National Stationery Day 18


Today is the UK’s first National Stationery Day – with retailers all across the UK taking part in special events.

You can find more information at nationalstationeryday.com or on Twitter.

Happy National Stationery Day everyone!


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18 thoughts on “National Stationery Day

  • Matthias Post author

    Thanks, for you, too 8^)
    The most exciting thing: I ordered the Lamy Safari in Apple Green.

  • Claire

    Exciting indeed. Safari fountain pen or mechanical, if you don’t mind me asking? 😉

  • Henrik

    A little late, but happy NSD from me as well. I celebrated by ordering a 10 pack of Hero 616 pens and a Wing Sung 233, a pen I have been wanting to try out for some time now. NSD seemed an appropriate occasion 🙂 . In the States march 30th should be National Pencil Day…?

  • Matthias Post author

    Claire, I bought the fountain pen. I don’t have a Lamy Safari mechanical pencils. Maybe I should try them, but for me the Safari is a fountain pen and all the non-FP Safaris look like someone tried to reuse the body for a FP for a mechanical pencil. I have a similar feeling when I look at the Lamy 2000 series, but it’s even stronger with the Safari, maybe because I used a Lamy Safari fountain pen since around 1984. Canada didn’t have a NSD, but did you buy anything?

    Henrik, I had to look the Wing Sun up, the nib section looks very nice! I hope you like these fountain pens. As far as I know you are right about the National Pencil Day in the USA.
    I’ve got a question for you about Danish pencils. A while ago I saw a Stadtler Noris in the first episode of Borgen, but now I saw a pencil I don’t know – in the third episode of Broen. I think this part of the episode took place in Sweden, not in Denmark, but I thought you might still know this pencil: It does remind me of a W.H. Smith or a Ticonderoga Microban pencil. Does the pattern of the text on the side of the pencil look familiar to you? I suspect it might be a pencil from an art set, but I think there’s a small chance that it’s a common pencil from a common Scandinavian department or chain store.

  • Henrik

    Thanks Matthias – Chinese pens are my favourites these days. The only survivors of a long life with pens – meaning that they still work. I have a Hero 616 which has worked flawlessly for many years – none of my other pens have been able to do that. The pencil: it is a tricky one. As far as I can see it is grey/silver coloured – besides Faber Castell, which it is not, we don’t have any of them. It does have a long name – Caran d’ache prismacolor? Surely an art pencil of some kind. The most common pencil brands here would be: Staedtler, Faber Castell and Viking – Derwent and Caran d’ache for art. But I can’t see a match there..Sorry

  • Claire

    Matthias: Not on NSD but a few days before that I ordered two 2.0mm Koh-I-Noor lead holders: 5900 the clutch version of Toison d’Or and a red Versatil 5216 (think it’s the same as 5217 just from a different set), both are all-metal. I wanted a 2.0mm non-drafting leadholder with decent weight (fixpencil out), these two are the only ones I’m aware of.

    I just noticed the Apple Green is in fact a 2012 limited edition! Now that Lamy Safari has been around for so long, has there been limited editions before?

  • Matthias

    Henrik, even though I didn’t know the Wing Sung (or if I did I forgot about it) my wife recognised it immediately, when I was looking at it on my screen and she walked by. She must have recognised it because of that distinct nib section. I don’t remember seeing them before in China, but needless to say I’ll try to find one next time I’m in Shanghai. Thanks for trying to identify the pencil. I might bother you again, if you don’t mind, if I see a pencil in another Danish TV series (I saw some in Den Som Dræber, but they were ‘only’ colour pencils – that reminds me: in the UK the Den Som Dræber movie was shown on telly when it was still in cinemas in Denmark – strange…).

    Claire, do you use lead holders for a specific reason, i.e. for something wood cased pencils wouldn’t do as good? Apple Green is a limited colour. I think I’ve heard them being called “summer colours”, too. Last year’s colour was orange, and in a previous year the colour was lime green. Lime green Safaris do sometimes sell for a lot of money on eBay. I once lost mine (I suspect someone took it from my desk), but luckily found a shop that still had some in stock. I really think the three “summer colours” I know are beautiful colours – and I very much believe that I am not influenced at all by the fact that they are limited editions and that I would say the same if these colours were not part of a limited edition series.

  • Claire

    Matthias: It’s not rational, I use holders on two occasions though in both cases wood cased pencils would work just well:
    1. I have a small notebook and a lead holder in the jacket pocket to write on the go, eg on subway, or while waiting in line. With a lead holder I don’t need to worry about sharpening. It’s irrational because I actually always carry one sharpener and at least three wood cased pencils in the bag!
    2. For (the rare occasion of) drawing. Ever since receiving a lead holder in grade 8, that’s the only thing I ever draw with. For me wooden pencils are for writing, lead holders are for drawing :p

  • Matthias Post author

    You wrote that you don’t need to worry about sharpening. Are you using them like a very thick mechanical pencil? Is the line not too wide for writing?

  • Henrik

    well, 40 something years with fountain pens have taught me to appreciate Chinese pens and especially the real hooded nibs, which I believe only Hero, Wing Sung (which is also Hero) Guanleming and Baoer still manufacture. It is as close to Parker 51 we can get. The Wing Sung 233 isn’t made any more, so I’m buying NOS -but it is fun because it is a Shaeffer Triumph clone made for the Chinese market. All of them really cheap – but usually good writers.
    You’re welcome to bother me again, but I’m no expert in Danish films or TV, so I might not be able to answer. Actually my daughter has monopolized our TV in order to watch Japanese News and terrible Japanese teenage series. (She is studying Japanese). 🙂

  • Claire

    Matthias: By sharpening I meant keeping tip above the wood. Given the softness of lead I use, my pencils last at most half an hour before they absolutely have to be sharpened. So yes, I’m using them like thick mechanical pencils. Actually, the Ohto I use basically Is a 2mm MP (no clutch). And yes, the tip does get blunt, but I do prefer thicker lead while writing away from table, sharp point is hard to control without proper support. They write okay so long as I keep rotating it (which I know many people mind doing).

    Henrik: This shows my ignorance. Before your comment I didn’t know hooded nibs aren’t popular. Back home they are (or were) the norm. Please educate me, were they once popular before, or is it a Chinese thing to start with?

  • Henrik

    @ Claire. Thanks, I’ll do my best and try to be brief 🙂 The first hooded nib was invented by Parker for the “51” pen and put on the market in 1940. So I guess it is an American thing. The “51” was discontinued in 1972.
    It was tremendously popular in the 40ies, 50 ies and 60ies. Most pen brands had to have at least one hooded model in their stable. Since then, it has lost a lot of ground to the ordinary format – the open nib. Maybe because fountain pens have become more “bling” and less tool ?
    The Chinese Hero, Youth and White Feather pens were copies of the “51” format – as “pens to the people”. So I guess they just followed the trend.
    To my knowledge “real hooded nibs” (having an ink collector and a breather tube as well as the hood) are only manufactured by Hero and Hero controlled companies today.
    regards Henrik

  • Claire

    Thanks for the brief lecture Henrik! But please allow me to bug you with one more question: approximately when did the ink cartridge become widely used in different regions of the world? I didn’t know there are pens that don’t need to breath inks from the nib until I saw ink cartridges on memm’s mäppchen posts. Back at school (mid 90s) everyone’s pen, hooded or open nibs, had an ink collector; ink bottle was a fixture on our desks between grade 4-6 (after that we were allowed to use ballpens). To my surprise, a friend from Germany who went to school at about the same time had always used cartridges. Any idea when did Chinese cartridge compatible pens start to appear?

    A quick Internet search showed patents filed in China for breathing-free pens dating 1992, 1996 and 2000+. I wonder if there were already such pens around when I was at school, we just weren’t allowed to use them, or there just weren’t any (except for imported) until much later.

  • Matthias Post author

    Great explanations. Thank you!

    Henrik, does the Lamy 2000 have a “real hooded nib” or is it some other form of hooded nib?

    Claire, this is not an answer to your question, but Youtube has Pelikan ads from the 1960s where ink cartridges are being mentioned (“In the space age you should write with cartridge fountain pens”). The Pelikano itself was introduced in 1960. As far as I know ink cartridges were fairly new at that time, but I am not sure when exactly they first came out. The Pelikano was and is quite popular, so at least in West Germany this pen must have resulted in cartridges becoming widely used (I assume in Austria and Switzerland, too, but I am not sure).

  • Henrik

    @Matthias: IMHO the Lamy 2000 is really close. As far as I know, it has almost the same “guts” as the original Lamy 27 from 1950. Only the nib is not tubular as in the 51 /Hero and there is no “breather tube” in the reservoir (- it’s not possible with a piston filler). I think Lamy is the only European company, who took the challenge from the 51 and made something similar under the hood. If I were to buy a European pen as a workhorse, it would definitely be a 2000.
    @Claire: In my part of the world (Denmark) cartridges were introduced at much the same time as in Germany – sometime in the start of the 60ies, when I attended school :-). My second school pen was a Pelikano with cartridge fill. As for handwriting, we were expected to use the supplied dip pen, in the handwriting classes from grade 4, but for assignments anything “inky” was allowed.
    Re. the Chinese: sorry, I guess you know more than I do on that matter. I just happen to like the Hero’s hooded series, because they use the right set-up for a good workhorse pen.

  • Henrik

    I’ve just been informed that Lamy put the 27 pen on the market in 1952 – not 1950, sorry about that. Furthermore, the Parker 51 was only testmarketed in 1940. It appeared at the American market in 1941. So much for my knowledge of fountain pen history..:-( .BTW I find the Montblanc 31 and 32 models to be close to something as well, but they are also history. So currently I only know of the Hero series to be true hooded nibs..

  • Claire

    Hi Matthias and Henrik: Thank you both for sharing the information!

    Matthias: Thanks for pointing out the ads, they are delightful. Though I admit I didn’t understand a word of the Switzerland one :p For the German one, towards the end there was a clip or two showing some destructive attempts on the pen which the pen survived. Wonder how the young viewers reacted to that!