Author Topic: Classifying Pen Shapes: A Proposed Glossary  (Read 139 times)

Offline AAAndrew

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Classifying Pen Shapes: A Proposed Glossary
« on: December 08, 2018, 09:59:13 AM »
I feel bad that I’ve not been around for a while. Things are quite busy at work and at home. What little time I have is spent working on my pen history stuff. I’m also creating a more rigorous inventory of my collection and the entirety of Easterbrook’s pen catalog in my effort to help migrate The Esterbrook Project to a new site, bugger and better than ever!

Anyway, as part of all of this I have finally written up a first pass at an incomplete glossary of terms for the major pen shapes. Vintage pens came in so many different shapes, but there is no “official” list of what to call them. So, I started with the Esterbrooks. Since US pens came in fewer variations of shape, this is wholly inadequate to encompass British and Continental pens as they display an amazing variety.

Regardless of shortcomings, I thought it good enough to get the conversation started, so here it is. Feel free to suggest additional shapes or alternative names, especially if you can show evidence for use of the names in the past.

Andrew

https://thesteelpen.com/2018/12/07/pen-shapes-a-proposed-glossary/
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Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Classifying Pen Shapes: A Proposed Glossary
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2018, 11:24:18 AM »
Absolutely fascinating and a true labor of love. Bravo for all you have contributed and created!  :)
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
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Offline lizabetht

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Re: Classifying Pen Shapes: A Proposed Glossary
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2018, 10:02:29 PM »
Wow!  That's beautifully done. 

Offline AAAndrew

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Re: Classifying Pen Shapes: A Proposed Glossary
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2019, 06:00:33 PM »
Wow!  That's beautifully done.

Thank you. If I ever write “that book” I’ll try and get some better pictures. This was put together rather quickly.

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Offline AAAndrew

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Re: Classifying Pen Shapes: A Proposed Glossary
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2019, 01:21:04 PM »
I'm adding a new shape to the Pen Shape Glossary. I'm calling it an "Oblique Tip" which makes it a third type of oblique nib: (Mordant) Oblique, Elbow Oblique, and now Oblique Tip.

Only the tip is tilted, rather than the whole body of the nib. This one is a Wm Mitchell 0749 M, but I know Esterbrook also made one similar back in the early years called the 672 Transmitter.

Anyone else have an example with this kind of tip? I need to get a better picture, but I'll use this one for the moment. I've put it next to a standard straight pen to highlight the difference.

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Offline Bianca M

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Re: Classifying Pen Shapes: A Proposed Glossary
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2019, 04:09:56 PM »
Interesting! I've never seen that before.  Have you tried writing with it?

Offline AAAndrew

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Re: Classifying Pen Shapes: A Proposed Glossary
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2019, 06:00:32 PM »
I did and it seemed better in concept than in practice. May explain why not that common.

Seems like others made their own versions, but none are common.

Leonardt 5621, J. Mason 207, Sveriges Pennfabrik 024, Perry 39…
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Offline RD5

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Re: Classifying Pen Shapes: A Proposed Glossary
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2019, 06:38:35 AM »
This reminds me of Oakeshott's Typology for medieval swords. There was no names for the different shapes, so he used Roman Numerals.

Offline AAAndrew

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Re: Classifying Pen Shapes: A Proposed Glossary
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2019, 07:29:42 PM »
A few of the shapes had agreed-upon names, like the Falcon and the Albata, but there weren't many. As I mention in the article, I had to either make up a name, or use a name associated with a pen of that shape that is most widely known, like the special shape of the Esterbrook Inflexible. The shape is fairly common, but I've yet to see a name given to it, so I just used the biggest selling example (at least in the US, and I don't see any Brits making a glossary  ;D), the Esterbrook Inflexible.

I made this glossary out of personal need. I want to be able to classify the shapes of the pens in the inventory of my own collection. Some shapes could easily be broken down into sup-categories (the Shield pen is a good example, some are squat shields and some are longer shields that approach a spear shape), and some are variations of a central design, like Spoon pens and the Pinched Spoon. And I've lumped all four styles of Oblique pen into one category with four sub-categories because there are really four shapes, but it's useful to know that all are forms of oblique.

All that to say I know it's not completely consistent, but right now it's useful to me. More useful than just using Roman Numerals.  :o
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