My first fountain pen was a...

My First Fountain Pen Was A….


We’ve decided to highlight how different people got into fountain pens with our “My First Fountain Pen Was A….” series.

Today we are talking with Atlas Fine Writing Manager Brendan Schmidt. 

The following is an excerpt of our conversation:

What was your first fountain pen?

My first fountain pen was a Cross Peerless Platinum on Platinum. They don’t make that pen anymore. It was gifted to me from my brother Brian, who is also our Vice President, upon my college graduation. So, I never really got the chance to have an entry piece. I kinda jumped into a higher end model which allowed me to see the value in pens. 

Why did you gravitate towards fountain pens?

It was inevitable, if you will. Being around the family business…It wasn’t as much of a choice per se, more so I was thrown into the environment which I fell in love with. I think it was meant to be.

What is your favorite aspect of fountain pens?

I think my favorite aspect of fountain pens isn’t actually the writing experience. I think it is the process of selecting your fountain pen. I believe that fine writing instruments are an extension of your personality like watches, glasses, pieces of jewelry, lighters. To me, what I really appreciate is being on the other end of helping somebody pick that piece or selecting that fine writing instrument to match their personality. I know people who will only purchase one brand and I try my best to tell them there’s more out there. And after years they will try another brand and they’ll say, “I’ve been missing out, you told me so.”

I really appreciate the selection process. It kind of reminds me of the Harry Potter wands. The wand picks the wizard.

What would you tell someone who has never tried a fountain pen or is just getting started in the fountain pen world?

Don’t be intimidated. Ask questions, ask for help. Go on fountain pen forums, drop by a pen shop if you got one near you, research as much as you can. No question is a dumb question.

Overall, pick what you like. When selecting a fine writing instrument, figure out what you like. My recommendation is to start with a fine or medium nib and go up or down based on what you prefer. Listen to your own gut.

1 comment

  • Lisa Miller

    My first fountain pen was probably a Pelikan, a Waterman, or a Lamy, because I remember those brands from my childhood. I was in Germany in the late 1960’s, and kids my age wrote with fountain pens at school. We weren’t allowed to use ballpoint pens (Kulis, short for Kugelschreiber) except where we erased something we’d written in fountain pen with some sort of chemical that made the ink vanished. You couldn’t write over the erased area with fountain pen again—it just didn’t work. But ball point pens worked, sort of. I have no idea what the chemical was, except it came in a plastic holder, and was about the size of a small piece of chalk. You licked it, then rubbed it over what you wanted to erase. It tasted sort of salty and vinegary. Whatever it was, it didn’t kill us. We all had cartridge-filling fountain pens. Bottles of ink in my 5th grade class would have been pure mayhem.

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