Vintage pens, in particular fountain pens, are highly collectible and come in a wide variety of colors and styles, from elaborate jewel-encrusted casings to sleek and simple cigar-shaped designs. There are three main types of vintage pens: 1) dip pens have a nib to dip into an inkwell; 2) fountain pens have a self-contained ink reservoir; and 3) ballpoint pens have a little ball that allows ink to flow out when the pen is put to paper.

The 1920s were a time of innovation and prosperity for pen manufacturers, who started developing plastic pens in a variety of colors and styles. The Sheaffer Balance, released in 1929, started a trend toward streamlined pens. The 1930s saw the introduction of more affordable models, sold in dime stores. The 1940s ushered in ballpoint pens, and a more modern look typified by the famous 'Parker 51', the classic collector pen released by Parker in 1950.

Up until the 1960s, the emphasis in the pen industry was on the development of better-performing and easier-filling pens through innovations in nib and reservoir technology. In the mid-1880s, craftsmen had created the first reliable fountain pen, but it had a long way to go.

By the 1960s, ball point and cartridge technology had made performance a non-issue, and manufacturers like Parker, Sheaffer, Waterman and Montblanc began to focus on fancier material and designs, with a variety of colors, lacquers, and engravings to differentiate their high-end products. Pens became a gift item and fashion statement, and were ultimately produced as limited editions for the collector market.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Parker51.com

Parker51.com

Ernesto Soler's extensive homage to one of the most popular pens ever produced, the Parker "51," introduced in 1941… [read review or visit site]

Penhero.com

Penhero.com

Jim Mamoulides' vintage and modern pen-cyclopedia. Start at the main gallery, featuring detailed articles (with pho… [read review or visit site]



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Recent News: Pens

Source: Google News

It's back to school for Hampton Roads writers
The Times (subscription), September 1st

Take a look at its Touring Pen Collection, which tackles a special matter every month. October's session, "Self-editing: What to search for and methods to right amateurish writing errors," is scheduled 9:15 a.m. to midday Oct. 24 at Tidewater Group...Read more

Bezar x Cross Townsend "Star Wars" Pen Collection
BallerStatus.com, September 1st

The Star Wars collabs keep coming, as fans eagerly await the release of the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens film. The latest release is from a collab with Bezar and Cross Townsend for a series of limited edition pens. For the collection, the...Read more

QUIZ: How many of these were on your 90s back to school list?
Metro, August 29th

August bank holiday weekend when you were a kid in the 90s meant only one thing… school was approaching fast and you needed to sort your essentials out. In the 90s it wasn't about making sure you had the latest iPhone, your issues were far bigger than ...Read more

Village Matters
Laguna Beach Independent Newspaper, August 27th

One time I went in looking for a nib for an antique pen I had bought. It wasn't even as new as a fountain pen, it was the kind you dip into an ink well. Mel rummaged around behind the counter and came up with a new pen point that fit the old pen perfectly...Read more

Don't forget, silly!
Daily Californian, August 26th

You aren't impressing your English 45A peers with your rainbow pen collection. Hell, you probably won't even re-read the notes you're taking. Spare the pen, spoil the child. Get caught playing pinball in class. It's not silly that you were doing...Read more

Montegrappa Unveils New Pen-Collection Inspired by Bugatti Veyron - Photo Gallery
autoevolution, July 6th

When the EB110 was unveiled the luxury writing instruments manufacturer partnered up with Bugatti for the first time. More than 20 years later, the Montegrappa has once again partnered up with the French carmaker for a new line of premium pens that...Read more

David Oscarson's New Alexander Fleming Pen Collection
Quill & Pad, May 6th

David Oscarson has been creating luxury fountain pens since 2000 when he launched his eponymous brand with the limited edition Henrik Wigstrom Trophy pen collection. Since then, he has created 23 limited edition pen collections – three of which have ...Read more

The fascination with fountain pens
BBC News, December 9th

Duni is one of thousands, perhaps millions, of people worldwide who love and collect fountain pens. Some seek vintage pens, from the late 19th century, while others are attracted to newer, high-end creations from brands including Montblanc and Dunhill...Read more