The soul of the fountain pen (if it exists)

I recently came across an interview with a fountain pen maker in a daily newspaper (print) called "Pens that have a soul". Since I have been working with pens, I have regularly come across similar sentiments that pens have a soul. In connection with this title, I decided to investigate the question and, if the pen has a psyche, to dive into the subject as a pen psychologist. The question is a tricky one, since if the conclusion of my reasoning is that pens are soulless, I could easily burn myself with the same diagnosis. So I will make it clear from the outset that whatever the outcome, the question is unprovable. But there are a few things to ponder about whether any object has a soul.

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Hungary's fountain pen restorer lives in Budapest, and was received by Viktor Orban
interview by Tünde Tálas

Szűcs Tamás hungarian pen restorer
We met Tamás Szűcs in the centre of Budafok, on the outskirts of Budapest, in the Spiller confectionery, where he brought the smallest and largest piece of his fountain pen collection. In our report we introduce the country's only pen restorer, who takes his own photos of his antique pens, which he assembles while reflecting on aesthetic issues and the abstract things in life. Statistically, there is no data on the percentage of the population that uses fountain pens, but it is safe to say that they are mainly used by intellectuals, so don't be surprised if the country's only fountain pen restorer presents the Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban with an antique pen and even initiates a correspondence with Queen Elizabeth II.

Read more: 🇺🇸 Hungary's fountain pen restorer lives in Budapest, and was received by Viktor Orban

Ringed Eversharp

(repair of a broken pen)

Some objects we are so attached to that we would give anything to have them repaired. Especially if a gift from our parents or grandparents is damaged. That's not the case here. The Eversharp pen in the picture was recently purchased from me by my client, but two weeks later it broke. The seemingly hopeless situation was resolved. I will detail the repair of the fountain pen below.

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Waterman Carene fountain pen nip repair

French-based Waterman pens have been a hallmark of high-quality writing instruments for decades. I use the past tense because I have encountered numerous cases of inferior quality modern Waterman pens being used for fountain pen repairs. Most of the time, either the inside of the nib was eaten away by rust or the metal quality was poor and easily warped. Many of the inscriptions are laser engraved by the Waterman company, which also seems to be a poor quality job compared to other brands.  The Carene type is one of the higher quality pens, although the 18 carat gold tip is also laser engraved. However, gravity acts on all nibs, meaning that if dropped, the damage cannot be sustained by even the best quality nib. This was the case with the nib in the picture, but someone had previously tried to repair this nib without much success (the nib would not come out), but the repaired nib had to be repaired again because it often had a problem writing. The top picture is the one taken, the bottom picture is the one of the finished nib. But the work was not easy...


Waterman Carene fountain pen nip repair

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Kivi-Lyme biopen


At the temporary exhibition of the National Museum, I came across the aerial photographs of Milán Radisics, entitled Our Footprint - Man's Impact on the Planet (worth seeing as part of the World Press Photo exhibition). Because we rarely look from above, aerial photography alienates and beautifies our environment. From above, only the play of colours, lights and shadows prevails, and only we on the ground suffer the fine details. From a distance, distracting details disappear, but up close, a slice of reality can be shocking. That's how we might see this pen, which looks like a cheerful, lively kiwi, but on closer inspection...

Kivi-Lyme biopen with ticks

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Handwriting after printing the book

The inspiration for my short story is the exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts (Szépművészeti Múzeum) in Budapest. In some of El Greco's paintings, we can see some of the handwriting of the period, and we also have the opportunity to observe the master's handwriting on a page. After seeing the pictures, I wondered how handwriting could have survived in the 15th and 16th centuries after the invention of printing. Surprisingly, it made a big difference!

Handwriting after printing the book


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The magical Parker 61 fountain pen

Like most other pen companies, Parker had been working for decades to find the perfect filling system, and when the Parker 61 pen was finally introduced in 1956, it was truly as otherworldly as it was initially advertised. It had many features in common with the then predominant Parker 51 fountain pen, but it was thinner and, most importantly, it filled itself. No one knew how it worked, but it worked.

The magical Parker 61 fountain pen

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Visit to the Prime Minister Viktor Orbán

 Before I talk about the meeting, a few lines on the background. My father, Lóránd Szűcs, was a staunch supporter of Viktor Orbán for the last 20 years of his life. I enjoyed discussing politics with my father, he was well-informed, and in many cases we had constructive political debates, but we considered it important not to mix emotions and passions. He had several pens, one of which he had long wanted to donate to the Prime Minister (he did not specify which one), but he was unable to do so as he passed away in 2017 (I created a memorial page about him:, and a longer piece about him was published on fortepan).

Visit to the Prime Minister Viktor Orbán

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Response from Buckingham Palace

A month ago I wrote a letter to Queen Elizabeth II. A little late, but the reply arrived today. Unfortunately, she did not have the opportunity to reply in person. The Queen is well, although she will have to give up her daily dry Martini. It's not easy for her either! You can read about the questions I asked the Queen about here.

Her Majesty Elizabeth II, Queen of Feathers

I recently observed the fountain pen of Viktor Orbán, and now I'm looking at the pens of a similar prominent person, Queen Elizabeth II. And Elizabeth II is known to favour the best of the best, whether it's the vast collection of sparkling gems, the simple sunglasses she often wears or the hundreds of magnificent hats she wears. Of course, his writing instruments are no exception. There must be at least as many pens as there are hats, with more and more beautiful writing instruments in the photos. Recently, an article appeared on, referring to Yahoo, that the Queen refuses to use anything but Parker 51 pens, "The Queen has several Parker models, which she changes, but has stuck with the brand for nearly sixty years." Gliding on the wings of Pegasus, I gathered all the facts and asked the question, is this really true?

II. Elisabeth and the fountain pens

Read more: 🇺🇸 Fountain pens of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Star is born / Montblanc fountain pen repair

The star at the end of the cap is the jewel of every Montblanc pen. Especially on older models, this star sometimes falls out. In a lucky case, if you notice the falling star in time, you can breathe a sigh of relief, but if it disappears forever, it has to be replaced in some way. This is what happened to this antique 132 Montblanc Mesterstück pen. The birth of a new star is shown below.

Montblanc javítás

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