If I wasn’t such a fan of the vintage Esterbook pens, I don’t think I ever would have imagined myself as someone who would buy a pink fountain pen. But… I have a secret desire to own an Esterbrook in every color they were ever sold in (maybe not every variation… that would get complicated). I have just about all the major iridescent colors except Root Beer/Copper (if you’re looking to unload one, let me know!) so it was time to start on the hunt for the pastels.
They were several solid colored pastels sold in the Esterbrook line: pink (sometimes looked sherbet orange and later a brighter reddish color), blue (pale and then a brighter hue), yellow, green (in a couple hues), grey, lilac and the coveted white “Nurse’s pen”. So I have a ways to go but the pastel pens are often as expensive if not more expensive than the larger J-series icicle/iridescent pens of the same period. I think this is partly because those light colored plastics were often stained by the inks used at the time and their smaller size and narrower barrel may not have withstood the years of abuse as well as their larger cousins.
This particular pen came with a #9668 nib which is the Master Point standard medium “General Writing” nib. It looks to be in good shape but I could hear the dried rubber flakes when I moved the pen so I know it will need a new ink sac… someday. In the meantime, I just dip my nib in an ink bottle and can get anywhere from a few lines to a whole page of writing from one dip.
As you can see, the purse pen is quite a bit shorter and a little narrower than a standard J-series double-jewel Esterbrook. It measures just 4.25″ capped compared to the 5″ regular pen. The cap can be posted for writing to give a longer tool but in general, I don’t think the purse pens would be comfortable for most people with large hands to use. Oh, we of the dinky-hand club highly approve! It fits in my small hands as comfortably as the Kaweco Sports do.
I decided that if I was going to own a pink pen, I might as well own some pink ink so I picked up a bottle of Edelstein Turmaline, the Ink of the Year from 2012 from The Pen Place in Crown Center, Kansas City. They still had it in stock. The bottles for the Edelstein line are so elegant and, to be honest, I kind of like this particular shade of pink. It reminds me raspberries.
At first, I used the #9668 General Writing nib that was in the pen but it was a bit too wide for my taste. The ink did get some nice shading as a result and the nib wrote super smoothly but it was just a bit too wide for me.
I switched out for a MIB #9555 shorthand nib which has the numbers stamped in a wide vertical line. It seemed appropriate to have a Shorthand nib in a pink purse pen, like something one of the secretaries on Mad Men might have carried.
The line width of the #9555 shorthand nib works well for me, I’d compare it to the F or EF nib in my Kaweco Sports. All in all, I am quite happy with this purchase. Ebay auctions can be a gamble and for all the “meh” purchases of the past, this one is a big winner!