I was reading the book The Social Life of Ink: Culture, Wonder, and Our Relationship with the Written Word by Ted Bishop which is an interesting book. He mentioned he had an old Parker 51 fountain pen, so I got mine out that was given to my sister circa 1963 and eventually came to me. Sure enough, it is a Parker 51 Aerometric pen.
I had last used it 20 years ago, maybe longer, and I remember I had used Parker Quink blue ink in it. I threw that ink out last year. Ted mentioned in his book that there is a mammoth online forum called the Fountain Pen Network which has all kinds of information on cleaning pens and what ink to use. So I looked there and they said to flush my Parker pen with cool water. It takes a while to flush it but over the last week I did that. Wipe, flush, flush, wipe, on and on.
Then I ordered some Waterman bottled ink for it in the colour Tender Purple. I was tired of blue and I didn’t feel green was what I wanted, so I bought the purple. The Parker 51 pens are often described as working with any ink, but I wanted a good ink that was identified as specifically working with this pen as the Waterman ink was.
I had to find some way of writing regularly with my resurrected pen, so I started a Gratitude Journal with a lined journal from Peter Pauper Press.
We pen geeks hide in the shadows, waiting for a prompt toward expansive colours of ink. You never know where reading a book will take you. Thank you Ted Bishop.