Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vintage Fountain Pens Restored + New Pilot 78G

If you've been following my blog these past few months, you'd see that just a little while ago I acquired two vintage fountain pens from the 1920s. They were found in the garage while my dad was cleaning it out. I believe they may have been from a great grandparent of mine, but I am not positive. One is a Moore Tuscan L-93, in excellent condition and the other is a Black/Red Yankee, which is in good condition and missing the screw-on end piece for the cap. I had them restored by Phil Munson of Munson Fountain Pen Restoration. He did a fantastic job in allowing these pens to write again, over 80 years later. I highly recommend checking out his blog for an in-depth post about these particular pens he restored for me.

Here are some pictures that Phil took showing the process, before and after.

First, the Yankee fountain pen:

Yankee Fountain Pen, Before Restoration

Yankee Fountain Pen, After Restoration, Posted

Yankee Fountain Pen, After Restoration, Capped

And now, the Moore Tuscan L-93:

Moore Tuscan L-93, Before Restoration
Moore Tuscan L-93, After Restoration, Posted
Moore Tuscan L-93, After Restoration, Capped

And now for the second half of my post, I will show writing samples of the above two pens and also highlight my new Pilot 78G (IMO, currently one of the best values in fountain pens on the market today). When I had the Moore and Yankee restored, I wanted to use Waterman Florida Blue in one, and Noodler's Bulletproof Black in the other. I was hesitant to use the modern Noodler's in an old pen, so I broke down and bought a more modern pen to use it with, a black/gold Pilot 78G. I ordered it from Stationery Art for just under $10 shipped, with a gold-plated fine nib. I read stories where people were claiming that the fine Pilot nib was actually the equivalent of an extra-fine, so I was expecting a scratchy nib like the extra-fine Moore Tuscan. Worrying I ordered the wrong pen and wouldn't enjoy another scratchy extra-fine nib, I ordered another one with a green barrel and a medium nib. I was pleasantly surprised when I received the one with the fine nib however, and inked it with Noodler's Bulletproof Black. It writes more smoothly than both of my vintage pens, and it looks great. It wasn't as extremely fine as I had expected, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'm hoping the medium nib version will write more like my Yankee, which is the perfect size in my opinion.

Pilot 78G, Black/Gold Trim, Posted

If you notice in the first picture, the Pilot 78G looks and feels a lot more expensive than it really is. I would have expected to pay at least 5x as much as I paid for it. It truly is a bargain. The only thing I don't care for is the cheap-looking sticker on it, that is off-centered and says "Pilot, -F-" although I'll probably leave it on, for collecting purposes. You will also notice the bit of nib-crawl, which is characteristic of Noodler's Bulletproof Black inks.

And finally, the writing samples in a Moleskine sketchbook:

You may not be able to tell, but these actually improve my hand-writing!
*note* I just recently started practicing cursive again, I hadn't used it since elementary school!
Lastly, how do the two vintage pens write? The Moore Tuscan is probably the equivalent of an extra-fine, and uses the Maniflex nib. The Yankee pen writes fantastic, but it suffers from hard-starting and initial inconsistencies due to the missing cap piece allowing the nib to dry out between uses. I'm using Waterman Florida Blue in both, a superb ink that plays well with vintage fountain pens. As I mentioned above, I'm using Noodler's Bulletproof Black in the Pilot 78G. If you're in the market for a fountain pen, but don't want to spend an arm and a leg, definitely do yourself a favor and pick up one (or more) of the Pilot 78G pens. They're fantastic. A special thanks again to Phil @ Munson Fountain Pen Restoration for restoring my vintage fountain pens.

-Derek (ThirdeYe)

1 comment:

  1. These were really great information given by you, well according to my point of view, I think that Vintage fountain pens are a very highly popular collectible item, and also liked by many people, even it is also one of my favourite.
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