The phrase “student fountain pen” doesn’t get thrown around as much as it once did, but there still exists a whole class of fountain pens known as “student” pens.
What is a student pen? What makes one good? What are the best student fountain pens today, at a time when much fewer people are actually learning to write using a fountain pen.
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The Sheaffer School is a vintage fountain pen made in the late 1960s and early 1970s (our best guess). It’s a form of affordable student pen meant for use people who needed a simple, reliable pen for everyday use. This pen is regularly available on forums and used pen marketplaces for reasonable prices.
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For decades most of Sheaffer’s pens have used the company’s “Classic” cartridge. This is a proprietary ink cartridge that will fit many, but not all Sheaffer fountain pens.
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Sheaffer, a division of A.T. Cross and a long-standing pen company, sells a number of standard ink colors in its “Classic Ink Cartridges.” These are good, everyday inks that are sold in Sheaffer’s proprietary cartridge.
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The Sheaffer Balance is a fountain pen that was first produced in the 1928 but is commonly associated with the 1930s. It’s of the Parker Duofold vintage, but with a streamlined design that was quite extraordinary at the time. The Balance set a new standard for fountain pens at the time and is said to have kicked off a streamlined design craze with tapered ends and more of a torpedo shape the a cylindrical one.
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