The Long Island Pen Show is less than 48 hours away. I won’t be able to make it to the show this year, but if you’re near Hempstead Long Island (NY) on Saturday or Sunday, it’s worth the trip. Anderson Pens is scheduled to be back with multiple tables of pens, ink, and paper. Fountain Pen Hospital is there too. In the past, FPH has given out gift cards at the door. ($10 gift cards that required a $50 purchase to use.) Several pen repairers and nib workers will also be at the show so you can get a custom nib in person. While there will be plenty of rain this week, the local forecast is for sun on the weekend.
Visit their website (linked above) for all the details. I last attended the show in 2016 and wrote about it here.
Saturday brought a quick visit to the Long Island Pen Show. It was more crowded and congested than I remember from other years. The layout was the same as I remember so they didn’t seem to be squeezing in extra tables, meaning the congestion was from attendees which is a good things. I’m terrible at estimating and the table setup didn’t make it easy to count (no count one row and multiply) so I won’t try to estimate either the number of vendors or people. There seemed to be more nib workers there than in past shows, even though Richard Binder skipped this show.
There were more vendors selling new pens than in past years (based on my possibly faulty memory) but there were certainly more vintage dealers than new pen dealers. Although between Anderson Pens, Fountain Pen Hospital and Kenro Industries there was certainly a wide variety of new pen brands even before considering the smaller dealers.
I did see a Visconti Homo Sapien Dark Age. While a very nice pen I like my Bronze Age better and the tenuous hold the Dark Age had in my want list was lost. There was a time I would have preferred the all black design but these days I like either a very conservative all black without shading and little or no trim, or a pen with some contrast to it. Other window shopping was mainly vintage pens. A lot of interesting stuff, even if most were unfamiliar to me.
I did pick up some inks. They were a pre-order so this may not count as a pen show purchase, but here they are:
With Omas winding down I picked up Omas Green. This has been on my want list for awhile since I like green. I have Omas Black and Turquoise inks and while I’m not a fan of turquoise as a color I like the Omas Black and the turquoise performs well. My first impression of the Omas Green – very nice color, I like it. I haven’t used it enough to judge performance but if it’s anything like the other Omas inks I may have to buy a second bottle before it vanishes.
I also picked up another green ink, this one P.W. Akkerman #28 Hofkwartier Groen. This is my third Akkerman ink. These inks were all the rage a couple years ago but I skipped them at that time. I’ve since picked up a couple, after they changed to the smaller bottles. The inks are fine but they aren’t close to being favorites for either of the colors that I’ve tried. I haven’t used this one enough to form an opinion. I can’t complain about the color since I knew what I was getting. It’s different than my other greens (more a yellow-green) which is why I got it, but there’s a reason it’s taken me awhile to add this shade of green. So it will probably be used less-frequently than other greens. They have the nicest ink bottle out there and the only built-in filling system that work flawlessly with all my pens.
Lastly, Noodler’s Berning Red. It’s a fast drying ink intended for lefties, which I’m not. I often use red to mark up documents so quick drying will help me avoid the occasional smudge. My concern here was bleed-through, since the fast drying is due to fast absorption. My initial test on Staples (cheap) copy paper is that it is fine (although close in spots of heavy ink), even with a medium nib. I don’t follow Noodler’s ink all that much, but this seems to be one of Nathan Tardiff’s more blatant (some may say extreme) political inks. The target is a current candidate so probably not surprising. If you watch the video it will take about 20 minutes to get to the ink (and even then there’s discussion about the pen he’s using, just no more politics).
Fountain Pen Hospital was one of the show sponsors so they were offering a $10 gift card at the door. They also offered their parts bags. The gift card required a $50 purchase and the parts pens were $50 per bag. So naturally I had to pick one up. I selected a bag of Parkers. All are missing nibs (well, one has a mangled nib) but this seems to be a good selection for learning how they are but together. I can tackle learning vacumatic repair with these and not worry about ruining a usable or even repairable pen.
Overall, a good show that was worth the trip, even if most of it was window shopping.
I’m still debating whether to attend Saturday or Sunday. It’ll probably be Saturday morning.
I don’t really have a list for this year’s show although I’m sure I won’t walk away empty. I don’t need ink, but that doesn’t mean I won’t get any. I’ll look to see if I can add any Esterbrook nibs missing from my collection. I just realized my first Esterbrook at last year’s LI show (from Anderson Pens) so I’ve only known of them for a year. Seems longer.
I went through my pens to see if there’s any that I’d want to visit Richard Binder so they could get some nib work, but haven’t come across any. I want to see the Visconti Wall Streets but they’re way above my current budget so I’ll just be window shopping.
If I remember right, last year was slightly more vintage than modern so there will be plenty for me to browse.
I just got back from my first pen show, the Long Island Pen Show. The photo above shows my new additions. All-in-all it was an enjoyable day.
I left on time with 24 oz. of fresh brewed coffee for the two hour trip. I arrived shortly after the 10am public opening and was a bit surprised that initially there wasn’t much of a crowd and there were several empty tables. But vendors were still arriving and setting up. Before long the tables were full and the crowd had grown. Since this is my first show I can’t compare it to any others. I’d estimate there were 40 – 45 tables (most – vendors had more than one table). I’m guessing, but vintage tables seemed to considerably outnumber modern.
Upon arrival I decided to do a quick lap around the room to get an idea of what was there. When I got to Richard Binders table I saw his list wasn’t very long so I added my name and went on to continue browsing, A couple hours later the factory medium nib on my Conway Stewart Marlborough Vintage had been stubbed and adjusted. I’m using it to write the draft of this article and the pen now writes as good as it looks.
While I did a lot of browsing, all my purchases came from Anderson Pens which had a entire row of tables to themselves, just inside the door.
I got my third list item first since that was the easiest – a Delta Vintage in Green with a Fine Nib. It’s a small pen and I’ve been hesitant on small pens since I’m finding some of them less comfortable to use these days. But this one seemed comfortable and I’m lacking in green pens despite it being my favorite color, so I bought it.
I did make one stupid mistake. The pens doesn’t come with a convertor and it’s too small for a standard size convertor. I had planned to work through my various cartridges with it. But since I was at a pens show I really should have looked for a Monteverde Mini convertor, which apparently fits, to see how well it fits. The first ink in this one was Pelikan Brilliant Green cartridge. Although I haven’t actually used it yet.
Then it was time for my first vintage pen. There were several Parkers and Esterbrooks to choose from. I was in a green mood I guess, because I was drawn to several green Esterbrooks. I ended up picking this one because of its fine, firm nib.
When I got home I looked up the 9555 nib and found it was a “Firm Fine – Gregg Shorthand”. I purposely din’t ask too much about the pen, I was looking for a pen I liked and didn’t want to be swayed by history. Brian did mention it was a Bandless. I did some quick research and found it’s a dollar pen made for a short time just before WWII. Finally, something in the house that’s older than me.
Those were my only pen purchases. I did get some ink. Montblanc Burgundy Red and Irish Green. The now discontinued Bordeaux and Racing Green where two of my favorite inks. While not the same color, the new inks looked good on the swabs.
I did see some Faceted Vanishing Points but didn’t pull the trigger. None really caught my attention and I didn’t want to buy one just to be able to check a box off my list. I did see that it will be comfortable enough for me (the modern ones are too) so at least now I’d be willing to buy one online if I see one I like. Otherwise it will be back on my list for D.C. and I’ll search harder.
I compared the Pelikan M800 and M1000. I like them both but the M800 was a bit more to my liking, mainly because of the nib. I suspect I’ll add one eventually. Maybe I’ll win the Tortoise that FP Geeks is giving away.
I did see the Delta 82’s. The pen looks great but I’m passing for now.
I didn’t compare the Montblanc 146 & 149’s. I’m sure they were there but I didn’t see them. I have to admit, I didn’t look very hard or ask if anyone had them.
While there were Edison production line pens there I was more interested in the material for the Signature Line pens. I have Signature Line pen on my list for this year. I’m sure Edison Pens will be in DC so I can see the selection there. Also, as expected, no Nakaya’s so I’ll wait until DC.
I’m happy with my first show and it was a good day. I was able to restrain myself and stick to my list. I even decided to wait and see what other VPs might be out there, It’s very unlike me to show that much restraint when I have pen money in my pocket. But the promise of the D.C. show makes it easier to show restraint.
Just looking up the Esterbrook information has me hooked. It gives me some focus and a starting point, rather than just reading a bunch of information. I wanted to limit myself to one vintage pen and pick one strictly based on whether or not I like it, rather than a specific model. Buying it in person also avoids potential disappointment when the pen arrives.
Now that the show is over (for me that is – it runs through Sunday) I’m really looking forward to the Washington D.C. show.