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edit: Congrats to Francisco!  And thank you all so much for your stories.  I really enjoyed them.

Tell us about your first pen. Do you still have it? Do you still use it? Why did you pick THAT pen?

My first fountain pen was given to me by my wife Elizabeth. It was a Sheaffer No Nonsense fine point (stub/italic) from Hobby Lobby for Valentine’s Day back in 2010. Before that I didn’t really know what a fountain pen was and had never used one. My only memory was from Tom and Jerry where Jerry squirts Tom with ink.

I used that pen UP. I don’t have it anymore, but it got me started in this community. 🙂

31 thoughts on “50% off coupons!”

  1. My first fountain pen was a TWSBI 580 AL. I was enamored with the idea of a demonstrator pen, and being able to see the ink slosh around inside. I loved the thing, but it was definitely too complicated for a beginner. Just like me to jump feet first into deeper water. Sadly, something jammed with the plunger and made it impossible to pull up, so it is no longer in use.

  2. Esterbrook back in the early 1960s. I write with my left hand, got tired of smearing of pencil lead and Bic pen ink. Tried a Bic Flair, but too broad. Found Esterbrook (with exchangeable nibs), used from 5th grade through college.

  3. I got a thin small montblanc from my father — right when I left to college. I used it a lot, once broke it (which he then got fixed), then used it some more and put it away. I found it again about 10 years ago. I don’t use it, but obviously keep it.

  4. My first fountain pen almost ruined fountain pens for me – I backed the “visionnaire” on kickstarter. At the time it seemed like someone doing what a lot of companies have done, find a luxury product (they compared theirs to a montblanc) make a quality product and sell direct for a fraction of the price. I knew nothing about fountain pens and readily bought into the idea that they were introducing something new by making their own line of fountain pens that were much more inexpensive but still quality. Turns out they likely just rebranded cheap Chinese pens (which are fine for what they are) but at a vastly inflated markup and some flashy packaging. It was disappointing and didn’t feed ink well. It took me a few years to get into fountain pens again after that.

  5. 54 years ago, age 9, I earned a fountain pen as a prize for perfecting my Palmer Method letter forms in pencil, in fourth grade. It was a Parker Lady Duofold Lucky Curve ringtop with a Christmas Tree feed, 1920s. Lost it after many years of wearing it around my neck. Finally replaced it in 2019 with the help of a pen friend, Daniel Street.

  6. First fountain pen – Lamy Safari Vista, fine point. Still have it! Looking to gift it to a friend to begin their FP journey.

  7. My first was a government issue Esterbrook desk set in basic black. Yes, I’m that old-and yes I still have it. For the record, the statue of limitations has expired and my then boss was a co-conspirator in the heist.

  8. My first one was a Sheaffer, too–the cheap plastic calligraphy pens with the stub nibs, given to me by my mother when I was in grade school. It’s long gone: I lost it in college, I think. It used to be so hard to find cartridges for that thing!

  9. Montblanc Meisterstuck 146, in basic black and gold, F, a gift to myself in 1984 or so. My father had always used fountain pens, and I had always wanted one. And now I was out of graduate school and at last had a “real” job and could afford it. I still have it, still treasure it, and it looks as elegant as ever and writes beautifully!

  10. My first fountain was an old sheaffer calligraphy pen that came in a calligraphy set that I used as a teen. I had no idea what I was doing, but I used the heck out of that thing. And I still have it tucked away in a drawer but I never use it.

  11. My first fountain pen was a Parker I found when I was in 6th grade back in the 70’s. It had a squeeze converter in it, so I promptly destroyed it with India ink and then trying to clean it with alcohol. I lost the parts long ago.

    The pen that got me into the fountain pen community was a Zebra V301 that I picked up at Walgreens. I was trying to figure out where to get refills for it and discovered a whole new world! I still have that Zebra, it’s been inked since 2018 and never cleaned, and still writes the first time every time. I found another Zebra I bought sometime around 2000, in a box of muggle pens that I had under the bed, and it still writes fine–I didn’t even have to change the cartridge!

  12. A red Sheaffer flat-top fountain pen I bought with my babysitting money when I was 11 (I was a pen & stationery nerd even as a kid), and yes — I still have that pen. 😀🖋❤️

  13. My first fountain pen was a waterman Phileas that I got around 1996. I still use it. Fine pen for the price.

  14. My grandmother won a door prize and it was a black Eversharp fountain pen with colorful cartridges. She was kind enough to give it to me. I was only 1o and had no idea how to use it. So it stayed with me in a drawer until college when I decided it was time to learn how to write with it. It took a while but I taught myself. She died later that year, but her final gift to me was a lifelong love of fountain pens. I have over 350 pens, some worth a thousand dollars,but that little Eversharp is my most cherished possession and I still write with it. She will never know what a gift she really gave me,besides her love.

  15. Shawn,

    My first fountain pen was my Father’s black Schaeffer. It was one of the few things I took after his death. My Dad loved things that were well made, so I knew in my heart that this was something
    of worth. I used it in Nursing School, I took it to Vietnam when I went. I loved it and made sure that my penmanship reflected well on it. I still have the pen and t take it out frequently nd polish it…..Thanks Dad. sue

  16. I received some money for my birthday in September, 2010, which I used to buy a couple mechanical pencils from JetPens. I needed to add something to my order to get free shipping and had been somewhat curious about fountain pens, so the $3 Platinum Preppy I put in my cart that day served double duty. I still have the pen, though the cracked cap precludes me from using it. It has since been joined by (too?) many relatives. In the interest of plausible deniability, I won’t suggest a dollar amount, but suffice it to say that was the most expensive “free” shipping ever!

  17. My first fountain pen was a Waterman Phileas I bought at a big box store. I was intrigued by the fountain pens my grandparents used and the Phileas reminded me of the pens they used. The medium nib on the Phileas was smooth and wet and I loved it. I used the pen in college and kept it, using it for many years at work. When my daughter became interested in fountain pens after college, I gifted the Phileas to her. She uses it daily in her journal and planner. A great first pen for both of us!

  18. When I started my career working at a local college, I was mentored by a wonderful microbiology professor. As a lab tech I was focused on precision instrumentation.
    One day she asked if I would like to like to join her at the 1999 (?) San Francisco International Pen show. It sounded so silly but her enthusiasm and her description of Sheaffer snorkle pens piqued my interest so I joined her. I came home with an Omas Ogiva demonstrator, 18K gold nib, which at the time was $150. That was very expensive for me but I’m the type of person who likes to dive into the deep end of the pool. It has been 20 plus years of enjoying wonderful pens (many of my current favorite pens cost about $15!) and I am grateful that I accepted the invitation into this addicting hobby.

  19. I was guided towards pens as a gift for my father-in-law one Christmas, and I thought I should see what the story was with fountain pens. I did some research and picked up one of those frequently recommended starter pens, the Pilot Metropolitan. It felt alright to me, but I wasn’t convinced at the time. That ended up being a ballpoint year… Eventually the fountain pen virus did take hold though, and we’ve exchanged many fountain pen gifts since!

  20. I think I had the same first fountain pen, probably also from Hobby Lobby or maybe even Walmart. I knew nothing about fountain pens, and I had a terrible experience with it. I had no idea about paper choice or maintenance, and maybe it just wasn’t my time. I thought I’d never get into fountain pens after that. It would be probably 10 years from then that I stumbled into Papier Plume in New Orleans. After learning the basics and writing with a variety of pens and nibs, I fell in love with an industrial looking tumbled aluminum Karas Kustoms pen with a silky smooth titanium bock nib. Papier Plume set me on fountain pen journey. That was 9 years ago, and though my tastes in fountain pens have evolved over time, I still enjoy writing with that pen to this day.

  21. My first FP was a very pretty, royal blue Jinhao x450 that my little brother gave me a few years ago. It was a great introductory FP, albeit a little heavy for my liking, but it was a great pen.
    I rarely use it these days bc the plastic internal cap came loose and my ill-conceived plan to repair it didn’t work. The loose cap keeps it out of my FP rotation.

  22. My first pen was a Clear Twsbi Eco back in 2020. At the time I was really into writing with different kinds of pencils enjoy the small differences and personality each pencil had. A friend of mine brought up if I really like those personalities then I should try a fountain pen. He guided me and asked me questions of what I liked about the writing experience with a pencil. He suggested a few pens and all I had to do is pick out a color and ink. I do not have it anymore because I found someone who enjoyed writing as much as I did so I gifted the pen to them with a bottle of ink. They still use that pen from what I know. I remember I chose the twsbi eco because at the time it very much felt like a tool and thinking, “ah! this is going to last me a life time! it’s the only pen I will ever need!” Of course, that was not the case and I really got into the hobby.

  23. Mine was one of the green Pelikans! I bought it in about 1990 or 1991 at a pen store. I was so proud, so excited. And I bought others, fountain pens and fancy rollerball pens, on Ebay. Back then, if I won the auction, I had to go off to the bank, get a bank check, send the check by mail to the seller, after a while, the pen would come by US mail! Took a lot longer to get the pen than it does nowadays.

  24. First fountain pen(s) were gifted to me, a Jinhao Shark, possibly a Jinhao 992, and a piston feed pen that I don’t remember the maker; maybe a Hero. I was hooked, then began buying and collecting pens. I passed those three on to pen newbies, and have gifted many others, mostly Kaweco, but also Pilot Metropolitan’s, and others.

  25. My first pen… in 1963 i had to have a fountain pen for school so my father gave me his brother Harry’s pen, a 1934 Waterman. I used it grade, high school, college and grad school and still use it. I wanted a Schaefer cartridge pen like everyone else but my parents thought the Waterman was cheaper to use. I eventually got a turquoise Schaefer. Still pretty much only use fp to draw and write.

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