Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tools of the Trade

No not wrenches, screwdrivers or scan tools, but writing tools. Except for the Sharpies, the pens in the photo are retired now. Yes that's a Mont Blanc ballpoint pen I got in a deal with the then parts manager at the dealership I work at. The green celluloid Visconti is a morph of broken mechanical pencil and ballpoint pen a late friend put together for me. And yes this Grease Monkey used to write with a fountain pen at work.

During the early-mid 90s when I first started using a fountain pen, I brought one to use at work. I was probably the only automotive technician that wrote with a fountain pen. Back then we used to actually write on paper repair orders. So when I had to write my "story" I would do so in script or cursive writing. I think some customers got to see my ROs and gave comments to the service writers.

That pen is a Rotring fountain pen with a steel nib that wrote fairly well. I still have it but rarely use it. It is rather stiff compared to the soft solid gold nibs of vintage fountain pens. There is quite a bit of wear on the Mont Blanc, Visconti and the Rotring from the rigors of use in an automotive repair shop environment. But they do bring back memories.

I use the Sharpies and now a cheap ball point pen. Sadly we now use electronic repair orders or EROs, everything on a computer. And so it is with personal correspondence these days. Texting, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, e-cards. There is a place for those, but I prefer handwritten letters...

A Lost Art!

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