Ordinarily, when you think about hospitalization, a staff of nurses, doctors, surgeons, anesthesiologist and other specialist come to mind. You are admitted to the hospital so that these trained professionals can take care of your ailments, treatments, administer medication and tend to your emergency healthcare needs.
As far fetched as it may seem, there is a hospital that exists for repairing and restoring vintage and modern fountain pens. Innovators of vintage fountain pens engineered these writing mechanisms for pleasure, prestige, function and style. The reason why so many inventors went through the trouble of getting patents and going back and forth to the drawing board was to tweak their pen designs for uniqueness and durability. Of course despite their objective for perfection, there was the question of addressing customer concerns when there was a malfunction or defect, whether through the manufacturing process or from human error. This is why The Fountain Pen Hospital was born and here are the top ten reasons why you would want to admit your writing device to them or to a respectable, specialized fountain pen repair shop:
1. A basic overhaul
2. Sac replacements
3. Vacumatic repairs
4. Diaphragm replacements
5. Repairs on complex pens (Parker Vacumatic, Sheaffer Snorkel or Touchdown)
6. Restoration on vintage pen filling systems (lever, plunger, piston, twist)
7. Cracked nib repairs and retipping on gold nibs
8. Nib adjustments and smoothing
9. Electroplating of components and pens
10. Restoration for gouges, scratches and other surface damage
The Fountain Pen Hospital was founded in 1946 by Phil Wiederlight and Al Wiederlight (the father and grandfather, respectively, of today’s proprietors – Terry and Steve Wiederlight). Terry and Steve come with a combination of 50 years of experience in all phases of vintage and modern writing instruments. In addition to repair and restoration, The Fountain Pen Hospital offers pen accessories, books and Limited Edition Fountain Pens.
If you take good care of your fountain pen, it will last you a lifetime. These are delicate writing instruments and must be cleaned and stored properly. Bottled ink needs to be stored away from direct sunlight and should be shaken well before filling your pen, to stir up ink particles that probably settled at the bottom of the bottle. If your pen does not start immediately or has been inactive for a few weeks, it’s very possible that the ink has dried and clogged the nib or the feed. Try to wet the nib’s point with water or ink of the same color. When all else fails, simply wash the pen out. Wash your fountain pen every few weeks. It is recommended to never use hot water or alcohol. Distilled water will work best.
If you are having severe abdominal pain, you wouldn’t want to be rushed to a Veterinarian or a Meteorologist would you? Of course not. And if you owned a Mercedes Benz, would you take it to a motorcycle shop for repair work? Unequivocally no! You would adamantly seek someone who is specialized in your area of need to solve the problem. The same goes for your fountain pen. For the preservation of your investment, it behooves you to find someone who is knowledgeable, experienced and can immediately respond to your questions and concerns about the mechanics and diversity of your vintage or modern fountain pen.