June 26, 2022

59 The letters we write.

59 The letters we write.

 In today’s episode, we will be talking about letters we write to loved ones and new stuff hitting Kickstarter.


New acquisitions?

John bought another Mythic Pen, this one is in Brook’s Golden Rule, cannot wait to see it in person


I can talk about the pens I got for my sister’s wedding, and what a ketubah is

Stellios

 

Postal Bulletin


Nancy Reagan (the stamp that should totally be laced with LSD)


And Pete Seeger (I know there is a way of getting to more diametrically opposed individuals into this kind of proximity, but you’d have to work at it)


Japan encouraging love letters (from the Straits Times)


And I am including this entirely for the last line in the article


I can relate to this one a bit more than most.



I think this is a great idea for any Dad out there.


Mark 3 Pencil


Thoroughly Considered podcast


More Kickstarter pen goodness

https://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/the-cocoon-pen-co-launches-kickstarter-campaign-for-its-nano-fountain-pen

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/silhouettepen/cocoon-nano-fountain-pen


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ensso/japanese-ebonite-fountain-pens?ref=recommendation-projectpage-footer-discover-more



Happy birthday to the ballpoint!


Fun, quirky, long article about a South African playwright that uses fountain pens. (the good part is just past the picture for Master Harold)




Transcript

59 The letters we write

John: [00:00:00] Welcome to episode 59 of stationary orbit, where we're all here to learn more about creative letter writing. I'm your host John West, and I'm joined by our co-host Evan Harris in today's episodes. We'll be talking about letters. We write to loved ones and new stuff, hitting Kickstarter. So good day, Evan. So I think both of us are going to apologize at least a little bit for our voices today. I'm just getting over a little head cold that wasn't COVID and Evan is just getting started in his experience with the true COVID cuz you tested positive. So thank you very much for , taking the time to be on today, even though you're tested positive.

Okay.

Evan: So far I've been fortunate. It's only been a sore throat. hoping. It just continues as that, but you always, especially nowadays want to treat things soon, cuz it's never fun to be sick at all and figure out what's the cause of the problem.

John: . Yeah, I don't have COVID to blame for my new acquisition. [00:01:00] I do have Jonathan Brooks to blame for it because he makes materials that are just irresistible and mythic pens through up a pen on Instagram. And it's his I'm, hopefully I'm not gonna mispronounce this ACS that.

 Anyway, so mythic pens threw up a pen on Instagram and it's one of his models that he did in Jonathan Brooks golden rule material. And. I have a single slot left in my pen case that has all of my other Jonathan Brooks material in it. And that golden rule is going to fit that spot very nicely.

So I, I suppose I could have resisted, but I didn't. And Brad's getting another chunk of my money because he just keeps making depends. I can't. 

Evan: Yeah. Are you sending it to Kirk for a N grind first?

John: No, I think I'm gonna go ahead and hold onto this one. I actually didn't specify what NB to send in it. He just said it was gonna be a, B [00:02:00] number six. So I'm gonna let him surprise me on it. If he sends me a medium, I'll probably leave it on ground. If he sends me a bold, I might send it out. 

Evan: Yeah. It's a beautiful pen and you've included the link on it to the Instagram, for thelist, which I think is who wrote a men. 

John: That sounds right. Yeah. Greek play. 

Right. 

Evan: beautiful pen. I follow a lot of the makers on Instagram. I see the beautiful pens and then I think, Ooh, should I buy that one? And by the time I've thought about it, it's sold, which is nice for my wallet.

John: Yeah, That was something that I saw the video and I saw that it had been posted eight hours before and I'm in Singapore, which means the entire us had eight hours to sit. And think about it. And fortunately, or unfortunately for me, depending on your point of view no one had bought it yet.

So I, I texted Brad and he said it was available.

Evan: That is quite impress.

John: I know we're gonna talk about some pens [00:03:00] that you did buy, but those weren't pens for you. I, as I understand it, you may be indulging in the true COVID experience of going out and buying a pen for yourself since you've tested positive for COVID any thoughts on what you're gonna get?

Evan: I haven't quite decided, but I'm gonna look around. But I actually did buy some pens recently that I've had, I showed one of them to you. Before the last episode, if you recall though, I didn't wanna mention because as part of a gift, but now I can talk about that gift. So yeah, what pen?

I get, we'll find out on the next episode of stationary orbit. But the pen that I have bought, I actually bought two. I bought from Chatterley . It was on sale. I bought it for me and thought, oh, , this is better as a gift . It was the STI opera demo filler or something like that.

It was one of the smaller ones. It was not one of the larger ones, one of the smaller ones clearer body acrylic. , PI and rod, instead of the metal ones in the homo sapien in the main homo sapien line it was the cotton Tandy or something like that was the taller. It was a [00:04:00] beautiful blue.

The other though is one is a maker pen. The first one I've paid for. It's not for me though. 

John: Oh, yeah. 

Evan: So both of these pens, I got as gifts for my sister and. And her husband, I can say now because in Judaism there's a traditional document that gets signed from marriage, told to katuba, it's a marriage document.

It sets out a bunch of stuff. Mostly the groom's obligation to the bride. We're taught you a document that is thousands of years old in tradition on surprise in the language it's actually written in ancient Aramaic, because it is as far as Judaism concerned, a legal contract.

John: oh, okay. So you'll have to, excuse my ignorance on this are Juda legal documents and contracts supposed to be written in Arabic

Evan: A lot of the were because it was the the language, it's pre Arabic Arama is related to Arabic though. And Aramaic two and 3000 years ago was the common language. In the Levant. So it's the language that people spoke day to [00:05:00] day religious services and religious tests were written in Hebrew and have continued to be written in Hebrew.

So you had a little bit of a difference though. There, the religious courts were also the legal courts. There wasn't a difference between civil and religious like we have today, but contracts were tended to be written in Aramaic.

John: Okay. And as I understand it that was actually Jesus' native tongue was Aramaic. 

Evan: It would've been of course we don't have a ton of archeological or accurate historical information on on him or who he may have been an amalgamation of stories from, depending on who you asked, but according to most historical. , Information I've seen. Yes, it would've been Aramaic because it was the, to, and Tanya of the time .

He would've been relatively well off. Would've spoken Hebrew. It would've been fluent in Hebrew as well, and was probably able to read and write both like many rabbinic students of the time. One thing that a lot of people don't like nowadays, rabbi is a job. [00:06:00] If you're a rabbi, you don't tend to have another job, but at the time, if you were a rabbi, you tend to also have a day.

John: Okay. 

Evan: So that is my understanding of the history. 

John: . Yeah. And the other mentioning Jesus' day job. I have to mention it just cuz it's. Honestly, it's my favorite Jesus joke. Somebody actually got kicked off of a gun forum one time because somebody had asked, what gun would Jesus carry? And somebody answered a nail gun, 

Evan: that's good. That

John: Was the perfect answer. 

Evan: that is very good. 

 . 

Evan: One of the things with the katuba though because , it is a contract you have, it has to be signed. So in America, especially katubas are frequently art pieces. They have the text in Aramaic and then a large decorative portion around that represents things that couple or parts of the couple's story.

Family friend actually designed the one for my sister in Mexico where my brother-in-law is from. They tend to just be literally the text. You sign them, [00:07:00] you put them in a safe as if it is a, I. Document because it is but in America you tend to see them hung up in the couple's home, but it has to be signed.

And depending on what level of observance who can sign depends, it can't be a close family member. So I would not be able to sign nor , any of my family. But of course we'rerefore this, and that happens before the big wedding events occur. So frequently there's two Orthodox Jewish men that sign.

So I bought these two pens for, and the bride room as well. I bought these pens so that they could all sign it. However, I found out the paper that the katuba was printed on is not one that would work well with fountain pens, which

John: It would work until everything feathered into oblivion. 

Evan: is not something you want 

John: Legal document. 

Evan: A legal document. That's gonna be hanging in your home for the next rest of your life. 

John: . Yep. So what was the pen of choice then? 

Evan: Sakura archival, Inc pens. 

John: Very good. 

Evan: so I, it [00:08:00] was in New York, so I could walk to an art store and buy them and they worked incredibly well, 

 . 

but I actually never mentioned the second pen I got thanks to our friends at the Trini terrace podcast.

I found a Mexican pen maker. I showed this pen to you last time before we recorded and said, I want, I didn't wanna talk to you about it then. So Stio is a pen maker and I will include a link to their Instagram because they make a lot of really interesting pens. And I picked the pen and I'd never worked with a pen maker, a custom pen maker before, but I picked the design and the material, and I absolutely love the pen.

My sister and her husband loved them as well, so they couldn't use them for the katuba, but they've got quite a few thank units to write.

John: Yeah, no, that'll be great. And hopefully you've supplied them with a good amount of MD note paper for. Yeah 

Evan: they, they have some, they had some of that made beforehand, so they are they're ready for that. They've got some inks. They like, and if not, they've got both Yoseka Fountain Pen hospital and goods for the study, pretty close to them. They can go pick out whatever they [00:09:00] want.

John: Congratulations to your sister and your new brother-in-law. It sounds like that was a, quite a festivity for their marriage. So congratulations to both of. 

Evan: yeah it was fun. I did not, surprisingly did not stop at either found a pen at any of the stores. I just mentioned I did stop at Lai. Who's also in the, who was also nearby.

John: very good. All right. We're gonna move into the postal bulletin and I apparently I am still. little bit punchy in terms of my sense of humor. And we've the first stamp that has been released in the new Posta bulletin is one for Nancy Reagan. And if for anyone that is not old enough to remember Nancy Reagan was the first lady that basically launched the war on drugs.

So my note in the show notes is that this is the stamp that should absolutely be laced with LSD. 

Evan: I think it's a little more accurate to say Nixon started the war on drugs, but the. [00:10:00] Movement certainly changed historically with Nancy Reagan, the dare campaign, and just say, no. This stamp is being released out of semi valley, California. So while LSD is definitely still illegal, there are other things which she, and her husband, the president were against that are illegal in the state of California that are legal in the state of California, that they could lace it.

John: Yeah. And yeah, I thanks for correcting that. yeah.

Not the war on drugs, but it was the dare campaign that she was the first main head for that. And so the next stamp and the one that I'm much more excited about, because Pete Seger is getting his own stamp 

Evan: It is surprising that the postmark basically just says music icons, which I believe is one of many service, one of many series and these series are always interesting. And so previously I believe we mentioned that for somebody to be included on a stamp, they have to be dead for at least five years.

It's set presidents who only have to be dead for a. Normally, even for major figures, it can take [00:11:00] 10 or more years till they're included on a stamp for many notable figures though, especially ones who live as long as somebody like Pete Seeger did you start to prepare for this stamp while they're still alive.

I know that was the case for babe Ruth. So his was only six years Seeger died in 2014. So it's not been 10 years. And he very much, I believe is deserving of a stamp, especially in the. In the musical icon series for anyone who's not familiar with his work some of his best known songs as a songwriter include things like where have all the flowers gone.

If I had a hammer kiss is sweeter than wine turn turn as, and he was a very prolific.

John: Yeah. Yeah, congratulations to Pete Seeger paly, but yeah, I definitely was more excited about that stamp than I was about the Nancy Reagan stamp.

Evan: I would agree with you. And for, because I was blanking out on the math, he did live to age 94. So again, quite a long [00:12:00] life and preparing for a stamp to commemorate a worthy person while he's still alive at that age is not Not out of the ordinary nor necessarily a bad thing.

John: . And for any of you that have any question in your mind about which lifestyle is better, that of an American politician or that of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Go look up a picture comparison of Sammy Hagar versus bill Clinton. They are the same age and you tell me which lifestyle you wanna live. because I guarantee you, Sammy Hagar is looking a lot better right now than bill Clinton is. 

Evan: Yeah. Politics is an absurdly stressful 

John:

Yep. watching. It is stressful. Let alone trying to live it.

 So we're going to go from stamps into what stamps help get around the world. And this one actually came from the straights times. It's. A syndicated article that came out of Japan, but I thought it was [00:13:00] interesting that it ended up here in Singapore for the straits times. And for anyone that's not familiar with it.

And I don't know if we really touched on it during my interview with the sunny and lip with us. Straits pens is here in Singapore. There's the Singapore straits. That's the channel between Singapore and Batam Indonesia. And that's the reason why you have a lot of things in Singapore that are called like the straits times or straights pens.

It's not straight as in straight. In an arrow direction. It's the straight that's the Singapore straight. 

Evan: I did not know that. Yeah. I don't think we covered that. That's it is news to me or I forgot.

John: Yeah. so that, that was one thing I wanted to mention since this was out of the straight's times, is that particular geographic reference. But the article from Japan is one of the prefectures in Japan [00:14:00] started. Encouraging young people to start writing love letters in an effort to up their birth rate in that area.

And they actually ended up with, I think, a lot bigger turnout of 450 people than they thought they were gonna get. And it's actually been expanding through other prefectures in Japan. So congratulations to all the young folks that have figured out that love letters are still a viable thing versus Tinder.

Yeah. I,

Evan: Yeah. Wait, is this, is there a city cuz it says in Southern Japan's Miyazaki I don't think it they're talking about inside the uh, The legendary animator and director. Hiza

John: I, I was assuming that me and Zaki was a prefecture. Yeah. 

Evan: I'm sure there's a, let me see. It's probably a premature city. It is a both in standard Japanese fashion. It is a it is the capital city of the Miyazaki premature on the island of QSU which is one of these Southern island.[00:15:00] 

John: And one of the last things in the article that. All right, this is just me being an old fart, but the, one of the last things in the here there is one participant, a 25 year old me and Zaki resident said, he said the idea brought back fond memories. As a kid, I used to write letters to a girl I had to crush on and I'm thinking to myself, 25 year old, and this is bringing back fond memories.

That's cute. 

Evan: Oh 

John: So, 

yeah, just me being an old fart. 

 

Evan: but apparently of the 450 17 have started, 17 couples have started a relationship.

John: . Yeah. In 32 have had face to face meetings, so good for them. The next one in terms of letters that people write, this one has had a long time cooking, but, back in 1971, a 10 year old girl from long island wrote a [00:16:00] letter to a us soldier serving in Vietnam and the soldier wrote back and the girl held onto that letter for the last 50 years.

And It, the article was a little vague as to whether or not they remained pen pals during the entire time, but she ended up looking up the soldier later on and found him in a nearby. Town veterans event and arranged for a meeting with him and returned his letter back to him. And turns out that letter had meant quite a bit to both of them.

And the biggest reason why I put the article in here is for the very last line on here, a lifelong bond forged by simple words of kindness. And that's one of my favorite kinds of letters. 

Evan: Yeah. It's a wonderful story. My read of it is that they did not remain pen pals, but of course a war zone is somewhat [00:17:00] hectic to. In contact, but it is a wonderful

John: . Yeah. And it's amazing how just one little act of kindness. what it means to the person that you sent it to and how long that kindness can stick with somebody. So that's a great example for it. The next example of letter writing. And this is something that I'm a little bit more akin to now is there is a exhibition that is going up in England.

 And this is going to be a set of letters from Australia that were sent 150 years ago. When a family, the Osborne family immigrated to south Australia in 1864 and all of the letters that came back to great Britain. Sh talking about their experiences, [00:18:00] their successes, what it took for them to survive in Australia back in 1864.

So I thought this was a really fun article to being, bringing back these letters this far after they were written. 

Evan: No, it's really neat. 

John: Yeah, I thought 

that was a, a good one. And then the last major letter writing, one that I have in here is one that, especially after father's day here, this last weekend, I thought this was pretty appropriate. And. A gentleman down in Texas when he was young at 19 years old, lost his father on a family vacation to Hawaii.

And His father drowned while they were out snorkeling in rough waters. And of course You can imagine how devastating this had to have been for a young man losing his father at that particular age, but [00:19:00] his father had a surprise for him. And he had been writing a legacy letter to his children for about four months previous to his on timely death.

And. That letter helped his son heal and go on to become a productive adult. He now has his children. He has been writing legacy letters to his own children and has now started a foundation or a challenge. to encourage fathers to write these same legacy letters to their kids, so that a lot of these things that normally go unsaid don't stay unsaid.

And I think that this is a really neat use of letter writing and something that's gonna be very valuable to the families that are involved.

Evan: It sounds like a really good movement. It's not that far from where I am right now. And also tell it's a good reminder to [00:20:00] be careful about rough water. Water is water's a lot stronger than you think.

John: Much stronger than you think.

Yeah. It's something that, like you said, it's most people think about. what they're going to get into. And they don't think that hard about it, cuz they might see other people out in the water doing it. But if you're not familiar with the hazards of a particular body of water I've scuba dived in stuff that.

If you are not prepared for, it will absolutely ring your bell because it actually turns into what they call it, the washing machine. And it actually turns you physically through the water because you're going through a narrow channel. And if you're not prepared for this kind of stuff, it will, water's unforgiving.

It will kill you quickly. 

Evan: Oh, yeah, no, no question about that. There are also in, especially in scuba diving, you're not gonna see it in snorkel. Like sometimes effectively [00:21:00] you're diving a cliff face and you can lose track of where you are very quickly.

John: Yeah. Yeah. That, that your dissent rate becomes very hard to estimate. So you better be keeping an eye on your computer? 

 . All right. So we're gonna move along to happier stuff. At least. Happier in terms of making maybe not so much happier for your pocketbook, but the cocoon pin company has launched a Kickstarter campaign for what they're calling a nano fountain pin.

And these are carved body fountain pens. They're pretty neat looking. Okay. 

Evan: Yeah, they, we've got a few different kit starters to show off. I think this is one of the really cool looking ones. I don't know how much it would fit. In my hand. It is a nano pen, so it's not great for me. I tend to prefer a larger pen and I don't like posting, but the carve designs on these are really cool.

They have three different ones. The SA the coy and the dragon.[00:22:00] 

John: Yeah,

My biggest concern about this particular pen is the way the cap fits on. I, we were talking about it a little bit before the show that we think it might be a magnetic fit or slip cap a seal on that, which now that I'm looking at the design a little bit more carefully, I think you're correct.

I think that's gonna be a slip cap design, but especially if you're gonna be carrying that as a pocket pin, that's not a great idea. 

Evan: You might be able to get it as a snap around some of it, but I would still be concerned.

John: . Yep. But Yeah. Interesting idea for carving on this I'll be interested to, I'd be interested to see the kind of machinery he's gonna be generating this on, but they do come with a pretty standard Schmidt nibs and components on them.

Evan: Yeah. So this is something that theoretically you could [00:23:00] injection mold the parts, but the, that level of injection molding with the engraving on a complex surface is to require several moving parts that would. Significantly increase the price of the mold, a standard mold you need somewhere between 10 and a hundred thousand units to make profitable or the 10,000, you need to break even a hundred thousand to be properly profitable.

I don't think that's gonna hit this. So I really do wonder what he's gonna use.

John: Actually, I just scroll down through the Kickstarter and you probably can speak to this a lot better than I can. He actually specifically calls out CAD modeling and laser centering. 

Evan: So 3d printing then it's a form of 3d. Uh, CAD modeling, unsurprising, every single found and pen released in the last few decades has been CAD modeled. It is the norm as opposed to doing things by hand, especially when you start talking about anything where you use any form of computer numer [00:24:00] control.

So whether that be in jet gen molding, where you're machining the parts machine, actual machine pens or I should say maker pens may not be CNC or CAD design, any mass production pen is. Maker pens are a different issue, cuz it's done by hand. Though many of them I'm certain are CAD designed, like shown design and in the what is it?

Matthew Martin pens, the metal ones where he is done all sorts of really cool metal designs as well.

John: also I believe the Newton pens are CAD processed CAD

cam. 

Evan: They definitely have at least some CAD processing in their. So laser centering here is a method of 3d printing that allows for significantly finer layers than the fused filaments that most people are familiar with. How it works is you start with basically a tub with a dust form of whatever material you're using.

So you selectively laser melt for a pen. It's gonna be a ring. And then you put a very thin layer of the material over that, [00:25:00] and then you do the same and then you do another layer and another. And so that's how you build up the layers.

John: , it definitely sounds like, , a process. I'm actually surprised that, and it's a good thing because it's saying now that 3d processing And.

3d printing, like this is becoming commercially viable, so that's great. 

Evan: It is great for these relatively small runs. As I said, I would think you would need to make probably in the range of 150,000 pens of a single design with this complexity to make it commercially viable. Should you use injection molding? I haven't done the exact math on number of inlays required, but that's approximately, and the price would be a lot more than they're selling these for which.

The current Kickstarter price is 59 pounds, which is approximately 73 us dollars.

John: Not a bad price given the, what they're doing. 

Evan: I've seen a lot more boring pens for a lot more. [00:26:00] If they made these in a longer version, I would probably be buying one, but for a nano pen, I'm never gonna use it. So I'm not gonna buy it.

John: Yeah, there you go. We don't want the nano pin. We want the kilo pin. We want something that's king of pin sized with those kind of designs would be awesome. 

Evan: If this is the nano and they're actually following metric a metric ratio, I could do a centi pen

John: There you go. CIP pen . 

So the next one that we have in the Kickstarter realm is the Enso pen. 

Evan: That's right. I remember seeing quite a while ago on Figboot's channel, a very interesting and well machined almost certainly CAD pen from them. These guys are based at California and this looks like a nice, relatively simple ebonite pen. They have both a regular and pocket sized, so maybe I'll buy a regular, but probably not. It looks like it uses a standard number six, which is always nice. And if you use a converter cartridge or be turned into an eyedrop or one of the many advantages of ebonite pens, 

John: [00:27:00] Absolutely. 

Evan: okay. Yes, it does use a number six.

They use Peter Bach number sits is for these.

John: okay. Yeah. The price on these.

is actually really reasonable at $89 for the current pen. And they had a $79 early bird, which is actually still available, which is surprising. Oh, 

Evan: Yeah. And for $40 more, you can add a titanium nib, something I still need to.

John: yeah. But Yeah. the for an ebonite pin with no urushi on it, that's not a bad price. The Wanker dream pin when they came out with their basic ebonite pen. I think that one was $200. And then the ones with the Iusi were. Four 50, I think 400, 4 50. 

Evan: Sounds about right. There's no urushi option here. Unfortunately, I still want to proper urushi pen.

John: It's got the proper substrate for it. So I suppose if you wanted to, you could send it [00:28:00] into a urushi studio or Jonathan Brooks or somebody like that. 

Evan: Yeah this would be a very good base pen to send a Bukomundo 

John: Yes, absolutely. 

Evan: A number six interchangeable nib . Classic body shape ebonite that this would be a really good one. The.

John: Yeah. Also very important for Bukomundo. There is no weird hardware on this

that she has to fight to get off the pin.

Evan: There is no hardware on this

John: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I agree. This is a good base pen for Bukomundo for her work. It'll be interesting to see where her. Where her backlog list stands up at after this. 

Evan: pent Her base price is about four times the price of the pen.

John: Yeah. But at the same time her base price being at yeah, about $400 is still less than any other urushi work you're gonna find. 

Evan: Absolutely. And I've [00:29:00] never held any of these custom urushi pens from anybody in my hand or seen them in person, but online, she has incredible work as do a lot of the others.

John: . Yep. Yeah. I will speak from experience because I was lucky enough to get a piece of work from her before her backlog list hit. I think she's had a full year now. I think I hit her when she was at six months and yeah, her work is just incredible. So highly recommended. For that, and that's gonna move us into our last Kickstarter.

 So for our last Kickstarter, we're going to go back to Dan provost and Tom Gerhart of the thoroughly considered podcast, as well as their main job, which is studio neat.

And they have launched several Kickstarters over the years and they are now moving from their mark one, which was theirs, coded. Ballpoint pin, where they specifically designed the clicker [00:30:00] for that. And they are now coming up with the mark three and the mark three is a mechanical pencil built on Schmidt pencil insert.

So this is also gonna be a Syco pen and it's gonna have the uh, DLC. knock on it, which we mentioned the DLC knock from the mark one on our last episode. And so this is just gonna be a continuation of that series. 

Evan: That's right. It's a really neat design. Like they always have in all of their products, minimalist, but very well engineered and produced. They've been to kit starter before with both the mark one and mark two, which was a pocket pen. Again, not something I would want both a ball points and a pocket pen.

It looks basically like a mark. I've not experienced anything with this Schmidt lead advancer, but it comes in both 0.5 0.7 version that are easily interchange.

John: Yeah, that is probably to me the most important. [00:31:00] selling point to this is the fact that it is an interchangeable pencil system, so that Saraco body and the rest of the engineering around it are gonna last forever. And so if you end up with problems with the mechanical insert that's replaceable.

So I think that's definitely a benefit for this design. 

Evan: Both use are replaceable and interchangeable. So even if you just wanna change sizes, you only need one pen. Of course you can't use both at once. It's coming in two colors and two metal possibilities, and black and white, and then copper and silver as the metals.

John: Yeah. And , instead of having a full knock on the top of this, they do have a hidden eraser cap on the knock end of this one. And. having used mechanical pencils for a significant portion of my young adulthood. I will [00:32:00] admit to a bias here. I absolutely hate this eraser design. 

Evan: Oh, 

John: they were the ban of my existence. 

Evan: it is not large enough to have any structural stability.

John: Yeah. Yeah, either, either it's too long and if you get too aggressive about the way you're erasing, it pops out or it's too short and the metal ends up cutting the paper. 

Evan: Correct.

John: So you can't win on that. So what they need now is the mark four, which is the clickable eraser version. That they have to produce.

And I think I think there's a Japanese clickable eraser. That's in an advanceable one that they could steal the body from that. 

Evan: I have not dunno if there's an interchangeable system, but I do know such systems or similar ones exist.

John: Yeah, there it is. yes, here it is. It's a Tombo mono zero [00:33:00] Alaster eraser. 

Evan: Oh, that's really neat. So it just comes down to 10. They source the.

John: Yeah. Can they get the the clickable body on it? But yeah did find one. And the Tobo eraser on this, it gives you a lot more grip. It gives you a lot more stability on the.

eraser head. For it. So that would be my suggestion, mark four coming up. 

Evan: Yeah, we'll see. And if it does, we will let everyone.

John: absolutely. And the next item on the list getting out a Kickstarter just a, just a fun little article, but happy birthday to the ballpoint pin. It was patented back in 1943 by Laslow and. Georgie. And the first name for the pin was Biromes so That's the reason why you have in a great Britain.

They call 'em biros and [00:34:00] the patent was then bought by Marcel B in 1945, which is why they're known as big pens in the us.

Evan: That's right. The this, the Hungarian uh, inventors, whose names I won't try and pronounce. Is a really neat design. The very first versions of the ballpoint pin do date back to about 1888, significantly older, but the modern ballpoint was invented around that timeframe and obviously, and patented.

John: Yeah. And I believe the main thing that happened was the. the biro design for the modern ballpoint, that patent was based on a specific printer ink that they were using. That flowed well over the actual machined ball that was pressurized behind it. The previous pens that had been used were more like the roller ball pens that we have now [00:35:00] that we try to use fountain pin ink in, and they don't always work very well because the ink either ends up clotting or.

It doesn't dry fast enough and those kind of things. And that's what the Biro brothers overcame, which was that ink problem.

Evan: That is my understanding of it as.

John: So our last link in the show notes, and this is it's a very long article. You need to scroll down about halfway through the article, but the article is about a south African playwright named Athal flu guard.

And I'll apologize to him if that is a slaughtering of the pronunciation of it. But it's about him and a friend of his that were working together and the other playwright. Came in. And he was gonna sit down and work with him and they were gonna write together in a tee room and he pulls out an electric typewriter and the other playwright just shrank back in horror.

And apparently. [00:36:00] This requires that very particular pungent east Cape accent. But apparently the other playwright was like, get rid of it and you've gotta get rid of that typewriter. You're what are you doing that you need to be writing this stuff, using pen and ink. And so it didn't quite set into the other guy's mind. initially, but I guess over a period of time, he went back and did get rid of the typewriter for the initial manuscript and then went through. And when he was revising it, typed it up afterwards, the the Athal. The original playwright apparently does not use a typewriter at all. He actually takes the handwritten manuscripts and turns them over a professional typist to be turned into the actual play.

This guy, it took him a while, but I love some of the detail in the article where he starts talking about the. the Mont [00:37:00] Blanc, 1 49 that he carries and the fact that he only uses a pen for each play, one pen for the play. He can continue using the pen for notes later, but he will not use the pen for another play.

And I thought that was a great little bit of detail. And the fact that also he. You should never loan someone, your fountain pen. And I have not quite. Prescribed to that, but I've heard horror stories about people having very expensive fountain pens ruined by non fountain pen people because they handed it over and the other person either dropped it or considered a threaded twist cap.

They thought it was a pull cap and pulled the threads off and those kind of horror stories. So I can definitely see where Mr. Fugard was coming from. 

Evan: I definitely understand that. And my dad has had a dialogue three destroyed by the

John: Uh, [00:38:00] Yeah I'm gonna give the TSA a pass on that because I don't know how I'd open a dialogue three either. 

uh,

Evan: I mean, This is a fake one, but it's just a rotation mechanism.

John: is it okay? But, yeah, it's if you're up for the read and you're up for some interesting history about South Africa and apartheid and some of the political activism that was going on during the early eighties definitely a fun read, but I loved. Some of the fountain pen lore that they get into.

They were talking about PW, Ackerman and Parker fountain pens, and the, then, the Mon Blanc 1 49. I just, I love the details. I love some of the attitude that's involved in the article.

Evan: It's very interesting and I need to read the full article later. 

John: . Yep. And that's gonna do it for this episode of Stationery orbit. Thank you all for tuning [00:39:00] in hope to have us in your ears again in two weeks, be proud of your snail mail.