Tim’s Thoughts

August 2021

Ink Flow … the Feed

How fountain pens work has long fascinated me. The modern fountain pen is fundamentally a late 19th Century device with many upgrades but the same basic mechanism: a vessel that holds an ink supply, a means of transporting ink to the nib in a controlled manner and letting air supplant the ink that has flowed […]

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May 2021

Every pen has its time!

Among the many questions that come to me is why a company made a particular pen as they did, and the question is often written in the “what were they thinking” tone. Sure, pendom is full of strangeness and mistakes, but when viewed from when the decision was made, they usually make sense. With that […]

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March 2021

Turning a Corner?

When the world changed, now almost a year ago, my life’s habits changed with it. After many years, because I wasn’t using my backpack or pen case, my pattern of filling a few pens, using them empty, flushing them out, and swapping in different pens, came to a grinding halt. My favorite pen case, empty […]

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December 2020

Vintage Pens — Where to Start?

At least once a month, I get an email from someone I’ve not met, noting “Your website has gotten me intrigued by the idea of restoring and writing with vintage pens, where do I start?” These messages often lead to frequent correspondence and new friends, and I truly enjoy both. Although my first response is […]

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September 2020

Why Some Pens Don’t Work For Me

I often describe a pen as “needing a right-handed writer”, and some pens need my wife or friends to write the writing sample. Why is this? Is it me or the pen?  From my first using my first fountain pen in 1965, having received a Parker 21 for a present, I realized that the left […]

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June 2020

The Restorer’s Challenge

When I first considered turning my small hobby shop into a restoration and sales practice, I consulted a number of prominent restorers.  One of those consultations was with Ron Zorn of Main Street Pens, with whom I spent the better part of a day in conversation at a Long Island Pen Show.  He told me […]

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March 2020

Selling the Oversized Sheaffer Balance? Really?

No, this isn’t a commercial for a pen that is listed in the For Sale page. Yes, I’m having some misgivings about selling the oversized Sheaffer Balance in Marine Green from the core of my collection, but I think this is a decision that will stay decided. I’ve owned this pen since the first year […]

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December 2019

An Admission

Looking at the pens in my three-pen everyday carry case this holiday week, I am ready to acknowledge publicly that all three are modern pens. This is pretty heady stuff for someone so devoted to vintage pens. No, I’m not preparing to rename my company “xxxx, formerly known as timsvintagepens”, because I do still love […]

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September 2019

Making Parts

Some months back, this space was devoted to my purchase of a vintage machine lathe for fabricating replacement parts for vintage fountain pens. Eight months later, after getting-to-know-you learning, restoration, repair, and experiencing the first steps, sidetracks, and culs-de-sac of machining’s very long learning curve, I have now produced my first pen part, the sac […]

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July 2019

On Selling Esterbrooks…

Over the past few months, after placing the large listing here and on the Fountain Pen Network, I’ve sold a lot of Esterbrooks. As usual, this has made me think about the history of what I sell and why a pen sells when another doesn’t. I continually find that selling Esterbrooks isn’t like selling any […]

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