Ink Notes: Edison Herald with Diamine Golden Brown Ink

Photo of the Edison Herald

I spent a lot of time using the Edison Herald with a fine nib and Diamine Golden Brown ink during the past week. I filled four Edison Pens with brown ink and alternated their use until I eventually gravitated to this one. I was easily the most used pen this week. Not so much because I liked it the best. Rather, it was for almost the opposite reason – I was undecided whether or not I liked the combo.

When it first hit the paper I thought the ink was too light. Golden Brown is a good name for it, with an emphasis on “Gold”. But I found it easy enough to read on the various papers I used, all of which tended to be a variation of white. While it doesn’t rise to the level of favorite, the color grew on me over time and I kind of like it. Well, at least I don’t dislike it.

As for the ink/pen combo? Hmmm. I didn’t have any actual performance issues. It wrote without hesitation or skipping from first time the nib hit the paper to the last word. The ink is a very dry ink, at least compared to other inks I’ve used, without much saturation. This does mean it dries fast. It was under 5 seconds on the paper I used, except for Rhodia where it was 5 or 6 seconds.

The ink wasn’t flowing very freely in the converter but that didn’t seem to be the cause of the dry lines. But after writing a couple pages the pen did begin to feel like it was straining to put ink on the paper and the line was even drier and lighter.

I still have some of the sample left so for its next pen I’ll pick a thicker and wetter nib and see how it handles that.

Bottom Line: The ink is nice but a little light for my personal taste. I’d also prefer a little more saturation. Maybe I’ll like it more in a thicker nib. But in any event, I don’t expect I’ll like the ink enough to invest in a bottle.

As for the pen: Like all my Edisons it writes without any problems and I like the color a lot. That iPhone picture makes it look much darker than it really is. The pen is about as small as I feel comfortable writing with. I don’t post my pens and while this is post-able I’d always be concerned the cap would eventually mar the finish if it’s posted tight enough not to fall off.

This is one pen/ink combo I won’t repeat even though the ink color complements the pen color nicely.

Additional Reading: FPN Reviews here and here

Pleasant Surprises

On Monday I wrote about my pen disappointments of 2012. Now it’s time to get more upbeat with the pleasant pen surprises of 2012. Like the disappointments I limited myself to pens I received in 2012. Like the disappointments this is completely subjective and  based on my expectations.

My first pleasant surprise came in March in the form pf an Antique Marble Edison Collier with an extra fine nib. This was my first Edison pen and while I had read good things about them I didn’t really know what to expect. What I got was a great looking, well built pen. The steel nib writes great without any issues.

That first Edison triggered an addiction and I’ve added three more Edison pens. Plus I have two more on order including a Signature Line pen.

My second pleasant surprise was in July. This time it was the Franklin-Christoph Model 66 Stabilis Desk Pen with an extra fine steel nib. This was my first F-C pen so I didn’t know what to expect. There was even less info than there was about Edison, although what I found was positive about the company and their other pens. I absolutely loved the pen and reviewed it here. This pen also triggered an addiction and I added four more Franklin-Christoph pens to my accumulation.

That was it for 2012 pleasant surprises. They offset the two disappointments. Of course, now that my expectations for Edison and Franklin-Christoph pens are so high they probably won’t make this list in 2013.

What were your 2012 pleasant pen surprises?

Made In America

One of my first jobs was as a computer network tech and one customer was Sikorsky, the helicopter maker. It was cool walking down the factory floor watching the helicopters come together in my own backyard. While fountain pens can be made in smaller factories I still have an affinity for ones made in my home country. There’s not a lot to choose from but I like the options.

While several pen companies are U.S. based or have a U.S. headquarters only a few manufacture here. These are the U.S. made pens I’ve accumulated.

Bexley Pen (

Photo of the Bexley Pen 2007 Owner's Club pen
Bexley Pen – 2007 Owner’s Club in Mahogany

Bexley is oftern described as the last U.S. manufacturer of fountain pens. As we’ll see, that’s not entirely true, although they may be the only one that can be described as a major manufacturer.

I bought my first Bexley pen in October of 2005, a orange Bexley Submariner. Unfortunately it’s one of two fountain pen I’ve ever lost (The other being a Lamy Safari). At the time I lost it, it was my favorite pen and it always had ink in it.

The Bexley Imperial I added in July is the fifth Bexley in my current accumulation. I like most of the Bexley designs and the pens have held up well. Three of them are ebonite/hard rubber pens which is a particular weakness of mine. I have two of the 2007 owner’s club pens (both hard rubber), in addition to an ebonite Imperial, an Intrepid and a Poseidon.

Franklin-Christoph (

Photo of the Franklin-Christoph Model 25
Franklin-Christoph Model 25

While their website doesn’t specifically say all their pens are made in the U.S., the ones I’ve accumulated have been. They also have a manufacturing facility in Houston, TX according to their website.

While I just learned of F-C this year, I’ve already added four of their pens to my accumulation. The workmanship has been great and they feel solidly built. But with less than six months experience I can’t speak to their long term durability, but my expectations are high. Especially since they offer a lifetime warranty.

Edison Pen Co. (

Photo of the Edison Collier pen
Edison Pen Co – Collier in Antique Marble

Edison is another brand that is new to me this year. It’s a one man operation, but since the guy is in Ohio they are certainly American made. Like the other pens I’ve mentioned, the workmanship and quality is great. I haven’t had them long enough to know their durability, but my expectations are high. I have the Collier, Herald, Nouveau Premiere and a Pearl.

Gate City Pen

Photo of The Belmont Pen
Gate City Pen – The Belmont Pen

Gate City Pen is a brand created by Richard Binder. Their tagline is “Modern Pens, Vintage Flair”. The three Gate City pens I have were clearly made by Bexley although the designs were unique (I assume Richard does all the design and Bexley manufactures). I have the New Dunn Pen, the New Postal Senior, and the Belmont. All Gate City Pens have unique fill systems. Well, unique to modern pens since they’ve vintage inspired.

Wrapping Up

It’s nice to see quality pens made in my home country. I’ve no complaints about the quality and don’t regret any of the acquisitions. But that last sentence can also be said about many non-US made pens.

Any other American manufacturers out there? Anyone else have an affinity for fountain pens made in their home country?

This Just In: Edison Nouveau Premiere LE

Fine Steel Nib of the Edison Nouveau Premiere Cherry Cordial LE fountain pen

The latest addition to my collection is the Edison Nouveau Premiere Cherry Cordial Limited Edition. I got the pen for two main reason, It’s an Edison Pen and it’s made of Ebonite. After resisting for awhile I finally gave in and bought the pen. It arrived yesterday. The Nouveau Premiere series of pens are a collaboration between Brian Gray of Edison Pen and Brian Goulet of Goulet Pen and is only available through Goulet Pens.

The Cherry Cordial Ebonite gives the pen a nice vintage look. I chose a fine nib of two-tone steel from the numerous choices, including 18k gold nibs.

I chose Diamine Ancient Copper as the first ink for this pen. This is a new ink for me. The pen and the ink are a good match so far. Flow is smooth and skip-free. An excellent first impression.

I don’t post my pens so I’m not the best judge, but the cap seems loose when posted.

The pen specs (from the Goulet Pen website):

  • Capped Length: 150mm (8.9in)
  • Posted Length: 172mm (6.8in)
  • Body Length: 128mm (5in)
  • Nib Length: 23.5mm (0.9in)
  • Body Diameter: 12.5mm (0.5in)
  • Cap Diameter (w/clip): 17.5mm (0.7in)
  • Cartridge/Converter filling system – standard international

I’ll have a complete review once I’ve used the pen awhile.

Edison Nouveau Premiere Cherry Cordial LE #69 of 100 fountain pen