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The Los Angeles International Pen Show

[Music] 00:08 the real purpose of a pen is to make you 00:12 look good and to help you do what you're 00:15 doing better when you find the right pen 00:17 it can spend the rest of its life making 00:20 you look good 00:21 they're beautiful objects some of them 00:23 are absolutely spectacular works of art 00:25 they write wonderfully they're just very 00:27 satisfying object to use and hold and 00:30 see this show attracts all a lot of 00:38 different kinds of people there are 00:39 people that just like to write with a 00:42 fountain pen 00:43 or other types of writing instruments 00:45 there are collectors of vintage pens 00:47 there are collectors of new pens big 00:50 thrill is in the hunt 00:51 finding the pen they're finding the part 00:53 for the pen that you're trying to repair 00:55 a good thing about coming to a pen show 00:57 is finding a lot of weird stuff here the 01:00 kinds of people you find at the pen show 01:02 now are varied it's not just the 01:05 hardcore collectors the hardcore 01:07 collectors will go to a pen show in the 01:09 middle of the night in the middle of the 01:11 week in the basement of a bowling alley 01:13 when it's a secret but there are other 01:15 people now there are users who come to 01:18 pen shows when you test a pen it's a 01:21 little bit like driving a car that 01:23 you've always wanted to drive but you've 01:25 never driven before it's the process of 01:27 taking everything you can to get the 01:29 information you need it's how it feels 01:31 and how it sounds no the pen it's how it 01:34 feels and how it looks when you're done 01:36 our business is primarily vintage fans 01:39 though we repair modern fountain pens as 01:41 well i'm cherylin Tyree this is my good 01:46 brother and partner Joel Hamilton 01:49 we restore fountain pens the vast 01:53 majority of the pens we repair are from 01:57 1950 and before I specialized I suppose 02:01 one could call it that in Schaefer and 02:03 Joel specializes in Parker the 02:07 specialization is based built on our pen 02:09 preferences I'm the Schaefer person and 02:12 he's a Parker person but the main reason 02:16 that I think that the specialization 02:17 exists is Parker and Schaffer made a 02:20 whole bunch of Mountain pens over time 02:23 to repair them or any other fountain pen 02:26 you need a parts inventory 02:28 not to mention tools having a sufficient 02:32 inventory to repair both Parker and 02:35 Schaefer probably would require two 02:38 large warehouses neither of us are 02:42 willing to turn our houses into two 02:44 warehouses we've each done one warehouse 02:47 per house and that's why we specialize 02:50 collecting pens is very interesting not 02:54 just for the objects themselves if 02:55 you're interested for example in 02:57 business the history of these companies 02:59 is a fascinating snapshot of American 03:02 businesses in the early 20th century 03:04 Parker Pen Waterman pen those were all 03:07 household name companies at the time 03:09 because everybody had a fountain pen 03:11 there were no ballpoint pens and people 03:13 wrote with fountain pens when we were 03:15 cleaning out my grandparents house in 03:17 Lorain Ohio I found a handful of these 03:20 funky looking old crusty fountain pens 03:22 in the Attic and took them home with me 03:26 and they sat around in the drawer for a 03:28 couple of years 03:29 and I got him out one day and tried 03:32 starting to write with them and of 03:34 course they didn't work so I had to find 03:37 out how to repair them one thing led to 03:40 another and now my database of my 03:43 inventory of fountain pens adds up to 03:45 4900 03:47 my company is pen tooling dot-com I 03:49 specialize in pen repair tools I saw a 03:54 lot of restored pens also if it's been 03:57 repaired correctly and its operating 03:59 properly it's a good analogy with the 04:02 way the fuel and oxidiser flow through 04:05 launch vehicles engine and comes out the 04:08 other end the ink or water squirts out 04:11 the bottom of the pen like the fuel and 04:13 exhaust gases and the thrusts come out 04:15 the back end of a rocket there are no 04:18 days then we cannot be very bent every 04:22 now and again our mother says that our 04:24 father would be so proud that we are in 04:26 business together and happily in 04:28 business together and that is certainly 04:30 true but beyond that we're just two 04:33 little old folk trying to get our work 04:35 back we use computers today people used 04:40 fountain pens back then when they wanted 04:41 to communicate and I think their people 04:43 want to get back to some of that sort of 04:45 personalized aspect of writing and 04:48 fountain pens having the right pen can 04:51 make your life a lot better there's 04:53 really no point in using a fountain pen 04:55 unless it gives you a quality of wine 04:57 you can't get any other way it's like 05:00 having a supportive entity that is being 05:03 non-judgmental telling you when 05:05 something isn't quite right you're 05:06 taking that a little too fast or a 05:08 little too hard a curve or whatever it 05:10 is and writing it trains you it's not 05:13 just a pen it's a tool and it's 05:15 something that you used to show things 05:18 about yourself when people get a 05:20 handwritten letter done with a fountain 05:22 pen they'd sit up and take note it's not 05:25 just another of the thousands of emails 05:26 they get every week the L a fountain pen 05:28 show has surprised everyone as a lot of 05:31 us shows have by getting bigger rather 05:33 than smaller even though the generation 05:35 that was taught in school to write with 05:37 the fountain pen is sort of starting to 05:39 fade away younger people are discovering 05:41 it and the show has grown in size from 05:43 probably 80 dealers in 1989 we have 170 05:47 tables with over 120 dealers and so we 05:50 find attendance increasing every year 05:52 year over year I think people are 05:54 rediscovering writing instruments as an 05:56 alternative way of communicating from 05:57 their cell phone and email 06:01

The Los Angeles Pen Show, one of the greatest special interest conventions in the business, takes place every year during Presidents Day, a fitting tribute to the fountain pen as instrumental given two signers of the Declaration of Independence went on to become U.S. Presidents -- Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, and we're pretty sure their signatures weren't digital.


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