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Back from DC!

Whew! That was a great trip, but it was exhausting. I think I might still be kinda tired from that one. We drove up to DC on Friday afternoon and stayed at my Aunt's place for the weekend. We don't get to see her enough, so that was great. Got up early on Saturday, and we were at the Sheraton where they were holding the show by 10am. I wanted to get there early because I was on a mission to have Ron Zorn fix up my Parker 51.

My mother and aunt unearthed my grandfather's 51 for me about a month ago, and it hadn't been used in at least 30 years. Maybe longer. It's in great shape but, even after I cleaned it out as well as I knew how, it wouldn't write. I know how to open one up (in theory), but I wasn't willing to learn on this particular 51. Anyway, we got on the list (16th! on the list) and Ron fixed it up in a jiffy. It turns out that the (gold!) nib was just too tight for some reason. Anyway, it writes like a charm now. I'm super-happy about that.

After we put our names on the Zorn-list we went back and scoped out the vendors who were giving away things at the show. We got a nice, free messenger bag from the Sheaffer table, and entered a drawing for a pen. Then we walked around forever trying to find the Stipula table because they were giving away a bottle of ink to the first 200 people to ask for one. We didn't find it until much later. We must have walked past this particular table 15 times before we stumbled on it. They gave us a goodie bag with a huge (70ml?!) bottle of Calamo ink (it's a nice light-coffee color), some ink cartridges, and some ball point refills.

Then we worked out way through all of the tables in the lobby (mostly brand-tables) and found some seriously nice pens from a Swiss company called Edelberg. The guys at that table were a pair of really-friendly Europeans who were pretty psyched to tell us all about their carbon fiber and Ti pens. Every table should have a team like these guys. We didn't buy anything from them (since we were a little scared to ask for prices), but they were still awesome.

We drooled over the Visconti table, and we got to play with some of their pens. That Homo Sapiens pen is strictly awesome. It's made of lava and genius. I'll have to win one in a contest of some kind, because I'd need lottery-money to buy one.

We tried out some Conklin pens (made in Toledo, OH), and Audrey discovered that she loves a stub nib. It makes her handwriting look pretty awesome. Mine is okay with a stub, but hers is really good. We'll have to find a stub for her one of these days.

We checked out some Sailor pens at their testing table, and they have some fantastic nibs. The one pictured here at the right is from their website. We were having too much fun to take pictures of them. This nib is called a "cross emperor" nib, and it's probably the best thing ever. That clip on top is an over-feed that makes sure the crazy nib doesn't run out of ink. Seriously, why use one nib when you can use two at once?

Next to them was Tree Ring Pens. These pens have barrels that are made from cores taken out of old trees. They're taken from trees that are cut down as parts of forest restoration projects. If you want something that is a unique piece of natural history, then you should check these out. They're beautiful pens, and they write like a charm. Of course, they're a little out of our price-range.

Audrey got a Diplomat Traveler in a really nice pale green color. We'd met these reps at the Raleigh pen show, and they remembered us. We scored a pretty solid discount, and they threw in some ink cartridges and a converter. It's a nice pen, and I'm going to have to convince Audrey to write a review of it after she's had a chance to use it a bit.

We got to meet Tyler, the guy behind Organics Studio Inks. We had a nice chat, and I picked up samples of everything he had. They're some really nice colors, and it's going to take some time to work through all of them.

We also got to meet the Goulets at the show. Brian and Rachel were really nice, and took a moment to take a picture with yours truly. Aww. It's good to meet people that you think are great and have them live up to your expectations.

Anywho, we also visited with the Andersons from Anderson Pens. They're also really nice folks, and it was cool to chat with them again. We met them at the Raleigh show, and I bought a TWSBI 700 from them at that show. This time they talked me into a TWSBI 540, and that was my major purchase at this year's show. I'm looking forward to using it. We also picked up some Aurora black ink, a Platinum Preppy, and a Sheaffer with some cartridges from them.

The Sheaffer is going to be a first FP for Liz, who is a new student in Audrey's lab. She rode along with us to the DC area to visit some friends, and we can't resist roping more people into our FP habit. We were all a little punchy on the drive back to NC, but a good time was had by all.

Here's a picture of our haul from the show:

All told:
  • 2x 15ml Private Reserve Invincible Black inks  (gratis)
  • 1 giant bottle of Stipula ink (gratis)
  • 1 bottle of Aurora Black ink
  • 10 samples from Organics Studio ink
  • 3x black cartridges from various places
  • 2x sailor gel pens  (gratis)
  • Platinum Preppy FP
  • Diplomat Traveler FP
  • Rose colored Sheaffer for Liz
  • Unknown silver aluminum Sheaffer FP
  • Fixed! Parker 51 
  • Wing Sung 613 (a P51 knock-off)
  • TWSBI 540 fine in orange
  • some free bags, magazine, catalogs, and a million cards
  • Good times x100
If you can hit that show, then you should. 
Post Comment
Bana Sıkça Yaz said...

Oh I guess you had great fun in DC! The Sheaffer in black box (the one has Pelikan cartridge box on top) is a Sheaffer 9406.


Mike Matteson said...

Thanks for the ID. I actually didn't know the model number of that one, but the "mystery" Sheaffer that I was talking about is the silver one in the black/clear plastic case with the small "$10" tag on it. Any idea what that one is?

GourmetPens said...

Oooh thank you for posting about the pen show! I'm so green with envy... I'm living vicariously through all you lucky folks who got to attend. Fingers crossed I'll be able to attend next year!!

Love the haul too! I'm also a huge fan of the Organics Studio inks. They're wonderfully behaved.

Brian Goulet said...

It was cool to meet you, Michael! Thanks for including me in your post :) The show was a lot of fun, it's always good to get to meet fountain pen people face to face! So much of what I do is online everyday, it's neat to get to be in one place where everyone's going bananas over fountain pens together :)