Fountain pen African Blackwood
In one's quest to minimize your impact on this beautiful planet you come across many items or practices that was just so much better for the environment way back when. I remember seeing these pens in my dad's study, I vividly recall stuffing one up also (jammer pa!), I suspect is was dry and I forced the point down to hard untill it got damaged. Well, I tried one recently and was surprised at how easy it was to fill and use! I also discovered a whole 'gentlemanny culture' around fountain pens and their use, which I quite like. They look cool, old-school, writes nicely and you can refill them in a number of ways, so they are very good for the environment producing zero disposable plastic, with only the occasional glass jar and some ink needing dispensing (or re-using). These ones are made of African Blackwood (Mpingo), a very scarce and precious wood species found in the northern parts of SA up to Southern Sudan. The heartwood is dark brown with black streaks. This colour usually predominates, so that the general effect is nearly black. The narrow sapwood is light yellow and clearly defined. The wood is exceptionally hard and heavy, of a density ab.1.35 t/m3. It is extremely hard to cut and process. The use of tungsten carbide tools is required. The timber is extremely hard and heavy, therefore of little common use locally. Makers of woodwind musical instruments prefer it to ebony, because of its fine tonal and acoustic features, extreme stability and resistance to saliva. It is also recognised, because of its constant density, as the best timber for ornamentals and turnery of cues, walking sticks, bobbins,butts of sport weapons, cutlery, knives, technical items, pins, spindles, tools and drumsticks.
The Chairman fountain pen is the large one in the first three pics, its cap does not screw onto the backside, it is 13 cm long (capped) and weighs 60 grams. The Junior Gentleman (cap screws on) in the last three photos weighs around 42 grams and is also 13 cm long.