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(This page revised February 8, 2019)

On the first of each month, we publish Nib Noise, a free email newsletter. This is not spam; we will not send Nib Noise to you unless you subscribe, and we’ll stop sending it to you if you unsubscribe.

In addition to short articles about where the next pen show is and other items of interest, each issue of Nib Noise contains “Broad Strokes,” which is usually a new article that Richard has added to the Reference Pages section; a random entry from the Glossopedia; and a prescription from the Pen Doctor.

The most recent issue of Nib Noise is posted below — except that we don’t post it here until a few days after we’ve mailed it to subscribers, so for the first few days of the month you’ll be looking at last month’s issue.

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Nib Noise * Volume 17 Number 11 * February 2019

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
email to:

To subscribe or unsubscribe, please visit the Free Email Newsletter page
on my site:

*** Coming Up Next Month ***

Just a reminder: we have no pen shows on our calendar this month. Our
first pen show of 2019 will be the new and improved Baltimore-Washington
International Pen Show, running from Friday, March 1, through Sunday,
March 3. (Pre-show activities will commence on Thursday, March 1.) So
how is it new and improved? It's back at the BWI Marriott Hotel just
around the corner (maybe two corners) from the Baltimore-Washington
International Airport. This is is a great venue: the hotel is just
perfect for the show, and there's free parking.

Baltimore is known not only for its good food but also for some very
interesting tourist spots, among them Fort McHenry ("Oh, say can you
see...?"), a World War II U. S. Navy submarine, and a world-class
aquarium, so there's something there for your family members who don't
care about pens.

I'll be working on nibs as I do at every show we attend, and Barbara
will be making sure I keep my nose to the grindstone. PLEASE READ OUR

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:

For more information, visit the show's website:

Our second 2019 show will be the Long Island Pwn Show, running on
Saturday and Sunday, March 16 and 17. This show is a great place to reel
in lots of New York-area vintage. Not too big and not too small, the
show draws a good crowd of dealers and attendees, and it's getting
better every year. In addition to a wide selection of pens for sale, a
squad of highly qualified repairers will be in evidence. Come on out to
Hempstead Saturday and Sunday, March 16 and 17, 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 website:

We look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones at both of
these great shows. We hope to see you there!

*** More About the Washington DC Pen Show ***

Exhibitors planning to attend the 2019 Washington DC Pen Show received a
potentially huge shock in the middle of January, in the form of an email
from Glen Bowen. Glen announced that Bob Johnson has unilaterally and
without warning severed relations with Glen and that Bob's old DC show
site <> carries the following notice:


  Revised 1/15/19

all questions about the DC Fountain Pen Supershow should be addressed to

Bob Johnson

It is best to call or text me at 864-360-0835

    Let me be clear in stating that I, Bob Johnson, am the sole show
    organizer for the DC Fountain Pen Supershow and my website is  Given the recent developments, I am working on
    updating the website so please be patient while we get that in
    place.  Prices will be the same as last year and if you have already
    paid someone other than me, call or text me at 864-360-0835


The link from Bob's old site to the new site has been
removed. What this change means is hard to guess. It's likely that Bob
will use last year's table layout instead of the new one that Glen had
developed and the organization of the show will continue as in the past.
I wish the best of luck to those who are planning to attend the DC show.

*** The Glossopedia ***

A major feature of my website is the Glossopedia, a hybrid between a
glossary and a single-volume encyclopedia. With more than 1600 defini-
tions and descriptions, more than 950 illustrations, and more than 2150
cross-references, it's the most comprehensive of its kind  on the Web.
Each month, Nib Noise includes a randomly chosen Glossopedia entry.


X-Pen. [1] A capillary-filling pen with a hooded nib, sold by Waterman
in the late 1950s; supposedly, it was Waterman’s attempt to compete with
the Parker 61. Produced in a variety of models at various trim levels by
Jif-Waterman of France, the X-Pen was the last pen sold by the U.S.
Waterman company. Read a profile of the X-Pen here. See also filler,
JiF. [2] (X-Pen International Ltd) A pen manufacturing company located
in Tel Aviv, Israel; founded in 2003. The company’s ballpoints, fountain
pens, and rollerballs are mostly all metal, with relatively few resin
models. Internal components are sourced from well-known manufacturers
worldwide to ensure quality. Styling is distinctly modern; even the
company logo features a bird in flight as the letter X.


To immerse yourself in the Glossopedia, follow this link:

*** Broad Strokes ***

The last dying gasp of the Chilton Pen Company came in the form of the
eponymous Chiltonian pen. Read about the Chiltonian here:

To help you find reference articles on my 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 (except when I forget), I'll be reprinting one of his pre-
scriptions here.


Q: I have several pens (usually the cheaper ones) which have a nasty
habit of leaking ink over the top surface of the nib near the tip. This
may occur no matter how the pen is stored or kept in my pocket. I often
try to wipe off the nib before I write with it, but sure enough, several
minutes later the ink will leave the slit and form on the top face of
the nib again. The cost and value of these pens makes me reluctant to
spend the money to send these to a repair person, especially if the fix
is a simple one.

A: The fix may be as simple as switching inks, or it may not. What
you’re experiencing is called nib creep, and it can be caused by one or
more of several factors.

The Glossopedia contains an entry on nib creep; I’ll reproduce it here
for convenience:

nib creep. The spontaneous accumulation of ink on the top surface of a
nib; the ink is said to “creep” up out of the slit. Some inks are more
prone to creep than others, but in most cases the root cause of the
phenomenon is a nib slit that is either damaged or manufactured with
insufficient attention to finishing; nicks, scratches, etc., can create
a capillary path across the edge between the slit wall and the top
surface. Platinum-plated nibs are more prone to nib creep than are
unplated nibs because platinum is more wettable than gold. See also
capillary action, wettability.

If you’re using a creep-prone ink such as many of Noodler’s bulletproof
colors, you might stop the creep simply by using a different ink. But if
the nib is bad enough, even the best inks will creep on it. In this
case, the solution requires intervention by a qualified nib specialist
to deal with the slit problem(s).

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