For The Love Of Fountain Pens!

I’m in my mid-fifties so fountain pens are not new to me. It’s just that, until recently, I have forgotten about them.

I grew up in The Netherlands entering the school system in the early 60’s. When we began writing with pens it was with a dip pen.

quill-penImage source

I can still remember the ink well located at the top right hand corner of my desk and a groove that ran along near the top to nestle the pen.

Writing exercises were meticulous and exacting, having to appear as close to what was represented on the blackboard and between the proper lines on our pages. It was some time before we were permitted to develop our own style. Only after we had the basics down could we add angle, cursiveness and the like to our writing.


Today, people continue to comment on my handwriting saying it flows and is easy to read. I think that is because of early start at learning how to write correctly. Sadly, I’ve come across recent high school graduates that cannot write script and their printing is barely legible. That is a distressing commentary of our times.


In 1967 my family moved to Canada. For writing in school we used pencils and ballpoint pens until the sixth grade when we were required to use fountain pens.


Image Source

A Sheaffer School Pen loaded with Turquiose Blue ink cartridges. In Secondary School this pen was not required and, thought I continued to use it at home, switched to a ballpoint. Usually a BIC.  Through Secondary School and, much later, in College the ballpoint became the pen of choice. A writing tool not for comfort, but for convenience.


A couple of years ago the gel pen found its way into my hand and used one for all my writing project until about two months ago when I bought my first fountain pen in decades.

The fountain pen is now my pen of choice. As a writer, I prefer to put my first draft to paper. With the fountain pen it has become a more enjoyable experience. No writer’s cramp because the pen rests in you hand and one does not push down on the pen. The nib glides across the paper in effortless delight.

My currently have five pens in my collection and I’m sure it will grow.


The first pen I bought is the Lamy Safari which I bought here in Calgary.

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It came with an ink converter and used it as my writing pen for several weeks. Now it is filled with a red cartridge and is my primary editing pen. The one drawback about this pen is the nib. They are proprietary and very expensive.

The two Baoer 388’s are made in China. I had a concern about that and discovered they are indeed a pleasant surprise.

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The red one is used for everyday writing and uses an ink converter. The green one is the devise I use at work. It’s cartridge loaded for convenience and no worries about a possible messy spill. Both pens were purchased online here if you are interested.

There is also the Wality 70A from India. This is an eyedropper pen, which means it does not use a converter or cartridge. Rather, one fills the body of the pen with in and screw it back together.

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Some people find them messy. I like them because they hold larger quantities of ink. I currently use this pen for my writing projects and is filled with Waterman Serenity Blue: a turquoise blue.

The last pen is also an Indian eyedropper pen which hold twice as much ink as the Wality. It is the Serwex Special (101). With a clear body one can see how much ink remains.

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It, too, had what looks like a proprietary nib resembling the Lamy’s nib. It is not the of the highest quality but rights well. I never paid for this pen, it showed up with the Wality. It will be used to alternate between it and the Wality for larger writing projects. A good place to find Indians pens online is here.

The inks I currently use in my pens are the Waterman Intense Black bottle ink and cartridges, Waterman Serenity Blue bottle ink and Lamy Red Cartridges.

Fountain pens may be Old School and low tech, but if writing with one is more comfortable and enjoyable, what’s wrong with Old School?


About John Van Vliet

Author of the soon to be released "The H'Rhophyan Chronicles", a Fantasy Adventure Serial.
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