Retro writing (10 Jul, 2017)

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Retro writing (10 Jul, 2017)

Postby aardvark_admin » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:08 am

This column is archived at: http://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2017/0710.shtml

Do you have fond (or otherwise) memories of using nib and fountain pens early in your education?

Now that fountain pens are making a come-back, will you be joining the movement and buying one of the new generation of these writing implements?

When was the last time you wrote anything in cursive script (joined-up writing)?
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Re: Retro writing (10 Jul, 2017)

Postby Greg » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:17 am

Thanks for the nostalgia Bruce. My goodness, I felt soooo grown-up when I got my first fountain pen!
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Re: Retro writing (10 Jul, 2017)

Postby Hiro Protagonist » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:46 am

Ever read any books by Neal Stephenson?

Apparently he writes all his books with a fountain pen.
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Re: Retro writing (10 Jul, 2017)

Postby par_annoyed » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:57 am

Sorry Bruce, but in UK, we got pencils (early 1960's). No desks with inkwells that I remember. But there was always the 'broken pencil' and the hassle with a sharpener, but not nearly as much grief as a nib pen, or the blue finger syndrome. Everything else though (joined up - perfect ovals, correct arm alignment) in my memory matches up pretty closely.

I also remember the cartridge pens were popular at secondary school (with the plastic tube ink reservoir), and they didn't seem to leak as often - I think they used thicker ink. Parker and Scheaffer were the pricier ones and er... Platignum ? Platinum ? something like that, were the cheaper ones. I guess the cartridge was in its own way just like a printer refill cartridge.....

At secondary school we were expected to use an ink pen and not a biro. ball points ok for notes, but not for presented work... the rich kids got Parkers (and above), and us poorer ones had plastic Platignum ones which did leak now and again.... And a popular but silly thing was to jump on the cartridges and 'pop' them to get ink everywhere.... It was actually quite difficult, you had to get your shoe just right on the cartridge ! And you had to use dark blue ink, funky colours (like purple) were definitely NOT allowed.

When I make notes now I have a couple of modern 'push button' pencils what you buy 0.5/0.7mm leads for - probably obsolete too, but I have a nearly full box of leads, probably still about 10 years supply at the rate I go ....

I had a long run of ball point 'gum ups' a couple of years ago, and it's much less hassle to use pencils.....
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Re: Retro writing (10 Jul, 2017)

Postby GSVNoFixedAbode » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:06 am

Luckily I escaped the nibs: went from pencil straight to Fountain pen - but not those fancy cartridge thingies, noooo.

Being a Lefty I LOATHED the fountain pen, and was desperate to be allowed to use a biro when they started to appear!
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Re: Retro writing (10 Jul, 2017)

Postby Muz » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:09 am

Yup, when these were released most of the messy side of fountain pens disappeared http://www.whitcoulls.co.nz/parker-quink-ink-cartridge-pack-of-5-black-5589539

I loved my stainless steel Parker with embossed nib but eventually the lure of the slimmer fountain pen was too great.

Now I don't own a pen, there is always a Bic biro lying around somewhere when I need it.
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Re: Retro writing (10 Jul, 2017)

Postby par_annoyed » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:14 am

GSVNoFixedAbode wrote:Luckily I escaped the nibs: went from pencil straight to Fountain pen - but not those fancy cartridge thingies, noooo.

Being a Lefty I LOATHED the fountain pen, and was desperate to be allowed to use a biro when they started to appear!


I remember in UK, they made special pens for lefties, with a different angle on the nib, as it's almost impossible for a left hander to use a right handed ink pen ?
But of course one had to shop around to find one, and they cost more of course.
I can't remember for sure if there was an LH 'cheap' cartridge pen, but I guess there must have been.

i can imagine it must be purgatory for a left hander to write with liquid ink, very hard not to smudge what you've just written....

But again in school I remember the teachers saying "NO!! use your RIGHT hand" and a smack with the ruler (no, not me, but one of my friends)

Bloody terrible now that I look back, but that was the way then.
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Re: Retro writing (10 Jul, 2017)

Postby phord » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:29 am

These days, on the rare occasions I write on paper, I have to really concentrate to make it legible, otherwise the writing looks like that of a 5 year old.
It's like watching slow motion video.
I am losing the neural pathways that were formed for the purpose if handwriting.
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Re: Retro writing (10 Jul, 2017)

Postby phill » Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:25 pm

i still have my platinum nibbed parker sterling silver pen ( a much prized possession ) that is used for significant in my life signatures
( quirks being a wonderful thing )
i also have a few osmiroid pens with multitude nib shapes as they are the benchmark for calligraphy .. a beautiful writing style still much sort after and as yet for me still sadly unmastered

luckily the only dip pens we ever used were the mapping ones .. and as such very rarely used

ball pens became the norm at a loss of the style that only nibbed pens with their change of line thickness depending on angle could obtain

i guess a lot would be similar to me in the ratio of words written to words typed
where written is probably just the shopping list and typing everything else
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Re: Retro writing (10 Jul, 2017)

Postby Grumpy » Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:43 pm

par_annoyed wrote:i can imagine it must be purgatory for a left hander to write with liquid ink, very hard not to smudge what you've just written....

But again in school I remember the teachers saying "NO!! use your RIGHT hand" and a smack with the ruler (no, not me, but one of my friends)


In the late 1930's we also had slates and slate pencils from which we graduated to the nib pen and ink. Did anyone here remember flicking ink across the class room whilst the teacher was otherwise occupied?

I am fortunate in being ambidextrous but in my Primary School days had a preference for writing with my left hand. It took some severe ruler whacking on my left wrist before I reluctantly converted to using my right hand for 'pen writing'.

Gee Bruce, I had completely forgotten about 'blotting paper' which also had a use as trying out arithmetic problems before writing the results in ink.

And yes, I still use cursive writing a lot when drafting out a report or putting ideas onto paper etc. All my professional life I 'wrote' letters/reports in 'long-hand' for the typists. I retired just as computers started being used in the workplace.
Last edited by Grumpy on Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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