An old pen I’m not sure what to do with…

On a drive back from Shropshire this weekend, we ended up stopping off at a little village for lunch. The village were having a summer fair and there were stalls of bits and bobs all out in the street. We were in a bit of a hurry but I just had time to find this pen, which intrigued me, pay the man 50p, and be on my way.

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It says:
The “Unique” Pen
Made in England

I can’t find a huge amount of information about Unique, but from what I have read, they were around from the 1920s to the late 1950s.

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The thing that really intrigued me was this lever on the side, which I now know is the way you fill it. The pen has a sac inside, and in order to fill the sac, you lift up the lever (which depresses the sac) and dip the nib in ink. You then let go of the lever and the extra room created in the sac is filled with ink. That’s how I understand it anyway…

I had a little explore around the inside of this one, but unfortunately when I opened the pen up, it became clear that the sac had disintegrated and pieces fell out, along with lots of ink powder.

I found some instructions of how to replace the sac but then it all started to go a bit over my head and I knew I’d never bother to replace it.

It has an Osmiroid 35 nib:

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It’s not the prettiest pen, it has a plastic body which is a little beaten up and the clip has come off the cap:

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Anyway, it needs a bit of love, and I’m probably not going to give it, so if anyone fancies a restoration project or just wants to challenge themselves to replace the sac and get it working, I’d be happy to post it to you (anywhere!), just let me know!

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Now… A Millionaire’s Pen that You can Afford to Carry: 1930s & 40s Parker Pen Ads

How cool are these old Parker adverts?!

A guy on eBay is selling loads of ads from old Life Magazines and I found a couple of Parker Pen ones that I thought would make good prints to put up in the house.  I’ve scanned them so I can share them with you.

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This first one; “Now… A Millionaire’s Pen That You Can Afford to Carry and Can’t Afford to Miss” is for the Parker Vacumatic fountain pen, from 1937.  The wording is all so brilliant; “It holds 102% yet is Slenderized for Restful Balance”. I especially love the picture of the “noted Millionaire’s pocket” with Parker Pens in it. Do open up the pictures and zoom in so that you can read it properly.

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This second one; “This is proves pen failures can be avoided!” is for Parker Quink, from 1944.  The selling point of this ink is that it contains “Solv-x… cleans your pen as it writes!”. Again, do zoom in and read it properly, there are some real gems in there – proper Mad Men stuff 🙂

This makes me wish advertising was still like this – they REALLY worked to sell it to you!

 

Huckleberry Woodchuck Bullet Pencil

I’m definitely not the first stationery blogger to talk about Huckleberry Woodchuck’s bullet pencils, but now that I have finally got my hands on one, I couldn’t not share it.

It came all wrapped up like a present, so extra brownie points from me already:

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And the message: “enjoy a small piece of US history” is lovely – and so true! This feels like a real gem. For those that don’t know, Huckleberry Woodchuck restores vintage bullet pencils. Bullet pencils – a bullet, hollowed out and repurposed as a holder for short pencils – were used as promotional giveaways in the US, I think often by farming companies.

The one I got is SO GOOD! I’m very pleased with my choice:
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The silver part is the pencil holder and the rest serves as cap.
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You then take off the cap and post it on the back, so you have a longer, more comfortable pencil to use.
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I always carry a pencil in my handbag, as I prefer to write appointments in my Hobonichi planner in pencil, and then go back and decorate in pen (on the rarity I have time). Anyway, my pencil always end up a. blunt and b. writing on everything else in my bag, so this is a great solution. Plus it takes up less room than a full-sized pencil.

The one I got is particularly special as it’s interactive. As it was described by Huckleberry Woodchuck:
“On the outer label it lists common problems along with a number that corresponds to a bible verse that is revealed when you twist the outer label. Really neat and perfect for your sunday school or sermons.”
I must say I’m not remotely religious, but this doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the messages it gives, and the fact that this is a really unique and quirky item!

Here are the problems it lists:

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So for example, it says:
When you are feeling lonely turn to no. 1
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You twist it so that No. 1 is showing and the message reads:
Lo, I am with you always. Matt. 28:20

Pretty cool, huh?

They are beautifully restored, with new erasers, and everyone’s favourite pencil – the Blackwing 602. And of course, every one is different – always a good thing. Check out the shop here. Plus mine came with a little spare pencil stub, which seems to be a Musgrave 100 (and actually, this was an introduction as I’d never heard of this company before).

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At present, Midori seem to be the only company making new bullet pencils, however, I know that there are a couple of companies looking to produce new (and improved?) versions. There’s currently this kickstarter by Metal Comb Works – which also has the option of a stylus on the end, and I have heard that Huckleberry Woodchuck is in the process of developing one too. Episode 10 of Erasable talks about bullet pencils this week too.

Strange that such a great things stopped being produced, but I for one am glad bullet pencils are back.

A Proper Pencil Sharpener

Yet ANOTHER birthday present I’m afraid (I might even have one more to post about…), this time from my boyfriend, Harry. He got me a Boston 200 desktop sharpener from the 70s.

It’s not the prettiest of items, but there’s something I really like about it. It’s totally just made to be fit for purpose, no frills. And has a 70s colour scheme.

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(It could actually use a good clean)

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The little tray for sharpenings is quite loose, but I think this is only an issue if you’re moving it around. I desperately want to actually attach it to my desk as at the moment, you have to hold it really hard in order to sharpen a pencil… This would be much easier if a table top was take that pressure.

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And it makes a decent point. As I say though, I need to try it properly when it’s attached to my desk.

It was made in England by Joseph Gillott & Sons LTD, apparently. So that’s cool.

I love it – thanks Harry!

1940s Parsons Desk Calendar

It was my birthday on Friday, and a few of my lovely friends went down the same route with presents and I ended up with several amazing vintage stationery pieces. I wanted to share these items with you, and I’m starting with this Parsons Desk Calendar which Ashley bought me.

Here it is in all it’s glory on my old school desk, accompanied by some of my birthday cards (stationery and cats… That’s a given)

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And here’s a close up, you turn the wheels on either side to change the date, like so:

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I’m told it’s 1940s. I done a bit of searching and I can’t find anything out about Parsons… Not sure if it was a stationery company, or a different kind of company that gave these out as promotional gifts. Does anyone by any chance know anything about them??

Either way, I think it’s completely gorgeous and it’ll definitely have it’s place on my future dream desk 🙂

Thanks Ash! x

Williamsburg Flea Market

Last NYC post for a while I promise!! But before I shut up about my trip, I just wanted to share my  visit to the Williamsburg Flea Market.

On our last day we got the subway over to Brooklyn, specifically Williamsburg, and wandered around the shops, before having brunch cocktails at The Bedford, and tipsily heading to the flea market for a rummage.

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It wasn’t  as big as I was expecting it would be but there was still plenty to see. In fact, I think if there was any more it would have been a bit overwhelming.
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There was so much great stuff to look through, in fact it was quite good knowing I was just looking for stationery or I wouldn’t have known where to start! I also ate  GREAT doughnut, but that’s by the by (seriously though, it was amazing).

I only spent $15 but I found some really interesting things. I was going to put them all in this post, but I think each one has a bit of a story and shoving them all in here wouldn’t do them justice, so over a few days next week, I’ll share them with you…

Flea Market Finds #1: Antique Advertising Dip Pens
Flea Market Finds #2: NFL Pencils by Faber Castell
Flea Market Finds #3: Wooden & Brass Extendable Rule