Collecting Vintage Fountain Pens For Beginners

Fred Peters asked:

There are several types of fountain pens that you can begin collecting. This article focuses on collecting vintage fountain pens, but you should know that there are also custom fountain pens, collectible fountain pens, and modern fountain pens. We will focus on helping beginners to get strarted collecting vintage fountain pens.

Pen collectors collect many types of fountain pens, including vintage fountain pens. There is no limit to the criteria for a fountain pen collection. However, vintage fountain pens are highly prized by pen collectors. While collecting modern pens is easier because you can buy them at any pen shop, you will have to hunt for vintage pens.

So where can you find vintage fountaint pens?

Google is one of the best tools for finding fountain pens. Just type in the manufacturer and model of pen you are searching for and Google is pretty good about leading you to a store where you can find your pen. Ebay is also a great online place to find fountain pens. There are many sellers on ebay who focus on selling only mont blanc fountain pens, parker fountain pens, pelikan fountain pens, etc. You get my point. You found this article on the Internet, so you already no how useful the Internet is.

Don’t forget about the offline world. Remember that you can still find great deals on used fountain pens and vintage fountain pens in brick and mortar shops. Estate sales and flea markets are great places to find old pens. Sometimes jewelry stores will also sell collectible pens.

Estate sales are great places to find old fountain pens. Check you local newspaper for estate sales that are taking place in your community and check them out. Often the auction company will be able to tell you ahead of the estate sale whether or not any pens are part of the estate.

Pen shows are also great places to find collectible fountain pens. Many pen collectors and pen hobbyists show up at these pen shows to buy and sell their vintage fountain pens. So use Google to find pen shows in your area. They are a great place to buy fountain pens and to find people who share your love of vintage fountain pens.

So in summary, getting started in fountain pen collecting is as easy as jumping online or visiting your local flee market. Finding an online store is great way to find vintage fountain pens. So get started collecting pens today.

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How To Tell If the Signatures on Old Stock Certificates are Authentic

Larry Crain asked:

How can you determine if the signatures on a collectible stock certificate are authentic autographs?  First, there’s good news.  Scripophily (the collecting of antique stock certificates and bonds) does not generally have the rampant forgery or mechanized signature issues of some other collectible fields (e.g., signed sports collectibles).


The question to be answered is whether the signature was hand signed rather than printed or stamped.  An expensive paper and ink chemical analysis is seldom needed.  The following can help in determining originality:

1. The older the document is, the more likely it was hand signed.  In fact, in the 1800s, a personal and artful signature was the norm.

2. Certificates normally have multiple signatures (President, Secretary, Transfer Agent, owner, witness, etc.).  The signatures and any notations should be in different handwriting for each person and, often, different colorations and applications of ink or pencil.

3. Research the document using books and dealers’ or hobbyist’s websites (such as for railroads).  You may find authentication comments or images you can compare with your document.

4. If you have more than one certificate or image for comparison, look for small variations – that’s good.  If the signatures would match exactly if overlaid, they’re probably reproduced.

5. Since older certificates are often on thinner paper, an original signature may appear darker than the printed portions of the certificate when it is viewed from the back.

6. Sometimes a pen signature will have left a very slight depression in the paper which can be seen from the front or back when held at an angle to a light.

7. If the placement of the signature is contrary to the layout of the print, e.g., it covers part of the design instead of being perfectly placed, that may indicate originality (though not always).

8. Early signature ink sometimes “bled” slightly out into the paper from the written lines.  You may be able to see this with a magnifier.

A couple of important final points to remember:

Firstly, it is possible to prove an autograph is not authentic, but it is impossible it prove it is authentic.  Every statement of authenticity about a signature (be it Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jordan or George Washington) is a statement of informed (we hope) opinion.

The only way to be 100% sure is if you personally watched the person sign your item and then kept the item in your possession.  That seldom is an option and never is for antique items.

Secondly, because of the first point, you should always purchase collectible items from reputable dealers who offer a reasonable return policy.  You should be happy with what you acquire.

Whether you even care about the signature is completely up to you, of course, but it can be one of the research paths that lead to a sense of discovery as you explore the historical background and personal stories behind your latest stock certificate acquisition.

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Dr. Color Path: Cosmetic Surgeon of Photographs

Dewan Shuvo asked:

Sometimes you may find some defects or lacking in a picture making your precious memory dull. Want to make it after your mind and more treasured? Or, you are not satisfied with an image which you want to use in a magazine cover or advertisement. May be it is okay but for some deficiencies.

Perhaps it need some changes is color; perhaps some elements in it deserve to be more stunning. Or adding some effects in some parts can make it standout. Whatever you need, Photoshop is at your service. In such cases Photoshop is equipped with Color Path technique. It does the job of an expert cosmetic surgeon on your photo’s beautification. Color Path process is similar to Multiple Clipping Path or Color Mask though different in application.

The term ‘Color Path’ is very popular method in image editing, which refers to a group of close-ended clipping paths in a same image, let for various changes. So, basically Color Path is a combination of some selected paths, done by Photoshop Pen Tool, Lasso or Magic Wand. Among these tools, powerful Pen Tool is most dependable for professionals.

Clipping Path and Color Path:

Clipping denotes cutting. Clipping Path is a vector path that makes the selection of a part which is supposed to be cut out from its background (consider the remaining part as background). But not always it is a must to cut out such selections. After selecting an area you may leave it for other changes, or masking. The method is very easy even for a new Photoshop user.

Just open Adobe Photoshop; then open an image from the File. Open Tool bar from Window tab (usually you will find Tools open in the left side of the Photoshop window). You will see a pen-nib icon in it. This is Pen tool. Click once on it. You will see the pointer will be changed into a pen-nib icon.

Then start drawing outline through the edge of the object in the image. Move the cursor over the anchor points of the path. Soon, you will get way to make it more flexible for curving.  Press Alt key to break the curve in an image. Make a closed path around your target or it you can’t select it properly. Then make the path a selection. The selected area of the image will allow you to make changes in color and effects inside it.

You can also select area by Lasso or Magic Wand tool. Lasso is a free-hand and quick tool. But usually delivers crude selections. Magic Wand is a semi-automatic tool, and select through programmed logic. Generally it is able to read color similarity but fail to grab pixels accurately. Often it also leaves the edges seeming soaked and unfinished.

You can make several closed-path selections in a same image. If you want to change color of lips and hair of a model just select these and separately work on them to bring expected changes.  You can change his or her dress-color applying the same process. Even you can change a black & white vintage image into a pristine color image by doing Color Path.

Use of Color Path in industry:

Color Path is very useful for Promotional and Display purpose. It adds color and texture inside a same image to give it an absolute special look. Think about car sales promos. The company has to display the photos of same model in different colors to make customer convinced about their choices.  But, they need not color so many cars. Photoshop Color Path needs just a single photo and soon after it will deliver numerous photos of this car in different color shades, as many as you need. Nowadays, Color Masking is inevitable for product and fashion photography to make photos more effectual to perform in the glamour world. So, lacking in beauty is no longer a pain in the neck.

Let our photos experience the cosmetic surgery of Dr. Color Path. Beautification was never ever so cheap! Sorry, it is not only the cheapest; it is the quickest and the finest also. For more about Color Mask, please visit:

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Refilling The Omas Fountain Pen

Arthur Mavericck asked:

The Omas fountain pen can be refilled in a variety of ways. The vintage pens might require you to use a dropper to fill ink into them. Then you also have the self-filling fountain pens which empty or fill when you apply pressure on the sac or the lever that encases it. But some of the Omas fountain pens make use of the piston filler. This technique uses a piston in the pen which is driven either up or down within the barrel of the pen by turning a knob towards the end of the pen.

Most of the Omas fountain pens today make use of cartridges or piston fillers. You also get converters that can modify a cartridge refill pen into a piston refill pen. Fountain pens which have to be filled with the help of a dropper are the ones that can hold a maximum amount of ink while the piston refill pens have the lowest capacity. Most often the piston occupies most of the space in the barrel leaving very little for the ink itself. But filling the Omas fountain pen with a dropper can be messy too if you are not careful.

International cartridges of several makes can be used with most of the Omas fountain pens while some fountain pens may accept cartridges of the same brand only. Also some pens will not allow you to fit a converter. So if you want to use a different ink in such kinds of fountain pens then you can fill the cartridge with the help of a syringe. There is a wide variety of inks available if one wants to refill a pen. Ink bottles too come in different designs, shapes and sizes. However, most users of the Omas fountain pen stock refills so as to avert the risk of ink in the pen getting over. And there are those who love to refill the pen cartridge on their own even though it involves getting your hands messed up with the ink.

Although there are plenty of Omas fountain pens which come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, colors and styles to fit each person’s individual personality, it is not necessary that the Omas fountain pen has to be expensive for it to be of good quality and write well. Depending on your budget, arrive at a price that you are at ease with and compare it with other pens in the same range. You can surely get a good fountain pen without burning a hole in your pocket.

The Omas fountain pens are a result of the writing tools having taken a big leap towards success ever since the days of the quill pen. The rebirth of the fountain pens became profitably successful when all its negative aspects underwent a big transformation from being a leaking mess to securing the interest and notice of top society. If you are avid about handwriting as an art no matter if it is cursive or print, the Omas fountain pen is the perfect writing instrument for you.

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President’s Vintage Signatures: Authentic or Not?

Diane Downey asked:

1. Handwritten Documents

It was common in the eighteenth-century for presidents to have secretarial copies made of all their important papers to be kept on file. The secretaries would copy the documents in their own handwriting, sign the president’s name, and below that signature, sign their own. This accounts for the “G. Washington” signatures on authentic period manuscripts. These were carefully marked as file copies.


2. Land Agent Signatures

During Lincoln’s presidency, “Lincoln-signed” land grants were being signed regularly by land agents. Land agents were given the authority to sign for the president and then noted with their own signature beneath (e.g., A. Lincoln by John Smith). This was a routine procedure until President Andrew Jackson decided to do away with this time-consuming task.


3. Proxy-Signers

A Proxy-signer is someone who has been authorized to act for the signer. Dating back to George Washington, most of the secretaries that have been used by US Presidents to handle their correspondence have acted as proxy-signers, instead of trying to duplicate the presidents signature.


4. Forged Autographs

There are many dishonest people out there who will forge autographs in such a way that it is almost impossible for the amateur collector to discern. They will go to great lengths to make their signatures seem authentic. For example, they will use blank pages in old books to write the signatures on to make it appear to be from that era. These forgers are just looking to make money from unsuspecting collectors. If in doubt, consult with a professional collector who should be able to tell the difference between forged and authentic documents.


During the Civil War, (Confederate States) President Jefferson Davis had his wife sign many of his dictated letters. She did such a good job that she started putting a period after the signature she wrote so that he could tell which ones she signed.


Watch out for other deceiving practices where a page with a President’s quote and signature is cut out from a book and doctored up into something else entirely. Some of these fraudulent creations have included these presidents: George W. Bush, Richard Nixon, John F. Kennedy and Franklin D. Roosevelt.


5. Preprinting

Many sellers on eBay use a method called “preprinting”. The item they are selling may be only a photocopy of an actual autographed photo which has been printed on glossy photo paper. If someone is offering a “preprinted” autographed photo, this information should be made clear to the buyer. However, to be safe, make sure you read all of the fine print before buying anything.


6. Hand-Stamp

Some presidents, such as Andrew Johnson, Warren Harding, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, at some previous time, used a rubber or steel hand-stamp to sign their documents.


7. Autopen

The autopen is a mechanical pen that makes perfect facsimile (duplicate) signatures using a signature template known as a matrix. Harry Truman is believed to have been the first United States President to use the autopen. From about the Eisenhower era of the 1950s until today, almost all American presidents have had the autopen to reproduce presidential signatures.

Just remember that some unscrupulous autograph sellers may be able to obtain or produce one of these autopen templates to mass-produce autographs for re-sale.

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