For Pen Lovers: Son of the Return of the Inkograph

So, back in December I posted about my favorite old fountain pen (an affection shared by author Joe Haldeman among others)—the Koh-i-noor Inkograph, which was modeled on a Rapidograph technical pen, but had a funky tip that wrote at virtually any angle and was a pleasure to work with. Article came with a photo of that old crusty Inkograph. Lo, this month, while clearing out some old boxes, I stumbled upon the never-used Fine point version: the extra pen that I’d bought as Koh-i-noor retired the line, back around 1976.

I have since hunted around on Ebay and pen shows, but nobody seems to have any of these anywhere. All the Inkograph listings seem to be for less-appealing earlier models of the pen. And, boy, do I wish I’d bought a dozen of them when they were being discontinued… In any case, here’s a glimpse of one of the strangest fountain pens ever designed, with its original packaging and insert.
Inkograph fountain pen–gf


P.S. A followup, courtesy of Poe scholar Edward Pettit: An article that answers why pencils are yellow, and where that “Koh-i-noor” brand originated:

Return of the Inkograph

So, this week, clearing out a drawer, I came upon the Koh-i-noor Inkograph pen with which I wrote nearly every first draft of everything from about 1973 until its rear tip cracked more than a decade later.

Koh-i-noor Inkograph

The Inkograph was modeled upon Koh-i-noor technical pens, but it had a fountain pen tip (not a nib, but a tube for writing)—that is, it looked like a technical pen but wrote like a fountain pen. Back at the University of Iowa, Joe Haldeman and I were both Inkograph fanatics, and we remain fountain pen addicts to this day, who (in what can only be considered an act of male pen-bonding) still whip out our current devices and talk about them, about inks, about notebooks. No, really, we’re fine otherwise.

I retired this Inkograph long ago, but found its husk in a sleeve and thought, “What the hell, let’s fire this baby up!” And, lo, filled with some Noodler’s Bad Blue Heron ink, it writes as though I’d never stopped using it. What I notice now is how light it is compared to most of my other fountain pens. It seems to weigh nothing.

Somewhere around 1976, Koh-i-noor stopped manufacturing the Inkograph, more’s the pity. I still have one, pristine, unopened and unused, in its little carboard tube somewhere. Probably, it’s about time I hauled that pen out, loaded it with something vibrant, and penned a story with it.

Pen fanatics will likely already know that the Inkograph went through various permutations as the Rapidograph technical pen itself did. Some of these turn up at pen shows like the Philadelphia Pen Show, but so far I’ve yet to come across another example of this version (and don’t I wish I’d bought up all of the ones that Lind’s Art Supplies had back in ’76 other than the one I’ve never used…maybe it’s time to find out how it writes.)