Not All That Scribbles Has A Nib, Part 1: An Introduction To The Clickier Side of Pelikan – Ballpoint Edition

Pelikan Roller

My endeavors here at The Perch have long focused on the Pelikan brand, their fountain pens, and related ephemera. My love for the brand and their fine writing instruments remains at the core of this site. It would be remiss of me, however, to not acknowledge the elephant in the room and continue to ignore some of the brand’s other writing instruments. Yes, it’s true! Not everything that scribbles has a nib and its high time that I paid proper attention to those ubiquitous tools that permeate our everyday lives; ballpoints. Whether they are used to jot a quick note or to write the next great novel, a ballpoint is never far from one’s grasp. Of particular interest to me is how they got their start, so we’ll be taking a close look at Pelikan’s earliest offerings. There is a lot of meat on the bone here so this post will serve as an introduction to a world that I have yet to explore on this blog. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited. Pelikan has been in the ballpoint business for the last 67 years. Their earliest models were matched to their fountain pens, produced to meet a demand but clearly of a lesser stature. Since those early days, the company’s ballpoints have spanned the gamut from cheap and disposable to models that continue to pair with their fine writing instruments, and it is the latter that I will focus on here. Put your ink and blotters away and get ready to explore Pelikan’s ballpoints.

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How-To: Fill Pelikan Pens & Pencils

Vintage Pelikan Advertisement for Fountain Pen Ink

If you are familiar with some of my past articles, you know that I have tried to provide helpful guides regarding certain aspects of fountain pen use and maintenance.  One of the fundamentals of pen use is filling and refilling which many of us take for granted.  Understandably, this nuance of regular pen operation can be a bit unclear to those new to the hobby.  Just how does one go about filling a Pelikan pen?  While my personal focus is fountain pens, I’m not without my share of rollerballs, ballpoints, and pencils.  On occasion you might purchase or be gifted a certain model as a set.  If you don’t use that twist ballpoint very often, you might find yourself stumped when the included cartridge runs dry.  To keep you writing worry free, not only will I discuss how to fill a fountain pen, I will also given instructions for rollerballs, ballpoints, and pencils.  My focus in this post will be mostly on modern production pens made over the last 35 years but much of this holds true for older models, particularly the piston filling fountain pens as they have retained the same mechanism for generations.  The pictorials included in Pelikan’s literature can feel a little like interpreting hieroglyphics and, besides, who reads the instructions anyway (besides me)?  If you have any uncertainty as to how to fill your new pen or pencil, read on to learn how to put that writing instrument of yours into action.

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