tracked shipping notifications religiously from shipping companies that don't seem to understand what tracking means. It was all lovely. A few years down the line and Jon wanted to start a business, he of the entrepreneurial spirit. I loved my teaching job, but I'm always game for a new adventure, so off we went. We threw around a few ideas, including opening a fountain pen shop. I balked, thinking what basically everyone who hears about our business and who isn't already into fountain pens thinks: who's still buying pens? Jon, having had to foot the international bill for many of my pen purchases gave me his now classic look, a look I know very well having run a business with him for the last five years. In a great twist of irony, one of the many in my life, Jon, the budget-keeper of my myriad pen purchases, ended up convincing me to open up a pen shop, allowing me to purchase, essentially, as many pens as we had money for.** I'll take ten of these, and ten of these, and maybe a few of these as well, why not. And it was a crazy leap, but we made it, blindly and with all the optimism of two kids who have never run a business before. I say this all the time to everyone who asks about starting a business: if I had known about all the work, risks, costs, struggles, time, hustle, constant uncertainty, and effort it takes to run a small business, I would probably would've looked at Jon and laughed when he suggested it. That being said, I couldn't imagine any other life, and I also couldn't imagine life without all these people - customers, vendors, artists and creatives, friends in the industry, and of course our team, that I've met through this community of fountain pen users. And I guess this is what is sort of great about Fountain Pen Day, and all of the things people, bloggers, community builders, are doing - letting all us fountain pen nuts know that we're not crazy. Or maybe we're a little crazy, but we're not alone. There are a whole bunch of us crazies out there, and we can all celebrate together. Or maybe, because a lot of us are introverted souls or are far apart from each other, celebrate individually but united in spirit. And so! We're doing a giveaway here on the blog, which we haven't done in ages (sorry!). We're giving away an Aurora Duo Cart here on the blog. To enter, leave a comment. You can tell us about your first fountain pen, your favourite fountain pen, a fountain pen disaster, or just say hello. One entry per person. Contest closes Sunday, November 4th, 2018 at 11:59 pm EST. Open internationally. Winner will be announced shortly after. Please bear with me in patience and love.
Edit: If your comment doesn't appear right away, don't worry! All comments need to be approved as the blog seems to attract a lot of spam. We will surely do a thorough check of the comments periodically through the weekend and before the end of the contest. *Not fountain pen related, but I mean what is celebration without good food? **To sell to other people.

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November 02, 2018 — wonderpens

Comments

Simar Sahni

Simar Sahni said:

My favourite fountain pen is my Nakaya portable in black, it has a soft fine nib on it and a lacquered converter with cherry blossoms on it. Its usually inked with LV Or Audacieux, sadly, a now discontinued ink. The nib has a bit of softness to it that I learnt to love and a section that I became comfortable with over time. The lacquered ebonite is warm to the touch and the minimalism of the pen with just the gold plated clip on the piano black body appeals to me. Happy fountain pen day!

Manny Mendes

Manny Mendes said:

My favorite pen is a Cross gold tip my wife gave me 24 years ago it still writes like brand new. I was using it at work and some one borrowed it and stuck their finger in the pen holder bending it and damaging beyond repair. But I love it like no other

G. Buckley

G. Buckley said:

My first fountain pen was a Platinum Carbon Desk Pen. Ten years and 50+ pens later, I’m still a sucker for a buttery smooth nib!

Graciela

Graciela said:

I bought my first fountain pen when I was 10; it was a cheap Waterman and I had several more Waterman’s during my teens. I did not pick up a fountain pen again until my thirties; a Lamy Safari. Then I discovered blogs about fountain pens, and fell into the rabbit hole…

Agnes

Agnes said:

A few years back I became obsessed with finding an oxblood pen. Looked high and low but I couldn’t find the colour I wanted in a regular pen.

I eventually recruited my sister to assist me in my quest. Her solution? A bottle of Diamine Oxblood ink + a Pilot Falcon… and that is how I fell down the fountain pen rabbit hole. Thanks sis!

Jenn

Jenn said:

Just wanted to say: loving the beautiful noodler’s inks we got at your store as well as the TWSBI Eco.

Sheila

Sheila said:

Years ago when I started calligraphy my first fountain pens were Scheaffer, they are still a part of my collection.

Allison

Allison said:

My first pen was the turquoise Metro with a F nib, and before I had even finished the included cartridge I was sold and had more pens & inks on order. To this day, I almost always have at least 2 metros inked including my first!

Jim Estok

Jim Estok said:

Joy

Oh my joy it started whence
The day my computer’s search
Unveiled Wonder Pens
And soon the shipment brought my purchase
Writing paper and fountain pens

Could fortune again fill my shopping cart
And win an Aurora Duo Cart?

Stéphane Normandin

Stéphane Normandin said:

Oh thank you to the most amazing team for that incredible givaway! :) And happy Fountain pen day to everyone! :)
Gosh I dream to own of those Aurora pen! Never had an Aurora in hand ever!

Zac Mueller

Zac Mueller said:

Pick me!

Jennifer

Jennifer said:

Thank you for taking the jump and opening a fountain pen store in the digital age. Your passion and your store have helped this small community continue growing. Just like mechanical watches, fountain pens are now more than just for functionality; it’s the beauty of the workmanship, the smoothness of the writing, the shading of the ink as it seeps into the page. Fountain pens are no longer a tool; they are a statement of who we are (stationery fanatics who care about the little things).
My first fountain pen was a cheap gunked up Chinese made no-brand that I bought at a bargain bin flea market in Hong Kong. It was full of problems, but when I held it in my hands I knew that I had fallen into a dangerous hobby.
My first “new” fountain pen that I bought was a Lamy Safari in blinding neon green. I think as celebration for Fountain Pen day I’ll fill it up and use it again.

Marilyn C

Marilyn C said:

When I had surgery on my left hand, I decided to spend some time improving my writing, and so bought a couple of fountain pens. I fell in love with the process and continue to use fountain pens in my daily life.

Christine

Christine said:

My first fountain pen is a TWSBI Eco purchased from you a year ago. It’s still my only pen and I’m enjoying trying different inks in it. I’m not sure I want to have more than one pen (not because I’m not enjoying it but because I’m scared of the potential collection I could have!).
Thanks for having the give away.

Tanya

Tanya said:

I got my first fountain pen in highschool. Just bought a metropolitan a few months ago.

JP

JP said:

My first foray into this came about after reading “this is off topic, but…” threads singing the praises of fountain pens (which I had no idea were still in use!) with the Hobonichi Techo (which I was using surprisingly faithfully). I mean, sure, my gel pens were doing just fine, but I HAD to find out what people were raving about. And then I got a Lamy Safari (Petrol), and then an Al-Star, and then…

Dave

Dave said:

Happy fountain pen day!

Christopher Myrick

Christopher Myrick said:

Every day is Fountain Pen Day.
My first, from the early 2000s, was a Mont Blanc Meisterstück. I’ve since developed a collection of various , more inexpensive, for different colours of ink.

Alric Pappathomas

Alric Pappathomas said:

My first fountain pen was a Pilot Petit1. At the time I never even considered spending more than a few dollars on a pen… Right now, my favorite fountain pen is a Faber-Castell Loom I’ve bought a year ago!

Joan

Joan said:

I love your story! I don’t remember my first fountain pen to be honest, but my first one I bought for myself is the Lamy logo. I sadly lost that one and ordered a new one, which I promptly lost again :(

Now I don’t bring my important pens outside anymore lol.

Thanks for doing the giveaway!

Jon

Jon said:

I went to Staples looking for a fountain pen and came home with a Scheaffer no-nonsense 1.1 mm italic. Not the best starter pen, but it started me down the rabbit hole.

Mike Connell

Mike Connell said:

Love this. I’m now a huge kaweco fan. Just bought the liliput brass and it’s officially my favourite pen! Love, love, love it. That, followed by TWSBI.

Kat Goodale

Kat Goodale said:

As soon as I saw my friend Robin’s new fountain pen, I knew I had to have one. I bought a Lamy Safari at your shop, and the love affair began. I write more because I love the tools. My TWSBI Eco is filled with Sailor Gentle Sakura pink, which makes me far happier than I ever thought pink would.

I’ve loved every visit to your store, which is one of the few things I miss about Toronto now that I’ve left it. Thank you for all the many small joys that I’ve discovered in your pens in stationery!

Jennifer McGill

Jennifer McGill said:

Looking for the right pen and ink for my new Hobonichi journal!!!!

Chris Ball

Chris Ball said:

My first fountain pen was a Pilot Varsity, but my first “Real” fountain pens were a Pilot Metropolitan and a Kaweco AL Sport sold to me by Wonder Pens. I still have the Metro, but the AL was lost (such is the life of a pocket pen).

Buying two should have properly signalled a future addiction.

Angela

Angela said:

The last fountain I got came through a subscription box. I think it’s a generic Japanese pen but it writes very wet. I think I’ll try some ink with glitter or something like that. I love writing with fountain pens because it makes me slow down and think. Thanks for sharing your pens via IG!

Lynn

Lynn said:

One of my firsts and continuing favourites are the Twsbi’s. Love seeing the ink swish around them.

Cindy

Cindy said:

My first pen was a Parker in grade 4, where my math teacher forced everyone to use a fountain pen for math cause we couldn’t easily erase mistakes! Everyone resigned to buy the $1 Hero, but my dad nonchalantly handed me his Parker. It laid in a cubby for 10 years, but worked flawlessly when I finally found it still half filled with Quink. Amazing!

Wen Scott

Wen Scott said:

I would love to visit Wonderpens B&M in person, (kid in a candy store syndrome), but, too far… my first was a safari charcoal, which I’m still using. ?

Marcelle

Marcelle said:

I bought my first fountain pen at the age of 12. It seems that I was always crazy about stationary (pens erasers, papers…). It was a Parker with cartridges and I paid $6 (that was in 1974) with my own money. I don’t know the model but the nib was not hooded. Then, in my 20s, bought a Sheaffer Triumph 444 with a bottle of Parker Quink ink blue. Now, I have a nice little collection. My favorites are: Aurora Optima, Sailor 1911, Waterman Carène. My most disappointment is my Pelikan M800 that I bought for my 50th birthday. Recently I found that I could tame it thanks to Diamine ink.

Chloe Stewart

Chloe Stewart said:

Thanks for the great post :D. Do you have a post about cleaning fountain pens? I have always wondered when and how to do it.

Micah Robles

Micah Robles said:

My first fountain pen was a Parker Vector that I had bought from a local bookstore back in gradeschool. Even at that age, I loved vintage and analog things — there is so much soul and life in them.

Thank you for the generous giveaway! I do hope I win. That would be an amazing highlight of 2018 before the year is up!

Gabrielle Mandl

Gabrielle Mandl said:

About a month ago I became the lightbulb moment stationery addict of fountain pens, I cant believe I didn’t know about them! My first pen was a pilot metropolitan, but I have since been gifted a platinum 3776 UEF and it is the most luxurious thing I have ever written with. My professor (i am a phd student) and a few labmates are into fountain pens and I feel so excited to join their little circle hahaha

Lucija Kacala

Lucija Kacala said:

I have loved fountain pens and ink (!) since I learned how to write back in public school I would clutch so tightly that I had a dent, usually ink-stained, in my middle finger. I have been thrilled to discover this world of inky adventure over the last couple of years.

Tina

Tina said:

Growing up in China, I learned how to write with fountain pen as part of our handwriting class. I remember being terrified during those classes, because I kept dropping my pen. I cannot count just how many nibs I’ve destroyed…but fountain pen writing and Chinese calligraphy classes convinced me at a young age that my handwriting represents me in some way. As I got older I went through the gel pen craze with ultra thin uni ball pens (which I also dropped all the time) and various other brands, until one day, as I was clearing out my mother’s belongings after she passed, I found a little notebook with all the poems she copied and her fountain pen, a classic Chinese Hero. There was still dry ink in it, so I cleaned it out and kept it with me. I started to get itch about fountain pen, so I begged my family friend to bring me a Hero pen from China during one of her trips – I was over the moon. The pen had super strong flow, more than I wanted, so I had to write it upside down (twisting it 180 degree like someone who doesn’t know how to use a pen xD) and it was scratchy, but I didn’t care. I’m reunited. After that I discovered wonderpens and started building a collection. Every pen I bought I tell myself this will be the last, no more – but I couldn’t resist. Now my daily driver is a pilot metropolitan inked with my favourite ink R&K salix. It has a beautiful smell. I have temporarily been forced back to ball pens because I’d hate to drop my pen while running around the hospital for my training, but every now and then, when I find a few minutes to sit down to write, I whip out my pilot for a small moment of joy, just enjoying the smooth touch of the nib gliding on a patient’s progress note. It feels strange and maybe absurd, but i find a friend in my pen and such peace and happiness to write with it.

Devin

Devin said:

My first fountain pen was a shitty calligraphy pen from Michael’s that I bought on a whim. Since then I’ve upgraded and have been writing in ink & pencil for my journal at work. Hopefully over time my writing will get better and less sloppy, takes a lot of practice though!

Marshall

Marshall said:

My first decent fountain pen was a charcoal Lamy Safari I purchased from your shop. I had grown up using my grandfathers fountain and dip pens, so I was no stranger to nibs, but this was something I got myself and it really jumpstarted my FP addiction. I have since made the trip to Toronto to see your store and wish I lived closer so I could frequent the shop more often. Thanks for all the love and work you guys pour into the shop, it’s a gem.

Jim Menzies

Jim Menzies said:

Been using my Parker Vendome for as long as I can remember. Always writes no matter how long it sits.

Shelagh

Shelagh said:

I can’t remember my first fountain pen, it was so long ago. In grade school we were only allowed to use fountain pens.. No ball points until grade 3! I never took to the Bic pen, and kept using fountain pounds all through high school, mainly castoffs of my father’s. I remember a truly dreadful leaky pen with a lever filler, and loving peacock blue ink which was just barely tolerated by my teachers. There was a Waterman plant in my home town of Saint Lambert QC – the smell of ink! My first adult purchase was a Scheaffer calligraphy pen (loved the stub nib), quickly followed by a Safari in Petrol, a TWSBI mini, and recently an Ahab in Navajo Tortoise which is my new fave. Thanks for being such wonderful enablers!

Andrew Coon

Andrew Coon said:

Thank you for sharing the detail about Nock’s predecessor. I didn’t know that part of the story.

I am glad to learn more about your story as well.

Christine Monteiro

Christine Monteiro said:

When I was in the sixth grade, their seemed to have been a craze amongst all the girls for fountain pens. I remember lining up all the perfect little cartridges and trying to decide which ink colour to choose. I remember the blots on fingertips as you tried to change cartridges… Sometimes before the cartridge was empty just because you had a whim do use a different color! I remember our teacher, Mr. Wright forbidding us to use peacock blue ink as he couldn’t stand to stare at it as he sat down to mark page after page of curly, swirly girl handwriting in the vivid colour. To this day I cannot stand to use an inferior, scratchy, cheap pen that does not flow across the page. I see fine quality stationary and beautifully crafted pens as the last defender of the written word in a time where we are facing the erosion of hand written expression in the face of keyboard communication.

Jennifer DiMaria

Jennifer DiMaria said:

My Dad bought me my first fountain pen when I was 12. A now vintage Osmiroid (yup 35 years ago) which I still own and use. Thanks to Wonderpens, I can continue to celebrate my love of all things stationery.

Kelly Swayzie

Kelly Swayzie said:

Hi, I got into fountain pens about 5 years ago. My first pen was a Noodler. My first cool pen ( in my opinion) was a 30-40 year old Parker. I love it! I live in Newfoundland so I like that I can order paper, ink and pens from you folks to T.O. !

Anna Sarkadi Nagy

Anna Sarkadi Nagy said:

We had to write with a fountain pen in elementary school! My handwriting was bad in the first year, but in the second year it got much better and I won 2nd place in the handwriting contest! Ever since I collect fountain pens, I inherited many from my sister :) I have around 20 fountain pens (7 of them more pricey bought in the last year), but some of the older cheaper ones do not work anymore, although I have cleaned them many times. I love colourful inks too! :)

TTurner

TTurner said:

Because I took the chance and bought a Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen a year and a half ago, I’ve attended a fountain pen themed wedding, made an enormous amount of amazing friends, attended 3 pen shows and counting, laughed harder than I thought possible, and spent a lot of money and do not regret one cent.

Joan

Joan said:

I went down the rabbit hole just around May of this year starting with Pilot Metropolitan as I was trying to improve my handwriting going through videos on youtube. And then bought the Lamy’s and now drooling over the Monteverde Invincia and the Visconti’s. I think I need an intervention now. Lol!

Sanja

Sanja said:

I got my first fountain pen from my parents when I was in elementary school – we had to learn to use one – and I was immediately hooked. I actually found it a few months ago, cleaned it (wasn’t even that inky!), and it worked like charm. By the feel of it, it’s a cheap plastic pen, the coating on the nib is coming off, but let me tell you something, that thing stomps some more expensive pens. However, I only really got into the hobby two years ago, when, after so much talk about pens, my lovely SO got me my first REAL pen – a black plain Pilot Metropolitan in fine – and even though I’ve acquired some more expensive (and some cheaper) pens in the meantime, that Metro is dearer to me than any other object I own.

Zuhair Abdulla

Zuhair Abdulla said:

I’m just getting into fountain pens, but am loving the connection I feel to my pens. I have a pilot metropolitan and a Kaweco Lilliput. I love them both equally and carry them in my pocket everyday. I want to branch out though and try some new pens. I find that my handwriting is too small to get good use out of anything other than EF or F nibs, but I’d like to learn script and try my hand at a bigger nib. Thanks!

Daniel Topal

Daniel Topal said:

My very first fountain pen was a Pilot Petit1, and I absolutely loved using it. The only downside was that cartridges were hard to come by for the pen. It took at least a year before I realized that there were other fountain pens that I could by that would be easier to get ink for. Then it was all downhill from there XD

J. Perry Arnott

J. Perry Arnott said:

When I started school, in the early 1950s, we had to use dip pens – fountain pens were for older kids. I had a cousin’s pen (she being a teacher) which had the “gills” under the nib of a fountain pen. So I could write three or four times as long as the other kids. The specific thing about that pen was that the nib was of higher quality and I enjoyed writing more than they did. That led to a fountain pen when I could have one and it led to my very first “expensive” purchase with my own earned money in 1962. I still have my Parker 61 (the backwards-filling capillary model) though I haven’t dared use it in years. Do you suppose it could still be cleaned and used? My Mont Blanc Meisterstück is still in use and my hands and clothes are still ink-stained by that leaky POS 34 years later. On the other hand, I’ve been amazed and pleased by how good and how enjoyable is my first Lamy Safari (my wife bought it for me from you guys last Christmas). So I’m not without a pen – but I’d still love to use my Parker.

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