Project 007: Fountain Pens

The last time we tried to write a letter by hand we had to re-read it to make sure it actually made sense, and only looked like the work of a first-grader. Sometime in the last few keyboard-dominated years our handwriting skills took a nosedive. For Project 007 Ralph Abercrombie sent us this photo essay..

The last time we tried to write a letter by hand we had to re-read it to make sure it actually made sense, and only looked like the work of a first-grader. Sometime in the last few keyboard-dominated years our handwriting skills took a nosedive. For Project 007 Ralph Abercrombie sent us this photo essay on the lost art of penmanship and the equipment it's best practiced with: the fountain pen.

He writes:"The fountain pen is to paper as brush is to canvas-its use is an art form; the result can be artwork. The ballpoint is a mechanical device born of soulless expediency, wherein grace finds itself sacrificed to convenience and productivity. The force required to propel it across paper precludes finesse and inhibits style. It conveys thought to paper in a precise and mechanical manner, leaving little room for individuality. A fountain pen imbues the written word with the unique character and flair of its writer."

Watermans, early 1900's: red ripple and hard rubber, gold and silver overlay

1800's dip quills: Warren "Penny Quills", Samson Mordan & Co. steel nib dip pens, ivory map pens

Japanese figural pen, early 20th century

A typical lever-filler pen, ca. 1903 Waterman 52-1/2VMany antique and vintage fountain pens are lever-fillers. To fill one, lift its lever (as shown on the disassembled example, above) and submerge its nib in ink. Depress the lever and count to ten before removing the nib from the ink bottle.A plate inside the lever box presses against a rubber bladder; when the lever is depressed the plate relaxes and allows the bladder to inflate, thereby taking in ink through the nib.The flake seen above is of orange shellac; it melts under a heat gun and is used to affix rubber bladders to feed sections. A spare bladder is seen as well.

Gold, Platinum, Rhodium nibs (L-to-R): Montblanc 149, Sailor Professional Gear, Pelikan M1000, Waterman Exception

Ink DrawerOne of the nice things about a fountain pen is that if you can't find the ink color you want for it, you can always mix it yourself. My favorite shade is a deep burgundy made by mixing Noodler's Azure Blue with Foxy Red. I add 5% white to give the ink a glossy appearance.

Inkwells: Victorian, traveller, burst-tops
The full essay is here.
Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

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The Planet

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"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

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September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

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Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

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"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

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