April 2016 Meeting

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Our next meeting is April 15th at WET Paint on Grand Ave in St. Paul, MN. We will start at 6:30 PM and the Theme of the meeting is Testing Paper & Ink.

Wet Paint is located at 1684 Grand Avenue in St. Paul and its website, including directions can be accessed here.



March 2016 Meeting Recap

We had a good showing once more for our March 18th meeting.  Our President, Francis has submitted the report below.
  1. The theme of the meeting, if you missed the meeting,  was vintage pens and pencils in their original boxes. There was wide selection of sets with very interesting & clever presentation boxes. Some of the boxes alone go for high dollars.  Attached are a few picture showing examples from our members vaults
  1. Frank Crescioni was back from his business trip to the United Arab Emirate’s and had some interesting observations.
  2. The winners of the Round # 8 Pen Cartoon were Randy Kirsch 1st place & Joel & Fritz tied for 2nd place.  I also reported that I have another half a dozen new pen cartoons that I got from Dennis Mikalean when I visited the LA Pen Show this past February.
  3. Thanks to Neil for the food & drink. Mike Carter has volunteered to bring finger foods for our May get together.
  4. We have 2 Repair Videos by Jim Marshall. One purchased and one donated to our library. Randy checked out the Parker 51 Repair Video. As I mentioned at the meeting we have a Library of books & magazines at Presbyterian Homes which Randy is in charge of.
  5. John Buettner will give us a demonstration of Pen-Turning (making pens from raw materials) at our May meeting.
  6. Our next meeting is April 15th at WET Paint on Grand Ave in St. Paul, MN. We will start at 6:30 PM and the Theme of the meeting is Testing Paper & Ink. A variety of papers will be provided by Wet Paint for our testing. Bring your favorite pen or quill to do some testing. We will take a poll of the top 3 papers preferred by the pen club members present.
Submitted by Francis Bulbulian
Pen Club President

March 2016 Meeting

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The March Meeting will be this Friday (March 18, 2016)  at the Presbyterian Homes Office Building (direction on the right side of this website).  The theme for this month’s meeting is Vintage (pre 1960s) Pen Sets in their original boxes.  So, search for those Pen and Pencil (or I suppose Pen and Ballpoint, or Pen and whatever) sets that have a matching box and bring them in for show and tell. Also, don’t forget to bring recent finds and any projects you may be working on.   We look forward to seeing everyone on Friday night!

And don’t forget, Frank’s award winning newsletter will be available to all.


February Meeting Review

The February Meeting saw a good attendance and several new attendees!   The topic was Italian Pens and several members brought representative samples for us to peruse.

Here are few ~

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One thing we learned is that Italian pens, at least the more recent ones, are extremely ornate and colorful…

Our next meeting will be March 18 and the topic will be Pre – 1960s boxed Pen and Pencil sets. So, scour those closets and storage bins for some vintage boxed sets to share.

February Meeting

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Our February Meeting is at 6:30 on February 19.  The topic for this month’s meeting is Italian Pens and Pen Related Items.  So search through your collections, or come armed with Italian Pen questions!  See you there!

January 2016 Meeting Recap

The January Meeting was well attended despite the warm temperatures as you can see here ~

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Our theme was newer pens.  Several members brought along pens from there collections.  Thanks to everyone for doing so, and to Frank for the outstanding refreshments!

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Check back here shortly to see the February Meeting notes. It will be on Friday February 19.

Holiday Party 2015

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The PENS Holiday Party is fast approaching —  Please see below for a copy of the email invitation sent out by Francis.  The Party is a lot of fun, with great food and some fun contests.  Don’t forget to bring your most beautiful pen, ugliest pen, and a working gold nibbed pen for the gift exchange!   Also, please bring some food or drink to share on the buffet table.

PENS* Holiday Party 2015
*Pen Enthusiast Northern Society
You Are Invited

Summerhouse Apartments, Community Room
4655 North Victoria St.
Shoreview, MN 55126-5885

Date: Sunday December 27th

Time: 4:00 PM to 9:00PM

Please bring an appetizer, dessert, or beverage


From Minneapolis:
Highway 94 East to 280 North, connect to 35W North.

North on 35W, then East (right) on hwy 96, (past 694)
Hwy 96 to North Victoria, approx. 2 miles.
Turn left (North) at stoplight onto Victoria, 0.1 mile to Summerhouse Apartment on left side. Park in apartment parking lot, or in lot on left just before apartment.

From St. Paul:
Highway 35E North to 694. Go West (left) on 694 to Lexington Ave. Go North (right) on Lexington to Hwy 96. Go East (right) on 96 to North Victoria, approx 1 mile. Turn left at stoplight onto North Victoria, 0.1 mile to Summerhouse Apartment on left side.
Park in apartment parking lot, or in lot on left just before apartment.

This is a secure building. One of the PENS members, will be at the door to greet you.
If you have questions, or get lost, contact
Francis Bulbulian @ 651-983-6165.

Remember to bring your most your Beautiful pen, Ugliest pen for judging by the ladies for prizes. Also bring a gift pen with gold nib, working condition, for the traditional Pen exchange.

November Meeting Recap

The November Meeting had a large turnout and everyone was treated to a presentation by Jana Harrer on Pen Photography. She shared her knowledge on this topic with fellow members and also tool some great photos of their pens. A few of these follow. Thank you Jana for a tremendous presentation!

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Our Holiday Party is on Sunday December 27th.  Invitations should be sent out shortly.  Stay tuned here for further times and directions.

November 2015 Meeting

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The November Meeting will be this Friday (November 20) at 6:30!  Our Theme is Pen Photography and will be driven by Jana Harrer, our Member expert on Pen Photography and Presentations.

Here are a few words from Jana in her most recent email to us announcing the Theme ~

“I wanted to remind everyone that for our photography topic this week I will be bringing my camera equipment, a couple light boxes and a big box full of fun props for staging pens.

If you want to bring some pens to photograph I think we can have some fun trying out some of the tips and tricks we’ll be discussing. I’d be happy to do some post production work on a few shots and post to a sharing site after if anyone is interested. Also, if you have any favorite props for staging bring them too!”

So, bring a favorite pen or prop that you want to have immortalized in the digital universe!


October Meeting Summary

The October Meeting and it theme of Filling Systems took place on October 16.

Here are Meeting Notes as compiled by President Francis Bulbulian ~

  1.   Attendees;

Barry Kiel                Basil Gilliland

Robb Swenson        Joel Molin

Randy Kirsch             Fritz Ferris

Frank Crescioni           Brent Bills

Neil Lutsky               Brian Holstein

Ted Allen                 Francis Bulbulian

Jana Harrer

  1. Discussion of various unique filling system devised by various pen companies to go around the competition. In some cases the birth of a unique filling system was introduced.  As one example the Pelikan piston filler.
  2. Below is a description of the various pens & their filling systems brought to the meeting by attendees.
  • Early & rare Sheaffer Vacuum Fillerversion with a bladder that you twist to fill the pen. See photos attached
  • Waterman Sleeve Filler; one of the early filling systems devised by the company.
  • Match Stick filler; this one by Puritan Pen Co.  That you could use a match stick to depress the bladder. There are other companies, such as Eagle Pen, around that time, that used a coin to depress the bladder to fill the pen.
  • Onoto Vacuum Filler; one of the early true piston vacuum fillers.  We were not sure if Sheaffer adopt the system.
  • No name blow filler; pen with a hole at the end of the barrel. You blow into the hole and the rubber sack depresses to fill the pen with ink, Chilton had a similar system.
  • rare no name English pen( very likely made by Conway Stewart) button filler with a cap on the button filler,  similar to Parker Big Red, but the blind cap has a actuating lever to assist in filling the pen. Was it to go around the Parker patent?
  • Weidlich bulb filler; a very simple mechanism as used on early “dollar pens”. You unscrew the barrel and press with you finger the rubber sack to fill the pen. Voila!
  • Parker 61 Capillary filler; to keep the pen’s nib and shell ink free when filling Parker had a very novel idea. Unscrew the barrel and  dip the Teflon coated cartridge into the ink bottle  and by capillary action the ink is sucked into the reservoir. Very novel idea however if ink sits in the reservoir for a couple of weeks cleaning the reservoir is time consuming.
  • Chilton “Pneumatic filler’
  • Minnesota Pen Company
  1. Pen Cartoon Winners;Neil & Fritz were given their prizes. Submit your cartoon caption for Challenge Round #7 to Frank C. by e-mail for the next meeting ballot. The cartoon was published in the last issue of the newsletter.
  2. Next meeting date is November 20th. Theme is Pen Photography techniques and lighting by Jana Harrer. A power point presentation and live demonstration will be given.  Bring you favorite pen to be photographed in the demonstration by Jana.
  3. Election of officers: The full slate of the existing 2015 officers were unanimously elected to serve again in 2016.

Thank you, Francis, for summarizing the meeting for us!



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