Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sheaffer Balance Fountain Pen Writes Very Well

The Sheaffer Balance that I won on Ebay came in last week, and it is a beauty! I filled it with Noodler's Marine Green ink - although I don't know how. What I mean is, I don't know how the filling system works. The end unscrews and a long plunger pulls out and when you push it back in there is a funny popping sound and there's ink in the pen. I read some history on Sheaffer who was quite the inventor and revolutionized the pen industry at the turn of the century - he invented the lever and bladder system for fountain pens, so that people would no longer have to fill them with eye-droppers. He also guaranteed the nibs for life, which you can see if you zoom in on the nib (with lingering green ink) pictured here. I think this pen dates back to the mid 1930s but I am not sure. This pen with a 14ct gold (extra?) fine point nib, is the smoothest and easiest writing pen I have ever used. It is a much smaller than what I expected, which is ironic because I returned a Levenger Decathlon because it felt too light weight and I wanted a a larger heavier pen. Well, not everything that is "vintage" is larger and heavier. The Sheaffer Balance is narrow and light weight but at least it is long enough at 5.5". The long and short of it is that you simply do not care because it writes so well.

It probably appears as though I have nothing to write about but pens. Actually, I hope to have time in the near future to post some photos of my grandfather's and dad's old handtools, but I have to pull them out of storage before I can do that. One of the benefits of fountain pens is not only their unique beauty and utility; they take up very little space!


Anonymous said...

Everything you ever wanted to know about filling systems is at Some of those vintage Sheaffer pens are a bit delicate IME and can easily be damaged. Richard lays out everything users ought to know to avoid unnecessary repairs. I mean really. No one wants to see a favorite pen go off to hospital for six months, especially a pen with an addictive sweet nib like a Sheaffer. ;-)

Veemack said...

Thanks! I'll read it. You're right - now that I have written with the Balance for awhile, I am still amazed at well it writes.

Veemack said...

I just read Richard Bender's description of how the vacuum fill works (referenced above). I had to read through it twice before I got it but now I know what causes that popping sound at the end of depressing the plunger - amazing!