Author Topic: Esterbrook nibs - "natural slant" vs "modified slant?"  (Read 641 times)

Online Zivio

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Esterbrook nibs - "natural slant" vs "modified slant?"
« on: April 23, 2023, 01:01:38 AM »
I'm enjoying using a vintage R. Esterbrook "Modified Slant" #702 nib.  Would like to get more. I see also Esterbrook nibs described as "Natural Slant."

What is meant by modified or natural slant with respect to pointed pen nibs?
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Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Esterbrook nibs - "natural slant" vs "modified slant?"
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2023, 11:14:48 AM »
I'm enjoying using a vintage R. Esterbrook "Modified Slant" #702 nib.  Would like to get more. I see also Esterbrook nibs described as "Natural Slant."

What is meant by modified or natural slant with respect to pointed pen nibs?
@Zivio
There is an action for a box of these on eBay right now starting at 9.99. As the number 702 is not mentioned in the title of the auction (and the box is in poor shape), these might go cheap.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/204311411782?hash=item2f91e8bc46:g:rpUAAOSwcbNkQdJM&amdata=enc%3AAQAIAAAA4HaNb%2FsNKbz5gEDwrXZLLlGjT%2F82yFNlEvH3XDu821C3wdDZ4i3ztyAQSP6NIbiqOgRBquRmtqnJi%2BGyeprzE1czYEjUV%2Ff7m%2F8NPliawxrOChF3wKWc2%2FPgNyf3v%2Bn9C7wxHf7vz%2BXJaN7A6lMstWKUynmNWz1U1%2FvWwrbv1ZvUSzEHnJEJ9%2BZukkNlv%2FBo31pnjcN23Hb7qRlZrUi4LF8cmZgCwTfrEw8O9T23%2BuhlTwyvy8rDg%2BDejPIeNjTbx%2BZ5NJ8KQ%2FZN6ozOaX4NSqJy6IW%2FVzfj2ZFnlxAklesb%7Ctkp%3ABk9SR9zaour1YQ

Online Zivio

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Re: Esterbrook nibs - "natural slant" vs "modified slant?"
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2023, 12:25:53 PM »
Thanks @AnasaziWrites

I’d found some online about a month ago, but it was a scam online store. This E-Bay looks promising. 

The medium flex and lines have made this my favorite nib, so far, and it likely will become my all-purpose go to — if I can find more!

Still curious about that “modified” vs “natural” slant thing.  I’m thinking it has to do with the writer’s slant, not necessarily the characteristics of the nib itself.  If it does have to do wither a writer’s style, I wonder how a nib would be manufactured to accommodate one over the other.  Hmm …
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Offline InkyFingers

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Re: Esterbrook nibs - "natural slant" vs "modified slant?"
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2023, 10:58:04 PM »
@AAAndrew would know more about it.  Head over to www.theEsterbrookProject.com for more information on it. I would not get the 702. It’s a big nib and not much flex for your writing.  If you like nibs just snail me.

Offline AAAndrew

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Re: Esterbrook nibs - "natural slant" vs "modified slant?"
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2023, 06:35:55 AM »
I'm enjoying using a vintage R. Esterbrook "Modified Slant" #702 nib.  Would like to get more. I see also Esterbrook nibs described as "Natural Slant."

What is meant by modified or natural slant with respect to pointed pen nibs?

Hey, y'all! It's been a while.

Natural Slant and Modified Slant were two different (though similar) penmanship styles taught in schools around the 1890s. As with others, the big pen companies made pens marketed to those studying that specific method. Both of these are similar in that they stress less modulation in line and more upright letterforms. These were not quite as monoline as say, Palmer, which looks like it was written with a ballpoint, but the idea was to have a style of writing that was easier, faster and required less slant and less time taken to form letters with a strong modulation in line.

Esterbrook alone made the
702 Modified Slant
761 Natural Slant
773 Natural Slant
782 Natural Slant
794 Modified Slant

These tend to be very nice nibs without too much spread, a smooth tip (made for school children) and a lively spring-back.

Other companies also made Modified Slant pens, but they're less common.

I've attached a page from a journal of education talking about the trend towards more vertical writing by mentioning yet a third style of this penmanship.

Andrew
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Online Zivio

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Re: Esterbrook nibs - "natural slant" vs "modified slant?"
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2023, 12:33:10 PM »
@AAAndrew would know more about it.  Head over to www.theEsterbrookProject.com for more information on it. I would not get the 702. It’s a big nib and not much flex for your writing.  If you like nibs just snail me.

Thanks, Pedro!  I did encounter theEsterbrookProject site the other day — great resource! 

As for the 702, I actually like it a lot!  I know our personal writing style preferences differ. From what I’ve seen, yours favors big bold Maddie style shading, whereas mine is more subdued. You’d actually gifted me the 702 I have as well as other custom ground nibs. What I’ve been looking for is a nib that will work well for my individual writing “out of the box” so that I will not have to depend on custom tweaking.  I’m wanting to eliminate some of those variables. Most of the ground nibs are just a bit too flexible for my approach. But I do remember you encouraging me to learn to control a super flexible nib first, then the world of nibs would become my oyster!   ;D

In my early school years I played oboe in the orchestra (among other instruments.) Us double-reed players had to make our own reeds. Talk about custom tweaking!  And it always seemed like as soon as I got a reed working really well and broken in, it would shortly come to the end of its life … or I’d accidentally break it!  I wanted to spend more time playing music rather than fussing with the instrument. Same with handwriting.

As for snail mail, lately you’ve been on my mind a lot — especially because of my gratitude to you for having introduced me to many different nibs. I’ve been looking for opportunity to write!
« Last Edit: April 24, 2023, 12:43:46 PM by Zivio »
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Re: Esterbrook nibs - "natural slant" vs "modified slant?"
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2023, 12:39:44 PM »

Natural Slant and Modified Slant were two different (though similar) penmanship styles taught in schools around the 1890s. As with others, the big pen companies made pens marketed to those studying that specific method.
.
.
I've attached a page from a journal of education talking about the trend towards more vertical writing by mentioning yet a third style of this penmanship.


Thanks for weighing in here @AAAndrew! I’d suspected that the nib name had more to do with marketing than necessarily its particular attributes. I’m fascinated by all things handwriting and really appreciate and enjoy the information you provided.

As for naming the nibs for marketing purposes, I think this became even clearer when I looked at the E-Bay item @AnasaziWrites referenced. There, the box and nib is labeled as “School Medium Firm,” even though it is stamped #702 and looks identical to the “Modified Slant” that I have in hand.
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Offline AAAndrew

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Re: Esterbrook nibs - "natural slant" vs "modified slant?"
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2023, 02:20:31 PM »
Esterbrook often changed names, in this case names associated with a penmanship style that was no longer taught. Same pen, different name.
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Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Esterbrook nibs - "natural slant" vs "modified slant?"
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2023, 07:33:03 PM »
Look who's back! Back again! It's @AAAndrew ! Woot, woot!!!  :-*
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Offline AAAndrew

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Re: Esterbrook nibs - "natural slant" vs "modified slant?"
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2023, 07:43:18 PM »
In my heart, I've never really left.

I've just submitted final draft of my 14th article on the history of the steel pen industry, finally up to Esterbrook (covering from before the founding in 1861 up to about 1900). Just finished the first draft of my 15th article, so still going with that.

Some of you all may find a couple of them interesting, on how steel pens were made. I'll share the pdfs in a separate thread.

Missed you all!

Andrew
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https://thesteelpen.com/