Thursday, May 13, 2010

Paper Mate Felt Tip Pen

An all-time favorite of mine and one of the simpler pleasures of life, the Paper Mate Felt Tip Pen is a porous, liquid felt tip pen that made its debut in 1966 and has become an industry standard.

When capped, the hard molded plastic barrel is thick in the middle and tapered at the ends; posted, the barrel shows the indented tapering of the barrel down to the tip. I've always wondered if the top could become "mushy" from too much pressure being applied to it when writing, but that never happened as far as I remember. The tip really resists fraying and squashing--it's a Percheron of a pen, even though it looks like an Arabian.

I think I first started using these around 1970 or so, when they were the hip writing instrument. The ink isn't bulletproof and was never meant to be, but the 1.10m tip drew a thick, solid line just like a magic marker but in an elegant-looking package. The ink doesn't bleed through, and later on Paper Mate included pastel colors in the Flair line up for more choices. My favorite was always the purple Flair, so I couldn't resist getting one on a recent trip to the stationery store.

10 comments:

  1. I remember these from when I was a kid. Goodness, seeing this brings back memories of how fun they were to use then.

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  2. They're definitely great pens; however the tips will mush down if extensive force is put upon them. Think: someone writing in an angry mood or just about every teenage boy in high school. I've seen some of these points mushed, but it merely serves as a reminder to treat these fine writing objects with care. A good lesson for when we all moved on to the finer writing implements! All in all, this is a great pen; should be inducted into a hall of fame.

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  3. The earliest Flairs sported a longer felt tip, lacked a tip collar, and did indeed mush down after protracted use or excess pressure. As a youngster, I bought mine at Sears, which had something of a pen counter in those days. The refillable Flair came first; disposables showed up later.

    Does anyone know what sort of market niche the Flair was meant to fill? I thought at one time the Flair was intended to offer a color saturated line that ballpoint pens couldn't, but that's just a guess.

    Jack/Youngstown

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  4. Good question, Jack. I remember it as one of the first marker-type pens but not as cumbersome.

    Lol on the smoosh factor, Victo. I tend to bear down on a pen as if I was scratching my initials in a rock, yet I don't remember this one every going to mush on me. Maybe I wasn't as rough as I thought!

    Yea Bleubug, this definitely brought back memories. I know I used the black ones, and for some reason I remember a green one in my pencil case as well. But purple was always my favorite color.

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  5. Victo's mention of a "hall of fame" has me thinking of a "desert isle pen". What kind of rig would you want? What did Robinson Crusoe use? What about the HMS Bounty's mutineers after they'd reached land? I think British polar explorer Robert Scott used pencil for his journals.

    Jack/Youngstown

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  6. This "hall of fame" or "desert isle" theme might make a good post topic!

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  7. I have a refillable Flair pen. Sure would like to know where I might get refill for it.

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