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Nibs

>The nib of the fountain pen is usually made of stainless steels or gold. Gold nibs are tipped with a hard, wear-resistant alloy that typically utilizes metals from the platinum group. The tipping material is often called "iridium", even though hardly any pen makers still use that metal in their tipping alloys. Steel nibs may also have harder tips; those with un-tipped steel points will wear more rapidly due to abrasion by the paper. The nib will adjust itself more readily to the user's style the more rapidly the nib wears down.
The nib usually has one slit cut down its center, to convey the ink down the nib by capillary action, as well as a "breather hole" of varying shape to promote the exchange of air for ink in the pen's reservoir. The whole nib narrows to a point where the ink is transferred to the paper. Broad calligraphy pens may have several slits in the nib to increase ink flow and help distribute it evenly across the broad point. Nibs divided into three 'tines' are commonly known as 'music' nibs, as their broad line is suited for writing musical scores.
Although the most common nibs end in a round point of various sizes (fine, medium, broad), other nib shapes are available. Examples of this are oblique, reverse oblique, stub and italic.
Fountain pens dating from the first half of the 20th century are more likely to have flexible nibs, suited to the favored handwriting styles of the period. By the 1940s, writing preferences had shifted towards stiffer nibs that could withstand the greater pressure required for writing through copy paper to create duplicate documents. These more closely emulate the ballpoint pens modern users are experienced with, but are often described as feeling like "writing with a nail" by those who prefer the feel of a more flexible nib.
 

Links

Links related ...

Essentials, for pen aficionados
Major Pen Manufacturers
Vintage Pen Collectors and Dealers

Essentials, for pen aficionados

"  Glen's Pen Page A complete Pen's nib information, among other is available through this site .

" Subscribe to Tom Zoss' pens mailing list, in four expanded formats, and join an ongoing e-mail conversation about all things pen-ish.

"  Pen Trace Where the serious "aficionados" get together.

"  Embossing Seals  Highest quality of architect seals, wax seals, corporate seals and stationary embossers at competitive prices at custom embossers.

 

Some major pen manufacturers

"  Glen's Pen Page Offers a complete list of world wide pen manufacturers.

"  Pelikan website (in English and German) offers history, tips, and links to a collectors' service.

"  Waterman's website focuses on this French firm's artist and technical pens, as well as on general writing instruments.

"  Pilot is one of Japan's leading makers of pens of all kinds, selling their better products under the Namiki name.

"  Visconti is an Italian maker of pens in traditional materials and styles.

"  Caran d'Ache a leader Swiss pen manufacturer with beautiful stuff.

"  Parafernalia one of the most innovative Italian pen manufacturers.

"  A. T. Cross is one of the oldest firms in the writing instrument business today, and has successfully reestablished itself as a seller of fine fountain pens.

ubscribe to Tom

" Zoss' pens mailing list, in four expanded formats, and join an ongoing e-mail conversation about all things pen-ish.

"  Pen Trace Where the serious "aficionados" get together.

 

Some major pen manufacturers

"  Glen's Pen Page Offers a complete list of world wide pen manufacturers.

"  Pelikan website (in English and German) offers history, tips, and links to a collectors' service.

"  Waterman's website focuses on this French firm's artist and technical pens, as well as on general writing instruments.

"  Pilot is one of Japan's leading makers of pens of all kinds, selling their better products under the Namiki name.

"  Visconti is an Italian maker of pens in traditional materials and styles.

"  Caran d'Ache a leader Swiss pen manufacturer with beautiful stuff.

"  Parafernalia one of the most innovative Italian pen manufacturers.

"  A. T. Cross is one of the oldest firms in the writing instrument business today, and has successfully reestablished itself as a seller of fine fountain pens.

"  Stipula a principal Italian pen manufacturer

 

Some vinatge pen collectors and dealers.

"  Glen's Pen Page Glen has thorough information about dealers and pen collections.

"  Werner Kleinhorst offers a big collection of pens, mainly German, with lots of brands seldom seen here in the USA. Werner also runs a unique pens-only online auction where you can bid on pens over the web.

"  Jim Gaston who helps run the CompuServe pen forum, features pens and ephemera (including blotters and print ads).

" This is Bill Acker's page.

" The Club Internazionale della Stilografica Armando Simoni (named for the founder of OMAS) has a very fine website (in Italian, look for the link to the English version).

" Jonathan Steinberg sells high-end vintage pens and other collectibles; his website  offers information, pictures, and excerpts from his lavishly illustrated and very wryly-written book Fountain Pens.


When I worked for Cartier.
  Eye dropper ink filling  
 
The reservoirs of the earliest fountain pens were mostly filled by eyedropper. This was a  process: very few eyedropper-filling pens are made today. However, its simplicity meant that an eyedropper-filler could hold more ink than  a self-filling pen .
After the eyedropper-filler era came the self-fillers, using a rubber sac. The sac was compressed and then released by various mechanisms to fill the pen.
The Conklin crescent filler,
Following the crescent filler came a series of systems of increasing complexity, reaching their apogee in the Sheaffer Touchdown and Snorkel systems. With the introduction of cartridge pens by Waterman-Jif, though, many of these systems were phased out in favor of convenience (but reduced capacity). Today, most pens use either a piston filler or a cartridge; many pens can use a converter, a device which has the same fitting as the pen's cartridge, but has a filling mechanism and a reservoir attached to it. This enables a pen to either fill from cartridges, or from a bottle of ink.
The piston filler was first introduced in the original Pelikan of 1929 (although the concept was from Croatia). The idea was simple: turn a knob at the end of the pen, and a screw mechanism will draw a piston up the barrel, sucking in ink. While the capacity of these pens was less than that of the better sac systems and eyedropper pens, they were easier to fill. Their limited capacity is due to size of the piston unit: some of the earlier models had to dedicate as much as half of the pen length to the mechanism. The advent of telescoping pistons has improved this.