While cleaning out a box the other day, I came across a photo of a vintage Sheaffer fountain pen.
What’s that, you ask?
Back in the day, folks were accustomed to this writing device, which had a special tip that enabled a person to hand-write, in cursive script, a swellegant note or letter. If you owned such a pen, you also needed a bottle of ink to refill the pen; the bottle had a well where you’d place the pen tip, then swoosh in ink. Black ink was preferred; blue was popular; I recall having green ink, at one point.
This pen predated the current gel pens, which you now click to reveal a pen point, to write.
Sheaffer later had cartridges that didn’t require ink bottles, and this meant less chances of spilling ink and ease in writing. The issue with fountain pens: you had to be cautious about not placing your hand or wrist on ink that might be wet, a problem slightly more challenging for lefties.
Typewriters, computers and cellphones virtually erased the art of penmanship and basic notecard writing or letters printed from a computer that only requires a personal signature. Texting also has led to a new shorthand language – BFF, LOL, BTW,OMG, TTYL, IDC, WTF – and iconic smiley face and the thumbs up also have altered the way we “write.”
Raise your hand, if you still use a Sheaffer fountain pen. If yes, your signature glows with this kind of pen.
I stopped using this classic writing instrument years ago when ball points became popular.
And while I utilize email daily, like most folks, I still send a note card – commonly a thank you, frequently a birthday greeting – because I believe in the art of writing. Besides, I create Wild Cards of various designs to promote this lost art of penning a note.
Which brings to mind: remember the song, “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter” It’s a love song – even Frank Sinatra sang and recorded it — that says a lot and says it best:
I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter
And make believe it came from you
I’m gonna write words, oh, so sweet
They’re gonna knock me off my feet
A lotta kisses at the bottom
I’ll be glad I got ’em
I’m gonna smile and say “I hope that you’re much better”
And then I’ll close the way I do