My buddy Frederick Ingram over at http://www.corporatehistory.international writes about Lamy’s “Safari” pens in his latest post. Any creative type—or those that like to keep color-coded journals and schedules—understands the importance of a good pen. As someone who just tends to use whatever cheap pen I find sitting around, those times that I’ve been fortunate to use a precision-crafted writing utensil have been heavenly.
An interesting video about the manufacturing of these pens accompanies the post. It’s truly a testament to ingenuity—and to the prosperity enjoyed in the West today–that such a product exists, and that so much engineering goes into making something as simple as a fountain pen.
Lamy makes a brightly colored plastic fountain pen called the Safari and I love mine. My favorite has an italic nib so I can imitate the sensuous sweeping strokes of Renaissance masters. I even have an optic yellow model I filled with (Japanese) fluorescent ink to use as a highlighter.
Though they’re fun and lightweight, lots of serious German precision and beaucoup robotics goes into each one, as this unprecedented factory footage reveals. The plant itself is a Bauhaus masterpiece; form follows function. Confession: I never knew how the company name was pronounced, which is rather lame of me I suppose.
Historians, contemplate the application of high tech to the somewhat anachronistic fountain pen, which is actually only a century and a half old. These latest iterations don’t leak, write smoother than anything else, and can give your signature a hipster cred that is hard to duplicate with a mass-market…
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