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(This page revised October 8, 2017)

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In addition to short articles about what’s new for sale, where the next pen show is, and other items of interes, each issue of Nib Noise contains Broad Strokes, which is usually a new article that Richard has added to the Reference Pages section.

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Nib Noise * Volume 17 Number 1 * APRIL 2018

Welcome to Nib Noise. I hope you'll enjoy reading this month's issue.

PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS NEWSLETTER! The robot that sends it out
hasn't yet learned to read. If you have comments or questions, send
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on my site:

*** NEW FEATURE: The Glossopedia ***

A major feature of my website is the Glossopedia, a hybrid between a
glossary and a single-volume encyclopedia. With more than 1500 defini-
tions and descriptions, more than 900 illustrations, and more than 2100
cross-references, it's the most comprehensive of its kind  on the Web.
Each month, Nib Noise will include a randomly chosen entry from the


Ambassador. A J. Harris sub-brand (1920s-1940s). Ambassador pens were
lever fillers and were generally cheap and of poor quality, but they did
have 14K warranted nibs. It appears that when J. Harris became the
Majestic Pen Company, it kept the Ambassador brand; later Ambassador
pens resemble contemporaneous Majestic models.


To read more of the Glossopedia, follow this link:

*** The Long Island Pen Show Is THIS MONTH! Don't Miss It! ***

The Long Island Show is a great place to reel in some great vintage
delights from New York and elsewhere. Not too big and not too small, the
show is well established and well attended, and it's getting bigger and
better every year. A squad of highly qualified repairers will be in
evidence in the persons of Mike Kennedy, Jim Baer, and Ron Zorn. I will
be working on nibs, and nib workers Linda Kennedy and Joshua Lax, my
former students and now pros in their own right, will also be there. As
always, Barbara will be making sure I keep my nose to the grindstone.


If you plan to come and haven't ever been to a show before, you might
want to read my article on Your First Pen Show:

Come on out to Hempstead Saturday and Sunday, April 21 and 22, and visit
the campus of Hofstra University. The show will be in the Multipurpose
Room in the student center.

For more information, visit the show's site:

We look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones. We hope to
see you there!

*** Broad Strokes ***

When we think of Parker, we probably think immediately of the Duofold.
But Parker has made a whole raft of other pen models. Back in November I
wrote a profile of the bottom of the line, the Parkette. This month I've
added a profile of the pen in the middle, the famous Challenger:

To help you find reference articles on our site that have been edited
recently, there is a handy heading right at the top of the reference
index, listing the five most recently added or edited reference pages.

*** The Pen Doctor ***

The Pen Doctor is a regular visitor to the Nashua Pen Spa, and every so
often he puts a few prescriptions up in our site's reference section.
Each month, I'll be reprinting one of his prescriptions here.


Q: I have picked up two boxes of dip pen nibs. One is from C. Howard
Hunt Pen Co. in Camden, NJ. The other box is Bank of England No. 104
Ball Pointed Nickel Aluminum nibs. I cannot get nibs from either box to
hold any ink. I dip the nib. Brush off extra ink and the first touch to
the paper the ink make a blob, then perhaps writes about three letters
and then it’s done. Is there a trick I do not know to using a dip nib?

A: Steel dip nibs are almost always shipped with a very light coating of
oil to keep them from rusting. Ink will roll off them like water off a
duck's back. Most users of steel dips are in the habit of sucking on
each new nib for a while before using it; if this doesn't pass your
reasonableness test, try shaking the nibs gently in a sealed jar
containing one tablespoon of clear household ammonia mixed with 2∕3 cup
of water.

Another thing to check, if no amount of cleaning will make your nib hold
ink, is the ink you’re using. Dip nibs do not work at all well with
fountain pen ink. If they’ll hold it at all, they won’t hold enough to
be useful. Try switching to a calligraphy ink made for use with dip
nibs. (But don’t put that stuff in your fountain pens!)

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