the caswell has a phd in dance

This is officially the flexiest pen I have.

A Caswell black hard rubber with eyedropper fill, it comes from Prof. Butch Dalisay’s collection of vintage American pens.

Made in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, circa 1910-1915, this would have been new and modern around the Art Nouveau period, one of my favorite movements in art. Though the pen itself is simply adorned with geometric feathering all along the cap and barrel, its flexible Sanford nib, in a practiced hand, can recreate all the whiplash curves, ornate flourishes, and  stylized lettering of that era.

Ink: Private Reserve Burgundy Mist + Diamine Cerise; Journal: teNeues.

A heart-shaped breather hole  decorates the nib; it’s a common design element in older pens that helps date them. As an eyedropper fill – the hollow barrel itself contains the ink – it holds an inordinate amount of writing potion, perhaps the best fill system to accomodate its lavish gushing.

The nib bends and sways at the lightest touch, delivering lines that vary from eyelash-thin to broad Pentel-wide with just the right combination of ease and pressure.


It’s amazing that this pen has survived for nearly a century. Simple in design and construction, yet well-made enough to withstand the rigors of use by many hands, the Caswell proves the functionality and practicality of many vintage pens.

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6 Comments on the caswell has a phd in dance

  1. Alex
    12 April 2009 at 11:07 am (4105 days ago)

    old pen is old. and still going! :D

  2. Jenny
    12 April 2009 at 11:08 am (4105 days ago)

    Yeah, like the Energizer Bunny. Go, Caswell! :)

  3. Raffy
    12 April 2009 at 2:56 pm (4104 days ago)

    nice flex :D

  4. TAO
    12 April 2009 at 5:50 pm (4104 days ago)

    Wow, certainly flexible! You’re doing great with it and I know how hard it can be to get the hang of a super flexy nib.

  5. clem
    13 April 2009 at 4:46 am (4104 days ago)

    @TAO, you’re right. i tried raffy’s flexy during the april 4 pen meet, and right there i decided i will not aspire to get one into my stash. LOL. i’ll be happy with my non-flexies.

    ate jeni, you’re one among the few who can really make a pen, flexy or not, shine! i really love reading your entries here! cheers! :)

  6. Aaron
    25 October 2009 at 9:46 pm (3908 days ago)

    Burgundy Mist! My favorite ink, the photo makes it look rather washed out unfortunately. Oh, and on flexxies I love my new Namiki Falcon that was modified by Jon Mottishaw into an XF Xflex. Beautiful stuff

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