Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lindy Ballpoint Pens

Last time I talked about the vintage fountain pens I’ve found at estate sales.  I love the way they write; each one seems to have its own personality.  However, during college I discovered that they’re not without their drawbacks.  Fountain pens tended to explode in my purse or backpack, or drip blobs of ink on my compositions, so I got through my classes with a quiver full of Lindy stick ballpoint pens in every length and color they made.  I saved the fountain pens for letter-writing at home.

I was pleasantly surprised when I found a shoe box full of Lindy pens in lots of shapes, sizes and colors at a recent estate sale.   I happily bought the lot, only to get the box home and discover that, of course, most of those old ballpoint pens didn't write anymore.  I figured I could buy refills for some of them, but what to do with the others?



Remembering my friend Peggy’s conviction, “No matter what it is, someone collects it!”  I went online to search for “Lindy Pens” and discovered a wonderful blog by a man named George, who is a pen collector.  http://mysupplyroom.blogspot.com/  (And I thought I had a lot of pens!...)  George’s blog says that Lindy pens were popular in the 1950s-1970s but a lot of them were not refillable and thus didn’t make it to the 21st century.   The company went out of business in the 1990s.  George helped me find homes for many of the Lindys in the box, and most of the remaining pens (except the few I’m keeping) ended up in his massive collection.  (One of my convictions is that collectible items belong with people who can appreciate them.)  I still have a few for sale on eBay.

Based on the number and variety of Lindy pens that I found at the estate sale – including factory samples and seconds – our guess is that the previous owner must have either worked at the Lindy factory or had a good friend who did.  The previous owner must have had a good sense of humor, too – because in the box of pens I also found this creature, made from removable metal clips on the Lindy pens.

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