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

Clinton man sentenced for antiques theft
Washington Times, July 23rd

The Morning Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1kbE56r ) reports that dealer David Beane says Corson stole dozens of items, including antique pens and bayonets. Beane told the judge his insurance company reimbursed him about $80,000 for missing items valued at ...Read more

Sheaffer Pen Museum to focus on “Golden Age'
Fort Madison Daily Democrat, July 11th

Featured will be original Golden Age paintings from the Sheaffer Pen Collection by Andrew Loomis, Coles Phillips and Frederic Mizen. There will also be a special showing of paintings never before exhibited by John D. Sheaffer, grandson of the founder...Read more

Hermès Nautilus Pen Collection Launched
Pursuitist, July 8th

Add a touch of elegant fashion to your writing with the new pen collection from Hermès. The French luxury fashion house has collaborated with Australian industrial designer and Japanese pen manufacturer to launch the Nautilus. Developed by Pilot for ...Read more