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[Pen/Pencil Review] Meeting My Supply Room’s George Fox

Posted by reudaly on February 27, 2017 in writing instruments |

Today’s pen blog is a bit different. Saturday, Jimmy and I did a road trip to Killeen, TX to meet up with fellow pen/pencil collector and blogger, George Fox of My Supply Room. There’s a typical feeling among writers about being a fraud or poser… yeah, that was me meeting George and walking into his supply room (I have a pile – and a highly disorganized one at that).

The reason we went down is that where I just grab up pens and pencils willy-nilly, Jimmy is an actually collector of ONE specific thing, the Pentel P 205 series. It’s a basic pencil that Pentel’s been making for decades. Jimmy has most of them and has identified generations and international only selections, the whole thing – again, I’m so not that.

George focuses on historical pens and pencils from the 1950s and 1960s – but has stuff from the whole gambit of the last 60 years. The pictures I took don’t do his personal supply room justice. I couldn’t take the collection (and it wasn’t all of it) in completely. It was like my whole office supply childhood was condensed into one room. It was brilliantly overwhelming. I listened to George and Jimmy talk specifically Pentel. I was part of the BIC/Lindy/Scripto conversation. We did some trading for pens and such.

Discovered in the course of the conversation that 1) many of the pen companies don’t seem have a comprehensive history of their own company/product line; 2) I probably should’ve recorded the entire three-hour visit with George because articles upon articles could be done; 3) I could totally be awash in writing projects just from this conversation alone.

George, himself, is a major source of information. He’s supplied TV shows (Madmen) and movies with period accurate writing utensils. He’s consulted with prop masters on projects. They’ve sent him incredible things (mostly because they don’t want to store the vending machine that dispenses ink pens). Seriously? I couldn’t take it all in. The spin racks, the counter displays, the HISTORY of writing in this one room was overwhelming and astonishing. It’s almost a museum in its own right but in a guy’s house.

I loved being there with Jimmy listening to these gentlemen talk Pentel P205 and doing some trading. George sent me home with a BIC starter set and a couple of pieces. Things I may have used as a kid – or my parents did! He and Jimmy know the same guys online – and are still looking for Brazilian and other sources for the lines that aren’t sold in the US as well as catalogs and history.

I know there are histories of companies like Faber-Castell and the higher end companies – Cross, Conklin, probably Montegrappa and the likes of lines that are in the HUNDREDS of dollars if not thousands. But where are the histories of the “everyday carry pens” – BIC, PaperMate, Pentel, Pilot? Especially Pentel. They don’t exist. This is something that needs to change. Even if it means Jimmy and I are the ones to do it. Jimmy has the collection and the data, I have the writing skills to make it all happen and conversational. Jimmy’s actually starting a blog soon about his Pentel P 205 collection that I will promote mightily here.

And it’s not just the pen lines and pen companies that need to be remembered – but guys like George Fox need to be remembered. His collection needs to be remembered and kept alive after he’d done with it – hopefully through his family or through people like me, Jimmy, and others who share this love of pens, pencils, and the part the writing instrument has played in history.

These are stories that need to be kept alive. I’m a person who loves a good story. And now I’m going on record – if you have pens, pencils, stationary from a relative and estate sale, or anything that needs to have a story told? Tell me. If you want to get rid of it, send it to me, I’ll love it and pet it and call it George. Let’s start collecting more of these stories – the people, the instruments, the history.

George will help people start collections. He started some BIC starter sets, like the one I now have as well as selling folks some old pens they remember from their childhoods. He talks about his collections and his adventures in his blog – My Supply Room. Jimmy will have his blog. I will have my blog – which is going to stay reviews and such, but there’s SO MUCH to write and to learn about and do and handle. I suppose I should get started, huh?

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