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ktinkel
07-03-2005, 05:28 PM
I am bereft. I wanted to recommend a writing pen to someone, so dug out my favorite cheap one — a Berol Fontaine — and then went looking for a source on the web.

Doesn’t exist. So not only can I not only not suggest it to someone else, I must face the end of my relationship (something like ten years old) with this charming pen.

And then, adding insult to injury, I discovered that Berol purchased the Osmiroid company. From my days at Reed, that was the calligraphy pen; now I see that most models have been cancelled.

Oh, woe is me.

Do any of you in Europe or elsewhere have sources for these pens?

Michael Rowley
07-04-2005, 07:39 AM
KT:

Do any of you in Europe or elsewhere have sources for these pens?

I think several European manufacturers stiil make cheap fountain pens with a range of nibs for calligraphy, but at the moment I can't remember their names. The names Stadler and Swan occur to me, but I don't think the one I threw away (it was worn out) came from either.

Ballpoints and their many variants seem to be universal these days, but are the enemies of decent writing.

Try the names I have suggested by searching for a non-American domain (e.g. co.uk or de).

Michael Rowley
07-04-2005, 07:48 AM
KT:

Try the names I have suggested by searching for a non-American domain (Rowley)

There's no need to do that, I find. Try 'calligraphy' or 'Osmiroid' (which sells cheap fountain pen sets).

ktinkel
07-04-2005, 09:06 AM
There's no need to do that, I find. Try 'calligraphy' or 'Osmiroid' (which sells cheap fountain pen sets).I know. But the Osmiroids I had years ago were not the cheap ones available today (though I did order a set of those anyway, just for nostalgia’s sake).

The Berol Fontaine, however, is a cheap but wonderful-writing plain fountain pen, meant to be used and thrown away. I suspect I bought it in Paris, perhaps ten years ago, used it for a while, and then set it aside. I was a little surprised that it still wrote when I noticed it recently, but it is now drying up, and the model seems to have disappeared. Ick.

I’ll go look for Swan. Thanks.

Steve Rindsberg
07-04-2005, 09:48 AM
KT, have you tried Levenger's?

http://www.levenger.com/

Michael Rowley
07-04-2005, 11:47 AM
KT:

I’ll go look for Swan

That was a suggestion going back to my schooldays. Another suggestion, going back to my children's schooldays in Germany, is Pelikan (a very old manufacturer), which I've now remembered was the maker of my old 'calligraphic' pen set, which was very like the set offered by Osmiroid at $12.95. Osmiroid is now made in China, by the way.

Berol is known to me only as a maker of fibre pens; it does offer an 'italic' fibre pen, but that doesn't give the variable spread that you get with a split nib; it may be what you mean though.

ktinkel
07-04-2005, 12:00 PM
That was a suggestion going back to my schooldays. Another suggestion, going back to my children's schooldays in Germany, is Pelikan (a very old manufacturer), which I've now remembered was the maker of my old 'calligraphic' pen set, which was very like the set offered by Osmiroid at $12.95. Osmiroid is now made in China, by the way.

Berol is known to me only as a maker of fibre pens; it does offer an 'italic' fibre pen, but that doesn't give the variable spread that you get with a split nib; it may be what you mean though.Pelikan is sold here at art supply stores — I have many of their pens, including flat-nibbed styles.

Osmiroid was acquired by Berol. And the Berol pen I have (and want more of) is, as I said, a fountain pen — not a felt-tipped or other modern sort of thing. It may also be as dead as the dodo, alas.

Michael Rowley
07-04-2005, 01:11 PM
KT:

Osmiroid was acquired by Berol

Oh. It looks as though Osmiroid is making the fountain pens; Berol only advertises fibre pens. Of course, you can get 'italic' nibs for most pens, though the shops don't usually stock them.

You put me off by saying the 'ink has dried', which led me to suspect you were not asking about a fountain pen. I presume even Americans don't throw away a fountain pen when it's empty!

annc
07-04-2005, 03:24 PM
I presume even Americans don't throw away a fountain pen when it's empty!I seem to recall Kathleen saying that the Berol fountain pens were cheap, single-use ones.

ktinkel
07-04-2005, 05:13 PM
You put me off by saying the 'ink has dried', which led me to suspect you were not asking about a fountain pen. I presume even Americans don't throw away a fountain pen when it's empty!As I said in a couple of messages, the Berol pen I have been enjoying is a disposable fountain pen. It is not refillable. There is no way — other than major surgery — even to open it.

PeterArnel
07-05-2005, 01:33 AM
I use a Waterman fountain pen - in UK we have Parker, Scheffer and the expensive Mont Blank,
Peter

ktinkel
07-05-2005, 05:44 AM
KT, have you tried Levenger's? Many times, but didn’t think of them for this. Though I doubt a disposable pen is in their inventory!

I found the cheap Osmiroid set at Flax; but that was a bit of a side-trip, not what I was looking for.

LoisWakeman
07-05-2005, 05:47 AM
KT: I am paying attention <G>.

I buy disposable fountain pens from Viking Direct at www.viking-direct.co.uk (http://www.viking-direct.co.uk) - they are made by Pilot and cost £1.69 each (+VAT) bought in a box of 12; black, red or blue ink.

I tired to find it on the Pilot web site for you- but it is a pile of **** - broken links all over the place, so was unable to navigate anywhere useful. Anywhere, here is the Viking page:

http://www.viking-direct.co.uk/(xocmfxvfv2zz2255o5fzf455)/catalogFamily.aspx?ID=9202&CID=100 (http://www.viking-direct.co.uk/%28xocmfxvfv2zz2255o5fzf455%29/catalogFamily.aspx?ID=9202&CID=100)

All the talk of pens brought back childhood memories of inky fingers and blots: I am left-handed, and for many years had a "real" Osmiroid refillable pen in silver pearly plastic, with a left-handed italic nib, which has a 45 degree angle in it to try and counteract the inherent awkwardness of pushing the nib instead of pulling it. You'd never think so seeing my crabbed scrawl today, but I used to win prizes for my immaculate italic handwriting in my youth. Years of keyboarding and slight arthritis have put paid to that !

ktinkel
07-05-2005, 05:48 AM
I use a Waterman fountain pen - in UK we have Parker, Scheffer and the expensive Mont BlankMontblanc sure is expensive (we have those here too), and I was never able to persuade myself they were worth the money (to me, I mean).

We also have Parker and Schaefer (I think those are American brands, or were, back in the day when countries produced most of their own goods). And I have three Watermans I like, all acquired in France. I suppose someone here must sell them, but in Paris they are like low-hanging fruit, dangling in front of me wherever I go!

Michael Rowley
07-05-2005, 08:00 AM
KT:

a Berol Fontaine

Sorry: forgive my innocence. I can't, to be honest, see what a disposable fountain pen would be for.

Michael Rowley
07-05-2005, 08:08 AM
KT:

I have three Watermans I like

Waterman was the chap that invented fountain pens, but the company he founded in England is now owned by Gilette, as is Parker and Rotring.

annc
07-05-2005, 03:57 PM
You'd never think so seeing my crabbed scrawl today, but I used to win prizes for my immaculate italic handwriting in my youth. Years of keyboarding and slight arthritis have put paid to that !Same here! I used to get lots of praise for my handwriting as a schoolchild, but can now barely sign my name. My mother, who is almost totally blind with macular degeneration still has a beautiful signature and legible handwriting, and my father, who had Alzheimer's, could still sign credit card vouchers legibly until the time he had to be institutionalised, fairly late in the progression of the disease.

This last was unfortunate, because he liked to go for walks, and would go into the hardware shop and buy all sorts of stuff that my mother had to return later.

Mike
07-05-2005, 10:34 PM
I've always favoured Rotring pens as being well made -- though not necessarilly cheap. Take a look at http://www.dickblick.com/zz208/15/ for Rotring calligraphy pens.

ktinkel
07-06-2005, 05:42 AM
I've always favoured Rotring pens as being well made -- though not necessarilly cheap. Take a look at http://www.dickblick.com/zz208/15/ for Rotring calligraphy pens.Thanks. I have a couple of those as well (from years ago), along with some of their technical pens. I agree — they are well made.

Still not looking for calligraphy pens though — I just want my simple fountain pen, one that doesn’t leak, that writes (and draws) smoothly, and doesn’t call for any fuss. Like the Berol Fontaine that is nearly done [grump].

There are some Pilot disposable fountain pens (http://www.viking-direct.co.uk/%28wsdbdpfpxfwcnd452ipqdh45%29/catalogFamily.aspx?ID=9202&CID=100) I might try.

Gerry Kowarsky
07-06-2005, 08:28 AM
Do any of you in Europe or elsewhere have sources for (Berol Fontaine) pens?

I have had a bunch of these (5 blue, 8 black) in my desk for years. I think I ordered them because I liked the Pilot disposables when I was in Japan, and the Berols were the only ones available in our stationery catalogue. I can't remember why I stopped using them. If your address hasn't changed since the last time I sent you something (about six years ago), I'll send these, too.

ktinkel
07-06-2005, 09:04 AM
I have had a bunch of these (5 blue, 8 black) in my desk for years. I think I ordered them because I liked the Pilot disposables when I was in Japan, and the Berols were the only ones available in our stationery catalogue. I can't remember why I stopped using them. If your address hasn't changed since the last time I sent you something (about six years ago), I'll send these, too.My address has changed. I’ll send the new one to you.

Thanks. I just found a source for the Pilot disposables as well. As I recall, the nibs were not as smooth as the Fontaine’s, but they are still around.

LoisWakeman
07-07-2005, 12:00 AM
KT: You obviously didn't see my post above!

Michael Rowley
07-07-2005, 07:51 AM
KT:

I just want my simple fountain pen

It is difficult to see why you don't invest in a small bottle of ink then, or if you want to keep it simple, why you don't add to that a ordinary dip pen (though then you might really be scratching around for a supplier).

ktinkel
07-07-2005, 08:35 AM
It is difficult to see why you don't invest in a small bottle of ink then, or if you want to keep it simple, why you don't add to that a ordinary dip pen (though then you might really be scratching around for a supplier).Maybe it would make things clearer if I explain that I have thousands of pens, all types: fountain pens (calligraphy, writing, drawing, ruling), stick pens, with nibs for showcard lettering, calligraphy, drawing, and writing), bamboo drawing pens, goose quill pens (very hard to use), felt-tipped pens of all sorts, and more.

This particular pen, however, is a nice sketcher and decent writer — and happens to be disposable, which means the ink is sealed up inside, so I can throw it into my handbag without fear of a leak. I want more, but cannot have them. The Pilot disposable, to my recollection, is much less wonderful, but I guess that’s all there is for now.

ktinkel
07-07-2005, 08:45 AM
KT: You obviously didn't see my post above!Sorry — I did see it, but rudely failed to reply. I know the Pilot disposables, and thanks to your reminder, went looking to see if I could get them here, and I can. (Didn’t need the mess of a Pilot site, nor the U.K. Viking site — we have Viking here, too, though the pens can also be found at art supply stores).

The Pilot disposable is okay; the unavailable Berol Fontaine is wonderful. But that’s always the way: the one you want is the one you cannot have! <g>

I wonder if the modern Osmiroids even have left-handed nibs as an option. They must, I suppose — there are enough calligraphers around to support that, especially as they already have the tooling.

My handwriting is also pathetic now; some days I can scarcely sign my name legibly! But I still try, and when thinking about typefaces, like to start with pen-written characters. Helps keep the computer in its place!

Thank you for digging up the Pilot disposable pen reference. (And why doesn’t a company of that size have a decent web site, I wonder? Maybe you should send them a sales pitch — seems as if they could use a competently designed site!)

Michael Rowley
07-07-2005, 01:57 PM
KT:

so I can throw it into my handbag without fear of a leak

I was forgetting that women don't handle fountain pens properly! The clip on a fountain pen is arranged so that the pen is kept with its nib uppermost in a man's pocket; perhaps women's handbags should be fitted with a place for a fountain pen—the right way up—or provide women with sensible pockets.

Mike
07-07-2005, 11:36 PM
Thanks. I have a couple of those as well (from years ago), along with some of their technical pens. I agree — they are well made.

Still not looking for calligraphy pens though — I just want my simple fountain pen, one that doesn’t leak, that writes (and draws) smoothly, and doesn’t call for any fuss.

A little while ago a supplier sent me a Rotring Core fountain pen as recompense for a delayed order. It looks a little odd but is superb to use and very comfortable to use. It's quite chunky and that makes it easy to grip -- in fact it's the most comfortable pen I've ever used.

It's not designed to be diposable. Though rich people might treat it as such the rest of us would use standard ink cartridges.

http://www.paradisepen.com/paradise/product.asp?s%5Fid=0&dept%5Fid=21620&pf%5Fid=Rotring%5FCORE%5FTechnor&

I imagine it would also be a good pen to try for anyone who has stiff finger joints.

ktinkel
07-08-2005, 10:54 AM
A little while ago a supplier sent me a Rotring Core fountain pen as recompense for a delayed order. It looks a little odd but is superb to use and very comfortable to use. It's quite chunky and that makes it easy to grip -- in fact it's the most comfortable pen I've ever used.

It's not designed to be diposable. Though rich people might treat it as such the rest of us would use standard ink cartridges.

http://www.paradisepen.com/paradise/product.asp?s%5Fid=0&dept%5Fid=21620&pf%5Fid=Rotring%5FCORE%5FTechnor&

I imagine it would also be a good pen to try for anyone who has stiff finger joints.Thanks. Very interesting looking. I gather it is being closed out — 40% off list prices.

While poking around at pen sites, I found one that sells the Waterman Citrine (http://www.dalyspenshop.com/store/CategoryList.asp) (art deco in yellow plastic), which appeals to me a lot. For one thing, it can be had with an extra-fine nib. For another, it is gaudy and cheerful looking.

But now I am too exhausted from thinking about pens to buy anything! I did find a big box of old pens here and have been soaking them clean, however.

Mike
07-08-2005, 11:30 PM
While poking around at pen sites, I found one that sells the Waterman Citrine (http://www.dalyspenshop.com/store/CategoryList.asp) (art deco in yellow plastic), which appeals to me a lot. For one thing, it can be had with an extra-fine nib. For another, it is gaudy and cheerful looking.

It does look rather fine.

If they really are discontinuing them then I'd better buy a few while they're still around. Ebay UK has quite a few new ones on offer at around £6 each.

Susie
07-09-2005, 06:58 PM
I like the Rotring pens. I've been using one for several years.