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Confessions of a Esterbrook Collector
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At one time they were ubiquitous and as a utilitarian fountain pen all pervasive in schools, government as well as business and industry.

Most people will describe Esterbrook Fountain Pens as bulletproof, neither exciting or sexy (as pens go) or compelling except to those certain collectors that see them a s remarkably good writers that are inexpensive, making for a great value as workaday fountain pens.

The Renew Point that gives you the choice of dozens of styles nibs to choose from along with a choice ofquality levels.

You can find early ones, late ones, transitional models and even some cool desk pens, so there are areas to concentrate on such as the rare and exciting pastels shown in this section. I am willing to bet many of the Esterbrook Aficionados have a vcopy of Paul Hoban's book "The Fountain Pens of Esterbrook" in their pen library for reference, if you don't and you're intrigued by Esterbrooks pick up a copy it's a good start for Esterbrook info and has tons of old advertisements to check your collection against.

Right now I have a few of the 2 hole clips but none of the one hole clip pens, but hope to add to my collection in the future. I have about 20 of the pocket pens some of the plain black others are that metallic two tone of red, green, blue, silve,r and root beer in their own display case. I also have 3 of the desk types with holders a black 8 ball style DB-112 and a mauve (?) oneplusone of the deco-ish wedge shape DB-114 style. All of thos Esterbrooks are ready to write smoothly and effortlessly with the next ink fill.


I have given awy at least 4 Esterbrook pocket pens as gifts and even and 8 ball desk set. I have help several people select their first Esterbrook personally and site Esterbrooks as a fine introduction to vintage pens for the timid and frugal. I sing their praises a lot to people that are just getting interested in Fountain Pens. While they may not have fine gold nibs or fancy trim but they'll take on any writing job and help to make it not be a chore.

Esterbrooks, what's not to like?

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WOW John!

Would love to see pics if your collection!

Frank

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Indeed.

Break out the camera bud, I want to see the trove!

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I have one copper
2 Double J blues, two SJ blue.
4 grey,and am missing two very light grey/silvers.

6 barrles (transision black mostly, aSL copper and I'd have to really look) and 9 tops that dont' match.

I need a very snake dark green cap and will give up three real good other color green tops. Not that I want to but the chance of me matching cap to barrle, for them now suddenly pretty Greens, in Germay is as much as you be drinking Heidelberger Christmas beer right now.

Screw Brian anderson, there are some 6-9 different variations of each color...out side perhaps red, where I see three colors varaiations, of which I want two...snaky and pre-snaky...too drunk to go looking for the right name right now...the Debuxxx what ever.

I bought a big Ebay parts box of Easties and Wearevers...not thinking about Wearevers' then...because I had a "boring" grey Easty....( I now have a collection of 4 greys), and wanted a copper and a blue.

I need 2 greys, three greens, two more copper....brown, and two reds.

Well that is for the year after next.

I do have a few parts....I can mail....to a needer....no money, just stamps......well a needer can have them for stamp or stamp money......


Well I'd not mind buying your spare parts for stamp money..
Nope, I'm not into getting rich in a hurry.

-- Edited by Bo Bo Olson on Friday 4th of December 2009 01:48:45 PM

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Bo Bo Olson wrote:

Screw Brian anderson, there are some 6-9 different variations of each color...out side perhaps red, where I see three colors varaiations, of which I want two...snaky and pre-snaky...too drunk to go looking for the right name right now...the Debuxxx what ever.

I'm sorry, did I piss you off? How many esterbrook do you physically own? Got a picture of all these so called variations in color?

Brian


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"Screw Brian anderson,"

Damn son, them fightin' words in some parts. What did he do to piss in your cereal? I've known and respected Brian for a long time. Hell man, he's a great guy and has most likely forgotten more about esties than I'll ever know.

Random verbal bitch slap aside,

I do agree with you on the color variants. I've seen a couple of distinct shade/patterns within the various models. Too many in my opinion to be a coincidence.


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I want a red estie very much. And a pastel yellow. No money just now so must restrain myself!!

I love all the colour varients, and I was very impressed with the estie I saw on FPN, vishu-master? The one with the ink window?

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Bo Bo Olson wrote:
Screw Brian anderson, there are some 6-9 different variations of each color...out side perhaps red, where I see three colors varaiations, of which I want two...snaky and pre-snaky...too drunk to go looking for the right name right now...the Debuxxx what ever.

-- Edited by Bo Bo Olson on Friday 4th of December 2009 01:48:45 PM



I just have to say wow.



-- Edited by Titivillus on Wednesday 9th of December 2009 05:38:26 PM

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Stu (Highbinder) was referring to Bill's great ebay find that he posted over at FPN.
It is a great example of a rare Visu-Master. (How 'bout a pic here?)

I know Bill from both of these boards, he is very outspoken smile.gif, as others here can be.confuseHe is referring to all of the confusing shade variations of the colors we all know that Brian is correct about. I'm sure it was all in good humor and fun!

Frank

-- Edited by Frank on Wednesday 9th of December 2009 06:17:14 PM

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Yeah it's an incredible looking pen. Lemmi steal the link..



Yum.

Anyone know what colours the visu-masters came in?

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Been a while since I was here.

I bought a box with Esterbrooks and Wearevers from Ebay.
It was the pens listed.
I went to Richard Binder's Com where he said there were so and so many colors. I saw different colors and patterns, snaky, streaky and sort of blaa.

I decided there were more colors than listed by Mr. Binder or Mr. Anderson, and thought that the Esterbrook community could come up with a slew of neat names for the shades and patterns.
Garter snake green, Yellow Spring leaf green, midnight grey...I had thought it a dingy black until I polished it a tad. I have four shades of grey, I have four shades of green (caps and a snaky green barrle), I have 3 or 4 shades of blue.
I saw two shades of copper. I no longer have a cracked barrel of one shade.

Having passed my color test in the AF back in the day, I know my eyes are good with color.

How Ever Mr. Anderson came down, with his titanium spiked golf shoe's on me, Stating there Were Only 6 Colors and Mr. Binder was wrong too.
Lots of folks bowed down to the Authority.

I do understand the factory did not take the time to make good rather than near matches.

I can understand it making it more difficult to have a collection of Esterbrooks, if all the different shades were so marked. I understand that some one would have trouble in selling them, in one might say that was not Midnight Grey, but dark Dusk gray.

I am not selling them.
I have 4 shades of grey, and am missing two or more shades of grey; perhaps four.

I have seen many neat color descriptions by folks who are not Esterbrook experts of this and that shade of say, grey on Ebay.

I can see it would be harder to sell a pen where the top dont quite match the bottom. I have a green pen with that problem. It is Garder snake green and none of the four tops I have match that.

I can understand Mr. Andersons position in he sells Esterbrooks, and would have a problem with trying to match barrels to tops. Having to say.near match, instead of good match of color.

As a collector some day, and not a seller, I would like the various shades categorized so I can find out gee.Im missing four shades of Gray and not the two I thought. I would also see that two of my grays are only near matches and not good matches.

I can see Mr. Andersons point, sooner or later if there is a good color chart, some are going to buy only perfectly matched pens.
I can understand his point of view. That dont mean I accept it.



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Seasoned

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Look in the picture, out side my first gray all my Esterbrooks are there.

To answer Mr. Anderson...and I forgot to put it in the above post.
Sure I don't have Mr. Anderson's "experence". But my I have eyes.
I am an Esterbrook noobie...don't have an attitude problem like Mr. Anderson....but then I'm not selling Esterbrooks either.


I have one copper
2 Double J blues, two SJ blue. A blue Transional, and a LJ blue....none quite the same.
4 grey,and am missing two very light grey/silvers.

6 barrles (transision black mostly, a SL copper, nurse white,and I'd have to really look) and 9 tops that dont' match.

I need a very snake dark green cap and will give up three real good other color green tops.
A couple of blacks too.

-- Edited by Bo Bo Olson on Wednesday 20th of January 2010 09:50:18 AM

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Bo Bo Olson wrote:
....

How Ever Mr. Anderson came down, with his titanium spiked golf shoe's on me, Stating there Were Only 6 Colors and Mr. Binder was wrong too.
Lots of folks bowed down to the Authority.

....

I can see Mr. Andersons point, sooner or later if there is a good color chart, some are going to buy only perfectly matched pens.
I can understand his point of view. That dont mean I accept it.


Please excuse my confusion but is the point of your post saying that you find more colors of Esterbrook pens?

Or are you just venting about Brian and Richard?

I assume that the conversations that caused your post happened at another site. Wouldn't it be better to discuss this over there where the two people in question post?



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agreed, I have zero clue what your talking about.

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Bo Bo Olson wrote:


I decided there were more colors than listed by Mr. Binder or Mr. Anderson, and thought that the Esterbrook community could come up with a slew of neat names for the shades and patterns.
Garter snake green, Yellow Spring leaf green, midnight grey...I had thought it a dingy black until I polished it a tad. I have four shades of grey, I have four shades of green (caps and a snaky green barrle), I have 3 or 4 shades of blue.
I saw two shades of copper. I no longer have a cracked barrel of one shade.

Having passed my color test in the AF back in the day, I know my eyes are good with color.

How Ever Mr. Anderson came down, with his titanium spiked golf shoe's on me, Stating there Were Only 6 Colors and Mr. Binder was wrong too.
Lots of folks bowed down to the Authority.

<snip>


I can understand Mr. Andersons position in he sells Esterbrooks, and would have a problem with trying to match barrels to tops. Having to say.near match, instead of good match of color.

As a collector some day, and not a seller, I would like the various shades categorized so I can find out gee.Im missing four shades of Gray and not the two I thought. I would also see that two of my grays are only near matches and not good matches.

I can see Mr. Andersons point, sooner or later if there is a good color chart, some are going to buy only perfectly matched pens.
I can understand his point of view. That dont mean I accept it.

<snip>
To answer Mr. Anderson...and I forgot to put it in the above post.
Sure I don't have Mr. Anderson's "experence". But my I have eyes.
I am an Esterbrook noobie...don't have an attitude problem like Mr. Anderson....but then I'm not selling Esterbrooks either.



Wow, I'm being bashed in a forum I don't frequent. Awesome. Take it over to FPN, I'm more likely to see it there.

Bo Bo, it seems you mock my "experience" (since you put it in quotes), yet you obviously seem to know a lot about me. Since my online presence has been minimal over the past two years for personal reasons, I can only surmise you garnered what you know about me from my website. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't know of a better, more complete website on Esterbrook than mine, so my contribution to the pen community does not provide enough "experience" for you?

I do sell Esterbrook pens, of course I do. In the natural course of my collecting, I come across pens that are duplicates, and once in a great while I buy a collection here or there. However, if you knew anything about me, you would know that up until just a few years ago, I never sold a J pen for anything more than $25, and that was with a nice 9xxx series nib. I often sold pens for $15. It was when I got tired of people posting and selling pens for $45-100 (for simple dollar pens) that I decided to raise my prices. My thought always was and always will be that Richard Esterbrook made these pens to be competitive, yet affordable, and that is how I approach my selling. When someone sells a J for $60, I want to know why I can get a similarly priced Parker 51 or Waterman 52 with a flexible nib for less. They aren't even in the same league, and the P51 or the 52 should get a higher price. You also imply I would benefit from restricting the Esterbrook color chart to just six colors because I sell them. That's just plain silly.

You want to know why people visit Richard Binder's or my site? They want information. They want to learn. I've spent years collecting Esterbrook as my main focus, bought a bunch, paid too much for a lot of them and learned the pitfalls along the way. I've learned from other more knowledgeable Esterbrook collectors as well (Hell, I'm even marrying one!) and admit I don't know everything. You've got something new? I want to see it, no doubt. To say people just bow down to Authority implies everyone else is stupid or naive. I hardly think so. I originally developed my website for me and me alone. I wanted a way to keep my collection easily visible without having to go through the pen drawers. The side effect of this is that other people can avoid some of the mistakes I made by reading and viewing the images on my site. You don't like it? You don't have to visit. I won't force you to. I promise. (You are relieved of your Friday night viewing requirement between 8:00 and 9:15. biggrin)

Let's talk colors (just to keep this rant on-topic). Esterbrook made six standard colors in the J series. Period. Yes, they changed the colors from the fancy names (Dubonnet Red to just Red, for example) at some point. I also am not completely ignorant of the fact there are differences in shading in the plastic. I am not blind. However, what I am opposed to is people making up names for these variances in color such that future generations of collectors who aren't as interested in the ephemera side of the hobby (catalogs, advertisements, etc.) believe there are more models than what actually were made. Why do I care? Because someone will eventually sell a "RARE: Yellow Spring Leaf Green Esterbrook!!" and some poor unsuspecting chap will pay $100 for it. Caveat Emptor of course, supply and demand, sure, but it doesn't make it right. And no, I'm not saying that is your intention, just that eventually others are going to think it is the case. Just look at what has happened to the darker shade of copper. Some people act as though it is the second coming of the Messiah. And just to be sure, you don't like my opinion, yet you want the entire community to accept your color naming convention?

I suppose after all this rant, it doesn't help my case for your statement that I have an attitude, but I'm not just going to sit and let someone (a proclaimed noobie at that) blast me in open forum, where they know I don't frequent. I consider that I have a passion for what I collect. I don't have to share what I've learned over the years, I choose to. If you see that as attitude, then fine. You are entitled to your opinion.

Best-
Brian

P.S. Oh, and I don't wear titanium spikes. Lisa's the one with the spikes. laughing.gif



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Ok so it was then which resulted in which got a from me.

My question now is cant we all just and be closer, but not this closer
because that would just be freakin creepy.









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I hate pushing a wrong button and losing the post.
How am I to know that Mr. Anderson rarely frequents this com. I come here from time to time.


I am a 50 pen, noobie, and the only Esterbrooks I have are those listed. All but 4 of my pens are pre 60's. One from 1970, one from 83-97, and two new ones.

Yes Mr. Anderson has lots of experience, and has a fine com, that I copied the whole thing. (I did not know what he was doing two years ago, in that I've been collecting for @ a year. Time flies.)
In spite of that I disagree with him.
I copied everything I could lay my hands on, from any one who made sense on all sorts of pen info. From authorities to good threads or even just good posts.
Just like I have everything I can find from Dennis on Wearevers, I did the same for Esterbrooks, Parker, Schaeffer, Pelikan and so on.

I read his com, Mr. Binders Com, along with everything else I could lay my hands on about Esterbrooks, before I made my suggestion that a color chart of things like Yellow Spring Leaf Green, Garder snake Green, and Midnight Gray, would be very helpful.

I noticed a lot of very vivid descriptions of Esterbrooks on Ebay, and thought a pinned color chart of the many, many variations would be of help to me, in finding the barrels to 4 green caps I have and a cap for a Garder snake green barrel I have. I want a green cap...nope, not that green, that green, nor that green...how can you know what green I want, there is no chart.

Anyone who buys pens on Ebay with out looking up that kind of pen it is, in this case Esterbrook....(which I certainly did before buying my Esterbrook/Wearever box, or any other pen I bought on EBay) is a fool.

I ask nib tip questions on every pen. No answer, no buy.

I do expect the guts to be fucked on a 60-70 year old pen. Needing new sac's or re-corking or other repair of the piston. That lays with in the price I'm willing to pay, my repair or professional repair depending on the pen.


I have seen many Esterbrooks listed as "rare" I have seen many other common pens listed as "rare".

I can see Mr. Anderson's point that some one would think a Yellow Spring Leaf Green is rare....when perhaps it is not rare. Perhaps it is rare.

There is no chart of common and or rare color variations.

A proper chart annotated by Authorities and collectors, which could state not rare, middling rare or as rare as a rattlesnake blue icicle.

That would give the proper IMO color chart with it's scarcity, so that any could look up and find out if a pen color was rare or not.

It would defiantly help in making better matches for mismatched Esties, or finding spare caps or barrels.


-- Edited by Bo Bo Olson on Thursday 21st of January 2010 06:55:53 AM

-- Edited by Bo Bo Olson on Thursday 21st of January 2010 07:09:05 AM

-- Edited by Bo Bo Olson on Thursday 21st of January 2010 07:11:00 AM

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I dont understand why you want to fabricate names for colors that dont exist? There were only 6 colors made in the J line. Any minor color variance is is a result of the celluloid batch/mix components. That is simply how it was back then. No company could escape color shift in the celluloid. Even the great and mighty Parker pens had batch variant colors in the 51 line. This is but one contributing factor to the switch from celluloid to thermoplastic

IMHO, someone with but a meager 50 pens worth of noob experience would show a bit more respect for those who have been collecting for years, if not decades and have handled quite literally thousands of pens.

I see this thing as a kid fresh out of a Jr. High auto-mechanics class going to going up to Carl Shelby & telling him his job.

It's still just my opinion, but you may want to sit back, ask some questions of those who TRULY know what the hell they are talking about and learn, rather than going off 1/2 cocked & fabricating data.

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I agree that going to the source which is Esterbrook ephermia and finding they only produced6 colors should end the discussion.

Why complicate something that should be very simple?

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Here's a picture to show just how much Esterbrook cared about color variance:

green

One other thing to consider is every monitor shows color differently, so how would we be able to truly distinguish between 6-9 shades of color correctly? Also, what about $1.50 pens? Every one is different with variances in marbling.

Distinguishing between what is rare and what isn't doesn't exist for any pen. Use this as a guideline:

Not common: $1.50 pens, visumasters, twistfillers, demonstrators, v clips, bandless, clipless purse pens, doctor's/nurse pens of any variance, eyedroppers, solid plastic dollar pens, white and dark blue 101's, clear(NOT a demonstrator)and dark green cx-100, gold flomasters, flomasters with colored caps, felt tip pens, most ballpoints.

Common: J pens, transitionals, dollar pens in any color. M2, cx-100, SM, LK, safari series.

That's just the US made pens. Note, I do not use the word "Rare". I think this is highly overused.

My advice would to use this as a guide, then on top of that, use experience as your reference. There's no substitute for study, observation, and buying pens. If you're bidding on a pen on ebay and it suddenly goes above $50, you might ask yourself why, perhaps it fits in the not common list above.

Best-
Brian



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