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      Paul met Debbie
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      “None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain pen, or half of its cussedness – but we can try”,

      said Samuel Langhorne Clemens  (1835 – 1910). We know him by his pen name Mark Twain, the father of American literature.

      American literature is not very well known to me, but (next to some poems by T.S. Eliot) I have read Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer when I was young and enjoyed this.

      Mark Twain also was interested in the fountain pen industry, in particular of the Conklin crescent filler, which he promoted fiercely.  This fountain pen was a new invention. Before, fountain pens were so called “eye-droppers”: you had to fill the barrel of the pen by dropping ink in it, which was a messy and time consuming process. Conklin designed a pen with an internal ink reservoir, a rubber sac that could be compressed with an internal crescent, and when the nib was dipped in an ink bottle and the crescent was released, the rubber sac sucked up the ink. This was a much cleaner way of filling a pen with ink and Twain loved it. He wrote:

      “I prefer it to ten other fountain pens because it carries its filler in its own stomach (…). Also, I adore it because it is a profanity saver; it cannot roll off the desk.”

      To this day, Conklin sells a line of Mark Twain fountain pens created in tribute to this most celebrated American humorist.

      Although we have a small collection of fountain pens, we don’t (yet …) have a Conklin. So far, our collection is oriented more towards European and Japanese pens, although we have one vintage Parker pen and two Waterman’s. But if you want to read more about the meditative role of fountain pens in our lives, please read the Tale I wrote about this recently: Writing with a fountain pen. You can find it here on our website.

      What is your experience with fountain pens?

      Have an inky Sunday!

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