Thoughts

My Thoughts page is something between a blog and a soliloquy. Vintage pen restoration is a passion that convenes my interests in pens, handwork, and cultural history, so Thoughts helps me find a means of expressing the parts of this work that are not evident in the pens themselves.

March 2018

Italian Vintage !

As noted with the March website update, timsvintagepens has started listing the dozen fine vintage Italian fountain pens purchased from a collector in Italy. Learning about these pens has been quite an adventure for me, both because there is so little information available and because it has been an awakening to a different culture’s historical manufacturing and marketing methods. Manufacturing...

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January 2018

Website 2.0

For months I’ve been telling friends that a new website is coming…and it has arrived!  With thanks to Jesse, the brilliant developer who understood my vision of a real database driving a site that looked like my 1.0 site, timsvintagepens.com is now able to handle many more pens, display their content and photos in a much more user-friendly manner, and...

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November 2017

Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving, a time to be thankful. Indeed, I’m plenty thankful for my new friendship with A, in Italy. A is a retired architect who is selling his collection, bit by bit. We met each other on eBay, where I had purchased his lovely ’60’s Columbus Extra that was missing a nib. A’s Italian always comes to me with Google’s...

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October 2017

Plexor

I’ve recently received an oversize Plexor pen, the first I’ve seen. Plexors are interesting curiosities, perhaps the only Parkers to not carry the Parker name in some form. Their history’s documentation is not unequivocal, but the gist of it is that during World War II, French industry was only allowed to use French or Germany-allied manufacturing materials. With most of...

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August 2017

Two years in

It is a little hard to believe, but timsvintagepens has been operating for two years, as of early September. Although I had been restoring and selling pens for some years, during the summer of 2015 I realized that I was completing more projects than I could sell by word of mouth or Fountain Pen Network listing, that the growing volume...

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July 2017

51 and 88

This month I restored three 1950’s Aurora 88s and several Parker 51’s in succession. This combination is interesting because Aurora designed the 88 to emulate the Parker 51’s carried by the American soldiers in their return to Italy under the Marshall Plan. Yes, both have gold caps and black barrels, and both have hooded nibs, and both are exactly the...

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June 2017

French pens and Build Your Own Esterbrook

With a traveling friend’s recent delivery from France in hand, I recently found myself staring at a large handful of pre- and post-WWII French projects and realizing that I have developed a particular fondness for them that is quite unlike my taste for other pens. I’m hoping, when I’ve restored the Edacotos, Unics, French Matador, StyloChap, Parker La Plume and...

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April 2017

JJ Lax Pen Co

I won’t do this often, but my Thought with this update is a plug for JJ Lax Pen Co. Joshua Lax, a friend here in New York, and I started doing pen work around the same time, each in his own direction. Happily for me, Joshua’s main interest grew into nib repair and customization. He has studied under Richard Binder,...

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March 2017

A Restorer’s Mystery 

Benchtop surprises are part of restoring vintage fountain pens, and one appeared on my bench this past week. As I have worked my way through the large batch of a collector’s vintage pens, I knew there was a dark blue 1950’s Summit awaiting its turn. Summits, like Wyverns, Stephens, many Conway Stewarts, and the better Burnhams and Mentmores, are working...

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March 2017

Ever Seen a Brick of Esterbrooks?

Last night the mother lode of Esterbrook fountain pens arrived, along with numerous Parkers, Sheaffers, and other pens, including a group of fifteen 1930’s lower level pens that will make interesting restoration projects. Esterbrooks J’s were made, to quote Richard Binder, in “vast quantities” from the end of WWII through the 1950’s, and are always desirable writers — attractive, well-made...

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