in 2014, after much hemming and hawing, I bought a pen that was, at the time, most expensive pen I’d ever bought. I bought it even though I’d never tried a pen from the company that made it. When the pen arrived a few months later I was immediately upset.
Every year the Edison Pen Company produces a limited edition fountain pen that comes in a couple flavors: a limited production run of 150 or so made up of rare materials or a group buy with a couple material choices where the only limit is the number of people in the group. Since 2011 Edison’s limited edition pens had won retailer Goldspot‘s Pen of the Year awards.
I liked the look of the ebonite (hard rubber) version and decided to make it my birthday/Christmas present for 2014.
When the pen finally arrived, I started to ink it up and was surprised when no ink was drawn up into the converter. After several failed attempts at cleaning and retrying, I filled the converter and tried to force ink down through the nib. That attempt left ink all over my hands.
I immediately went into a cycle of anger, denial, embarrassment, fear, anger, sense of stupidity, murderous rage, what have I done, anger. I calmed down and emailed Brian Gray at Edison Pens about the issue. He blamed a faulty converter and/or user error in attaching the converter. That sent me into another fit of rage as it’s a bit like telling someone with car trouble “Did you try turning it on with the key they gave you?”
About this time I noticed a funny spot on the feed and took a macro photo of it.
Once Gray saw this picture he knew what the problem was: during production they’d accidentally given me the feed for a different filling system. He quickly shipped out a new nib and feed and included a complimentary second nib: a 1.1 mm stub nib (more on that in a different post).
Once I got the correct nib, the pen quickly became one of my favorites. It is light (10 grams without the cap; 17 grams with the cap) and about 5 3/16 inches (13 cm) long without the cap. It’s made of Cumberland Ebonite which is a red and black swirl that looks enough like wood grain that people have asked me what kind of wood it is.
Ebonite has a warm feel to it, even in winter, that I like a lot and I should probably damn Edison Pens for getting me hooked on ebonite. The design of the grip section is perfectly machined and the pen has near perfect ergonomics.
I’m not a huge fan of the two-tone nib style, but the gold “furniture” works with the Cumberland Ebonite. I also like the Edison engraving on the nib. The steel Jowo nib writes well (I believe Gray checks each nib before it goes out). It’s a machined pen and the fit and finish are near perfect. Nothing creaks and the clip feels solid. The threads on the cap where the body meets the section are so smooth I find my self screwing and unscrewing the cap when I’m thinking. The very top of the cap doesn’t quite match, but even I’m not that finicky.
After the initial troubles, the pen has worked perfectly. It is in my top five pens–which are the five pens I always look for an excuse to use. I passed on this year’s LE because it looked too much like this one. Some day I’d like to get another Edison pen, but I have couple others in mind first (and have a bunch I want to sell.) If I do get one, I’ll ask Gray to double check the feed.