I missed last weeks Esterbrook nib notes, but I’m picking back up up this week with a very nice fine nib. The Esterbrook #9555 Fine nib is listed in a 1955 nib chart as being for “Fine Writing” and includes shorthand marks. It’s listed in a 1959 nib chart as being for shorthand, no mention of fine writing and it’s not listed as a fine nib, just “shorthand”. Although it is listed between an extra fine and a fine nib.
The nib is 9xxx series “Master Duracrome Point” nib that is tipped with Osmiridium. Esterbrook called it Osmiridium which is an alloy of osmium and iridium. At the time the make-up of Osmiridium wasn’t clearly defined and it may have been more iridium than anything else. The nib has “Esterbrook 9555” engraved lengthwise on the nib which looks sharp and is a style I like.
My particular nib came with a pen and was in mint condition without any signs of use. I see the nib on eBay for just over $20 (buy it now). Anderson Pens lists it at $12 but doesn’t have it in stock so the price may change if they get some.
As I found when I researched the #1555 nib, Gregg Publishing licensed the name for pens (and nibs) that met their standards. Thin and firm nibs were preferred for shorthand because they allowed for quicker writing. But it looks like there were additional requirements beyond just a firm fine nib.
Like the #1555, this nib meets those requirements and is very smooth. I can see that it would perform very well with quick writing and frequent direction changes. The nib puts down a nice crisp, solid line with a good amount of ink. Even though Fuyu-syogun is on the dry flowing side, there’s very good flow from this nib.
I like the Esterbrook #9555 Fine nib a lot. It’s a relatively low cost 9xxx series Esterbrook nib which makes it even easier to like. I’ll be keeping this Esterbrook inked up and I’ll use it until it runs dry.