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Master Penman

APRIL 17, 2006
Vintage Pens

Attention Nibsters!

Cap that Pelikan 120 you just purchased on eBay and click on this link:


You haven't gone there yet? Okay, if you have any interest at all in fountain pens, here's why you should follow my suggestion:

A friend (the very talented cartoonist-turned illustrator), Tim Haggerty was in his Doctor's office recently reading an old issue of Fortune magazine and stumbled upon an article about a guy who lives in New Hampshire who, not only sells and repairs fountain pens, but modifies the nibs. The guy in question is Richard Binder and I'm delighted to share Tim's discovery.

Binder dabbled with fountain pens over the years, but in 1998, he began collecting vintage pens in earnest, which led to his selling and, eventually, repairing them. In Binder's own words:

"I intended to sell vintage pens that I’d purchased and restored, and I do sell a few of these pens; but my business rapidly decided without my help that it was going to be based primarily on high-quality repair and restoration for clients. I then branched out into nib adjustment and customization, and I find this latter skill very rewarding; to hand a nib to a client and get a “wow!” in return is a great kick."

Well, that's a kick I hope to deliver. Binder is an authorized retailer for Bexley, Conway Stewart, Filcao, Pelikan, Signum, and Taccia fountain pens. I've never heard of those brands, since my Pelikan 120 has long served my specialized needs, but I'll bet if Richard sells them, they are high-quality pens. If you purchase a pen from him and order its nib customized, Binder will customize the nib to your specifications. According to his site, nib customization begins at $30.00.

Binder's personal collection focuses primarily, although not exclusively, on vintage American pens. On his site, he has some delicious photo of vintage Waterman's, Esterbrook, Sheaffer's, Eversharp and Parker pens.

Shown in the photo are four of my favorite models from Binder's collection. Two Parker's, a Chilton and a Crocker.

1. Parker Jack-Knife Safety Pen
2. An exquisite Parker Duofold "Big Red"
3. The Chilton "Golden Quill"
4. The Crocker Ink-Tite
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