Monday, May 25, 2009

Red Esterbrook - J Series

My curiosity about whether Steve Leveen may have used the Esterbrook J Series as his model for the Levenger True Writers, led me to purchase this red Esterbrook J with a 2668 nib. Placing the Esterbrook J next to a True Writer demonstrates how similar they are in appearance - especially, the silver bands, clip and end caps. They both have a screw out nib so that you can easily change nib sizes. The True Writer is larger and offers cartridge or converter fill. The Esterbrook is lever-bladder fill.

This model of the J series, with "Esterbrook" imprinted on the clip and the black end caps were produced in great numbers during the 1950s.

The ink sac on this one had deteriorated to fragments. So, this was my first pen restoration. The pen had to be taken apart, cleaned and a new sac installed. It reminded me of building models when I was a kid - restoring this pen was a joy. If you haven't attempted it yet, it is not as intimidating as it sounds. Between the instructions on Richard Bender's site and the availibility of parts from Pendemonium, it is really quite simple. This pen is currently filled with "Rattler Red" from Noodlers - to match the color of the pen - and writes extremely will for a steel nib. The 2668 nib is very firm and provides some feed back but not too much if you keep a light hand. The 2668 produces a medium-fine line and never fails to provide ink.

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