Friday, January 07, 2011

Happy New Year

From The Desk hmmmm, Courtyard Deckchair.

Happy New Year folks. Well I'm back from holiday, melting in the heat. However, whilst I've been away several of you 'up over' northerly folk have sent me pictures and/or stories of yourselves buried beneath mountains of snow and ice so I do spare a thought for you. Also of course my friends and rellies across the ditch in Aussie sitting unhappily in the middle of their muddy lake the size of Germany and France put together.

But this is a pencil blog, so we must move onto pencilicious matters. This Christmas I purchased a little pencil present for myself. A book, which I'm slowly working my way through, from the chair, as it were.
conway stewart book

conway stewart book and cover
"Fountain Pens for the Million
The History of Conway Stewart
By Stephen Hull
Published 2010, my copy is one of the Limited Edition copies, signed by the author, with gold stamped cover box.
Hmmmm, number 93 of 100....I'm kind of worried that might mean I'm the 93rd biggest Conway Stewart nerd in the world? I don't even collect FP's!!!
It's a history of the company just as much as, perhaps even more than, a history of their writing instruments. Some interesting stories like the difficulties of manufacturing during the wartime. From the amount of vintage Conway Stewarts available locally I've always assumed the Antipodes were an important market for CS and the book confirms this.
  • Chapter 1939-1948, "Conway Stewart were particularly strong in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa" and "By 1948 60% of Conway Stewart's output went overseas with Australia, New Zealand and South Africa still the major markets".
  • Chapter 1955-1962, "New Zealand, despite the size of its population (with sheep outnumbering them 100 to one!) was also an important market".
Of course most of the pictures are of inky things, but graphite and mechanical pencils gets it fair share.

conway stewart mechanical pencils

Also lots of data like tables of model numbers, copies of old patents, etc.

Clearly a must have for anyone with an interest in Conway Stewart. The book is available as detailed here.

A special thanks to Leigh Reyes (she's a verb not a noun) for alerting me to this book by mentioning it on her blog.

Normal blog transmission will resume in a week or two.


Time Waster said...

Fountain pens yah =) I just started collecting fount pens they have a longer history then mechanical pencils because well they been around longer. The old style uses lever on the outside to fill the sac of the fountain pen in more recent days those disposable catridges were uses. Thos plastic things you see all of the place that are usually kinda expensive. ALot of the modern fountain pens use a suction pump that fills the pen from whatever jar of ink that is menat for fountain pens. You can buy 4mm converters for your old cartridge style pens. It makes filling your fountain pens alot cheaper. I think there is one fountain penn going for a million dollars on ebay check it out.
I just started the hobby

Eric W. said...

Dave - I started reading your blog last quarter (so about october of 2010), and EVERYTHING has changed since. You have created a machine. As a mechanical engineering student I have always had interest in MPs, but you really confirmed that interest for me. Now I'm spending every spare dollar on the next pencil, adding to my collection. So thank you very much! And I'm looking forward to following your blog, and maybe possibly contributing!

Kiwi-d said...

Howdy Eric W.
Welcome aboard the MP train. Guest articles are always welcome!

Anonymous said...


Happy New Year, think I have solved the storage issue, purchased a stackable tool box with pencil sized drawers, sorted!!!!


John said...

Happy New Year, Dave!

Kiwi-d said...

Hi Keir
Yes, I've often thought of fishing boxes, tool boxes with lots of drawers etc. Send us a photo of your one, chock full. :-)

John - thanks buddy. Happy New Year to you too.

ThirdeYe said...

Happy New Years! Nice book Dave, I'm jealous! :)

Time Waster said...

Those two mech pencils on the left look like Retro 51 Tornados.