Nibs, barrels, grips, and feeds. Today is National Fountain Pen Day. Here’s a write-on memory.

My broad-nib Montblanc Meisterstück 149 died a few years ago. On a cross-country trip, it was frozen in my luggage and broke. I sent it to Fountain Pen Hospital in New York. They sent it back reporting that it was unrepairable. That pen had decades of wonderful memories attached to it; dropping a grand on a new one didn’t seem like a good idea—a replacement wouldn’t have warm memories attached, yet it would always remind me that I’d been careless with the one that was gone.

The Meisterstück had been so reliable and fit my hand so perfectly, I didn’t have a backup pen. I write with a fountain pen every day at work and at home, so I looked for an inexpensive pen to buy me some time while I studied what fountain pens were on the market—I hadn’t shopped pens in a long time. I wanted a broad nib and a pen that looked vintage and something maybe a bit more colorful, more cheerful than the super-black resin that I’d been used to.

Online, I found a pen that was retro looking, orange and black (a color-way that I’d never considered owning), it was available with a broad nib, it was a large pen, and looking at the photo of it actually made me smile.

The $55. Conklin Duragraph™ arrived and has been my go-to pen for quite a while now. It works for me so well on a daily basis that I’ve haven’t considered trading up.

This morning, I learned, via some ad or other delivered by email, that today is Fountain Pen Day. I looked at my Duragraph and headed down the rabbit hole of “let’s find out more about this.”

You can learn all about the history of the Conklin brand and the Duragraph on dozens of websites. Conklin has a wonderful history—Mark Twain was a fan of the Duragraph. But, I found something more. Something actually lovely, warm, insightful, and touching.

The Conklin brand was purchased by Yair Greenberg’s YAFA Corporation in 2009. Here’s a video of Greenberg talking about his coming to the United States, being educated here, and being thankful.

I ask you to take a break from the 24/7 news cycle, sit back, and watch this short video. You’ll feel better for it. I promise.

After seeing this, I have a new appreciation for my go-to fountain pen, my Duragraph. And, for National Fountain Pen Day.

@yafapens @GouletPens

By Stephen Brockelman

As a Sr. Writer at T. Rowe Price, I work with a group of the best copywriters around. We belong to the broader creative team within Enterprise Creative, a part of Corporate Marketing Services. _____________________________________________ A long and winding road: My path to T. Rowe Price was more twisted than Fidelity’s green line. With scholarship in hand, I left Kansas at 18 to study theatre in New York. When my soap opera paychecks stopped coming from CBS and started coming from the show’s sponsor, Proctor & Gamble, I discovered the power of advertising and switched careers. Over the years I’ve owned an ad agency in San Francisco; worked for Norman Lear on All in the Family, Good Times, Sanford and Son, and the rest of his hit shows; and as a member of Directors Guild of America, I directed Desi Arnaz in his last television appearance— we remained friends until his death. In 1988 I began freelancing full time didn’t look back. In January 2012 my rep at Boss Group called and said, “I know you don’t want to commute and writing for the financial industry isn’t high on your wish list, but I have a gig with T. Rowe Price in Owings Mills…” I was a contractor for eight months, drank the corporate Kool-Aid, became a TRP associate that August, and today I find myself smiling more often than not.

1 comment

  1. Hi. That’s a beautiful pen. I haven’t written with a fountain pen in decades, but I see the appeal. I’m glad there’s still a market for them. See you —

    Neil Scheinin

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