pens, temperature-barometric pressures for?

(by harpersnotes2 for everyone)

   If I slightly warm up a pen (leaving it in sunlight for awhile perhaps), ballpoint or felt, will

the pen glide more easily across the page? (Less handcramping.) (Just jumping in- I don’t

read all the posts.) Similarly with mechanical pencils, but there the leads would likely snap.

So what about regular old wooden pencils? (Say HB 5? Versus the usual HB 2 hardness.)

Just some musings. Is “standard room temperature” always best?

  A different issue- barometric pressures… When traveling across the country my pens

often leak, apparently from going up into the mountains where the air pressure is less.

I haven’t taken a plane trip, but to the extent air cabin pressure is not maintained for sea

level there may be effects there as well? Or maybe it’s just coincidence…

  Richard Harper

On 6/20/07, Alex <[email protected]> wrote:

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Just amazing to think about the kind of technology that went into all these Gregg shorthand publications.

Do you know anything about that mysterious cooked ink?  Did McGraw-Hill buy it that way, or did they buy some other kind of ink and cook it?  I’ve never heard ink described that way before. 

I wonder if the switch to a felt marker was because the special ink and paper were no longer available . . . calligraphers face some of the same kind of dilemmas, as do people who write with fountain pens to some extent (you sure can’t buy fountain pen ink at Wal-Mart!)


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4 comments Add yours
  1. The reason I prefer writing with a fountain pen is that to me, ballpoints/gels/rollerballs already have TOO MUCH glide.  Compared to the dependable friction of a fountain pen, they feel like walking on ice in tennis shoes.  Just my personal preference…

  2. Yes, fountain pens leak at high altitudes, including airplanes — you can only write for a few minutes, because ink will start coming out from the nib! In fact, any pen with liquid ink leaks (rollerball pens included), except those that specifically say that they don't, for example, the Vision Elite series by Sanford. I use those when I'm flying.

  3. I remember that not leaking in airplanes was a major marketing issue when ballpoints were first introduced in about 1946.  Can't quite recall the details.  At least they didn't leak definitively like fountain pens.  Later someone brought out a pen that was guaranteed to write in zero gravity and was allegedly used by astronauts.   Fountain pens, as I recall it, were necessary for marathon Gregg writers such as court reporters, with one or two spares kept at hand.  I believe there was a lot of individual preference as to the preferred point and other features.  I think I have seen specially ruled notebooks for court reporters with a couple of vertical rules at the left side, so as to identify different speakers by starting at a certain rule.   Gregg's produced pens with the Gregg logo on the cap.  Sheaffer's, I think, was the manufacturer.  I do not know for what purposes they were used–for sale, as prizes, as marketing premiums, or possibly all of the above.  I have three of them; two with a fake wood finish, and one in black.  I hope many of you Gregg fans own one; they are certainly a great souvenir.  I do not know whether Gregg pens were particularly favored by speed champions, but I suspect not.  I seem to recall that the points were made with the rather obscure metal called Iridium.   I would imagine a Gregg pen would come up on eBay from time to time.  You could enter a Favorite Search for one and they will notify you of new listings.   Half a block from my store is a world-class dealer in antique pens, Pen Haven.   I do not know whether they have any Gregg pens.  Tell Bert I sent you.  They also do restorations.   The Gregg logo, ovals bisected by horizontal and diagonal strokes, was of course a demonstration of the cursive nature of the system, and contained nearly all the shapes found in the system–or at least the consonants.  But doubtless you already know this.   Cheers,   Don

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