There’s Gold In Them Thar Nibs: Eberhard Faber No. 506

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As the label says, this is a box of Eberhard Faber gold-plated nibs. It’s still sealed too, but not for long.

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I don’t know their exact age but working backward from the year the Eberhard Faber Company moved from Brooklyn, they are a minimum of 60 years old (and could be considerably older).

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I still have everything to learn about dip pens and nibs, etc., but I’ve always been curious about something…

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When pens like these were in their heyday, how long would a nib such as this one be expected to last? And what would be the likely reason it had to be replaced—did the tines eventually become bent and/or separated, or did people misplace or lose them easily?

In other words would the average office desk have a box containing a gross of these, or were they purchased and used more conservatively?

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UPDATE:

A certain knowledgable, temporary Montevidean has informed me that these are nibs for fountain pens rather than dip pens; they match exactly those found on E. Faber Perma-point pens. While it answers one question it presents another: Is a box like this for the average pen owner, or perhaps something a reseller would be more likely to stock?

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7 Responses to There’s Gold In Them Thar Nibs: Eberhard Faber No. 506

  1. Julie Paradise says:

    Although this video by “Masterpenwoman” Connie Chen refers to the use of dip nibs in calligraphy, general aspects may be applied to normal “office style” writing back in the day:

    Connie Chen (YouTube): When to change your nibs

    Like

  2. memm says:

    I love the last photo. It would be a great postcard or screen background.
    How do they write?
    Do they flex?

    Like

  3. Michael Corry says:

    As the package states these were known as “pens” and the wooden or metal handle was a “penholder”. The nib was the hardened point that only appeared on the more expensive models. Many things contributed the end of pen’s working life. Dip pen ink is thicker than modern fountain pen ink and one of the main causes of death was clogging the pen with dried ink. The steel ones that most offices used corroded especially with red ink. And they did bend and break. Or just wore down. When I started work with the Civil Service in 1970, the supply catalogue included pens – in one gross boxes. But I never saw any in use. The ball point pen had ousted them.
    As a child, though, I remember signing my application to join the library with a dip pen and they still appeared on Post Office counters well into the 1960s. It wasn’t the fountain pen that ousted the dip pen. It was far too expensive an item. The ballpoint did that.

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  4. Noel says:

    Everybody should have a box of these. A box of fuel for a future weapon from the past …………..

    Like

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