Sunday, 10 November 2019

Conway Stewart

The other day found me inspecting the wares of a dealer in antique writing implements. Not that I know anything about such things, but I was reminded of my schooldays and the first fountain pen I ever owned. A Conway Stewart it was with a gold plated nib - a present from my parents.

Of course I dropped it fairly early in its career. Naturally enough the thing obeyed Sod's Law. It hit the classroom floor nib downwards, bent the nib at right angles and even though I managed to straighten it the pen was never the same again.

I replaced it with a cheap pen purchased from the newsagent and as far as I remember never admitted the Conway Stewart accident. Fortunately we were eventually allowed to use ballpoint pens in school. I got on better with those.


Scrobs. said...

What a great pen, the Conway Stewart was!

When Scrobs' dad went off to meet his maker, we picked through the remains of a good life as one does, and lo and behold, several old pens surfaced.

The Conway Stewart was a beautiful fountain pen, full of charm, and perhaps a more distinctive piece of engineering when compared to a Parker 61, or a Waterman's - both well-made items with distinctive markings.

The lovely pen I had succumbed to a daught using it to stab something on the table, and the gorgeous, whippy nib just couldn't take the oak, and bent outwards such as your pen did!

Funny coincidence, but I've just rediscovered a set of Graphos scripters, again, from the original realms of the elder Scrobs, and even a week or so ago, I bought a small bottle of Indian Ink, to indulge a passion for learning to write copperplate!

Timbotoo said...

I had an Osmiroid fountain pen with a left-handed nib which was supposed to eliminate the need to sit on my left hand and struggle to write with my right.

Sam Vega said...

How was it filled? I remember little rubber tubes that were compressed with a bit of springy metal and then released to suck up the ink. Plastic cartridges superseded them.

The whole process of graduating to fountain pens was an anti-climax for me. They were touted as a gateway to the adult world and involving fearful responsibilities, but I never liked the blasted things because I'm left handed.

Scrobs. said...

I used to watch, (still do, with amazement), how left-handed writers cope.

My dear sister manages with the paper at right-angles, but my old flat-mate used to write with the nib facing him, and he always had a piece of blotting paper to dry each sentence.

I could never work out how writing upside down worked, but there again, I suppose southpaws write much better Arabic, as it's right to left!

Now, if this subject runs into how many fingers one has around the pen, we have another quandary! I write with a thumb on one side, two fingers on the other, and the whole set rests on my third finger. My Dad always told me to write with just one finger where I was using two, but I never really could master that...

wiggiatlarge said...

My wife is left handed but writes holding the pen as you would if right handed and the paper as normal !
Slightly off topic, as a kid we had the Venus pencil factory that had an enormous illustration of a pencil on the wall not that far from where we lived, I used a lot of their pencils and discovered two boxes a couple of years ago unused at the bottom of a drawer, they must be well over forty years old.

A K Haart said...

Scrobs - I once had a go at calligraphy and made a better effort at it than expected. That was decades ago though - don't think I'd have the touch now.

Timbotoo - our grandson is left-handed and manages to write reasonably well but it still looks a little awkward. Maybe a left-handed pen would at least be worth trying. A Christmas present perhaps.

Sam - it was filled with the lever and rubber tube method but I found it messy. I always wanted one with a tube and plunger like a syringe but cartridges were better than both.

Wiggia - and those pencils will still work today and would still work after another forty years.