Nine 5

Today is Bleistift’s ninth birthday.

Well, since we’re on the topic of Mars Lumographs: it looks as if Mossad likes the Mars Lumograph ..at least in the BBC’s 2018 TV series of John le Carré’s 1980s spy novel The Little Drummer Girl.

Terrorist Salim gets a pencil to write to his sister – The Little Drummer Girl, episode 2 (Image © BBC)

Staedtler’s Mars Lumograph is a good choice: The pencil still looks quite similar to how it looked in the late 1970s / early 1980s, when the story takes place, and it would have been easily available to Mossad agents in Munich.

Charlie gets a pre-chewed pencil to write in her diary – The Little Drummer Girl, episode 3 (Image © BBC)


The images in this blog post are from the BBC series The Little Drummer Girl. I believe that the use of the images shown in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.


Lamy’s cp1 Multi Pen – Pencil Plus Highlighter In One

This blog post was first published on The Pen Company’s blog in April 2018.

1974 is a special year: In the USA, Star Trek: The Animated Series got cancelled; in the UK, ABBA won the Eurovision song contest in Brighton with their song, ‘Waterloo’; in China the Terracotta army was discovered; and in Germany, the VW Golf and the Lamy cp1 multifunction pen were launched.

I’m happy to say that the cp1 pen/pencil is still with us today, so many years later. Designed by Gerd A. Müller, who also designed the Lamy 2000, the cp1 has seen quite a few additions to the line over the years — Lamy’s design history page shows that the twin pen was the first off the line, but there’s also a fountain pen, ballpoint pen, rollerball, mechanical pencil and tri (multifunction) pen in the cp1 series.

The Lamy cp1 twin multifunction pen lets you switch between a 0.5 mm mechanical pencil and a ballpoint pen. My cp1 has Lamy’s M55 orange highlighter refill instead of a normal ballpoint refill. This way I can write with the pencil in my diary but can also highlight anything that needs further attention.

You’ll find more information in my video review below:


Pens on Exhibition 3

You might have noticed that Bleistift is much quieter than it used to be. This is mainly down to a change at work, which will keep me more busy for the next few months1.

There are a few unpublished, half finished posts plus there are videos from the last few months that have not received the accompanying blog post yet. New blog posts in the next weeks and months will probably be mainly made up of these kind of articles.

Before I disappear from the blog again for another few days, here are a few stationery related things I have noticed that I want to share with you.

This puzzle sorter looked quite possibly useful for stationery-related purposes. I wonder whether it would make a great stackable pen storage. The packaging was sealed, but as far as I can tell each tray (there are six inside) should provide enough depth for a pencil.

These Japanese transfer from Clover are pencil I haven’t come across before. Curious…

One last surprise: you don’t get to see a Pilot pen on exhibition in your local museum very often. The museum had an exhibition to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the East Lancashire Calligraphers’ Guild, including some of the tools used and some of excellent examples of calligraphy.

 

 

  1. The good news for a fan of wood cased and mechanical pencils is that the new job title includes the word “lead”. []

Wörther’s Shorty 6

If you follow my YouTube channel you might have spotted this video about Wörther’s lead holder ‘Shorty’.

I was lucky enough to get two of these over the years. One from fellow stationery blogger Scribble and one from Pen Heaven.

I think they must be the first lead holders I have added to my overview of mechanical pencils.

The plastic version is light and very affordable.

While the aluminium version is still not expensive and rather elegant.

In the video you’ll see that the origin of the Shorty is rather fascinating. 

Like fellow German company Lamy and like other companies world-wide including Hero, Wörther’s beginnings have a strong link to the Parker Pen Company. It’s a shame that Parker, like other old established companies seems to have suffered the consequences of past sub-optimal decisions and is not the strong player in this field it once was.

Have a look at the video to find out more.

 


The Secret Life of the Pencil Book and Pencil Pack

The big stationery topic this week is the Insights X trade fair. I really hope that Gunther will publish another one of his fantastic trade fair reports on Lexikaliker.de.

If, like me, you cannot be in Nuremberg for the trade fair then CultPens might have the next best thing for you. They are currently giving away a free pencil pack with every copy of the Secret Life of the Pencil book.1

The book itself is great. Much better than I expected. William Boyd’s2 foreword is more than fitting. I loved to learn about his pencil journey3 and enjoyed looking at all the pencils while figuring out the make, model and approximate age.

Many pencils seem ‘real’ and straight from the desk, many seem prepared for the photos, e.g. Sculptor Bill Woodrow made his pencil into a sculpture, polymath Stephen Fry seems to have pretend knife-sharpened a sharpener-sharpened pencil4.

Whether straight from the desk or prepared for the book, they all are enjoyable.

 

  1. They also still offer a big discount on the Cult Pencil, with a further 10% off when using the discount code CULTMP10 []
  2. I think his internationally best known work might be his James Bond novel ‘Solo’, which I didn’t read, but listened to when it was Radio 4’s book of the week. []
  3. ..by the way, in my opinion graphite lasts much longer than ink – Sean could go into much more detail on this topic than I could []
  4. Best of both – the perfect compromise: sharpener-sharpened makes more sense, knife-sharpened is more fitting. []