Wow! Knowing how passionate Levenger customers are about their fountain pens, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised by the many marvelous comments to my column on stub nibs. But it sure was great to hear from so many of you on why this archaic but elegant form of communication should not leave our hands.
As for giving the ugly-duckling name of “stub” a makeover, to better reflect the lovely swan-like handwriting this nib gives its writer, lots of nominations came in.
Pat McDermott suggested it be called the Author’s Nib, or Script Nib; Sallie proposed Nostalgia; and a faithful Levenger editor and friend of 20 years, Luise Erdmann, offered Old Faithful.
It’s a Block-Nib, said Robert Ferguson. It’s Magic, pronounced Sandy Carlson. Expressive, said Nate Hess.
Artisan was David Froment’s nomination; Legacy was Nikita Ferrell’s.
The sibilant S’s were well-represented: Snub from Chad Brokaw; Silk from Rick Dobrowolski; Swoosh and Surf from Jan S., and Stemwinder from Dave Moore. Dave explained that “stemwinder,” taken from the first watches that had their own winding stems versus the old key-winding ones, was, for a time, synonymous with leading-edge cool.
More suggestions from Jan: Flourish, Wave or Flow. Laurel Dabbs nominated 1920s, and Nick Silva coined BeautiForm.
Tim Aughenbaugh had several varieties of Signature and Autograph.
And the winner is…Signature
We liked how Signature suggested not only an ideal use for this nib, but also the signature style that becomes all yours when you use it. Then another pen friend, Ryan Roossinck, clued me in as to how venerable old Esterbrook, the inspiration for our True Writer pen, used to make a signature nib. The name seemed destined for the nib.
Henceforth (or at least, pretty soon), our True Writer Stub Nib will be known as the True Writer Signature Stub Nib.
Edith Wharton’s signature style
While these creative suggestions were coming in, Lori and I happened to be visiting The Mount, Edith Wharton’s lovingly-restored home in the Berkshires (more on this in an upcoming column). One of the items on exhibit was a copy of America and the World War, inscribed to Wharton by its author, Theodore Roosevelt.
Notice the thin dash before the bold A in American. We’ll need a TR scholar to let us know what pen he was using, but it sure looks like a Signature Stub Nib to me (even though it wasn’t a True Writer).
All of us who try to keep this artful writing in circulation are in pretty good company from the past.
Thanks to all of you for your creative suggestions on nib names—and for believing still that the pen is mightier.
P.S. Tim, we’ll be sending you your prize of a True Writer Signature Stub Pen.