Tag Archives: # scratch nibs

The Ty.Phoo Tea 1920s fountain pen.

Having purchased pens from the impetus of the, previously unknown by myself, Fountain Pen Day (thanks fellow blogger for the information) it seems a collective of ‘write about’s’ await. Grand total of £28 for three pens? An experiment of ‘see one, cheap not expensive, buy to try, cross fingers and wait and see what happens’ was the remit.

The Ty.Phoo pen was received today. Paid £13.50 for it. Won it against two other bidders on eBay. I’ve tried it out with Sheaffer Black ink about an hour ago. It behaves remarkably well flow wise for a 100 year old pen. Made of hard black rubber it is a lever fill. It has a Warranted nib marked 14 ct and my internet reading up on the Warranted meaning brings conundrums and stories of various telling. Either great or bad depending on the luck of the draw. The nibs performance was initially scratch noise. Looking through the magnifier the tines did not look misaligned. But with a flex like this has, the back spring can sometimes complicate ‘levelling uniformly’ back into place. A gentle teasing of the nib provided less scratch noise and the ink in the lettering line strokes did not separate into two thinner lines going back to one thick line. Use and gentle nurturing will bring it alive. I do not actually mind noise in nibs. It reminds me of earnest Victorian letter writing you see in films. It carries a certain urgency in the message’s meaning. A message with purpose if you like. The writer folding the letter up, stamping the wax seal whilst looking haughtily down their nose and stating ‘Make sure they receive this as soon as possible and bring me back their answer’. Then a discourteous double wave of the back of the hand sending the messenger on their way. Either that or Charles Dickens writing a masterpiece scratching down the words in candlelight glow.  

Imprinted information on the Typhoo pen’s barrel states that the tea relieves indigestion. It has a dot after the Ty. I believe it is now Typhoo and not Ty.phoo. This came from internet historical information about John Sumner, a grocer in Birmingham, England, and the reasons for his launching of the ‘Typhoo Tipps’ tea in 1903. John’s sister found that tiny particles of tea leaves helped alleviate her indigestion symptoms. At the time the large leaf variety was common. He branded his tea Typhoo, which in part was Chinese for ‘doctor’. The double ‘pp’ in tipps was a printing error, but it was kept that way for many years.

Looking at internet information on the fountain pens, it seems to generally suggest that they were made cheap, but have become few and far between in hunting them down. A fellow WordPress blogger has written his insights into the restoration of his own Ty.phoo pen ownership. Link below. 

The pen is barrel discoloured. I won’t change that nature as it shows age in it’s patina. Has a new ink sac now inserted, which the seller has done. Fills nicely. And I found that the cap screws on to the barrel base for posting. At first I thought it snapped on. But now known? It feel pleasant with posting. It reminds me of a clunkier Swan Mable Todd. Shame the nib has none of the Swan sheen and softness. 

Please tap on individual images below to enlarge.

My love of pens is based on their quirky nature. Yet not so outlandish they become ‘one offs’, which become difficult to understand (‘why this particular invention/design) and possess peculiarities maintenance wise. My love also extends to the ethereal nature. Albeit ethereal in the mechanics, the feel and the design. Something exists in the aura of the pen that suits the psyche. That sounds awfully far fetched. And yet, the fave pens echo my love for the VeeDub Bus. The ‘camper van’ is also quirky in nature and I have had to fathom out it’s own story and marry myself to it’s nature in order to keep it alive. 

An afterthought.
Paper and future self promises. 

Looking currently at Japanese Midori paper with interest. May buy a few smaller journals to see how they go. The winter nights are drawing in and writing by candlelight, whilst also listening to gentle background music, is once again on the agenda. Calming in nature, it begs to become therapeutic blog subject material. The synergic ambience of creating an imagined scene is an approach I am happy with. The facts, breakdown knowledge and advice on the fountain pens, dip nibs, inks and paper choices is a subject that I am very inadequate in knowledge and experience to put into practice. 

How to remember interesting ‘happen upon’s’ is to bullet point and catalogue.

I suppose the aim is to jump on an idea and then create comfortable scenarios for people to think ‘I’d like to try that out too’. If you can present your own interests with the hopeful triggering of those interests for others to try? That is a wished for well won. Well! That’s how I get motivated with new projects. Others inspire. Currently? Handmade Christmas cards and small decorations, gardening ideas for January beginnings, new cooking recipes, performance poetry, new songs/lyrics to self write, new music to find, a book I can actually finish once started, winter clothes from charity shop finds, newly found spice based essential oils synergy aromas, etc. If something exists on the horizon for you to have a go at yourself, it can make the days swing along very nicely.