The Write Point Archives

    Happy 70th Birthday to Pen Doctor Sharon Powers

    Tucked neatly away in a warehouse attic nestled above Fahrney’s Pens base of operations dwells a pen doctor like no other. When many people think of Fahrney’s Pens and Pen Doctoring they think of Chuck Edwards, the resident repair expert in Fahrney’s DC retail store. But over the past 30 years, Sharon Powers has toiled amongst the bubble wrap, excess boxes and holiday decorations in her top floor “office” and has brought back to life thousands of ailing writing instruments.

    When Sharon started with Fahrney’s in 1985 she had been hired as a computer tech by the Sullivan family. Very quickly Jon and Corinne Sullivan realized that with Sharon’s ability to fix cars (and almost anything else that needed fixing), with proper training she could also repair pens. Their hunch proved correct and in no time Sharon was handling a fair share of the company’s pen repair business. As an added bonus, Dr. Chuck Edwards could spend a greater part of his work day assisting customers on the retail floor where he is truly in his element.

    When first meeting Sharon one can quickly discern several things. Sharon is very direct in her speech and has not minced a word since the late 1960’s. Sharon has the energy and work drive of someone half her age. And last but certainly not least, one always discovers that she has a passion for pens that almost defies an explanation. Whether it’s a 1929 hard rubber Waterman, old Parker 51 or the latest Montblanc pen; Sharon has and can fix almost all of them. It is a rare day at Fahrney’s Pens when Dr. Powers pronounces a patient dead. Thousands more have sought Sharon’s pen doctoring expertise over the phone in the past three decades.

    Today, Feb. 9th, the Florence Nightengale of nibs turned 70 wonderful years young of age! Please join us all and raise your pens in the air in salute to this true heroine of the pen industry. (The same pens that once cowered in a darkened drawer, broken and dust covered between the box of staples and spare keys). So on behalf of all the pens that were given a second (3rd, 4th and 5th) chance we salute you and say Happy Birthday Sharon Powers. Because of you, we are able to keep the ink flowing. Feel free to post your well wishes on our Facebook Page.

    02/08/16



    Fahrney's Exclusive 2015 Cherry Blossom Pens

    The Smithsonian Institution Building, popularly known as the "Castle," was designed by architect James Renwick, Jr. Completed in 1855 it sat on an isolated piece of land cut off from the rest of Washington DC, by a canal. The building, constructed of red sandstone from Maryland in the Norman style, became the anchor for the National Mall as additional museums and government buildings were constructed around it.

    When the team at Fahrney’s Pens sat down to decide what DC landmark to make the centerpiece for its 2015 Cherry Blossom Special Edition Pens by Retro 51, this iconic structure got the nod (aided by our Facebook fans suggestions). The exclusive pens are released each year to coincide with the blooming of the cherry blossoms in Fahrney’s home base in Washington DC.

    This 9th edition (many have observed) is our most gorgeous design to date. Retro’s lead artist created an original design of the Castle in the moonlight, surrounded by the delicate blossoms. The lovely design is screen printed in white on the Tornado-style pens with marbled red and grey translucent resin finish accented in polished chrome.

    The limited production series includes a fountain pen with stainless steel nib, twist-top rollerball/ball pen and a 1.15 mm pencil with eraser. The EXT fountain pen offers an extended length body- the barrel is longer to hold a converter or two cartridges. The 2015 Cherry Blossom pens are each presented in a custom- designed cylinder-shaped box and can be purchased with Fahrney’s exclusive companion journal. These highly collected offerings will be gone long before the last petal has fallen to the ground so do not miss the chance to own these rarities while you can and keep the ink flowing!

    03/26/15

    Graf von Faber-Castell 2015 Pen of the Year

    At the end of the Seven Years War in 1763, Frederick the Great began building his most ambitious project to celebrate Prussia’s success: the New Palace of Sanssouci. The Palace is situated in the Sanssouci Royal Park in Potsdam, Germany, and is considered to be the last great Prussian baroque palace. Graf von Faber Castell’s 2015 “Sanssouci, Potsdam” Pen of the Year is inspired by the impressive architecture of the New Palace, bringing to life the luster and aesthetics of a bygone era in a fascinating writing instrument. Frederick the Great, as king and connoisseur of decorative natural stones, cultivated a personal and simultaneously regal interest in the rich Silesian deposits then used to do justice to Prussia’s new status. By special sovereign right, the monarch reserved all precious stones and chrysoprase in particular for himself: these stones with their emerald to apple green coloration are considered the most valuable variety of quartz. Frederick the Great himself travelled to Silesia to choose the most beautiful. The New Palace was the culmination of this royal interest. The magnificent building is home to a greater variety of natural stones than any other Frederician palace.

    The creation of the Sanssouci Pen of the Year demanded the highest standards of craftsmanship. The Herbert Stephan gemstone manufactory was singularly predestined for this task. It carries on the great tradition of the Idar Oberstein gemstone workshops, which dates back to the 15th century and is still of world renown. The masters have demonstrated their incomparable skills with impressive results: the platinum-plated barrel and cap are adorned by four green Silesian serpentines and a Russian smoky quartz – both ground and polished by hand. The Special Edition combines 24-carat gold plating with green serpentine and rare chrysoprase, Frederick’s favorite natural stone. Chrysoprase has not been mined for many years and is only available on the antique stone market.

    Both editions come with an 18-carat, bicolor gold nib that is ‘run-in’ by hand. An end-cap protects the rotary knob of the plunger mechanism of the plunger-type fountain pen.
    • Platinum-plated barrel adorned by four green Silesian serpentines
    • Individually numbered writing instruments
    • 18-carat bicolor gold nib, run-in by hand
    • Available in the nib widths F, M or B
    • Cap of the pen is crowned by grey shimmering Russian quartz with facet finish
    • Exclusive wooden box with additional insert with space for additional 6 writing instruments, high-quality brochure and a certificate of authenticity
    • Limited to 1,000 pieces


    03/05/15


    What To Give Your Valentine

    I recently read that the average Valentine’s Day spending in the US was $131 per person. It had me wondering whether spending less could be viewed as unromantic. For years the diamond industry has provided its own guidelines on how much of one’s income should be spent on an engagement ring. While I’ve never personally met anyone who admitted to getting out their paystubs and calculator to come up with the right dollar amount; I have no doubt that it has occurred. The same industry has used Valentine’s Day as an occasion for giving jewelry since the 1980’s and I suppose, given the per person amount spent, that the campaign has been a success.

    Florists will be working overtime to process and deliver, restaurants will be overbooked and sugary confections will flood the marketplace. For many it will be a grand, lovely romantic day and for some it might be a day of loneliness and regret. For still others it will be a day of anxiety about how to impress and surprise their beloved.

    While I support any day that focuses on loving the ones who matter to us most, I have always been uneasy about letting a preprinted greeting card express my deepest thoughts and feelings. One of the earliest surviving valentines is a 15th century poem written by an imprisoned duke captured during the Battle of Agincourt and written to his wife from the Tower of London. Unlike a box of candy with an expiration date or vase of flowers, I’m guessing the valentine was a cherished possession for the many years of his captivity.

    I have not given a whole lot of thought as to what I will/should spend this Valentine’s Day. I do know that whatever that total is it will include a handwritten note. While not penned from a faraway tower, it will express my personal feelings of love and admiration. Let others be led by marketing trends and fads; I will be led by my desire to keep the ink flowing.

    02/12/15


    And The Winner is...

    Many thanks to all those who participated in our fourth annual National Handwriting Contest! Each year we are amazed by the number of entries we receive and enjoy reading each and every one. It was fascinating to read the many perspectives on New Year Resolutions.

    Below is the winning entry, which was selected at random.

    Congratulations Ashli Kessinger for winning a Platinum Nice 3776 Limited Edition Demonstrator Fountain Pen with a 14K gold nib – a $250 value!

    Dear AP Language and Composition Students
    View Winning Entry

    02/05/15

    Fahrney’s Partnership with the National Archives

    The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the nation's record keeper. Of all documents and materials created in the course of business conducted by the United States Federal government, only 1% to 3% are so important for legal or historical reasons that they are kept forever. Those valuable records are preserved and are available to the public, whether they want to see if they contain clues about their family’s history, need to prove a veteran’s military service, or are researching historical topics that interest them.

    This past year the National Archives presented a special exhibit, “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures” and Fahrney’s Pens was one of the sponsors of this incredible presentation. To complement the exhibit, there was family and educational programming sponsored by Fahrney’s, Cross and the Parker Pen Company- Newell Rubbermaid.

    Special events included two Family Days that were hugely popular with visiting families and held in the Archives’ Boeing Learning Center. In that wing of the museum, Fahrney’s set up an area where children and young adults could assemble their own fountain pens from parts donated by Chartpak (the US distributor for Pelikan Pens) and take them home to use (for many their first experience with a fountain pen). The second Family Day was held two days before the year’s end with Fahrney’s and Write Notepads and Co. providing “thank you” cards and instructions for crafting them, as well as a Thank You Note Contest and a turquoise Parker Jotter ball pen to take home.

    The ‘Making Their Mark’ Adult Education Workshops were conducted on four evenings throughout the year and were usually full to capacity with waiting lists. The topics presented included Handwriting Analysis, the History of Pens (Quill’s to Rollerballs) featuring Parker Pen ambassador Geoff Parker, Care and Maintenance of Pens (featuring our esteemed pen doctor, Chuck Edwards) and Calligraphy Basics (with Elizabeth Bunn of Fahrney’s). This was the first time the Archives had ever hosted these types of workshops and because of the overwhelming success are planning on continuing the sessions.

    Fahrney’s Pens was proud to play an integral role in the year-long program and is looking forward to expanding on this success in the years to come. If you have never visited the National Archives - the nation’s record keeper, we invite you to do so on your next trip to DC and support its mission by becoming a member: Join My Archive Store

    The National Archives and Fahrney’s Pens need everyone to become active participants in the critical goal of preserving handwriting and understanding the importance of this great country’s written records. In the meantime Happy New Year and keep the ink flowing!

    01/15/15
    For All You Comic Book Fans

    Entrepreneur Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson formed the comics publishing company National Allied Publications in 1934 (the era considered the Golden Age of Comic Books). Before running into financial difficulties and losing the company, he produced a third and final title, Detective Comics (DC Comics), which later introduced the world to Batman (among others).

    Now, 80 years later, Montegrappa presents a new series sure to delight any comic book fan - the DC Comic's Heroes and Villains writing instruments. Officially licensed by DC Comics, the new series features four of your favorite superheroes, the all-American Wonder Woman and Superman, the dark knight, Batman and the Green Lantern.

    The nemesis of Batman comprise the four villains, the sinister Penguin, the feline Catwoman, the wily Riddler and the nefarious Joker. Each pen is expertly crafted in solid brass with colorful lacquer finishes evoking the design of the hero's or villain's signature costume. Wide metal clips are engraved in relief with each character's likeness, the cap is crowned with the hero or villain's emblem.

    Choose from the fountain pen with steel nib, capped rollerball or twist ball pen and write your own super adventure. Keeping the ink flowing has never been this exciting!

    Wonder Woman Wonder Woman's red-and-blue pen features all-American white stars, the winged 'W' logo on the cap and a full-height image on the pocket clip.

    Superman Superman is represented in red-and-blue, with the iconic 'S'-Shield logo on the top of the cap, and the pocket clip showing him in flight.

    Batman Batman, of course, is all in black, with the 'Bat'-Symbol on the cap's top, and a pocket clip with low relief full-height figure.

    Green Lantern Green Lantern's emerald-green pen is accented with black fittings, his logo on the cap and an action pose on the pocket clip.

    Penguin The Penguin, naturally, commands a black pen with the very pinstripes that adorn his trousers, the villain posed on the clip with umbrella held aloft, and the umbrella logo gracing the cap's top.

    Catwoman Catwoman is honored with a dark purple pen with her 'cat's eyes' logo topping the cap, her pose as feline as one would imagine.

    Riddler The Riddler's all-green pen boasts a question mark on the cap's top and the same inquisitive punctuation all over the barrel and cap

    Joker The Joker, the combination of purple cap and green barrel convey his lurid attire, with his grinning face adorning the cap.

    01/08/15
    Handwritten Letters

    There was a time, and it really doesn't seem that long ago, when I could expect to receive at least one handwritten letter per week. It made the daily trip to the mailbox a little more anticipatory even if the box was chock full of bills/junk mail; that one handwritten letter would make it a worthwhile excursion. Who knew that when I went 'paperless' on all of my bills that a mysterious force would trigger a dramatic decrease in personal correspondence?

    I reviewed possible reasons for this inexplicable phenomena as I so longed to have a purpose in visiting the mailbox again (besides clearing out the grocery circulars and repeated pleas from AARP to join them). First-class postage was still a bargain at 49 cents so I ruled out economic hardship. E-mail has been popular for over 20 years and while I certainly send and receive my fair share of it I couldn't place the blame on technology. Perhaps my going to work for Fahrney's Pens convinced my correspondents that I probably was inundated with letters from the many loyal and passionate customers?

    It seemed as if I would never find the answer, but before I threw in the towel to this great perplexing riddle, I thought I would try a novel experiment. I took the better part of a Sunday and wrote 8 to 10 of my former letter writers and even threw in a few new candidates. I dropped them in the mailbox on a Monday and mentally prepared for a future of more unfulfilling visits to the useless, rusting box of mail.

    Then on Thursday I received a letter! Two more came on Friday and remarkably, THREE on Saturday (the loneliest of all mail days)! How could I have missed this seemingly simple concept? You mail letters to friends and often letters are mailed to you in return! The great Hunter S. Thompson's line occurred to me at that moment, "I was not proud of what I had learned but I never doubted that it was worth knowing".

    I am happy to report that since that groundbreaking experiment, my shiny letter palace by the curb and I have glorious reunions several times a week. I could curse the darkness that I caused myself for the first year I lived here, but instead I resolved to never forget this valuable lesson and share it with others as often as possible: Life is good when you keep the ink flowing.

    09/25/14
    Say Thank You

    The gift-giving season is fast approaching! What better way to say Thank You and Happy Holidays to your most valued customers and employees than with a personalized gift from Fahrney's Pens. They'll remember you and your company every time they write.

    Fahrney's Pens has a great selection of gifts for the holidays – from the world's finest writing instruments to our unique selection of leather goods, timepieces and stationery – all custom engraved or embossed to your specifications.

    Our Corporate Gift Specialists make selection and ordering fast and easy! Call us toll-free at 800-336-4775, Monday–Friday 9:00am – 5:30pm. Complimentary gift-wrap and handwritten gift cards are available with each purchase. We can work within your budget and quantity discounts may apply.

    Here are some of our most popular Corporate Gift choices, though there are many more styles and colors from which to choose.

    Experience the Fahrney's difference – our expertise and service are unparalleled.

    09/18/14
    Back to School with Fahrney's

    Summer break is now behind us and school is back in session. Hard to believe! Where did the time go? The leaves are already starting to fall and Halloween stores are popping up everywhere. A sign of cooler temperatures ahead.

    Students are getting acclimated to their schedules, teachers and agendas and hopefully getting themselves organized for the upcoming workload. For any additional back-to-school essentials, be sure to check out our top-selling school supplies and start the new school year off 'write'.

    Fahrney's Fall Savings should also help cushion the blow for those looking to outfit their returning student with the finest in writing instruments and accessories. There are still plenty of amazing deals and whether your student is off to college or beginning first grade, we have the 'write' pens to keep the ink flowing!

    09/11/14
    Upcoming Special Parker Events

    We are delighted to welcome Geoff Parker, the great-grandson of Parker's founder, George S. Parker, as our special guest at Fahrney's retail store on Thursday, September 11 from 11:00am – 3:00pm. Geoff will be on hand to introduce the new Parker Historical Colors Duofold writing instruments and to offer his rare insights on the history and development of Parker Pens over the last 125 years.

    In addition to sharing his unique perspective of Parker's past, he welcomes the stories and comments about the role Parker Pens has played in the lives of others. It's a great event for Parker fans! There will be door prizes from Parker and all the new Parker products for Fall 2014 will be available for "test-driving."

    Fahrney's and Parker are also sponsoring a workshop by Geoff Parker at the National Archives Museum on September 10 from 5:30pm - 7:00pm. The special evening combines a viewing of the "Making Their Mark" exhibit with a hands-on exploration of the history of pens with Geoff Parker. Discover how pens and writing have changed over time. You will have the opportunity to write with changing pen technology starting with a quill, moving through dip pens and bladder pens and ending with the pens we use today. To register for this free program, email "education@nara.gov" with MTM Workshops as the subject. Space is limited, so register soon.

    "Making Their Mark: Stories through Signatures" is a fascinating exhibit in the Lawrence F. O'Brien Gallery of the National Archives Building. "Making Their Mark" invites visitors to look at a signature, imagine the moment the document was signed, and realize how each one has made its mark on our American narrative.

    Visit Fahrney's website for more information on the Parker Aniversary Event. We hope you can join us for one or both of these exciting Parker events - and keep the ink flowing!

    09/04/14
    National Archives Workshops

    Since this past March, the National Archives Museum in Washington, D.C. has presented the special exhibition, “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures”. The exhibit runs through Jan. 5, 2015 and has been wildly popular with the Archives' patrons.

    In addition to the exhibit, the National Archives has implemented a series of Adult Education Workshops which are sponsored by Fahrney's Pens, Cross and the Parker Pen Company-Newell Rubbermaid. The first of these workshops (held two weeks ago) featured Handwriting Analysis as its topic, hosted by handwriting expert Marilyn Maze. The two-hour class/lecture was standing room only – accommodating an over-capacity crowd – and many were still turned away at the door.

    The history and uses of Graphology were discussed before an in-depth analysis of Harry S. Truman's handwriting was undertaken. The National Archives provided copies of a very insightful letter from the former 33rd President which he had written while at the Potsdam Conference in July of 1945. The analysis was followed by a lively open floor discussion and before leaving the guests turned in 3 examples of their signatures for Maze to analyze and report back to them with her findings.

    It was a great start to a series that the National Archives is undertaking for the first time. Mark your calendars for the next three workshops coming soon as they are sure to fill up quickly! To register for these free program, email education@nara.gov with MTM Workshops as the subject.

    September 10 - (5:30-7:30 p.m.) 'Quill to Rollerball' hosted by Geoff Parker, great grandson of Parker Pen's founder George S. Parker.

    November 5 - (5:30-7:30 p.m.) 'Meet the Pen Doctor' hosted by Fahrney's very own Chuck Edwards.

    December 3 - (5:30-7:30 p.m.) 'Calligraphy Basics' presented by Fahrney's handwriting educator Elizabeth Bunn.

    Fahrney's Pens is very proud to be a part of this exhibit and education initiatives –it is just one more way we can ensure that the ink keeps flowing.

    08/28/14
    Fahrney’s Has Lost a True Artist and Friend

    Whether it was writing thank you notes to clients with her trusty brilliant blue Visconti Rembrandt or doodling with her favorite green Cross Edge, Elise Soroka approached writing with a an unmatched zest and enthusiasm. From her first day at Fahrney’s Pens retail store in the winter of 2012, to her last in early June of this summer, her bubbly personality and engaging smile would brighten even the gloomiest of days.

    After graduating from Carnegie Melon with a degree in Fine Arts, Elise embarked on an almost 20 year career as a freelance illustrator for magazines, book publishers and assorted businesses. When I posted the advertisement for a full-time sales associate at our Washington, DC store at the beginning of 2012, the response was tremendous. With over 250 resumés there was a lot to deliberate and study, but from the outset, one stood out from the rest.

    It was not that this particular resumé was filled with years of pen experience or retail experience in general. What did come across was her passion, energy and love of the written word. When I first met Elise face to face, I knew there was little need to interview anyone else. Store Managers Emile Benjamin and Elizabeth Bunn agreed and soon the rest of Fahrney’s family would discover the tour de force that was uniquely Elise. When Soul Bossa Nova (the theme song from Austin Powers) would play from the preselected Fahrney’s music assortment, (and no clients were present) Elise would do her little dance that never failed to have her coworkers in stitches. And as Elizabeth Bunn said, hearing that song will never be the same again.

    Fahrney’s Pens and the rest of the world lost a true artist and an avid friend of pens when Elise lost her battle with a lengthy illness a few weeks ago. She will be greatly missed by all she touched and came in contact with. Her time with Fahrney’s and her time on earth were both too short but her impact was one that cannot be measured. We will miss you Elise and promise to keep the ink flowing.

    08/21/14
    Skull Symbolism

    The skull is one of the oldest and most powerful symbols. It has a long, varied history of meanings with various interpretations. Most commonly the Skull is seen as a representation of death and mortality, but it also symbolizes life after death, change, courage, bravery, rebelliousness, the list goes on. Some say the skull is a symbol of the celebration of life and represents good luck.

    Today it is commonly used in horror films, books and haunted houses to create a feeling of fear and trepidation. The skull has long been used in the military and in biker culture for as long as there have been bikers. It's often used as a symbol of nonconformity, free-thinking, and rebelliousness, as evidenced on many heavy metal album covers.

    The skull reminds us that none of us live forever, making each of our lives that much more important because of it. From this point of view, the skull does not represent anything dark or evil, but instead becomes a positive symbol that encourages us to live life to its fullest.

    Whatever your perspective, Fahrney's offers skull pens and pen stands featuring this powerful symbol.

    08/07/14
    President Ulysses Grant Framed Document

    While many former U.S. Presidents have gone on to write books after leaving office, perhaps none was as acclaimed as 18th President Ulysses S. Grant's. "The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant" was a huge commercial and critical success that Grant was not alive to witness, having died days after finishing the book.

    Several critics referred to it as the “most significant work of American non-fiction”, and Mark Twain called the Memoirs a "literary masterpiece". Having forfeited his military pension when he assumed the presidency and several bad business decisions resulted in Grant being almost penniless when he embarked on his writing. Around the same time Grant learned that he was suffering from throat cancer and likely had little time left.

    The autobiography focused mainly on Grant's military career during the Mexican-American War and the U.S. Civil War. Written in the persona of the honorable western hero, Grant candidly depicted his battles against both the external Confederates and his internal Army foes. One such incident, which occurred almost 150 years ago to this day, came close to ending Grant's life.

    On August 9, 1864 at City Point, Virginia, a Confederate Secret Service agent smuggled a bomb aboard an ammunition barge, ignited it and very nearly killed the future 18th President. "Every part of the yard used as my headquarters is filled with splinters and fragments of shell," Grant wrote.

    History Inscribed (Fahrney's Pens one-of-a-kind historical document division) has recently acquired one of the finest documents we have ever seen from the 18th President. It is a gorgeous military appointment with a blue war office seal crisp and fully intact. Beautifully framed and signed by Grant, as well as Secretary of War Belknap, this is a must-own document for any presidential collector.

    You can see this fabulous presentation in our Washington, DC store or call us today to find out how you can bring this fine piece of American history to your home or office. And just as President Grant did, "keep the ink flowing"!

    07/31/14
    Kid's Cursive Handwriting Contest
    Keep your kids writing this summer with Fahrney's Kid's Cursive Handwriting Contest!

    Fahrney's wishes to encourage children ages 6 to 12 years to write and show off their good penmanship by entering its annual Kid's Cursive Handwriting Contest. Participants may write about a summer adventure, family vacation, hobby, sport or any topic that gets their ink (or lead) flowing.

    The winning entry (selected based on penmanship and content) will receive a Pelikan Twist fountain pen, Cursive Writing Workbook and Practice Pad – valued at over $50! The winning entry will be framed and displayed in Fahrney's Washington, DC retail store and posted on its Facebook page.

    Penmanship was once an important part of every student's early education, but the world of personal computers, tablets, e-mail and texting has rendered the handwritten note an obsolete form of communication – a skill that many of today's students only learn to appreciate from parents and grandparents. Schools are devoting less time teaching the art of cursive handwriting as more effort is devoted to typing skills in the early grades.

    Handwriting is one of the few ways kids can uniquely express themselves. These days, it's up to parents to make sure their children learn the art of cursive handwriting, outside of school if necessary. Studies show that writing helps to strengthen children's brain synapses and concentration because it requires fluid movement, eye-hand coordination and fine motor skill development.

    Entries will be accepted through August 31, 2014 and can be placed in the mailbox provided by the Smithsonian National Postal Museum at our Washington, DC store, or mailed to Fahrney's headquarters.

    Store Location:
    1317 F Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20004

    Mailing address:
    Attn: Handwriting Contest
    8329 Old Marlboro Pike, B13
    Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

    07/24/14
    “Making Their Mark” Family Day at The Foundation for the National Archives

    Date: Friday, July 18, 2014
    Time: 10:00 am
    Location: Boeing Learning Center, Washington, DC

    The National Archives Museum in Washington, DC, has many fun exhibits and activities for kids of all ages. Visitors can see the original Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, and explore other records in several exhibition galleries.

    Come and bring your family to the Boeing Learning Center in the National Archives Museum to explore the many ways people have placed their signature on history, from developing a signature style to signing groundbreaking policy into law. The day will feature family fun with hands-on activities, such as writing with a quill pen, Presidential Catch Phrase, and making signature hats, all based on the new exhibition, “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures”.

    So if you are in the Washington, DC area or within driving distance, take the day off and bring your family to “Making Their Mark” Family Day tomorrow, and of course, don’t forget to Keep the Ink Flowing.

    “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures” is made possible in part by the Foundation for the National Archives with the generous support of Lead Sponsor AT&T. Major additional support provided by the Lawrence F. O’Brien Family and members of the Board of the Foundation for the National Archives.

    Family and educational programming related to “Making Their Mark” is sponsored in part by Fahrney’s Pens, Cross, and Parker Pen Company – Newell Rubbermaid.

    07/17/14
    Summer Closeout

    When Jon and Corinne Sullivan purchased Fahrney’s Pens from Earl Fahrney in 1972, it was a single-unit brick and mortar business on New York Avenue in northwest Washington D.C. A short time later, the Sullivans launched a direct mail catalog business; several years after that their son and current company president, Chris Sullivan, started Fahrney’s web site. Purchasing and predicting inventory has grown exponentially and that challenge has turned into something akin to Christmas in July for our loyal customers.

    One listed definition of “a sale” states, “a special disposal of goods at lowered prices”. We at Fahrney’s (and our fine writing instruments in particular) take issue with this characterization. For one, no pen, unless it has been certified as beyond human help by one of our Pen Doctors is being “disposed of”. It is simply being relocated due to overcrowded conditions to homes and businesses that will give these fine instruments the love and attention they so warrant.

    Secondly, the term “disposal” has become more synonymous with garbage than treasured possessions. These beautiful, functional, never-used beauties are anything but junk. In some cases they simply had the misfortune of being stacked on the shelf towards the rear or were a member of a family of pens far too unwieldy for one manufacturer to find a proper home for.

    In any case, the Fahrney’s buying team has meticulously assembled the best and the brightest of it’s own and it’s vendor partner’s stock to share some non-seasonal joy with all who should not have to wait another six months for such joyful tidings. The selected writing instruments have been coached and counseled that they are indeed special and will soon be loved and appreciated in ways they cannot possibly imagine.

    We thank you all for your continued support of this worthy program and know that you are making a difference. Shop our Summer Savings section and please, keep the ink flowing.

    07/10/14
    Aurora ‘Continents of the World’

    Afrika is the first in a limited, numbered series celebrating the ‘Continents of the World’. Aurora has captured the life, color and emotion of this adventurous land in the Afrika design. The resin barrel and cap in warm earthtones are hand-turned by a master craftsman and adorned with a matte gold clip and trim. The barrel ring depicts six African tribal shields. The black crown has a semi-precious agate stone set on the top as a symbol of harmony and peace.

    Asia is the second limited edition series in luminous jade green and earth tones that swirl around the hand-turned resin barrel with gold fittings. Asian cultural icons are found on the central gold band crafted in high relief. The matte brown resin crown is set with a semi-precious green stone and the elegant jewel clip is engraved with the outline of the Asian continent.

    The third in its World Continents limited edition series is Europa. The Italian artisans at Aurora have created a design that represents the important historical aspects of Europe through the centuries. The silver clip is etched with a map of the continent; the thick silver band crafted in high relief depicts symbols of Europe’s progress from factories to trains, a DNA double helix to the stars of the European Community. The hand-turned resin barrel features swirling patterns in luminous black, pearl and grey tones known as “Fumo di Londra”. The black resin crown is set with a blue synthetic quartz cabochon, a tribute to the colors of the European Union.

    Aurora dedicates its fourth limited edition collection to the Americas. Luminous red, white, and blue tones swirl around the hand-turned resin barrel and cap with polished chrome fittings. Cultural icons of the Americas enliven the enameled central band in high relief: a Native American headdress, a pioneer’s covered wagon, desert cactus, American eagle, drawings from the mysterious Nazca Lines of Peru of a condor and a spider. The crown of each pen is set with a semi-precious red jasper stone; the elegant jewel clip is engraved with an outline of the American continents. Celebrate our homeland with Aurora’s America!

    The fifth and most recent 'Continents of the World' series, Oceania explores Australia and the surrounding islands that make up Oceania. Like Afrika, Asia, Europa and America before it, Oceania is a sublime creation by the Italian artisans at Aurora. Luminous pearl and red tones swirl around the hand-turned resin barrel and cap with warm rose gold-plated fittings. Symbolic icons of Oceania enliven the central band in high relief: a wallaby, boomerang, turtle, seashell and a gecko. The dark red enamel recalls the red rock typical of the region. The crown of each pen is set with a semi-precious red jasper stone; the elegant jewel clip is engraved with an outline of the continent.

    Aurora's limited edition Continents series offers superb celluloid bodied pens in a colorful array of styles. Not just for the collector, these instruments are also excellent for everyday writing. 07/03/14
    Pelikan Hub Event Makes History

    In case you missed it, the Worldwide Pelikan Hub Event on June 13th was a global success! Pelikan had to have made history with the largest gathering (albeit virtual) of Pelikan pen lovers at one time, all in one day. Brand aficionados were asked to sign up to be part of the Hub via Pelikan's newsletter. The cities with the most respondents were deemed "Hubs". Fahrney's acted as the "Hubmaster" for Washington, DC and hosted the event at its downtown retail store.

    Story continued on Fahrney's blog, "Pen Adventures" 06/26/14
    Montegrappa Limited Edition Pelé P-10

    Last week marked the kick-off for the 2014 FIFA World Cup™. The international football tournament is hosted by Brazil and made up of 32 teams who will play 64 matches culminating in the championship on July 13th. Fahrney's Pens is very excited to be one of the first retailers to have the Montegrappa Limited Edition Pelé P-10 pen collection inspired by the greatest footballer of all time, Pele.

    Named one of the "Top 20 Most Important People of the 20th Century" (Time Magazine) and "Football Player of the Century" (FIFA), Pelé today maintains his commitment to the sport and to society by fulfilling various roles as spokesperson, ambassador and philanthropist.

    Montegrappa's 'Icons' Series celebrates notable figures in the fields of sport, culture and entertainment. It is thus a pleasure for Montegrappa to celebrate the Brazilian footballer who changed the game for all time: Pelé.

    Made of black resin, the P10 Edition features silver trims, with the top inspired by the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, the colors of Brazil filled in with enamel. The P10's clip is a sceptre, to represent 'The King of Football', with a miniature football containing a sapphire at its top. The legend, 'The King of Football', is engraved around the cap, with Pele's signature on the side in white.

    Blue, green and yellow bands surround the blind cap, while the nib features an engraving of Pelé's 'bicycle kick'. Series numbering is engraved on the end of the barrel, identifying the P10 as one of 1,940 total pieces in fountain pen, rollerball or ballpoint, representing the year of Pelé's birth. The P10 edition also will be offered in an exclusive version consisting of 10 fountain pens and 10 rollerballs with solid 18K gold trim.

    You will not want to miss the opportunity to own one of these rare and beautiful gems that are sure to sell out quickly. We know the greatest footballers in the world will keep the ball rolling and you, the greatest pen aficionados in the world will keep the ink flowing! 06/19/14
    85th Anniversary Celebration

    Last Friday and Saturday, Fahrney's Pens officially kicked off its 85th Anniversary celebration in a grand way with a huge two-day Pen Show at its downtown Washington, DC store. The show was attended by hundreds and in addition to our fine staff members there were 18 representatives from 32 different pen lines. It truly was a memorable celebration and a chance to catch up and reminisce with so many of our long-time loyal customers.

    At the show, the pen that captured the most attention and was flying off the shelves was indisputably Fahrney's own 85th Anniversary Limited Edition Cherry Tree Tornado by Retro 51. Only 300 pens were produced using wood reclaimed from a cherry tree on George Washington's beloved home at Mount Vernon.

    In 2004, Mount Vernon Estate began construction of its new state-of-the-art visitor's center. The wood used to make our limited edition pen came from a cherry tree that had to be removed from the site. The tree was reclaimed by Historical Woods of America, and is now being used to create handcrafted, heirloom items including our one-of-a-kind writing instruments. The cherry wood is of the finest quality and will gain an appealing patina over time. Fahrney's logo and the pen's individual serial number are engraved onto the cap band. The pen is presented in a custom-designed tube box; it includes a vintage map showing the location of the cherry tree on George Washington's estate and a certificate of authenticity.

    Stay tuned for the next edition of exclusive Historical Woods of America creations when we present the George Washington White Mulberry Tree collection. As we continue to celebrate our 85th year, expect to see more exclusives, one-of-a-kind collections and fantastic savings on select pens. We could not have made it this far without the best, most loyal clients in all the world and we are truly blown away by your support. Thank you all and as we charge towards our next milestone, keep the ink flowing! 06/11/14
    Writing Instruments Built for Speed

    What is the perfect gift for Dad or the recent grad that might desire a new sports car but in all likelihood realize that is not a possibility? This year there could be an acceptable compromise and that tie that has already been purchased can surely be put on hold until another special day. Many of your favorite pen manufacturers have released writing instrument collections that are design inspired by sports or racecars. Their ergonomic shapes and sleek designs are created using materials such as carbon fiber and titanium which reduce weight and add strength to high performance cars.

    Inspired from the sculptured lines and materials of the worlds fastest racing cars, Delta's New Horsepower collection of writing instruments is designed to glide across the page with speed and precision and look beautiful when parked on the desk! The ergonomic shape is proportioned to fit comfortably in the hand while the perfect weight and balance allow the long distance writer to go the distance. Each Horsepower pen is then fitted with a band of genuine carbon fiber, the same material used to reduce weight and add strength to high performance cars.

    Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Momo Design, an Italian automotive accessory manufacturer, Delta's 30th Anniverary Momo is made of carbon fiber and celluloid with a nib in pure titanium. This is another superb example of the creative mix of extraordinary materials and unusual shapes that you'd expect from the innovators at Momo Design and Delta.

    Inspired by the instantly recognizable red and the unparalleled speed of a Ferrari racecar, Sheaffer picks up the pace with bold, sleek designs of the new streamlined Carbon Fiber Intensity. Trademark features include the Ferrari emblem on the clip and the Scuderia Ferrari Shield. The Ferrari Official Licensed writing instruments by Sheaffer are sure to perform at maximum speed and delight Ferrari enthusiasts everywhere!

    The Porsche Design Laser Flex Ballpoint Pen has a flexible stainless steel barrel with a repeating pattern created by precisely-lasered slots. Press the mechanism to write and the barrel of the ballpoint pen responds - the lasered slots contract and release as the point appears. Finished with a scratch-resistant PVD-coating with pure titanium which is 10x harder than steel - yet another unique, innovative achievement from Porsche Design!

    The Omas 50th Anniversary Autobobili Lamborghini pays homage to the legendary carmaker and its 50th Anniversary. The hexagonal pen is made entirely of titanium including the clip and rollerball tip. The crown (with 50th Year logo) and the knob have carbon fiber inlays. The 50th anniversary logo is hand-engraved on the top of the cap.

    The Stipula Speed collection's evokes the look and feel of 1960's Italian sports cars. With a wide, elliptical resin body, tricked out with a robust clip, it has also become a customer favorite!

    Whether you are feeling the need for Speed or just enjoy fine writing instruments with sleek and daring lines; we are sure the desire to test drive at least one of these beauties will be quite strong. If you are in the DC area remember to drop by our retail store on 1317 F St. NW and as always, Keep the Ink Flowing! 05/28/14
    What do kids think about cursive…

    2nd Graders:
    "If I was a letter, I would like it to be in cursive. Cursive letters lean forward like skaters who are fast because you don't lift up your pencil so much. Cursive letters hold hands to show you which sounds go together. Cursive is fancy for when you write to the Queen. Cursive is cool."
    Chiara – Kentucky

    "I think cursive is cool because it makes you smarter and it is pretty. It is like writing a different language. In conclusion, I enjoy writing in cursive and always try my best. Cursive is cool!"
    William – Texas

    3rd Graders:
    "Wow! Who knew cursive could be so cool. Cursive is cool is the best because it is faster than the wind. And the letters are creative and you almost never need to pick up your pencil. Finally it looks like a secret code."
    Zachariah - Colorado

    "I think cursive is cool because I feel older when I write in cursive. Also, the loops and swirls are beautiful."
    Natalie – Michigan

    "Hey Guys! Do you want to know what my favorite thing about cursive because it looks prettier and faster than print."
    Scarlett – Colorado

    "I think cursive is cool because big kids use cursive and when I write in cursive I feel like a big kid. It's fun!"
    Teagan – Illinois

    "Cursive is cool because it is neat, and because it doesn't take up as much space as print does. Sometimes, when you are writing a story in print you can emphasize words by writing them in cursive. Cursive is quicker and easier to write than print is. When you are taking notes, you can sometimes write in cursive without looking."
    Katherine – California

    "I love writing in cursive because it is faster to write than print and looks neat. It's faster because all you have to do is write little loops and you won't have any backward letters to fix. Cursive looks neat because it looks like you made up your own handwriting."
    Shaylee - Colorado

    "Cursive is cool in so many ways. It's cool because you can make it curly and different. Also, it's fun to write your name in cursive when you're grown up because you can change the letters a bit. You'll be like a cheetah because you'll be writing so fast."
    Tula – Colorado

    "I think cursive is cool because some letters in cursive are very much like the manuscript ones. Also, you can write cursive differently. Some writing 'loopily', while others are very original."
    Talia - Pennsylvania

    "Hey! Do you know how cool cursive is? Well, I will tell you. Some letters are completely different and cursive is very flowy. If you are in a hurry cursive is the way to go! You'll be fast like a rocket. I think that the whole world should write in cursive all the time."
    Ryleigh – Colorado

    "Hi! It's me! I like to write in cursive because it goes much faster than print. I also like cursive because it is neat and nice. Cursive is cool."
    Jade – Colorado

    4th Graders:
    "Cursive is because it is faster and more beautiful form of handwriting. It is also cool because you can see all of the words and letters clearly."
    Hannah – California

    "I really enjoy writing in cursive while writing stories. And one of the reasons is that it looks pretty. Another is that it goes quickly. It's also more fun than writing in block. I also enjoy drawing pictures for my stories."
    Catherine – Ohio

    "I think cursive is cool because it looks neater and it's quicker than printing. For example, you rarely have to pick up your pencil. Because of this, you can get your ideas down faster."
    Bernadette – Wisconsin

    5th Graders:
    "I think cursive is very fun. There are many things I enjoy doing with cursive. For example, I really like practicing my signature because there are so many different ways to write it. My friends and I compare each other's signatures."
    Alissa – Colorado

    "I think that cursive is cool because, when you write you don't have to lift your hand every time you write a letter. When you write in cursive you can read cursive more easily. It's faster than printing. If you practice you will have a better signature when you grow up."
    Olivia - Arizona

    6th Grader:
    "Cursive is cool because it is a quicker way to write, you learn a skill that other people do not have. People value you as more clever and smarter if you have this special skill. Print is boring compared to cursive."
    Joshua – California

    Responses are from the Cursive is Cool Contest - 2014.
    www.campaignforcursive.com
    www.campaignforcursive.blogspot.com 05/20/14
    Perspectives from a Fahrney’s Employee on the Occasion of the 85th Anniversary…

    Dear Fellow Pen Enthusiasts,
    Since 1987 when I first entered into the amazing world of the fine writing instruments business at Fahrney’s, I have witnessed many changes… in the world, in the nation, in DC, and in the pen industry.

    When I first walked in the door of Fahrney’s in October of that year, I was a single lady and am now a married lady with a few more gray hairs. Other than my marital status and the color of my hair, there have been other changes as well.

    In 1987, Ronald Reagan was president and Germany was still divided into East and West. Washington, DC did not have a baseball team. RFK Stadium was where our professional football team played, and it was the season in which they won their second Super Bowl. At Fahrney’s, Mrs. Chappell was “The Pen Lady” of the retail division located on G Street. That fall, as I started working at Fahrney’s, Mrs. Chappell taught me much about pens… especially fountain pens and how to care for them. “ You put your cap on your fountain pen the way you put your hat on your head, not your head in your hat,” she would say. We rang up sales on a good old-fashioned cash register and “Mrs. C”, as we called her, taught me how to write-up by hand tax -exempt transactions. Some top of the line pens were $80.56 including tax!!!!!! Bottles of ink ranged in price from $2.00- $5.00. Fahrney’s expanded our customer base through its award-winning catalog. The web meant something a spider wove.

    Since then, Germany has been united, the thought of a woman president of the United States is not out of the question, and baseball has returned to the Nation’s Capitol… GO NATS!!! We now just wish our football team would have a winning season.

    At Fahrney’s, we have since moved to our current location on F Street which is twice the size of our old location. This has helped to allow space to accommodate the increasing number of fine pen lines. Mrs. Chappell has since passed but her memory lives on through current staff, sales representatives and customers who remember her, and through stories told to staff who did not have the privilege of knowing her. Sales transactions are now computerized, including tax exempt transactions. We still mail out our catalog but have also expanded our customer base through our web site. Some of the pens that were $80.00 are now over $400.00! Bottles of ink now range in price from $10.00- $40.00!

    While many things have changed in the world, our nation, and our city in the 27 years since I first walked through Fahrney’s doors, some things have not. As Fahrney’s celebrates 85 years of being in business, then as now, we are still dedicated to bringing the best of fine writing instruments and other related products from around the world to you our loyal customers. I feel very honored and privileged to be a part of the tradition of introducing the exciting world of fine writing instruments to the next generation.

    Elizabeth Spinks-Bunn DC Store Staff 05/13/14
    Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures

    A signature can be as routine as a mark on a form or as extraordinary as a stroke of the pen that changes the course of history. Through their signatures, for example, the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence simultaneously committed the brave (or dangerously foolish) act of treason against King George III and created a new nation.

    Well-known signatures are found throughout the records of the National Archives. Equally important are the multitude of marks by people unknown to history. All of these documents represent fascinating stories to be discovered.

    “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures” features original signatures from the National Archives’ nationwide holdings, including records from the Presidential libraries. They illustrate the many ways people have placed their signatures on history, from developing a signature style to signing groundbreaking policy into law. From Hollywood to Washington, DC, a variety of letters, patents, photographs, artifacts and pieces of legislation are featured in this exhibition.

    The stories in these records, of famous and infamous, known and unknown individuals are all part of our nation’s history, all making their marks on the American narrative. The exhibition also explores the different ways to “sign” a document, from John Hancock’s famous pen strokes to the current evolution of electronic signatures.

    The exhibit also features a collection of 50 pens used by Presidents Kennedy and Johnson to sign important pieces of legislation like the Peace Corps Act and the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The collection is on loan from the Lawrence F. O’Brien family. "Making Their Mark" is free and open to the public, and will be on display in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, from March 21, 2014, through January 5, 2015. The National Archives is located on the National Mall on Constitution Avenue at 9th Street, NW. National Archives Museum hours are 10 AM to 5:30 PM daily, except Thanksgiving and December 25.
    “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures” is made possible in part by the Foundation for the National Archives with the generous support of Lead Sponsor AT&T. Major additional support provided by the Lawrence F. O’Brien Family and members of the Board of the Foundation for the National Archives. Family and educational programming related to “Making Their Mark” is sponsored in part by Fahrney’s Pens, Cross, and Parker Pen Company – Newell Rubbermaid.
    04/29/14
    A Friendship Formed at Fahrney's

    It was a beautiful Saturday morning and my daughter Bailey and I were heading on a road trip to visit Fahrney’s downtown, Washington, DC store to attend a book signing and meet Karina Widman, a well-achieved young lady who just happens to be 12, just a year older than Bailey. It was also the day of the Cherry Blossom Parade, so we left our home in Southern Maryland to make the hour trip, knowing it would take us at least twice as long with traffic. Aside from the road construction and the mobs of tourists from far and wide, we miraculously made it to the store right on time.

    The goal was to give Karina the opportunity to promote her love of handwriting and writing with a fountain pen to school-aged children, as well as to promote "A Language of the Heart", which she was a part of developing, and share her journey with the Stories of Oneness Peace Project.
    "A Language of the Heart" is a book created by children for children in a global effort to promote world peace amongst all cultures, religious beliefs and economic background. This book is dedicated to the memory of U.S. diplomat Anne Smedinghoff, who was killed in April 2013 by a Taliban explosive while delivering books to schoolchildren in Afghanistan. It features artwork created by American and Afghani children in an effort to reach across the globe in unity. The book is available for sale at www.MinistryoftheArts.org

    So, we arrive and meet Karina and her lovely family. Confident, yet still so young and innocent, Karina is a charming young lady and our customers and passersby were truly touched by her story. When there was time to spare, Karina and Bailey browsed the store and discussed their shared love for writing. They then decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and pass out flyers in front of the store to those heading to and from the Cherry Blossom Parade. When the street traffic died down they tested out a few fountain pens and showed off their cursive handwriting to customers and staff. You see Bailey too has lovely handwriting and practices her cursive quite often, now even more so since she met Karina. She just loved the way Karina signs her name.

    Here is an email I received from Karina's mom, which made me so proud:
    Hi Kim, I saw the article on Facebook, it looks fantastic! The pictures were perfect! Your daughter Bailey was awesome. The girls got along so well. Karina didn't stop talking about how kind and friendly she is. The staff at the store could not be more professional and accommodating. I want to say again thank you so much for giving Karina this amazing opportunity. Warm regards,
    Angela
    Please be sure to check out the pictures of the event on our Facebook page

    Kim Graham
    Marketing Director
    04/23/14
    Stipula Michelangelo David

    A summary of sublime physical vigor, intelligence, sensitivity and blessings from heaven, Michelangelo’s David is not only one of the greatest masterpieces of all time, but it is also a symbol of attributes that illustrate the best mankind has to offer; a larger than life historical figure and an artist at the pinnacle of his creative and technical abilities, bringing him to life for all to see through the centuries.

    On September 8, 1504, the Republic of Florence, amazed by the beauty of Michelangelo’s David placed the statue in front of the Government Palace (today know as “Palazzo Vecchio” or “Palazzo della Signoria”) as a symbol of the virtues of good governance and the defense of the Fatherland.

    Even today, this young man only 16 years old, capable to land the giant Goliath and defeat the terrible army of the Philistines, teaches us how arrogance and brutality would not last in front of intelligence and courage.

    Stipula honors this exemplary story with a new collection of timeless writing instruments: The lost-wax cast clip of the pen portrays the famous statue of the Florentine master. The center band is embellished with panels depicting four scenes or symbols that illustrate key moments in the life of the Biblical David, which Michelangelo celebrated in the sixteenth century.

    1. The defeat of the giant Goliath
    2. David’s long and glorious kingdom, which ruled Israel for an age of prosperity and peace, represented by the scepter and the crown.
    3. David’s sensuality and his dreamer soul, represented by the overwhelming love for Bathsheba.
    4. David’s extraordinary literary and artistic inspiration that led him to compose one of the most important parts of the Bible, the Book of Psalms, with the depiction of a harp.

    Click here to see the Stipula Michelangelo's David collection. 04/10/14
    Spring has finally sprung! Fahrney’s welcomes the Cherry Blossoms

    At last! Spring has finally sprung in Washington, DC and we at Fahrney’s are enjoying some slightly warmer weather and the spectacular annual display of the cherry blossoms in full bloom.

    According to the National Park Service, the blooms will be at their peak through this weekend and the Cherry Blossom Parade just so happens to take place this Saturday, April 12th. For those of us in DC, its always a time of celebration – for the onset of spring and the promise of nature’s renewal.

    If you find yourself in DC for the celebration, stop by Fahrney’s retail store at 1317 F Street, NW. We’ll be hosting a Book Signing Event for Kids, which will be fun for the whole family. We hope to see you there!

    To see what the cherry blossom trees look like today, please visit our blog www.penadventures.com 04/10/14
    Spring Cleaning (Despite Mother Nature’s Objections)

    Oh sure, it’s still snowing every other day and the temperature has rarely risen to above 40 degrees in the past three months, but there are signs (aside from the calendar which emphatically states that this is spring) that signal, indeed it is that most delightful of seasons! No it’s not beautifully blooming cherry blossom trees which would normally be rounding into pre-peak form (they are far too wise to make an appearance in the midst of this).

    The marketing team at Fahrney’s Pens began its annual “spring cleaning” or more aptly termed “spring markdown” process at or very soon after the Spring Equinox (March 20) occurred and today is the day fine writing aficionado’s can celebrate without the need to bundle up. Our selection of fine writing instruments (some marked down 60% from their original retail price) are sure to thaw the most frozen of wintry demeanors and the gift possibilities will surely melt the heart of any lucky recipient.

    Aside from the amazing selections we have featured on this e-mail, you will want to click on the “super savings” tab on Fahrney’s homepage to see many more drastically reduced items that will not be around to see our beloved Cherry Blossoms finally bloom.

    Our showplace store in Washington D.C (1317 F St., a few blocks from the Cherry Blossoms on the Tidal Basin) has even more spectacular deals! If you are in the area, come by and meet our new store manager, Phuntsok Namgyal, and his fine staff. In the meantime, it is possibly proper to at least think about putting the winter wear away and it is always proper to keep the ink flowing. 04/03/14
    The Further Adventures of Ms. Pen L.Ope

    Dear Pen Lovers,
    Let me reintroduce myself. My name is Ms. Pen L.Ope. I am a fountain pen and I was adopted by my owner, Ida Rather B. Writing, late last June at Fahrney´s Pens. When I wrote last summer, my owner and her family and I were doing a grand tour of Europe. In my letters to you pen lovers, I relayed tales of our adventures through Italy, Spain, and France.

    We came back to DC for the fall/winter season and it has been such a longggggggggg winter! It has been so cold here in Washington that my ink practically froze up inside me! Ida and I are hoping for warmer weather for upcoming springtime events in the city, and we are excited about opportunities to be tourists in our hometown. We are especially looking forward to the annual Cherry Blossom Festival!

    The Power Bank Pen has a quality twist-action ballpoint pen on the front end, and a revolutionary cylindrical lithium-polymer cell stored inside the barrel. When your mobile phone or tablet needs an extra boost, just pull off the cap, plug in your device and turn on the Power Bank. It’s that simple! The powerful 400mAh battery connects to any standard USB or Micro USB-compatible device using either your original cable or the universal ‘Octopus’ charging cable that comes with the pen to add additional operating hours to most devices.

    Speaking of cherry blossoms, Ida plans to head to Fahrney´s DC store for the 2014 edition of the Cherry Blossom Collection made exclusively for them by Retro 51. The collection includes a fountain pen, a rollerball pen (which can be used as a ball point), and a pencil. A matching spiral bound notebook completes the collection. Ida plans on buying all the pieces including the notebook, which she will use to do sketching of the cherry trees by the Tidal Basin. (I reminded Ida to buy some J.B. Pen Flush to clean me out as I am still a bit congested from the winter weather.)

    While Ida´s son, Ben, Jr. is on spring break, Ida plans on taking us to educational sites, including the National Archives to see the Declaration of Independence and also the new “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures” exhibit. I heard Ben tell his mom that he wants to take a tour of the Washington Monument as soon as it reopens from repair work that had to be done because of the 2011 earthquake. I am only afraid that Ben is hatching a plan to test my nib’s durability by throwing me from the top of the monument. Ah… memories of last summer when Ben threw me from the Leaning Tower of Pisa on our trip to Italy! Ben’s other plan is to go fly his kite on the Monument Grounds and attach me to the tail of the kite! Eessshhh!!!

    We are also excited about Fahrney´s 85th Anniversary this year and are going to stay tuned to their e-mails for information on special related events, including the June pen show at their F Street store. Mark your calendars!

    All for now, Ms. Pen L. Ope

    Will Ms. Pen L. Ope ever get decongested??

    Will Ben, Jr. drop her from the Washington Monument or will he tie her to the end of his kite string....and the wind carry Ms. Pen L. Ope over the Potomac River??

    For the answers to these and other questions, tune in to the next installment of the Adventures of Ms. Pen L. Ope!!

    03/20/14
    Emergency Power

    We’ve all experienced the sheer terror that comes from having one of our (pick any number of) electronic devices suddenly go powerless. It could be our cell phone after we’ve accidently abandoned our 27th phone recharger at the hotel where we just checked out. Quite possibly it is our laptop or tablet and there’s no outlet available. Or, maybe it’s our e-book reader and the long flight is about to get even longer with our now useless as a paperweight, dead device!

    The creative minds at Monteverde are proud to introduce an ingenious pen product, which is designed to take away a few of our high-tech worries. The Power Bank Pen puts emergency power right in your pocket! The worldwide patent pending pen is unlike any portable charger ever designed. Neatly stored inside a premium ballpoint pen, the power source is always ready to charge your device when you need it the most.

    The Power Bank Pen has a quality twist-action ballpoint pen on the front end, and a revolutionary cylindrical lithium-polymer cell stored inside the barrel. When your mobile phone or tablet needs an extra boost, just pull off the cap, plug in your device and turn on the Power Bank. It’s that simple! The powerful 400mAh battery connects to any standard USB or Micro USB-compatible device using either your original cable or the universal ‘Octopus’ charging cable that comes with the pen to add additional operating hours to most devices.

    With the Power Bank Pen emergency power is always accessible, conveniently stored right in your pocket, backpack, briefcase or purse. What a perfect gift for the tech-savvy person who still knows the importance of keeping the ink (or power) flowing!

    03/02/14
    Never Fear – Spring is near!

    Each year at Fahrney’s, the welcome harbinger of spring is the release of our annual Cherry Blossom Special Edition pens. 2014 marks not only Fahrney’s 85th Anniversary, but also the launch of our eighth Cherry Blossom collection. As many of our customers ask about the previous collections, we thought you would enjoy a brief history of each design and its inspiration. Each collection, designed and produced for us by Retro 51, sold out quickly – order your 2014 Cherry Blossom pens soon and enjoy an early taste of spring!

    2006 – The very first collection depicted the cherry blossoms on the Tidal Basin with the Washington Monument as the focal point. Crafted in laser-engraved steel, the pens were accented with rose gold. The success of this collection inspired Fahrney’s to make the cherry blossom pens an annual series.

    2007 – This collection featured the Jefferson Memorial on the Tidal Basin in light blue enamel with colorful overlays of the cherry blossoms and the monument. 2008 – A bright blue metallic barrel and cap created a handsome backdrop for the blossoms surrounding the U.S. Capitol Dome in soft white lacquer.

    2009 – A truly unique design, this series featured postage stamps with scenes of the cherry blossoms and various monuments in Washington, DC. The stamps were re-created from authentic stamp designs from the 1950s- 1980’s and individually hand-applied to each pen then layered with clear, protective resin.

    2010 – With the Lincoln Monument and the Reflecting Pool as a backdrop, the pens in this series were created in a shimmery copper lacquer over a line-etched metallic surface. The delicate blossoms were screen-printed in multiple colors.

    2012 – One of our most popular designs, the 2012 pens were a work of art in contrasting black and white with tiny pink blossoms. The featured landmark was the White House – a fitting theme during this election year!

    2013 – Last year’s collection captured the delicacy of the blossoms swirling around the Tidal Basin, the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial in multiple layers of enamel in blues, pinks and white. In case you missed it, there are a few fountain pens left in this collection!

    You can view images of the past Cherry Blossom pens on our Blogspot. To see the new 2014 Cherry Blossom collection, follow the link below – and keep the ink flowing!

    View 2014 Cherry Blossom Collection HERE

    02/12/14
    The Campaign for Cursive presents its ´Cursive is Cool´ Handwriting Contest

    The Common Core Curriculum, adopted by 45 U.S. states, has omitted the requirement for public schools to teach cursive handwriting. Current research demonstrates that kids who learn cursive early do better with spelling, reading and remembering the spoken and written word. Removing the requirement to teach cursive from the curriculum is simply a bad idea. One of the primary concerns is the social and physiological implication of phasing out an important early brain development tool. "We feel compelled to speak up for our young children. They all deserve to have a well-rounded education," said Gayna Scott, Chair of Campaign for Cursive. Throughout ALL of history, those who were able to read and write by hand were in a better position than those who could not. Just like verbal communication has two components, listening and speaking, so does written communication, reading and writing," emphasizes handwriting expert Edda Manley.

    Fahrney’s is proud to be a sponsor of the Campaign for Cursive committee’s National ‘Cursive is Cool’ Handwriting Contest to promote literacy for school children. It’s easy to participate and a great way for kids to learn the fun of expressing themselves with cursive writing.

    Children in 1st through 6th grade can enter by choosing from the following topics to write a short essay (in cursive of course):
    • Why cursive is cool.
    • What do you think is fun to do that involves cursive handwriting?
    • If you could get an autograph from someone, whose would it be and why?
    A boy and a girl from each grade will be selected based on the content and quality of penmanship of their entries. Entry forms will be accepted from Feb. 1st through March 31st. Winners will be announced on April 10, 2014.

    Winners can choose from these great prizes:
    • New Pelikan Twist fountain pen from Fahrney’s Pens
    • ‘Cursive is Cool’ t-shirt
    • ‘Cursive is Cool’ pencils and stickers
    • New American Cursive workbook
    Visit the American Handwriting Analysis Foundation website for more details.

    We hope you’ll encourage your children to participate in the Cursive is Cool Handwriting Contest and keep the ink flowing!

    01/28/14
    Spread the (Handwritten) Word!

    This Thursday (January 23) is National Handwriting Day in the United States. Established in 1977 as a day to acknowledge and celebrate the handwritten word it was created by the Writing Instruments Manufacturing Association “as a chance for all of us to re-explore the purity and power of handwriting”.

    The day also commemorates the birthday of John Hancock, whose iconic signature on the Declaration of Independence made his name synonymous with the term ‘signature’. Hancock is rumored to have claimed that he signed his name very large and clearly so that King George III could easily read it without his glasses.

    To encourage everyone to pick up a pen and express themselves, Fahrney’s invites customers of all ages to enter its third annual Handwriting Day Contest for 2014! You can read all the details for the popular contest here. Deadline for entries is January, 31st, so don’t delay!

    As computers and other word processing devices proliferate and schools continue to eliminate penmanship classes; it is up to each and every one of us to do our part to stress the importance of the written word. Whether it is by writing a letter to a special someone (there is still no comparison to opening a hand-delivered letter versus receiving an e-mail or text) or giving a young person his/her first fine writing instrument; we can each do our small part to make sure the ink never stops flowing.

    01/21/14

    The Legend of Valentine’s Day – Just One Month Away!

    Valentine's Day is the holiday when thoughts turn to those we love, a day when millions across the world present their sweethearts with chocolates, flowers or other romantic gifts.

    In Roman mythology, Cupid, (or the ancient Greek god Eros) gives us the inspiration for this special holiday, though St. Valentine supplied the name. There are a number of Valentine legends that link his name to lovers. One is that the Roman emperor Claudius II believed single men made better soldiers and forbade them to marry. St. Valentine is said to have secretly married many young lovers. Another claims Valentine was imprisoned for his Christian faith and fell in love with his jailer's daughter, sending her a love letter entitled “from your Valentine” as a farewell before his execution.

    St. Valentine's Day as we know it today is observed each year on February 14th and is viewed as the “holiday of love.” If you’ve been lucky enough to be pierced in the heart by one of Cupid’s arrows, it is a day to celebrate the most beautiful feeling in the world.

    What better way to say "I Love You" than with a fine writing instrument or accessory from Fahrney's Pens? We make your selection easy and worry-free by offering a Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for your shopping convenience. You can rely on Fahrney's for the perfect Valentine's keepsake. And don't forget, we offer free gift wrap with a handwritten gift card. Happy Valentine’s Day – and keep the love letters flowing!

    01/14/14

    Happy New Year!

    Thank you for making 2013 a great year for Fahrney’s Pens. It is an honor and a privilege to be your preferred destination for fine writing instruments and accessories. As we head into 2014 (our 85th year in business) we hope to make it a year full of exciting new and exclusive offerings and even more opportunities to deliver exceptional values to you, our loyal customers.

    We’ll be celebrating all year with special events, promotions and exclusive 85th Anniversary products. To kick off our celebration, we are offering FREE GROUND SHIPPING on orders of $85 within the continental U.S. You will also not want to miss our popular Winter Closeout Sale with savings up to 60% while our supplies last.

    We are very excited to introduce Dalvey’s of Scotland, a unique line of mens’ accessories founded in 1897. The accessories offer classic designs for the modern gentleman and make exceptional gifts.

    January 23rd marks the observation of National Handwriting Day and in conjunction we will be doing something that’s mighty special – In honor of National Handwriting Day 2014, Fahrney’s Pens invites writers of every age to enter its third annual Handwriting Day Contest. The contest winner will receive a Stipula Green Rainbow Limited Edition Fountain Pen with a 14K gold nib! Click here for more details on the contest.

    March will kick off the launch of “Making their Mark: Stories through Signatures”, a new exhibit that Fahrney’s is sponsoring in conjunction with the National Archives Museum that will run through the end of the year. Just a few blocks from our DC retail store, the National Archives is home to billions of American historical records. The exhibit will feature, among others, the most famous of all American signatures - those found on the Declaration of Independence. To complement the exhibit, we teamed up with Retro 51 to create the special edition ‘Signatures’ pen collection. Every purchase will help support the National Archives Foundation.

    Stay tuned for a year that we think will be our biggest yet with lots of 85th Anniversary surprises and special offers - and as always keep the ink flowing.

    01/07/14

    Celebrating Parker Pens & 125 Years!

    To kick off its 125th Anniversary, Parker launched the Limited Edition Duofold Mandarin Yellow Fountain Pen earlier this year. Paying homage to George Parker´s tremendous vision and legacy, the luxuriously yellow resin color was distinctive to the Orient in the 1920´s and an inspiration for George S. Parker. Fahrney´s has just one Duofold Mandarin fountain pen left - act fast to make it your own!

    As an anniversary event, Fahrney´s welcomed Geoffrey S. Parker, great-grandson of Parker´s founder, George S. Parker, to its Washington, DC store on May 2nd. For the past 15 years Geoffrey has been involved in an extensive archive and restoration project on the Parker family history, incorporating the family´s collection of four generations of photos and memorabilia. He has taken his story and amazing Parker Jotter collection on the road and is a regular speaker at collector pen shows. What a great event!

    This fall Parker added another chapter to its rich 125-year history with a smashing contemporary update of its Premier series, first introduced in 1983. The Parker Premier LX is full of character and design integrity - the result of state-of-the-art manufacturing, rich materials and expert craftsmanship. The brand´s distinctive design elements are given an air of modern luxury for the newest Premiers in Soft Touch lacquers with precious metal accents.

    Parker´s founder George S. Parker would have celebrated his 150th birthday November 1st, which coincidentally, is the same date as the annual “Fountain Pen Day.” At only 25 years of age, Parker started his own company, now known all over the world for its excellence and craftsmanship in fine pen making.

    Just in time for the holidays, Parker presents its 125th Anniversary Special Edition Urban series in historical Parker colors of Mandarin Yellow and Penman Ink Blue. A mix of the old and the new, the special edition Urban pens are available this year only!

    To crown its 125 years of ongoing innovation and exquisite craftsmanship, Parker has created the outstanding Duofold Giant Limited Edition Fountain Pen – 125 exceptional masterpieces that embody and reflect the brand’s distinctive authenticity and deep roots. The Duofold Giant will instantly command respect with its monumental size. Its precious black resin body is sheathed in a solid 18K gold overlay set with 16 diamonds artfully placed on the barrel and cap. A spectacular tribute to Parker´s legacy!

    11/11/13

    The Write Point Archives Keep your kids writing with a letter to Santa

    Handwriting is one of the few ways kids can uniquely express themselves. In fact, studies show that writing helps children´s brain synapses to develop because it requires fluid movement, eye-hand coordination and fine motor skill development.

    However, though penmanship was once an important part of every student´s early education, the world of personal computers, tablets, e-mail and texting has rendered the handwritten note an obsolete form of communication - a skill that many of today´s students only learn to appreciate from their grandparents. Schools are spending less time than ever teaching the art of cursive handwriting as more effort is devoted to typing in the early grades.

    To do our part in teaching our children the importance of the written word, Fahrney´s is encouraging children to practice and show off their penmanship by participating in our Kid´s Cursive Handwriting Contest. These contests will be held bi-monthly and the winning entry will be framed and displayed in our Washington, DC store and posted on our Facebook page.

    This holiday season Fahrney´s is encouraging children to practice and show off their cursive penmanship by participating in our Letter to Santa Contest.

    If an address is included with then entry, the participant will receive a letter back from Santa!

    One of Santa´s elves will select a winner at random on December 20th. The gift will be mailed to arrive in time to put it under the tree. Entries will be accepted November 1st - December 18th.

    The winner will receive a Pelikan Twist fountain pen, Cursive Writing Workbook and Practice Pad - over $50 value! The winning entry will be framed and displayed in our Washington, DC store and posted on our Facebook page.

    Entries can be placed in the mailbox provided by the Smithsonian National Postal Museum at our Washington, DC store or through the mail:

    Store Location:
    1317 F Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20004

    Mailing address:
    Attn: Letter to Santa Contest
    8329 Old Marlboro Pike, B13
    Upper Marlboro, MD 20072

    11/05/13


    All Treats. No Tricks.

    Trick-or-Treating is the activity on Halloween where children proceed from house to house in costumes asking for treats with the question, “Trick or Treat?” We at Fahrney’s Pens believe the adults should not be left out of all the fun, so we are offering up a few treats of our own this week and no costume is required.

    Just in, Montegrappa’s Skull Series brings to mind pirates and devilish deeds, now at a reduced price! ACME’s Dracula commemorates the 100th anniversary of the death of author Bram Stoker. Complete with blood-red ink and haunting music that plays when the coffin is open.

    To celebrate Halloween, for this week only we are offering the fashionable Orange Delta Markiaro Single Slot Leather Pen Case at 30% off! Get yours today.

    If the urge to dress up in costume and get out of the house for some spooky fun proves to be too much to resist, we understand. As we all know, mingling with goons and goblins is not just a child’s pastime. We will continue to provide the treats and simply ask that you keep the ink flowing.
    10/29/13

    The Evolution of the Boombox

    Who could have imagined that two loud speakers, an amplifier, a radio tuner and built-in cassette player, housed in a plastic or metal case with a handle for easy portability, would change not only the modern musical landscape but the urban culture in general. The ´Radiorecorder´, as it was called in 1969 when Philips N.V. launched it, later became known as the ´Boombox´ and 44 years later Retro 51 pays tribute to this icon with the ´Boomer´, a limited edition click-action ballpoint from it´s Popper Tornado series.

    By the mid 1970´s the boombox had taken hold (to the chagrin of the noise-averse populace) in cities across the U.S. because of their easy portability and booming sound. As the desire for louder boxes with more bass grew, so did the size of these early ´mobile devices´. Additional features included microphones and turntables (with CD players coming later).

    Retro 51´s Boomer Tornado pen has an acid-etched barrel with the texture of a boombox speaker and a push-button top that resembles the ´play´ button. Whether you once toted your own boombox, had children who did, or just have a fond memory or nostalgia for the iconic device, we think the Boomer pen will blow you away.

    Inevitably, the rise in popularity of the boombox couldn´t last as smaller, more portable electronics emerged such as the Sony Walkman and later the iPod. Some will always remember the boombox as an essential part of performances by LL Cool J or The Beastie Boys, while others will recall the scene when John Cusack used one in an attempt to woo Ione Skye in the film, "Say Anything". Whether you fall into these two camps or just appreciate a stylish pen that´s affordably priced, we hope you´ll give the Boomer a try and keep the ink flowing.

    Get yours today while they last, the Retro 51 Popper Boomer Tornado Rollerball is a numbered, limited edition of only 500 pieces!
    10/22/13

    Hug a Tree (or at least hold one in your hand)!

    From Japan, to Germany, to the U. S. of A., we’ve recently noticed a trend in pens made of wood. The natural finishes are enjoyed for their unique patterns and colors, tactile warmth and appealing patina that will change over time.

    As shown above, the Sailor Kabazaiku Cherry Bark Fountain Pen is crafted in natural wild Cherry bark using traditional Japanese art that flourished in Kakundate, the Akita prefecture of Japan. The Denshiro technique was used 250 years ago by Samurai warriors to decorate weapons and has been handed down through generations.

    When it comes to making wood writing instruments, Faber-Castell´s 250-year history is a testament to the appeal of this natural material. The smoked oak finish of the new Ondoro Oak will acquire a distinctive patina over time on its large, hexagonal barrel.

    You will be sure to start thinking of palm trees and exotic locations when you use the Retro 51 Bocote Wood series. Following the success of its Bamboo series, Retro 51’s new wood, Bocote, has a striking grain pattern in dark amber spiced with dramatic brown stripes - some even have "eyes" on the barrel.

    William Henry’s Limited Edition Chablis ballpoint pens are refined and sophisticated featuring beautiful woods and other extraordinary materials that are the hallmark of William Henry´s work. Sporting exceptional wood barrels accented with mokume gane and stainless steel with jewels set into the clip and band, these twist ballpoint pens are available at an incredible price!

    We also offer wood pens from Historical Woods of America, where our nation´s rich cultural history and the integrity of our environment is preserved, working exclusively with trees that have fallen in storms, are diseased, unsafe, or are being removed for construction -- along with timbers removed from historical sites during renovation of existing structures. Its goal is to keep the history of America alive for current and future generations through the reclamation, salvaging and creative repurposing of historical trees and timbers.

    And just wait until you see Pilot’s 50th Anniversary Limited Edition Maplewood Vanishing Point! Stay tuned and keep the ink flowing!
    10/08/13


    Fahrney´s Fall Pen Show & Sale

    A new term of the U.S. Supreme Court begins, by statute, on the first Monday in October. This will be the case regardless of a possible government shutdown. There is also the possibility that your travel plans call for a trip to the nation´s capital in October (a gorgeous time to visit) and the government´s slight case of dysfunction does not concern you. May we suggest a function that is sure to delight any and all fans of fine writing instruments? Fahrney´s Pens Annual Fall Pen Show and Sale takes place on October 18th & 19th at its downtown Washington, DC retail store.

    Our store events are always a chance to visit with old friends, meet some new ones and bask in the world of fine writing. While you´re there, you can discuss the finer points of writing instruments with the well-traveled and well-informed vendor representatives from your favorite brands. Of course, they will be happy to show you the newest pens from their lines (including limited editions) and offer you a chance to "test drive" each one. There´s also a chance they´ll have a few "retired" models on hand to offer at specially reduced prices as well as free gifts with purchases.

    The door prizes at Fahrney´s pen events always generate a lot of excitement – this year we will have a treasure trove of gifts valued at over $6,000. The only way to win is to come to the store and enter. While you´re there, you can enjoy EXTRA EVENT SAVINGS on everything in the store!

    The Fall Pen Show will also give you the opportunity to see a sneak preview of some new and exclusive items. We will be featuring Fahrney´s Exclusive collection in honor of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence. Learn more about it at the show. We´ll also have a sample of the new Parker 125th Anniversary Limited Edition Duofold Giant coming out this fall. Did we mention this beauty is made of solid gold and costs $38,000? It is a spectacular tribute to Parker´s legacy.

    Fahrney´s biggest event of the year is not one to be missed and truly is the ideal time to avoid the hectic holiday rush. You can stock up on special gifts at terrific prices (no one has to know what a great deal you got). We will look forward to seeing you in two weeks and until then keep the ink flowing.
    10/01/13

    Edelberg – Made in Switzerland with Love

    Fahrney´s is excited to introduce an exceptional new line of fine Swiss-made writing instruments to our discerning customers. Prepare to be impressed!

    For some things in life, ordinary is not enough. Edelberg is anything but ordinary. For individuals who appreciate unique design, Edelberg brings you something fresh, something different. Edelberg understands the power of individuality and this is reflected in its captivating range of Swiss-made high-tech writing instruments and Italian accessories. Combining passion, design and innovation, the pieces are as unique as those who own them.

    Edelberg´s creator, Carlo E. Naldi, is an Italian entrepreneur with a keen eye for design and a lifelong collector and lover of beautiful pens and accessories. It is Edelberg´s dedication to and appreciation of beauty and fine design that has inspired his original and distinctive style.

    Each design concept is brought to life by a team of highly creative minds and then lovingly crafted by skilled artisans at the Edelberg factory in Geneva, Switzerland using the finest and most innovative materials.

    The name Edelberg is actually formed from two words - Edelweiss and Gutenberg. Edelweiss, the noble white flower and national symbol of Switzerland, and Gutenberg in honor of Johannes Gutenberg, global inventor of the mechanical printing press.

    Take a look at these fine Swiss-made writing instruments on Fahrney´s website.
    9/24/13

    Layar App

    While the rumors of Fahrney´s Pens relocating to Orbit City (the futuristic space age home of TV´s "The Jetsons") have not been substantiated; it is becoming increasingly obvious that Fahrney´s 84 years in business does not mean its trapped in the past. The future is today and anyone who has received the latest Fall 2013 catalog from Fahrney´s will understand what that means.

    We have introduced a new technological enhancement, which its developers call "augmented reality", into our September catalog. With a free app called Layar, users of iPhones, iPads and Androids can scan a printed page that has been embedded with additional digital content and access videos, enhanced images, audio recordings and other supplements to the printed material. In our world, that might translate into a video showing how to fill a particular pen or a demonstration of a pen making technique. Or, it could be a special offer or promotion.

    The technology can add greater functionality to the printed catalog page with pop-up images of color and nib choices, "buy now" buttons (for instant pen gratification), and voice-over recordings with additional details. The possibilities are limitless! The best way to get the idea is to experience it for your self. Download the free app from iTunes or Google Play. Browse Fahrney´s catalog and look for pages with the Layar icon. Scan the page using the Layar app and the enhancements will pop up on your screen! You can also see Layar´s augmented reality in action by going to Fahrney´s website and browsing the virtual catalog.

    Fahrney´s hopes to make these enhancements a way to enrich your catalog browsing experience! We firmly believe that by bringing new levels of engagement and information to a previously one-dimensional format, we can continue to reach the next generation of fine writing aficionado´s. This merging of online and offline worlds will allow us to continue to serve the needs of our loyal, traditional clients while expanding into non-traditional pen areas.

    In 2062, we can not be sure where advances in technology will have taken us or if Hanna-Barbera´s space age vision will seem quaint. We do know that there is no time to rest when it comes to informing and educating a technology-inundated generation that is not likely to understand the importance of the written word. Rest assured, until the day Mr. Spacely fires us (we´re reasonably sure he will then re-hire us) we will keep the ink flowing.
    9/17/13

    The Wheels Keep Turning – Giuliano Mazzuoli & Officina

    For centuries the Bacci and Mazzouli families made their homes in the Tuscany region of Italy; mainly in Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, a small town in the hills of Florence. Both families were known for their fine artisanship: the Bacci family was one of the best bicycle makers in the region with its own bicycle team; the Mazzouli´s were watch-makers who constructed some of the most beautiful tower clocks in all of Italy.

    By the time Giuliano Mazzouli was born, the two families had entered into the printing business. To encourage their son´s creative talents, they sent the young Giuliano to Florence to work for a family friend in the haberdashery business. In the early 1970´s, following the unexpected passing of his father, Giuliano Sr., he returned home to run the family printing business. When he took over the company he modernized the facilities and expanded its capabilities to include the printing of advertising and product catalogs, primarily for the furniture and interior design industry.

    In 2000, while developing an idea for a limited edition organizer, a friend of Guiliano´s suggested he design a pen to go with it. His first inspiration came from some mechanical tools he had stumbled across, which reminded him of an old box of bicycle tools in his grandfather´s workshop that he played with as a child. He decided to call the collection " Officina, Writing Instruments" (´officina´ means workshop in Italian) and have the pens resemble mechanical tools. The enthusiastic response to his new designs led to the launch of Mazzuoli´s pen business, which has now expanded to include men´s accessories and leather goods, as well as a design collaboration with Museo Ducati. Here´s just a few of our favorites:

    The newest Ducati pen is called the " Multiwriter" for its multitude of writing options: the Quattro can be a fountain pen, ball pen, rollerball or 2mm pencil. Milled from a solid piece of aluminum, the body of the pen has an elegant shape and comfortable feel; the cap, in Ducati red, black or brushed chrome, is designed to perfectly balance the pen while you write. Match your pen with the new Ducati line of leather goods handmade by Florentine artisans using naturally tanned, full-grain calfskin. The quality of the precious leather is obvious to the touch in the classic Ducati colors of black and red.

    As a tribute to the courage, ingenuity and passion of the Italian general and explorer, Umberto Nobile, Giuliani Mazzuoli created a unique collector´s multi-function pen, Nobile Italia. The exclusive shape, inspired by the general´s airship, is expertly crafted in solid chrome in your choice of polished or matte finish. Perhaps our most popular men´s accessory is the Officina hinged money clip. Made of solid metal with a strong hinge, the clip maintains Officina´s creative interpretation of industrial objects and is crafted in Italy using the highest standards of manufacturing.

    Today, Giuliano Mazzouli focuses on his namesake watch-making enterprise while his two sons, Emiliano and Tommaso are at the helm of the pen business. Their inspiration still comes from taking every day objects and transforming them into something altogether different. We are proud to represent this fine family of Italian artisans and their unique views on design. Keep the creative wheels turning and we will keep the ink flowing.
    9/10/13

    A Pen Lover’s Trip to Italy

    This week Fahrney’s is featuring a new FaceBook contest to win an exclusive work of art from Delta – the original design and concept drawings of the Italian pen manufacturer’s latest special edition collection, Romeo & Juliet. The stunning series is a love letter to the Renaissance city of Verona as well as a tribute to Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers. And how, you may ask, did we come to possess these unique drawings? It’s a tale worth sharing with our pen-loving readers . . .

    This past spring, our intrepid leader, Chris Sullivan and his lovely wife, Kim, were invited to visit the Delta Pen company in Naples as the guests of Nino Marino, president of Delta, and Yair Greenberg, the head of Yafa Pen, its U.S. distributor. With Yafa’s VP of Sales, Ken Jones, as their guide, the Sullivans were treated to a fascinating tour of Delta’s factory and the beautiful Italian city where it is located.

    With a view of Mt. Vesuvius and the Gulf of Naples in the distance, Delta’s pristine factory is a model of great Italian design and efficiency. The impressive lobby leads to the production area which is organized in sections that follow the logical progression of pen making from start to finish, beginning with parts and tools and ending with the final inspection, packing and shipping department.

    The pen-making process begins with the barrels and caps that are hand-turned from solid blocks of resin. Once they are perfectly shaped, each rod is drilled on the inside to exact specifications. Many levels of buffing and polishing follow to create the sheen on the finish. In the case of clear demonstrator pens, the process is more complex as the barrels and caps have to be polished inside and out using four grit sizes of sandpaper to achieve the desired “crystal clear” finish.

    The same meticulous attention to detail is found in the areas making metal clips (too many steps to mention!), tassies, medallions, rings, bands and tips. The nib-making department is the heart of the operation – using gold, steel, rhodium and titanium, the nibs are hand-crafted, molded, engraved, fitted, tested – the list of processes goes on!

    Once all the parts are manufactured and inspected, the pens go to the assembly department. Every piece of each pen model is assembled by hand and carefully checked once again. When the pens are at last ready, they are sent to the final inspection area before being packaged and readied for shipping.

    During the tour, Chris and Kim encountered the production samples of the new Romeo & Juliet pens. Their enthusiasm and appreciation of these new models compelled Nino Marino to offer them the original production drawings of the pens as a souvenir of their visit. Now, you can be the proud owner of these one-of-a-kind drawings by entering our FaceBook contest. The contest ends on Thursday, September 5th, so don’t delay!

    If you’d like to read more about the trip to Italy and see the gallery of photos, please visit Fahrney’s new blog at
    www.PenAdventures.com. Arrivederci!

    9/03/13

    A Study Worth Mentioning...

    I read an interesting article the other day .... this article stated that the folks that manage the SAT, (Scholastic Aptitude Test), say there may be a real reason to use your brain to LEARN how to write in cursive. According to recent research (done over a several year period, using a very large number of people), one´s ability to LEARN to write in cursive, via some sort of writing instrument, be it a ball pen, pencil, rollerball, or my personal favorite, the fountain pen, is directly proportional to one´s ability to LEARN anything. It turns out, and the research proves just this, the use of cursive writing to express one´s thoughts, is not just an archaic form of communication, but a teaching tool for one´s brain.

    To write anything well you must be able to put the lines on the paper without thinking about each line. That would apply to what is trying to be communicated with the line, as well as the shape and readability of the same. As a testing tool it´s ideal. If a person being tested can write a free thought, clearly and legibly, in "X" number of words, then that person has at least the ability to LEARN just about anything. Thus, the essay question has returned to the SAT.

    Take the time to learn how to write in cursive, and you´ll be teaching your brain how to work on several different levels at once. Try it - try to learn how to write in cursive, and practice it regularly so that you do it well. Your thought process will improve. Teach your children how to write in cursive, too. They´ll thank you for teaching them this "archaic" form of learning!

    BTW: The same theory applies to typing on any form of keyboard, but to a much lesser degree. In fact, most people don´t type at all, they hunt and peck, mostly with their thumbs, which is fine if they get their point across, but in most cases the folks that didn´t/don´t take the time to learn how to WRITE, didn´t take the time to teach their brain how to type either.

    Food for thought...
    Bob Huesman
    8/27/13

    The Further Adventures of Ms. Pen L. Ope

    When we last heard from Ms. Pen L. Ope, she was in Rome. This is her next correspondence with us:

    Hola-
    We have left Rome and are on our way to sunny Spain! We caught an early flight and Ida´s son, Ben Jr., is now getting restless. It´s a good thing that Ida remembered to pack the Faber-Castell Drawing and Sketching Set as well as the cursive writing workbooks that were purchased at Fahrney´s to help keep him occupied!

    Our first stop is the Costa del Sol for a few days of fun in the sun and a short trip to Gibraltor to see the Barbary Macaques. Ben Jr. is enjoying feeding the monkeys who are very tame around the many tourists. We are now settled in our hotel room and Ida has decided to relax and write some more postcards to friends. Waiting on the desk was a letter from a friend back home. Ida very adroitly opened the note with her beautiful El Casco letter opener, handcrafted right here in Spain. After a few days of traveling through the countryside of Spain, we are headed to Barcelona.

    Adios,
    Ms. Pen L. Ope

    It is now our second day in Barcelona. We are taking a day trip to Figueres to visit Ida´s old friend Salvador Dali. When he opened the door to his museum, she said "Hello, Dali. You´re looking swell Dali." They had a great time catching up as he showed us around the museum. Tomorrow, we drive to Madrid where we catch a flight to Paris.

    All for now,
    Ms. Pen L. Ope

    It is a few days later now, and we are in Paris. Later today, we will be visiting more friends of Ida´s, including the Sonnet branch of the Parker family. There are not only fountain pens like me, but also rollerballs and ball points which are very practical for folks who travel frequently. Before our visit, Ida and I have been sitting in a sidewalk café eating bread and cheese and she is using me to write yet another letter back home on her G. Lalo stationery.

    ...Another beautiful day in Paris, and Ida and I are strolling the Avenue des Champs Élysées. Ida is shopping in all the boutiques for that perfect dress. Tonight we are having dinner in the restaurant that is half-way up the Eiffel Tower!... Alas, Ida just spilled red wine on her designer dress. She is very upset but just remembered that she packed Amodex stain remover, which is doing the job. Amodex to the rescue!... We just got back to the hotel, and Ida is making a long-distance phone call to her husband, Ivan Been Writing. They are making arrangements to meet back in Rome later this week to celebrate their anniversary. Ida wrote the details on the Exacompta´s FAF writing pad on the room´s desk. This pad is made here in a Parisian workshop built by Gustave Eiffel. Tomorrow and the next day, Ida, Ben Jr. and I will be doing an extensive tour of the Louvre. She is such an art lover and of course wants to see the Mona Lisa. Ida will be taking her French ruled Clairfontaine notebook to take notes while we are there.

    Au revoir ´til we are back in Rome! Ms. Pen L. Ope
    8/20/13

    School is Back in Session!

    It´s hard to believe Summer is coming to a close and school starts back up in less than two weeks! At least for my daughter that is. It has been quite an eventful summer break with trips to the beach, water parks, camps, museums, and frequent pool visits. Now her 10th birthday is looming and soccer season has begun. I am ready for reality to resume and for my wallet to get a break.

    Fahrney´s Summer of Savings should help cushion the blow for those looking to outfit their returning student with the finest in writing instruments and accessories. There are still plenty of amazing deals and whether your student is off to college or beginning first grade; we have the "write" pens to make the best impression.

    And let´s not forget the often times under appreciated teachers who will spend the next 9 months preparing our children for life´s many challenges. As Writer Donald Quinn so truthfully said, "If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn´t want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher´s job." Apples and gift cards are nice but make a great first impression with some of our suggested offerings.

    But before I get ahead of myself, I have to get through this birthday party, buying school supplies and let´s not forget the redecorated bedroom. (Because no 10 year old wants a bedroom that looks like a 9 year olds). Just call me Supermom and keep the ink flowing!

    Kim Graham
    Marketing Director

    Start the new school year off right with Fahrney´s top-selling back-to-school essentials!
    8/13/13

    The World of Social Media Communication

    The creating, sharing and exchanging of information and ideas via the blindingly fast evolving world of social media shows no sign of slowing down. Companies not even in existence 10 years ago such as Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and Pinterest are now as recognizable (particularly to younger generations) as any company.

    So how does Fahrney´s Pens, an established 84 year-old company (in an industry not exactly thought of when considering breakthrough technological advancements) make use of the changing forms of communication?

    Well, we get behind the wheel and drive full speed ahead!
    Facebook - Twitter - You Tube - Pinterest

    Here is an examination of the phenomenon known as ASMR, induced by flipping through pages of Fahrney´s catalog accompanied with very soothing narration. Click here.

    Fahrney´s has also embraced a new app called Layar, which allows Fahrney´s customers to view interactive content on their smart phone or tablet by scanning a printed page, bringing new levels of engagement and information to life. This merging of online and offline worlds allows Fahrney´s to present enhanced images, videos, additional details and special promotions for your viewing pleasure when you simply scan a catalog page marked with the Layar icon. Look for the Layar icon on future Fahrney´s catalogs, ads and store signs to enjoy this exciting new way to learn more about the world of fine writing instruments.

    As the premier fine writing instrument experts in this country, Fahrney´s Pens will continue to lead the charge in promoting the importance of the written word through new and traditional channels. We will not ignore the changing landscape of communication and the opportunities to be a true advocate for preserving the act of putting pen to paper. We also realize that we can not do this alone and thank you, our loyal customers, for all you do to preserve this vital function, which is still the primary tool for communication. Keep the ink flowing!
    8/06/13

    Fahrney´s First Kid´s Cursive Handwriting Contest

    Keep your kids writing this summer with Fahrney´s Kid´s Cursive Handwriting Contest!

    Fahrney´s is encouraging children ages 6 to 12 years old to practice and show off their good penmanship by participating in our Kid´s Cursive Handwriting Contest. They may write about a summer adventure, family vacation or any topic that gets their ink (or lead) flowing.

    The winning entry (selected based on penmanship and content) will be framed and displayed in our Washington, DC store and posted on our Facebook page. The winner will also receive a Pelikan Pelikano Jr. fountain pen!
    Junior Pen
    Penmanship was once an important part of every student´s early education, but the world of personal computers, tablets, e-mail and texting has rendered the handwritten note an obsolete form of communication – a skill that many of today´s students only learn to appreciate from their grandparents. Schools are spending less time than ever teaching the art of cursive handwriting as more effort is devoted to typing in the early grades.

    Handwriting is one of the few ways kids can uniquely express themselves and it´s up to parents to assure their children learn the art of cursive handwriting outside of school if necessary. In fact, studies show that writing helps children´s brain synapses to develop because it requires fluid movement, eye-hand coordination and fine motor skill development.

    Handwritten entries may be submitted by mail, fax or email by September 1st, 2013. The winner will be chosen and announced by September 6th.

    Fahrney´s Pens
    Attn: Kid´s Cursive Handwriting Contest
    8329 Old Marlboro Pike, B13
    Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

    Fax: 301-736-2926
    Email (must be a scanned version of their handwritten story): kgraham@fahrneyspens.com
    7/30/13

    OMAS Bologna

    Officina Meccanica Armando Simoni (also known as OMAS) is the Italian manufacturer of fine writing instruments, inks and other luxury goods. The company was founded in 1925 in Bologna by the young Armando Simoni who had previously repaired and reconditioned fountain pens brought back by soldiers serving in WWI; OMAS soon became synonymous with the most technically innovative and creative products in the world.

    Until his death in 1958, Simoni amazed the pen world with such groundbreaking products as a pen with two nibs, a series with a transparent barrel and a fountain pen with a tapered aerodynamic shape fitted with a nib designed to offer flexible or rigid writing simultaneously and even the possibility of drawing. He was later referred to as il Cavaliere having been bestowed the prestigious title of Knight of the Italian Crown.

    To celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2005, OMAS for the first time named a line of pens after its city of origin, Bologna. This would need to be a particularly special pen to mark this wonderful occasion and indeed it was. The Bologna series with it’s flexible 14K gold nibs and new well-balanced design with a “falsely” simple and discreet roundness thrilled all who were able to acquire one. The symbol of the city of Bologna, its famous porticos stretching over the city, were engraved on the nib and the grip section of the rollerball and ballpoint pen.

    Eight years later, the Bologna line still is one of the more popular in the OMAS family of pens. Fahrney’s Pens has been given the exclusive privilege of carrying a new Bologna series with a Caramello finish. These irresistible beauties have rich, caramel-colored swirls that flow throughout the pearlescent deep brown and black resin bodies. These are very limited special editions with 50 fountain pens, 60 twist-advance ball pens and 40 capped rollerballs. The crown of each cap is inlaid with the OMAS “O” logo and these rarities will surely be one that any fan of OMAS or beautiful pens in general will not want to miss. A special thanks to the gifted artisans at OMAS who’s unwavering dedication to their craft have made it even more stylish for all of us to keep the ink flowing.
    7/23/13

    Christmas in July

    When Jon and Corinne Sullivan purchased Fahrney´s Pens from Earl Fahrney in 1972, it was a single-unit brick and mortar business based on New York Avenue in downtown Washington, D.C. Shortly after that the catalog business was launched and years later their son and current president, Chris Sullivan, started Fahrney´s website. Purchasing and predicting inventory has grown exponentially and that challenge has turned into something akin to Christmas in July for our loyal customers.

    One listed definition of "a sale" states, "a special disposal of goods at lowered prices". We at Fahrney´s (and our fine writing instruments in particular) take issue with this characterization. For one, no pen, unless it has been certified as beyond human help by one of our on-site Pen Doctors, is being "disposed" of. It is simply being relocated due to over-crowded conditions to homes and businesses that will give these fine instruments the love and attention they deserve.

    Secondly, the term "disposal" has become more synonymous with garbage than treasured possessions. These beautiful, functional, never-used beauties are anything but junk. They simply had the misfortune of being stacked on the shelf towards the rear or in some cases were a member of a family of pens that was far too unwieldy for one manufacturer to find a proper home for.

    In any case, Fahrney´s buying team has meticulously assembled the best and the brightest of this overstock merchandise to share some non-seasonal joy with all who should not have to wait another six months for such joyful tidings. The selected writing instruments have been coached and counseled that they are indeed special and will soon be loved and appreciated in ways they cannot possibly imagine.

    We thank you all for your continued support of this worthy program and know that you are making a difference. And please, keep the ink flowing.
    7/16/13

    Fahrney´s Pens Cursive Handwriting Workshop

    For children ages 8 to 12 years (3rd - 6th grade)

    Penmanship was once an important part of every student´s early education, but the world of personal computers, tablets, e-mail and texting has rendered the handwritten note an obsolete form of communication – a skill that many of today´s students only learn to appreciate from their grandparents. Schools are spending less time than ever teaching the art of cursive handwriting as more effort is devoted to typing in the early grades.

    Since other subjects are taking precedence over penmanship, so many students can´t read or write in cursive and parents are realizing that their children are graduating with illegible handwriting. So Fahrney´s decided to start offering a workshop to help children learn the art of cursive writing.

    With these classes, Fahrney´s hopes to introduce the younger generation to the joys of the written word and to reinforce the importance of clear communication. Studies show that learning cursive helps children´s brain synapses to develop because it requires fluid movement, eye-hand coordination and fine motor skill development.

    This two-hour workshop is being held on Saturday, August 3rd from 1:00pm - 3:00pm in Fahrney´s downtown store and is limited to only six students. The cost is $60, which includes a workbook and fountain pen that they can take home and practice with. Fahrney´s very own calligrapher and class instructor, Elizabeth Bunn, brings 20 years of experience in the field of beautiful writing. For additional details, visit the "Cursive for Kids" event page.

    Here are a few comments from Elizabeth regarding previously held classes:
    • All the kids were very enthusiastic, from the very youngest to the oldest (even my 13 year old student).
    • As they were practicing during class, all the kids were concentrating very intently, even the youngest. No one was restless.
    • Parents who were there observing could already see marked improvement in just the few hours of practice in class.
    • I received cursive thank-yous from some of the children as well as parents in the mail!
    • A step-father of a boy who took my first class wants his young daughter to take the class as soon as she is old enough... she is 3 or 4 now.
    Click here for a list of pens, journals and workbooks we recommend for our younger generation of writers.
    7/09/13

    The Gettysburg Address

    It was 150 years ago this week (July 1 – 3, 1863) that the bloodiest battle in U.S. history took place. In the small town of Gettysburg, Pa. more soldiers lost their lives than the casualties from the American Revolution, War of 1812 and Mexican War combined. Four and a half months later President Lincoln used the dedication ceremony for the Gettysburg National Cemetery to issue his historic Gettysburg Address.

    There were close to 50,000 lives lost in what is commonly considered the turning point of the Civil War. Union Major General George Meade´s Army of the Potomac withheld three days of attacks by General Robert E Lee´s Army of Northern Virginia, ending Lee´s invasion of the North.

    The following day, on the Fourth of July, Vicksburg, Mississippi fell to Union Major General U.S. Grant. Even though the war dragged on for almost another two years, the Confederacy was logistically fractured and never recovered.

    We at Fahrney´s pay tribute to all the brave men and women who have died serving this great country and wish it a very happy 237th birthday this Fourth of July.

    The Gettysburg Address
    (The Nicolay Draft often referred to as the "first draft")
    Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that "all men are created equal".

    Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety do. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow, this ground—The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.

    It is rather for us, the living, to stand here, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that, from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here, gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people by the people for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

    7/02/13

    As told to Ms. Inky Spinky

    Happy Summer! Let me introduce myself. My name is Ms. Pen L. Ope. I am a fountain pen and I was just recently adopted by my owner, Ida Rather B. Writing, through Fahrney´s Pens. This summer I will be going on several trips with my owner and I will be relaying tales of my adventures to you during the coming months.

    Our first destination is Italy and Ida is finishing packing now. There she goes again throwing me into her handbag (aka Bermuda Triangle). Ouch, I´m getting all scratched up. When she bought me at Fahrney´s, I told her to buy a leather case for me as did the nice sales associate.... Did Ida listen to us?... NO! She is lucky I don´t suffer from claustrophobia. Fahrney´s has a nice selection of cases that I would love to slip into! At the rate this woman is going, I´m going to need a doctor... a pen doctor if she doesn´t buy a case for me NOW!

    We are on the airplane now... a few minutes ago airport security almost didn´t let me through because they thought my passport photo didn´t look like me. Unfortunately, the change in cabin pressure has made my ink leak and my ears are aching... does anyone have any chewing gum? Maybe I´ll just try to take a nap if that screaming child would just be quiet!

    At last we have landed in beautiful, romantic, sunny Rome, that city made so famous by Audrey Hepburn in the movie, "Roman Holiday." I remember seeing her framed autograph on the walls of Fahrney´s DC store. After dropping the luggage at our hotel, we will be touring the Colosseum. I plan to visit my pen cousins, the Gladiators who will also be visiting Rome from their home at Stipula in Firenze (Florence). It will be so grand touring that historic site with family. In the evening, I will be having dinner with pen pals, the Optimas from their home at Aurora in Torino. Afterwards, we plan on throwing three coins in the Trevi Fountain for good luck. I figured it would be much better throwing the coins in the fountain as opposed to the coin cufflinks that Ida bought at Fahrney´s to give to her husband as an anniversary gift when he meets us back in Rome in a few weeks.

    It is the next morning, and we are spending it walking the streets of this Eternal City, in and out of shoe boutiques... gee Ida can shop. I´ve signed so many of those thermal paper credit card receipts... oh, my aching nib! Then to add insult to injury, her son decided we should head out into the countryside and test my durability by throwing me out of the Leaning Tower of Pisa... nib first! This morning through the muffle of Ida´s handbag, I thought I heard her say we were going to get pizza. Little did I know what I would be in for. Fortunately, I had a soft landing and not much damage was done. Oh for a nice soothing bath of 2 parts cold water and 1 part eau de ammonia followed by a refill of Fahrney´s Spearmint Ink, which would be Plum Perfect... instead I got Orange Crush. All for today, ´til I get my tines straightened out. Day after tomorrow, we will be in Naples.

    We are in Naples now... Ida is relaxing by the hotel pool, soaking up some rays, sporting her Cross Sun Readers and looking "spec"tacular. Today she has me filled with Fahrney´s Naples Blue Ink... it´s so soothing, cool and apropros to our locale. Ida is using me to write in her new travel journal made by Graphic Image... it has such pen-friendly paper that is of archival quality. I just love writing on it!

    All for now...Tomorrow we are in Spain... Arrivederci,
    Ms. Pen L. Ope
    6/25/13

    Fahrney’s 84th Anniversary

    In June of 1929 Earl Fahrney set up shop in DC’s Willard Hotel and in no time senators and members of congress were standing in line to have their fountain pens serviced, using the store as an impromptu meeting place. In 1972, Jon and Corrine Sullivan bought the business from Mr. Fahrney and 41 years later, loyal customers braved tropical storm conditions to help celebrate Fahrney’s Pens’ 84 glorious years in business at its annual Anniversary Event.

    Eighteen vendors representing 38 pen manufacturers were also on hand for the June 7-8 event and despite the weather sales were brisk and the turn out was phenomenal. Due to the storm, special savings were extended beyond the show. Visitors announced themselves from the UK, Italy, Iran, Australia, Brazil and Japan, as well as countless out-of-state travelers who stated the Anniversary Sale was their sole purpose for traveling to Washington DC.

    Everyone associated with this venerable pen institution was humbled by the outpouring of support from long-time friends and new acquaintances. The many pen representatives who sacrificed a part of their weekend to share in the experience stated that what never ceased to amaze them was the sheer exuberance they witnessed from the visiting throngs. The store memories, the fallen and resurrected pen stories, and the gentle debates on the best pens to own are all rehashed with great zeal and affection.

    As Fahrney’s steams ahead towards the big 85th there will be no resting on its laurels. The website is considered the best in the pen business, the catalog has the largest circulation in the industry and the store is considered the showplace of the company. All three areas will be undergoing changes and improvements in the months ahead. Technology will continue to advance and Fahrney’s will endeavor to mesh the new with the traditional simplicity and beauty of pen to paper. We thank each and every customer – without you there would not be this fine place in the world to shop for pens – and as always let us endeavor to keep the ink flowing.
    6/18/13

    Plant a Tree, Create a Legacy – just like our Founding Fathers

    Fahrney’s is excited to present each year an exclusive limited edition knife crafted in woods of historic significance and custom-made for us by the artisans at William Henry Studio. The first piece in the series features the wood from a Horse Chestnut tree planted by George Washington - just a few pieces left! Our newest limited edition knife features an inlay of the natural wood from a Tulip Poplar tree widely believed to have been planted by Thomas Jefferson on the southwest corner of his beloved Virginia home, Monticello. Removed for safety reasons in 2008, the tree was one of the grandest specimens of its kind.

    It seems that many of our founding fathers had an affinity for trees, recording the conditions, locations and progress of various plantings – and leaving us today with fascinating documents detailing their arboreal passions. Jefferson was particularly enchanted with trees, having been described as "the father of American forestry" for an 1804 planting of white pine and hemlock – not to mention the other 158 species of trees he cultivated. His commitment to tree preservation was strongly suggested by a statement he allegedly made during a dinner at the President´s House: "I wish I was a despot that I might save the noble, beautiful trees that are daily falling sacrifice to the cupidity of their owners, or the necessity of the poor. . . .The unnecessary felling of a tree, perhaps the growth of centuries, seems to me a crime little short of murder." Two months before his death, at the age of eighty-three, he designed an arboretum for the University of Virginia. Such an epilogue to years of planting at Monticello was perhaps inspired by Jefferson´s own adage: "Too old to plant trees for my own gratification I shall do it for posterity."

    Jefferson might be pleased to learn that his Tulip Poplar lives on today, not only as a handsome and useful knife, but also on a college campus in a state that did not even exist in his lifetime. After a ferocious storm in 2006, the ravaged landscape of the grounds at Kansas University in Lawrence was slowly brought back to life with the planting of new trees. One concerned alumnus brought a seedling from the Tulip Poplar that stood on the west lawn at Monticello, which Jefferson likely planted in 1807. "It´s a tree descended from a man who loved learning more than anything," said Dennis Farney, the KU alumnus who donated the tree.

    Farney (no relation to Fahrney’s) bought the seedling eight years earlier at Monticello, flew it home and had been nurturing it before replanting at KU. Farney earned journalism and political science degrees at the university. A retired journalist, he held many positions, including White House correspondent, at the Wall Street Journal. We will try to contact Mr. Farney to find out the progress of his seedling to share with you. In the meantime, keep the ink flowing and the trees growing!
    6/11/13

    The Write Point Archives

    Happy 70th Birthday to Pen Doctor Sharon Powers

    Tucked neatly away in a warehouse attic nestled above Fahrney’s Pens base of operations dwells a pen doctor like no other. When many people think of Fahrney’s Pens and Pen Doctoring they think of Chuck Edwards, the resident repair expert in Fahrney’s DC retail store. But over the past 30 years, Sharon Powers has toiled amongst the bubble wrap, excess boxes and holiday decorations in her top floor “office” and has brought back to life thousands of ailing writing instruments.

    When Sharon started with Fahrney’s in 1985 she had been hired as a computer tech by the Sullivan family. Very quickly Jon and Corinne Sullivan realized that with Sharon’s ability to fix cars (and almost anything else that needed fixing), with proper training she could also repair pens. Their hunch proved correct and in no time Sharon was handling a fair share of the company’s pen repair business. As an added bonus, Dr. Chuck Edwards could spend a greater part of his work day assisting customers on the retail floor where he is truly in his element.

    When first meeting Sharon one can quickly discern several things. Sharon is very direct in her speech and has not minced a word since the late 1960’s. Sharon has the energy and work drive of someone half her age. And last but certainly not least, one always discovers that she has a passion for pens that almost defies an explanation. Whether it’s a 1929 hard rubber Waterman, old Parker 51 or the latest Montblanc pen; Sharon has and can fix almost all of them. It is a rare day at Fahrney’s Pens when Dr. Powers pronounces a patient dead. Thousands more have sought Sharon’s pen doctoring expertise over the phone in the past three decades.

    Today, Feb. 9th, the Florence Nightengale of nibs turned 70 wonderful years young of age! Please join us all and raise your pens in the air in salute to this true heroine of the pen industry. (The same pens that once cowered in a darkened drawer, broken and dust covered between the box of staples and spare keys). So on behalf of all the pens that were given a second (3rd, 4th and 5th) chance we salute you and say Happy Birthday Sharon Powers. Because of you, we are able to keep the ink flowing. Feel free to post your well wishes on our Facebook Page.

    02/08/16



    Fahrney's Exclusive 2015 Cherry Blossom Pens

    The Smithsonian Institution Building, popularly known as the "Castle," was designed by architect James Renwick, Jr. Completed in 1855 it sat on an isolated piece of land cut off from the rest of Washington DC, by a canal. The building, constructed of red sandstone from Maryland in the Norman style, became the anchor for the National Mall as additional museums and government buildings were constructed around it.

    When the team at Fahrney’s Pens sat down to decide what DC landmark to make the centerpiece for its 2015 Cherry Blossom Special Edition Pens by Retro 51, this iconic structure got the nod (aided by our Facebook fans suggestions). The exclusive pens are released each year to coincide with the blooming of the cherry blossoms in Fahrney’s home base in Washington DC.

    This 9th edition (many have observed) is our most gorgeous design to date. Retro’s lead artist created an original design of the Castle in the moonlight, surrounded by the delicate blossoms. The lovely design is screen printed in white on the Tornado-style pens with marbled red and grey translucent resin finish accented in polished chrome.

    The limited production series includes a fountain pen with stainless steel nib, twist-top rollerball/ball pen and a 1.15 mm pencil with eraser. The EXT fountain pen offers an extended length body- the barrel is longer to hold a converter or two cartridges. The 2015 Cherry Blossom pens are each presented in a custom- designed cylinder-shaped box and can be purchased with Fahrney’s exclusive companion journal. These highly collected offerings will be gone long before the last petal has fallen to the ground so do not miss the chance to own these rarities while you can and keep the ink flowing!

    03/26/15

    Graf von Faber-Castell 2015 Pen of the Year

    At the end of the Seven Years War in 1763, Frederick the Great began building his most ambitious project to celebrate Prussia’s success: the New Palace of Sanssouci. The Palace is situated in the Sanssouci Royal Park in Potsdam, Germany, and is considered to be the last great Prussian baroque palace. Graf von Faber Castell’s 2015 “Sanssouci, Potsdam” Pen of the Year is inspired by the impressive architecture of the New Palace, bringing to life the luster and aesthetics of a bygone era in a fascinating writing instrument. Frederick the Great, as king and connoisseur of decorative natural stones, cultivated a personal and simultaneously regal interest in the rich Silesian deposits then used to do justice to Prussia’s new status. By special sovereign right, the monarch reserved all precious stones and chrysoprase in particular for himself: these stones with their emerald to apple green coloration are considered the most valuable variety of quartz. Frederick the Great himself travelled to Silesia to choose the most beautiful. The New Palace was the culmination of this royal interest. The magnificent building is home to a greater variety of natural stones than any other Frederician palace.

    The creation of the Sanssouci Pen of the Year demanded the highest standards of craftsmanship. The Herbert Stephan gemstone manufactory was singularly predestined for this task. It carries on the great tradition of the Idar Oberstein gemstone workshops, which dates back to the 15th century and is still of world renown. The masters have demonstrated their incomparable skills with impressive results: the platinum-plated barrel and cap are adorned by four green Silesian serpentines and a Russian smoky quartz – both ground and polished by hand. The Special Edition combines 24-carat gold plating with green serpentine and rare chrysoprase, Frederick’s favorite natural stone. Chrysoprase has not been mined for many years and is only available on the antique stone market.

    Both editions come with an 18-carat, bicolor gold nib that is ‘run-in’ by hand. An end-cap protects the rotary knob of the plunger mechanism of the plunger-type fountain pen.
    • Platinum-plated barrel adorned by four green Silesian serpentines
    • Individually numbered writing instruments
    • 18-carat bicolor gold nib, run-in by hand
    • Available in the nib widths F, M or B
    • Cap of the pen is crowned by grey shimmering Russian quartz with facet finish
    • Exclusive wooden box with additional insert with space for additional 6 writing instruments, high-quality brochure and a certificate of authenticity
    • Limited to 1,000 pieces


    03/05/15


    What To Give Your Valentine

    I recently read that the average Valentine’s Day spending in the US was $131 per person. It had me wondering whether spending less could be viewed as unromantic. For years the diamond industry has provided its own guidelines on how much of one’s income should be spent on an engagement ring. While I’ve never personally met anyone who admitted to getting out their paystubs and calculator to come up with the right dollar amount; I have no doubt that it has occurred. The same industry has used Valentine’s Day as an occasion for giving jewelry since the 1980’s and I suppose, given the per person amount spent, that the campaign has been a success.

    Florists will be working overtime to process and deliver, restaurants will be overbooked and sugary confections will flood the marketplace. For many it will be a grand, lovely romantic day and for some it might be a day of loneliness and regret. For still others it will be a day of anxiety about how to impress and surprise their beloved.

    While I support any day that focuses on loving the ones who matter to us most, I have always been uneasy about letting a preprinted greeting card express my deepest thoughts and feelings. One of the earliest surviving valentines is a 15th century poem written by an imprisoned duke captured during the Battle of Agincourt and written to his wife from the Tower of London. Unlike a box of candy with an expiration date or vase of flowers, I’m guessing the valentine was a cherished possession for the many years of his captivity.

    I have not given a whole lot of thought as to what I will/should spend this Valentine’s Day. I do know that whatever that total is it will include a handwritten note. While not penned from a faraway tower, it will express my personal feelings of love and admiration. Let others be led by marketing trends and fads; I will be led by my desire to keep the ink flowing.

    02/12/15


    And The Winner is...

    Many thanks to all those who participated in our fourth annual National Handwriting Contest! Each year we are amazed by the number of entries we receive and enjoy reading each and every one. It was fascinating to read the many perspectives on New Year Resolutions.

    Below is the winning entry, which was selected at random.

    Congratulations Ashli Kessinger for winning a Platinum Nice 3776 Limited Edition Demonstrator Fountain Pen with a 14K gold nib – a $250 value!

    Dear AP Language and Composition Students
    View Winning Entry

    02/05/15

    Fahrney’s Partnership with the National Archives

    The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the nation's record keeper. Of all documents and materials created in the course of business conducted by the United States Federal government, only 1% to 3% are so important for legal or historical reasons that they are kept forever. Those valuable records are preserved and are available to the public, whether they want to see if they contain clues about their family’s history, need to prove a veteran’s military service, or are researching historical topics that interest them.

    This past year the National Archives presented a special exhibit, “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures” and Fahrney’s Pens was one of the sponsors of this incredible presentation. To complement the exhibit, there was family and educational programming sponsored by Fahrney’s, Cross and the Parker Pen Company- Newell Rubbermaid.

    Special events included two Family Days that were hugely popular with visiting families and held in the Archives’ Boeing Learning Center. In that wing of the museum, Fahrney’s set up an area where children and young adults could assemble their own fountain pens from parts donated by Chartpak (the US distributor for Pelikan Pens) and take them home to use (for many their first experience with a fountain pen). The second Family Day was held two days before the year’s end with Fahrney’s and Write Notepads and Co. providing “thank you” cards and instructions for crafting them, as well as a Thank You Note Contest and a turquoise Parker Jotter ball pen to take home.

    The ‘Making Their Mark’ Adult Education Workshops were conducted on four evenings throughout the year and were usually full to capacity with waiting lists. The topics presented included Handwriting Analysis, the History of Pens (Quill’s to Rollerballs) featuring Parker Pen ambassador Geoff Parker, Care and Maintenance of Pens (featuring our esteemed pen doctor, Chuck Edwards) and Calligraphy Basics (with Elizabeth Bunn of Fahrney’s). This was the first time the Archives had ever hosted these types of workshops and because of the overwhelming success are planning on continuing the sessions.

    Fahrney’s Pens was proud to play an integral role in the year-long program and is looking forward to expanding on this success in the years to come. If you have never visited the National Archives - the nation’s record keeper, we invite you to do so on your next trip to DC and support its mission by becoming a member: Join My Archive Store

    The National Archives and Fahrney’s Pens need everyone to become active participants in the critical goal of preserving handwriting and understanding the importance of this great country’s written records. In the meantime Happy New Year and keep the ink flowing!

    01/15/15
    For All You Comic Book Fans

    Entrepreneur Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson formed the comics publishing company National Allied Publications in 1934 (the era considered the Golden Age of Comic Books). Before running into financial difficulties and losing the company, he produced a third and final title, Detective Comics (DC Comics), which later introduced the world to Batman (among others).

    Now, 80 years later, Montegrappa presents a new series sure to delight any comic book fan - the DC Comic's Heroes and Villains writing instruments. Officially licensed by DC Comics, the new series features four of your favorite superheroes, the all-American Wonder Woman and Superman, the dark knight, Batman and the Green Lantern.

    The nemesis of Batman comprise the four villains, the sinister Penguin, the feline Catwoman, the wily Riddler and the nefarious Joker. Each pen is expertly crafted in solid brass with colorful lacquer finishes evoking the design of the hero's or villain's signature costume. Wide metal clips are engraved in relief with each character's likeness, the cap is crowned with the hero or villain's emblem.

    Choose from the fountain pen with steel nib, capped rollerball or twist ball pen and write your own super adventure. Keeping the ink flowing has never been this exciting!

    Wonder Woman Wonder Woman's red-and-blue pen features all-American white stars, the winged 'W' logo on the cap and a full-height image on the pocket clip.

    Superman Superman is represented in red-and-blue, with the iconic 'S'-Shield logo on the top of the cap, and the pocket clip showing him in flight.

    Batman Batman, of course, is all in black, with the 'Bat'-Symbol on the cap's top, and a pocket clip with low relief full-height figure.

    Green Lantern Green Lantern's emerald-green pen is accented with black fittings, his logo on the cap and an action pose on the pocket clip.

    Penguin The Penguin, naturally, commands a black pen with the very pinstripes that adorn his trousers, the villain posed on the clip with umbrella held aloft, and the umbrella logo gracing the cap's top.

    Catwoman Catwoman is honored with a dark purple pen with her 'cat's eyes' logo topping the cap, her pose as feline as one would imagine.

    Riddler The Riddler's all-green pen boasts a question mark on the cap's top and the same inquisitive punctuation all over the barrel and cap

    Joker The Joker, the combination of purple cap and green barrel convey his lurid attire, with his grinning face adorning the cap.

    01/08/15
    Handwritten Letters

    There was a time, and it really doesn't seem that long ago, when I could expect to receive at least one handwritten letter per week. It made the daily trip to the mailbox a little more anticipatory even if the box was chock full of bills/junk mail; that one handwritten letter would make it a worthwhile excursion. Who knew that when I went 'paperless' on all of my bills that a mysterious force would trigger a dramatic decrease in personal correspondence?

    I reviewed possible reasons for this inexplicable phenomena as I so longed to have a purpose in visiting the mailbox again (besides clearing out the grocery circulars and repeated pleas from AARP to join them). First-class postage was still a bargain at 49 cents so I ruled out economic hardship. E-mail has been popular for over 20 years and while I certainly send and receive my fair share of it I couldn't place the blame on technology. Perhaps my going to work for Fahrney's Pens convinced my correspondents that I probably was inundated with letters from the many loyal and passionate customers?

    It seemed as if I would never find the answer, but before I threw in the towel to this great perplexing riddle, I thought I would try a novel experiment. I took the better part of a Sunday and wrote 8 to 10 of my former letter writers and even threw in a few new candidates. I dropped them in the mailbox on a Monday and mentally prepared for a future of more unfulfilling visits to the useless, rusting box of mail.

    Then on Thursday I received a letter! Two more came on Friday and remarkably, THREE on Saturday (the loneliest of all mail days)! How could I have missed this seemingly simple concept? You mail letters to friends and often letters are mailed to you in return! The great Hunter S. Thompson's line occurred to me at that moment, "I was not proud of what I had learned but I never doubted that it was worth knowing".

    I am happy to report that since that groundbreaking experiment, my shiny letter palace by the curb and I have glorious reunions several times a week. I could curse the darkness that I caused myself for the first year I lived here, but instead I resolved to never forget this valuable lesson and share it with others as often as possible: Life is good when you keep the ink flowing.

    09/25/14
    Say Thank You

    The gift-giving season is fast approaching! What better way to say Thank You and Happy Holidays to your most valued customers and employees than with a personalized gift from Fahrney's Pens. They'll remember you and your company every time they write.

    Fahrney's Pens has a great selection of gifts for the holidays – from the world's finest writing instruments to our unique selection of leather goods, timepieces and stationery – all custom engraved or embossed to your specifications.

    Our Corporate Gift Specialists make selection and ordering fast and easy! Call us toll-free at 800-336-4775, Monday–Friday 9:00am – 5:30pm. Complimentary gift-wrap and handwritten gift cards are available with each purchase. We can work within your budget and quantity discounts may apply.

    Here are some of our most popular Corporate Gift choices, though there are many more styles and colors from which to choose.

    Experience the Fahrney's difference – our expertise and service are unparalleled.

    09/18/14
    Back to School with Fahrney's

    Summer break is now behind us and school is back in session. Hard to believe! Where did the time go? The leaves are already starting to fall and Halloween stores are popping up everywhere. A sign of cooler temperatures ahead.

    Students are getting acclimated to their schedules, teachers and agendas and hopefully getting themselves organized for the upcoming workload. For any additional back-to-school essentials, be sure to check out our top-selling school supplies and start the new school year off 'write'.

    Fahrney's Fall Savings should also help cushion the blow for those looking to outfit their returning student with the finest in writing instruments and accessories. There are still plenty of amazing deals and whether your student is off to college or beginning first grade, we have the 'write' pens to keep the ink flowing!

    09/11/14
    Upcoming Special Parker Events

    We are delighted to welcome Geoff Parker, the great-grandson of Parker's founder, George S. Parker, as our special guest at Fahrney's retail store on Thursday, September 11 from 11:00am – 3:00pm. Geoff will be on hand to introduce the new Parker Historical Colors Duofold writing instruments and to offer his rare insights on the history and development of Parker Pens over the last 125 years.

    In addition to sharing his unique perspective of Parker's past, he welcomes the stories and comments about the role Parker Pens has played in the lives of others. It's a great event for Parker fans! There will be door prizes from Parker and all the new Parker products for Fall 2014 will be available for "test-driving."

    Fahrney's and Parker are also sponsoring a workshop by Geoff Parker at the National Archives Museum on September 10 from 5:30pm - 7:00pm. The special evening combines a viewing of the "Making Their Mark" exhibit with a hands-on exploration of the history of pens with Geoff Parker. Discover how pens and writing have changed over time. You will have the opportunity to write with changing pen technology starting with a quill, moving through dip pens and bladder pens and ending with the pens we use today. To register for this free program, email "education@nara.gov" with MTM Workshops as the subject. Space is limited, so register soon.

    "Making Their Mark: Stories through Signatures" is a fascinating exhibit in the Lawrence F. O'Brien Gallery of the National Archives Building. "Making Their Mark" invites visitors to look at a signature, imagine the moment the document was signed, and realize how each one has made its mark on our American narrative.

    Visit Fahrney's website for more information on the Parker Aniversary Event. We hope you can join us for one or both of these exciting Parker events - and keep the ink flowing!

    09/04/14
    National Archives Workshops

    Since this past March, the National Archives Museum in Washington, D.C. has presented the special exhibition, “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures”. The exhibit runs through Jan. 5, 2015 and has been wildly popular with the Archives' patrons.

    In addition to the exhibit, the National Archives has implemented a series of Adult Education Workshops which are sponsored by Fahrney's Pens, Cross and the Parker Pen Company-Newell Rubbermaid. The first of these workshops (held two weeks ago) featured Handwriting Analysis as its topic, hosted by handwriting expert Marilyn Maze. The two-hour class/lecture was standing room only – accommodating an over-capacity crowd – and many were still turned away at the door.

    The history and uses of Graphology were discussed before an in-depth analysis of Harry S. Truman's handwriting was undertaken. The National Archives provided copies of a very insightful letter from the former 33rd President which he had written while at the Potsdam Conference in July of 1945. The analysis was followed by a lively open floor discussion and before leaving the guests turned in 3 examples of their signatures for Maze to analyze and report back to them with her findings.

    It was a great start to a series that the National Archives is undertaking for the first time. Mark your calendars for the next three workshops coming soon as they are sure to fill up quickly! To register for these free program, email education@nara.gov with MTM Workshops as the subject.

    September 10 - (5:30-7:30 p.m.) 'Quill to Rollerball' hosted by Geoff Parker, great grandson of Parker Pen's founder George S. Parker.

    November 5 - (5:30-7:30 p.m.) 'Meet the Pen Doctor' hosted by Fahrney's very own Chuck Edwards.

    December 3 - (5:30-7:30 p.m.) 'Calligraphy Basics' presented by Fahrney's handwriting educator Elizabeth Bunn.

    Fahrney's Pens is very proud to be a part of this exhibit and education initiatives –it is just one more way we can ensure that the ink keeps flowing.

    08/28/14
    Fahrney’s Has Lost a True Artist and Friend

    Whether it was writing thank you notes to clients with her trusty brilliant blue Visconti Rembrandt or doodling with her favorite green Cross Edge, Elise Soroka approached writing with a an unmatched zest and enthusiasm. From her first day at Fahrney’s Pens retail store in the winter of 2012, to her last in early June of this summer, her bubbly personality and engaging smile would brighten even the gloomiest of days.

    After graduating from Carnegie Melon with a degree in Fine Arts, Elise embarked on an almost 20 year career as a freelance illustrator for magazines, book publishers and assorted businesses. When I posted the advertisement for a full-time sales associate at our Washington, DC store at the beginning of 2012, the response was tremendous. With over 250 resumés there was a lot to deliberate and study, but from the outset, one stood out from the rest.

    It was not that this particular resumé was filled with years of pen experience or retail experience in general. What did come across was her passion, energy and love of the written word. When I first met Elise face to face, I knew there was little need to interview anyone else. Store Managers Emile Benjamin and Elizabeth Bunn agreed and soon the rest of Fahrney’s family would discover the tour de force that was uniquely Elise. When Soul Bossa Nova (the theme song from Austin Powers) would play from the preselected Fahrney’s music assortment, (and no clients were present) Elise would do her little dance that never failed to have her coworkers in stitches. And as Elizabeth Bunn said, hearing that song will never be the same again.

    Fahrney’s Pens and the rest of the world lost a true artist and an avid friend of pens when Elise lost her battle with a lengthy illness a few weeks ago. She will be greatly missed by all she touched and came in contact with. Her time with Fahrney’s and her time on earth were both too short but her impact was one that cannot be measured. We will miss you Elise and promise to keep the ink flowing.

    08/21/14
    Skull Symbolism

    The skull is one of the oldest and most powerful symbols. It has a long, varied history of meanings with various interpretations. Most commonly the Skull is seen as a representation of death and mortality, but it also symbolizes life after death, change, courage, bravery, rebelliousness, the list goes on. Some say the skull is a symbol of the celebration of life and represents good luck.

    Today it is commonly used in horror films, books and haunted houses to create a feeling of fear and trepidation. The skull has long been used in the military and in biker culture for as long as there have been bikers. It's often used as a symbol of nonconformity, free-thinking, and rebelliousness, as evidenced on many heavy metal album covers.

    The skull reminds us that none of us live forever, making each of our lives that much more important because of it. From this point of view, the skull does not represent anything dark or evil, but instead becomes a positive symbol that encourages us to live life to its fullest.

    Whatever your perspective, Fahrney's offers skull pens and pen stands featuring this powerful symbol.

    08/07/14
    President Ulysses Grant Framed Document

    While many former U.S. Presidents have gone on to write books after leaving office, perhaps none was as acclaimed as 18th President Ulysses S. Grant's. "The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant" was a huge commercial and critical success that Grant was not alive to witness, having died days after finishing the book.

    Several critics referred to it as the “most significant work of American non-fiction”, and Mark Twain called the Memoirs a "literary masterpiece". Having forfeited his military pension when he assumed the presidency and several bad business decisions resulted in Grant being almost penniless when he embarked on his writing. Around the same time Grant learned that he was suffering from throat cancer and likely had little time left.

    The autobiography focused mainly on Grant's military career during the Mexican-American War and the U.S. Civil War. Written in the persona of the honorable western hero, Grant candidly depicted his battles against both the external Confederates and his internal Army foes. One such incident, which occurred almost 150 years ago to this day, came close to ending Grant's life.

    On August 9, 1864 at City Point, Virginia, a Confederate Secret Service agent smuggled a bomb aboard an ammunition barge, ignited it and very nearly killed the future 18th President. "Every part of the yard used as my headquarters is filled with splinters and fragments of shell," Grant wrote.

    History Inscribed (Fahrney's Pens one-of-a-kind historical document division) has recently acquired one of the finest documents we have ever seen from the 18th President. It is a gorgeous military appointment with a blue war office seal crisp and fully intact. Beautifully framed and signed by Grant, as well as Secretary of War Belknap, this is a must-own document for any presidential collector.

    You can see this fabulous presentation in our Washington, DC store or call us today to find out how you can bring this fine piece of American history to your home or office. And just as President Grant did, "keep the ink flowing"!

    07/31/14
    Kid's Cursive Handwriting Contest
    Keep your kids writing this summer with Fahrney's Kid's Cursive Handwriting Contest!

    Fahrney's wishes to encourage children ages 6 to 12 years to write and show off their good penmanship by entering its annual Kid's Cursive Handwriting Contest. Participants may write about a summer adventure, family vacation, hobby, sport or any topic that gets their ink (or lead) flowing.

    The winning entry (selected based on penmanship and content) will receive a Pelikan Twist fountain pen, Cursive Writing Workbook and Practice Pad – valued at over $50! The winning entry will be framed and displayed in Fahrney's Washington, DC retail store and posted on its Facebook page.

    Penmanship was once an important part of every student's early education, but the world of personal computers, tablets, e-mail and texting has rendered the handwritten note an obsolete form of communication – a skill that many of today's students only learn to appreciate from parents and grandparents. Schools are devoting less time teaching the art of cursive handwriting as more effort is devoted to typing skills in the early grades.

    Handwriting is one of the few ways kids can uniquely express themselves. These days, it's up to parents to make sure their children learn the art of cursive handwriting, outside of school if necessary. Studies show that writing helps to strengthen children's brain synapses and concentration because it requires fluid movement, eye-hand coordination and fine motor skill development.

    Entries will be accepted through August 31, 2014 and can be placed in the mailbox provided by the Smithsonian National Postal Museum at our Washington, DC store, or mailed to Fahrney's headquarters.

    Store Location:
    1317 F Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20004

    Mailing address:
    Attn: Handwriting Contest
    8329 Old Marlboro Pike, B13
    Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

    07/24/14
    “Making Their Mark” Family Day at The Foundation for the National Archives

    Date: Friday, July 18, 2014
    Time: 10:00 am
    Location: Boeing Learning Center, Washington, DC

    The National Archives Museum in Washington, DC, has many fun exhibits and activities for kids of all ages. Visitors can see the original Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, and explore other records in several exhibition galleries.

    Come and bring your family to the Boeing Learning Center in the National Archives Museum to explore the many ways people have placed their signature on history, from developing a signature style to signing groundbreaking policy into law. The day will feature family fun with hands-on activities, such as writing with a quill pen, Presidential Catch Phrase, and making signature hats, all based on the new exhibition, “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures”.

    So if you are in the Washington, DC area or within driving distance, take the day off and bring your family to “Making Their Mark” Family Day tomorrow, and of course, don’t forget to Keep the Ink Flowing.

    “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures” is made possible in part by the Foundation for the National Archives with the generous support of Lead Sponsor AT&T. Major additional support provided by the Lawrence F. O’Brien Family and members of the Board of the Foundation for the National Archives.

    Family and educational programming related to “Making Their Mark” is sponsored in part by Fahrney’s Pens, Cross, and Parker Pen Company – Newell Rubbermaid.

    07/17/14
    Summer Closeout

    When Jon and Corinne Sullivan purchased Fahrney’s Pens from Earl Fahrney in 1972, it was a single-unit brick and mortar business on New York Avenue in northwest Washington D.C. A short time later, the Sullivans launched a direct mail catalog business; several years after that their son and current company president, Chris Sullivan, started Fahrney’s web site. Purchasing and predicting inventory has grown exponentially and that challenge has turned into something akin to Christmas in July for our loyal customers.

    One listed definition of “a sale” states, “a special disposal of goods at lowered prices”. We at Fahrney’s (and our fine writing instruments in particular) take issue with this characterization. For one, no pen, unless it has been certified as beyond human help by one of our Pen Doctors is being “disposed of”. It is simply being relocated due to overcrowded conditions to homes and businesses that will give these fine instruments the love and attention they so warrant.

    Secondly, the term “disposal” has become more synonymous with garbage than treasured possessions. These beautiful, functional, never-used beauties are anything but junk. In some cases they simply had the misfortune of being stacked on the shelf towards the rear or were a member of a family of pens far too unwieldy for one manufacturer to find a proper home for.

    In any case, the Fahrney’s buying team has meticulously assembled the best and the brightest of it’s own and it’s vendor partner’s stock to share some non-seasonal joy with all who should not have to wait another six months for such joyful tidings. The selected writing instruments have been coached and counseled that they are indeed special and will soon be loved and appreciated in ways they cannot possibly imagine.

    We thank you all for your continued support of this worthy program and know that you are making a difference. Shop our Summer Savings section and please, keep the ink flowing.

    07/10/14
    Aurora ‘Continents of the World’

    Afrika is the first in a limited, numbered series celebrating the ‘Continents of the World’. Aurora has captured the life, color and emotion of this adventurous land in the Afrika design. The resin barrel and cap in warm earthtones are hand-turned by a master craftsman and adorned with a matte gold clip and trim. The barrel ring depicts six African tribal shields. The black crown has a semi-precious agate stone set on the top as a symbol of harmony and peace.

    Asia is the second limited edition series in luminous jade green and earth tones that swirl around the hand-turned resin barrel with gold fittings. Asian cultural icons are found on the central gold band crafted in high relief. The matte brown resin crown is set with a semi-precious green stone and the elegant jewel clip is engraved with the outline of the Asian continent.

    The third in its World Continents limited edition series is Europa. The Italian artisans at Aurora have created a design that represents the important historical aspects of Europe through the centuries. The silver clip is etched with a map of the continent; the thick silver band crafted in high relief depicts symbols of Europe’s progress from factories to trains, a DNA double helix to the stars of the European Community. The hand-turned resin barrel features swirling patterns in luminous black, pearl and grey tones known as “Fumo di Londra”. The black resin crown is set with a blue synthetic quartz cabochon, a tribute to the colors of the European Union.

    Aurora dedicates its fourth limited edition collection to the Americas. Luminous red, white, and blue tones swirl around the hand-turned resin barrel and cap with polished chrome fittings. Cultural icons of the Americas enliven the enameled central band in high relief: a Native American headdress, a pioneer’s covered wagon, desert cactus, American eagle, drawings from the mysterious Nazca Lines of Peru of a condor and a spider. The crown of each pen is set with a semi-precious red jasper stone; the elegant jewel clip is engraved with an outline of the American continents. Celebrate our homeland with Aurora’s America!

    The fifth and most recent 'Continents of the World' series, Oceania explores Australia and the surrounding islands that make up Oceania. Like Afrika, Asia, Europa and America before it, Oceania is a sublime creation by the Italian artisans at Aurora. Luminous pearl and red tones swirl around the hand-turned resin barrel and cap with warm rose gold-plated fittings. Symbolic icons of Oceania enliven the central band in high relief: a wallaby, boomerang, turtle, seashell and a gecko. The dark red enamel recalls the red rock typical of the region. The crown of each pen is set with a semi-precious red jasper stone; the elegant jewel clip is engraved with an outline of the continent.

    Aurora's limited edition Continents series offers superb celluloid bodied pens in a colorful array of styles. Not just for the collector, these instruments are also excellent for everyday writing. 07/03/14
    Pelikan Hub Event Makes History

    In case you missed it, the Worldwide Pelikan Hub Event on June 13th was a global success! Pelikan had to have made history with the largest gathering (albeit virtual) of Pelikan pen lovers at one time, all in one day. Brand aficionados were asked to sign up to be part of the Hub via Pelikan's newsletter. The cities with the most respondents were deemed "Hubs". Fahrney's acted as the "Hubmaster" for Washington, DC and hosted the event at its downtown retail store.

    Story continued on Fahrney's blog, "Pen Adventures" 06/26/14
    Montegrappa Limited Edition Pelé P-10

    Last week marked the kick-off for the 2014 FIFA World Cup™. The international football tournament is hosted by Brazil and made up of 32 teams who will play 64 matches culminating in the championship on July 13th. Fahrney's Pens is very excited to be one of the first retailers to have the Montegrappa Limited Edition Pelé P-10 pen collection inspired by the greatest footballer of all time, Pele.

    Named one of the "Top 20 Most Important People of the 20th Century" (Time Magazine) and "Football Player of the Century" (FIFA), Pelé today maintains his commitment to the sport and to society by fulfilling various roles as spokesperson, ambassador and philanthropist.

    Montegrappa's 'Icons' Series celebrates notable figures in the fields of sport, culture and entertainment. It is thus a pleasure for Montegrappa to celebrate the Brazilian footballer who changed the game for all time: Pelé.

    Made of black resin, the P10 Edition features silver trims, with the top inspired by the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, the colors of Brazil filled in with enamel. The P10's clip is a sceptre, to represent 'The King of Football', with a miniature football containing a sapphire at its top. The legend, 'The King of Football', is engraved around the cap, with Pele's signature on the side in white.

    Blue, green and yellow bands surround the blind cap, while the nib features an engraving of Pelé's 'bicycle kick'. Series numbering is engraved on the end of the barrel, identifying the P10 as one of 1,940 total pieces in fountain pen, rollerball or ballpoint, representing the year of Pelé's birth. The P10 edition also will be offered in an exclusive version consisting of 10 fountain pens and 10 rollerballs with solid 18K gold trim.

    You will not want to miss the opportunity to own one of these rare and beautiful gems that are sure to sell out quickly. We know the greatest footballers in the world will keep the ball rolling and you, the greatest pen aficionados in the world will keep the ink flowing! 06/19/14
    85th Anniversary Celebration

    Last Friday and Saturday, Fahrney's Pens officially kicked off its 85th Anniversary celebration in a grand way with a huge two-day Pen Show at its downtown Washington, DC store. The show was attended by hundreds and in addition to our fine staff members there were 18 representatives from 32 different pen lines. It truly was a memorable celebration and a chance to catch up and reminisce with so many of our long-time loyal customers.

    At the show, the pen that captured the most attention and was flying off the shelves was indisputably Fahrney's own 85th Anniversary Limited Edition Cherry Tree Tornado by Retro 51. Only 300 pens were produced using wood reclaimed from a cherry tree on George Washington's beloved home at Mount Vernon.

    In 2004, Mount Vernon Estate began construction of its new state-of-the-art visitor's center. The wood used to make our limited edition pen came from a cherry tree that had to be removed from the site. The tree was reclaimed by Historical Woods of America, and is now being used to create handcrafted, heirloom items including our one-of-a-kind writing instruments. The cherry wood is of the finest quality and will gain an appealing patina over time. Fahrney's logo and the pen's individual serial number are engraved onto the cap band. The pen is presented in a custom-designed tube box; it includes a vintage map showing the location of the cherry tree on George Washington's estate and a certificate of authenticity.

    Stay tuned for the next edition of exclusive Historical Woods of America creations when we present the George Washington White Mulberry Tree collection. As we continue to celebrate our 85th year, expect to see more exclusives, one-of-a-kind collections and fantastic savings on select pens. We could not have made it this far without the best, most loyal clients in all the world and we are truly blown away by your support. Thank you all and as we charge towards our next milestone, keep the ink flowing! 06/11/14
    Writing Instruments Built for Speed

    What is the perfect gift for Dad or the recent grad that might desire a new sports car but in all likelihood realize that is not a possibility? This year there could be an acceptable compromise and that tie that has already been purchased can surely be put on hold until another special day. Many of your favorite pen manufacturers have released writing instrument collections that are design inspired by sports or racecars. Their ergonomic shapes and sleek designs are created using materials such as carbon fiber and titanium which reduce weight and add strength to high performance cars.

    Inspired from the sculptured lines and materials of the worlds fastest racing cars, Delta's New Horsepower collection of writing instruments is designed to glide across the page with speed and precision and look beautiful when parked on the desk! The ergonomic shape is proportioned to fit comfortably in the hand while the perfect weight and balance allow the long distance writer to go the distance. Each Horsepower pen is then fitted with a band of genuine carbon fiber, the same material used to reduce weight and add strength to high performance cars.

    Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Momo Design, an Italian automotive accessory manufacturer, Delta's 30th Anniverary Momo is made of carbon fiber and celluloid with a nib in pure titanium. This is another superb example of the creative mix of extraordinary materials and unusual shapes that you'd expect from the innovators at Momo Design and Delta.

    Inspired by the instantly recognizable red and the unparalleled speed of a Ferrari racecar, Sheaffer picks up the pace with bold, sleek designs of the new streamlined Carbon Fiber Intensity. Trademark features include the Ferrari emblem on the clip and the Scuderia Ferrari Shield. The Ferrari Official Licensed writing instruments by Sheaffer are sure to perform at maximum speed and delight Ferrari enthusiasts everywhere!

    The Porsche Design Laser Flex Ballpoint Pen has a flexible stainless steel barrel with a repeating pattern created by precisely-lasered slots. Press the mechanism to write and the barrel of the ballpoint pen responds - the lasered slots contract and release as the point appears. Finished with a scratch-resistant PVD-coating with pure titanium which is 10x harder than steel - yet another unique, innovative achievement from Porsche Design!

    The Omas 50th Anniversary Autobobili Lamborghini pays homage to the legendary carmaker and its 50th Anniversary. The hexagonal pen is made entirely of titanium including the clip and rollerball tip. The crown (with 50th Year logo) and the knob have carbon fiber inlays. The 50th anniversary logo is hand-engraved on the top of the cap.

    The Stipula Speed collection's evokes the look and feel of 1960's Italian sports cars. With a wide, elliptical resin body, tricked out with a robust clip, it has also become a customer favorite!

    Whether you are feeling the need for Speed or just enjoy fine writing instruments with sleek and daring lines; we are sure the desire to test drive at least one of these beauties will be quite strong. If you are in the DC area remember to drop by our retail store on 1317 F St. NW and as always, Keep the Ink Flowing! 05/28/14
    What do kids think about cursive…

    2nd Graders:
    "If I was a letter, I would like it to be in cursive. Cursive letters lean forward like skaters who are fast because you don't lift up your pencil so much. Cursive letters hold hands to show you which sounds go together. Cursive is fancy for when you write to the Queen. Cursive is cool."
    Chiara – Kentucky

    "I think cursive is cool because it makes you smarter and it is pretty. It is like writing a different language. In conclusion, I enjoy writing in cursive and always try my best. Cursive is cool!"
    William – Texas

    3rd Graders:
    "Wow! Who knew cursive could be so cool. Cursive is cool is the best because it is faster than the wind. And the letters are creative and you almost never need to pick up your pencil. Finally it looks like a secret code."
    Zachariah - Colorado

    "I think cursive is cool because I feel older when I write in cursive. Also, the loops and swirls are beautiful."
    Natalie – Michigan

    "Hey Guys! Do you want to know what my favorite thing about cursive because it looks prettier and faster than print."
    Scarlett – Colorado

    "I think cursive is cool because big kids use cursive and when I write in cursive I feel like a big kid. It's fun!"
    Teagan – Illinois

    "Cursive is cool because it is neat, and because it doesn't take up as much space as print does. Sometimes, when you are writing a story in print you can emphasize words by writing them in cursive. Cursive is quicker and easier to write than print is. When you are taking notes, you can sometimes write in cursive without looking."
    Katherine – California

    "I love writing in cursive because it is faster to write than print and looks neat. It's faster because all you have to do is write little loops and you won't have any backward letters to fix. Cursive looks neat because it looks like you made up your own handwriting."
    Shaylee - Colorado

    "Cursive is cool in so many ways. It's cool because you can make it curly and different. Also, it's fun to write your name in cursive when you're grown up because you can change the letters a bit. You'll be like a cheetah because you'll be writing so fast."
    Tula – Colorado

    "I think cursive is cool because some letters in cursive are very much like the manuscript ones. Also, you can write cursive differently. Some writing 'loopily', while others are very original."
    Talia - Pennsylvania

    "Hey! Do you know how cool cursive is? Well, I will tell you. Some letters are completely different and cursive is very flowy. If you are in a hurry cursive is the way to go! You'll be fast like a rocket. I think that the whole world should write in cursive all the time."
    Ryleigh – Colorado

    "Hi! It's me! I like to write in cursive because it goes much faster than print. I also like cursive because it is neat and nice. Cursive is cool."
    Jade – Colorado

    4th Graders:
    "Cursive is because it is faster and more beautiful form of handwriting. It is also cool because you can see all of the words and letters clearly."
    Hannah – California

    "I really enjoy writing in cursive while writing stories. And one of the reasons is that it looks pretty. Another is that it goes quickly. It's also more fun than writing in block. I also enjoy drawing pictures for my stories."
    Catherine – Ohio

    "I think cursive is cool because it looks neater and it's quicker than printing. For example, you rarely have to pick up your pencil. Because of this, you can get your ideas down faster."
    Bernadette – Wisconsin

    5th Graders:
    "I think cursive is very fun. There are many things I enjoy doing with cursive. For example, I really like practicing my signature because there are so many different ways to write it. My friends and I compare each other's signatures."
    Alissa – Colorado

    "I think that cursive is cool because, when you write you don't have to lift your hand every time you write a letter. When you write in cursive you can read cursive more easily. It's faster than printing. If you practice you will have a better signature when you grow up."
    Olivia - Arizona

    6th Grader:
    "Cursive is cool because it is a quicker way to write, you learn a skill that other people do not have. People value you as more clever and smarter if you have this special skill. Print is boring compared to cursive."
    Joshua – California

    Responses are from the Cursive is Cool Contest - 2014.
    www.campaignforcursive.com
    www.campaignforcursive.blogspot.com 05/20/14
    Perspectives from a Fahrney’s Employee on the Occasion of the 85th Anniversary…

    Dear Fellow Pen Enthusiasts,
    Since 1987 when I first entered into the amazing world of the fine writing instruments business at Fahrney’s, I have witnessed many changes… in the world, in the nation, in DC, and in the pen industry.

    When I first walked in the door of Fahrney’s in October of that year, I was a single lady and am now a married lady with a few more gray hairs. Other than my marital status and the color of my hair, there have been other changes as well.

    In 1987, Ronald Reagan was president and Germany was still divided into East and West. Washington, DC did not have a baseball team. RFK Stadium was where our professional football team played, and it was the season in which they won their second Super Bowl. At Fahrney’s, Mrs. Chappell was “The Pen Lady” of the retail division located on G Street. That fall, as I started working at Fahrney’s, Mrs. Chappell taught me much about pens… especially fountain pens and how to care for them. “ You put your cap on your fountain pen the way you put your hat on your head, not your head in your hat,” she would say. We rang up sales on a good old-fashioned cash register and “Mrs. C”, as we called her, taught me how to write-up by hand tax -exempt transactions. Some top of the line pens were $80.56 including tax!!!!!! Bottles of ink ranged in price from $2.00- $5.00. Fahrney’s expanded our customer base through its award-winning catalog. The web meant something a spider wove.

    Since then, Germany has been united, the thought of a woman president of the United States is not out of the question, and baseball has returned to the Nation’s Capitol… GO NATS!!! We now just wish our football team would have a winning season.

    At Fahrney’s, we have since moved to our current location on F Street which is twice the size of our old location. This has helped to allow space to accommodate the increasing number of fine pen lines. Mrs. Chappell has since passed but her memory lives on through current staff, sales representatives and customers who remember her, and through stories told to staff who did not have the privilege of knowing her. Sales transactions are now computerized, including tax exempt transactions. We still mail out our catalog but have also expanded our customer base through our web site. Some of the pens that were $80.00 are now over $400.00! Bottles of ink now range in price from $10.00- $40.00!

    While many things have changed in the world, our nation, and our city in the 27 years since I first walked through Fahrney’s doors, some things have not. As Fahrney’s celebrates 85 years of being in business, then as now, we are still dedicated to bringing the best of fine writing instruments and other related products from around the world to you our loyal customers. I feel very honored and privileged to be a part of the tradition of introducing the exciting world of fine writing instruments to the next generation.

    Elizabeth Spinks-Bunn DC Store Staff 05/13/14
    Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures

    A signature can be as routine as a mark on a form or as extraordinary as a stroke of the pen that changes the course of history. Through their signatures, for example, the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence simultaneously committed the brave (or dangerously foolish) act of treason against King George III and created a new nation.

    Well-known signatures are found throughout the records of the National Archives. Equally important are the multitude of marks by people unknown to history. All of these documents represent fascinating stories to be discovered.

    “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures” features original signatures from the National Archives’ nationwide holdings, including records from the Presidential libraries. They illustrate the many ways people have placed their signatures on history, from developing a signature style to signing groundbreaking policy into law. From Hollywood to Washington, DC, a variety of letters, patents, photographs, artifacts and pieces of legislation are featured in this exhibition.

    The stories in these records, of famous and infamous, known and unknown individuals are all part of our nation’s history, all making their marks on the American narrative. The exhibition also explores the different ways to “sign” a document, from John Hancock’s famous pen strokes to the current evolution of electronic signatures.

    The exhibit also features a collection of 50 pens used by Presidents Kennedy and Johnson to sign important pieces of legislation like the Peace Corps Act and the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The collection is on loan from the Lawrence F. O’Brien family. "Making Their Mark" is free and open to the public, and will be on display in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, from March 21, 2014, through January 5, 2015. The National Archives is located on the National Mall on Constitution Avenue at 9th Street, NW. National Archives Museum hours are 10 AM to 5:30 PM daily, except Thanksgiving and December 25.
    “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures” is made possible in part by the Foundation for the National Archives with the generous support of Lead Sponsor AT&T. Major additional support provided by the Lawrence F. O’Brien Family and members of the Board of the Foundation for the National Archives. Family and educational programming related to “Making Their Mark” is sponsored in part by Fahrney’s Pens, Cross, and Parker Pen Company – Newell Rubbermaid.
    04/29/14
    A Friendship Formed at Fahrney's

    It was a beautiful Saturday morning and my daughter Bailey and I were heading on a road trip to visit Fahrney’s downtown, Washington, DC store to attend a book signing and meet Karina Widman, a well-achieved young lady who just happens to be 12, just a year older than Bailey. It was also the day of the Cherry Blossom Parade, so we left our home in Southern Maryland to make the hour trip, knowing it would take us at least twice as long with traffic. Aside from the road construction and the mobs of tourists from far and wide, we miraculously made it to the store right on time.

    The goal was to give Karina the opportunity to promote her love of handwriting and writing with a fountain pen to school-aged children, as well as to promote "A Language of the Heart", which she was a part of developing, and share her journey with the Stories of Oneness Peace Project.
    "A Language of the Heart" is a book created by children for children in a global effort to promote world peace amongst all cultures, religious beliefs and economic background. This book is dedicated to the memory of U.S. diplomat Anne Smedinghoff, who was killed in April 2013 by a Taliban explosive while delivering books to schoolchildren in Afghanistan. It features artwork created by American and Afghani children in an effort to reach across the globe in unity. The book is available for sale at www.MinistryoftheArts.org

    So, we arrive and meet Karina and her lovely family. Confident, yet still so young and innocent, Karina is a charming young lady and our customers and passersby were truly touched by her story. When there was time to spare, Karina and Bailey browsed the store and discussed their shared love for writing. They then decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and pass out flyers in front of the store to those heading to and from the Cherry Blossom Parade. When the street traffic died down they tested out a few fountain pens and showed off their cursive handwriting to customers and staff. You see Bailey too has lovely handwriting and practices her cursive quite often, now even more so since she met Karina. She just loved the way Karina signs her name.

    Here is an email I received from Karina's mom, which made me so proud:
    Hi Kim, I saw the article on Facebook, it looks fantastic! The pictures were perfect! Your daughter Bailey was awesome. The girls got along so well. Karina didn't stop talking about how kind and friendly she is. The staff at the store could not be more professional and accommodating. I want to say again thank you so much for giving Karina this amazing opportunity. Warm regards,
    Angela
    Please be sure to check out the pictures of the event on our Facebook page

    Kim Graham
    Marketing Director
    04/23/14
    Stipula Michelangelo David

    A summary of sublime physical vigor, intelligence, sensitivity and blessings from heaven, Michelangelo’s David is not only one of the greatest masterpieces of all time, but it is also a symbol of attributes that illustrate the best mankind has to offer; a larger than life historical figure and an artist at the pinnacle of his creative and technical abilities, bringing him to life for all to see through the centuries.

    On September 8, 1504, the Republic of Florence, amazed by the beauty of Michelangelo’s David placed the statue in front of the Government Palace (today know as “Palazzo Vecchio” or “Palazzo della Signoria”) as a symbol of the virtues of good governance and the defense of the Fatherland.

    Even today, this young man only 16 years old, capable to land the giant Goliath and defeat the terrible army of the Philistines, teaches us how arrogance and brutality would not last in front of intelligence and courage.

    Stipula honors this exemplary story with a new collection of timeless writing instruments: The lost-wax cast clip of the pen portrays the famous statue of the Florentine master. The center band is embellished with panels depicting four scenes or symbols that illustrate key moments in the life of the Biblical David, which Michelangelo celebrated in the sixteenth century.

    1. The defeat of the giant Goliath
    2. David’s long and glorious kingdom, which ruled Israel for an age of prosperity and peace, represented by the scepter and the crown.
    3. David’s sensuality and his dreamer soul, represented by the overwhelming love for Bathsheba.
    4. David’s extraordinary literary and artistic inspiration that led him to compose one of the most important parts of the Bible, the Book of Psalms, with the depiction of a harp.

    Click here to see the Stipula Michelangelo's David collection. 04/10/14
    Spring has finally sprung! Fahrney’s welcomes the Cherry Blossoms

    At last! Spring has finally sprung in Washington, DC and we at Fahrney’s are enjoying some slightly warmer weather and the spectacular annual display of the cherry blossoms in full bloom.

    According to the National Park Service, the blooms will be at their peak through this weekend and the Cherry Blossom Parade just so happens to take place this Saturday, April 12th. For those of us in DC, its always a time of celebration – for the onset of spring and the promise of nature’s renewal.

    If you find yourself in DC for the celebration, stop by Fahrney’s retail store at 1317 F Street, NW. We’ll be hosting a Book Signing Event for Kids, which will be fun for the whole family. We hope to see you there!

    To see what the cherry blossom trees look like today, please visit our blog www.penadventures.com 04/10/14
    Spring Cleaning (Despite Mother Nature’s Objections)

    Oh sure, it’s still snowing every other day and the temperature has rarely risen to above 40 degrees in the past three months, but there are signs (aside from the calendar which emphatically states that this is spring) that signal, indeed it is that most delightful of seasons! No it’s not beautifully blooming cherry blossom trees which would normally be rounding into pre-peak form (they are far too wise to make an appearance in the midst of this).

    The marketing team at Fahrney’s Pens began its annual “spring cleaning” or more aptly termed “spring markdown” process at or very soon after the Spring Equinox (March 20) occurred and today is the day fine writing aficionado’s can celebrate without the need to bundle up. Our selection of fine writing instruments (some marked down 60% from their original retail price) are sure to thaw the most frozen of wintry demeanors and the gift possibilities will surely melt the heart of any lucky recipient.

    Aside from the amazing selections we have featured on this e-mail, you will want to click on the “super savings” tab on Fahrney’s homepage to see many more drastically reduced items that will not be around to see our beloved Cherry Blossoms finally bloom.

    Our showplace store in Washington D.C (1317 F St., a few blocks from the Cherry Blossoms on the Tidal Basin) has even more spectacular deals! If you are in the area, come by and meet our new store manager, Phuntsok Namgyal, and his fine staff. In the meantime, it is possibly proper to at least think about putting the winter wear away and it is always proper to keep the ink flowing. 04/03/14
    The Further Adventures of Ms. Pen L.Ope

    Dear Pen Lovers,
    Let me reintroduce myself. My name is Ms. Pen L.Ope. I am a fountain pen and I was adopted by my owner, Ida Rather B. Writing, late last June at Fahrney´s Pens. When I wrote last summer, my owner and her family and I were doing a grand tour of Europe. In my letters to you pen lovers, I relayed tales of our adventures through Italy, Spain, and France.

    We came back to DC for the fall/winter season and it has been such a longggggggggg winter! It has been so cold here in Washington that my ink practically froze up inside me! Ida and I are hoping for warmer weather for upcoming springtime events in the city, and we are excited about opportunities to be tourists in our hometown. We are especially looking forward to the annual Cherry Blossom Festival!

    The Power Bank Pen has a quality twist-action ballpoint pen on the front end, and a revolutionary cylindrical lithium-polymer cell stored inside the barrel. When your mobile phone or tablet needs an extra boost, just pull off the cap, plug in your device and turn on the Power Bank. It’s that simple! The powerful 400mAh battery connects to any standard USB or Micro USB-compatible device using either your original cable or the universal ‘Octopus’ charging cable that comes with the pen to add additional operating hours to most devices.

    Speaking of cherry blossoms, Ida plans to head to Fahrney´s DC store for the 2014 edition of the Cherry Blossom Collection made exclusively for them by Retro 51. The collection includes a fountain pen, a rollerball pen (which can be used as a ball point), and a pencil. A matching spiral bound notebook completes the collection. Ida plans on buying all the pieces including the notebook, which she will use to do sketching of the cherry trees by the Tidal Basin. (I reminded Ida to buy some J.B. Pen Flush to clean me out as I am still a bit congested from the winter weather.)

    While Ida´s son, Ben, Jr. is on spring break, Ida plans on taking us to educational sites, including the National Archives to see the Declaration of Independence and also the new “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures” exhibit. I heard Ben tell his mom that he wants to take a tour of the Washington Monument as soon as it reopens from repair work that had to be done because of the 2011 earthquake. I am only afraid that Ben is hatching a plan to test my nib’s durability by throwing me from the top of the monument. Ah… memories of last summer when Ben threw me from the Leaning Tower of Pisa on our trip to Italy! Ben’s other plan is to go fly his kite on the Monument Grounds and attach me to the tail of the kite! Eessshhh!!!

    We are also excited about Fahrney´s 85th Anniversary this year and are going to stay tuned to their e-mails for information on special related events, including the June pen show at their F Street store. Mark your calendars!

    All for now, Ms. Pen L. Ope

    Will Ms. Pen L. Ope ever get decongested??

    Will Ben, Jr. drop her from the Washington Monument or will he tie her to the end of his kite string....and the wind carry Ms. Pen L. Ope over the Potomac River??

    For the answers to these and other questions, tune in to the next installment of the Adventures of Ms. Pen L. Ope!!

    03/20/14
    Emergency Power

    We’ve all experienced the sheer terror that comes from having one of our (pick any number of) electronic devices suddenly go powerless. It could be our cell phone after we’ve accidently abandoned our 27th phone recharger at the hotel where we just checked out. Quite possibly it is our laptop or tablet and there’s no outlet available. Or, maybe it’s our e-book reader and the long flight is about to get even longer with our now useless as a paperweight, dead device!

    The creative minds at Monteverde are proud to introduce an ingenious pen product, which is designed to take away a few of our high-tech worries. The Power Bank Pen puts emergency power right in your pocket! The worldwide patent pending pen is unlike any portable charger ever designed. Neatly stored inside a premium ballpoint pen, the power source is always ready to charge your device when you need it the most.

    The Power Bank Pen has a quality twist-action ballpoint pen on the front end, and a revolutionary cylindrical lithium-polymer cell stored inside the barrel. When your mobile phone or tablet needs an extra boost, just pull off the cap, plug in your device and turn on the Power Bank. It’s that simple! The powerful 400mAh battery connects to any standard USB or Micro USB-compatible device using either your original cable or the universal ‘Octopus’ charging cable that comes with the pen to add additional operating hours to most devices.

    With the Power Bank Pen emergency power is always accessible, conveniently stored right in your pocket, backpack, briefcase or purse. What a perfect gift for the tech-savvy person who still knows the importance of keeping the ink (or power) flowing!

    03/02/14
    Never Fear – Spring is near!

    Each year at Fahrney’s, the welcome harbinger of spring is the release of our annual Cherry Blossom Special Edition pens. 2014 marks not only Fahrney’s 85th Anniversary, but also the launch of our eighth Cherry Blossom collection. As many of our customers ask about the previous collections, we thought you would enjoy a brief history of each design and its inspiration. Each collection, designed and produced for us by Retro 51, sold out quickly – order your 2014 Cherry Blossom pens soon and enjoy an early taste of spring!

    2006 – The very first collection depicted the cherry blossoms on the Tidal Basin with the Washington Monument as the focal point. Crafted in laser-engraved steel, the pens were accented with rose gold. The success of this collection inspired Fahrney’s to make the cherry blossom pens an annual series.

    2007 – This collection featured the Jefferson Memorial on the Tidal Basin in light blue enamel with colorful overlays of the cherry blossoms and the monument. 2008 – A bright blue metallic barrel and cap created a handsome backdrop for the blossoms surrounding the U.S. Capitol Dome in soft white lacquer.

    2009 – A truly unique design, this series featured postage stamps with scenes of the cherry blossoms and various monuments in Washington, DC. The stamps were re-created from authentic stamp designs from the 1950s- 1980’s and individually hand-applied to each pen then layered with clear, protective resin.

    2010 – With the Lincoln Monument and the Reflecting Pool as a backdrop, the pens in this series were created in a shimmery copper lacquer over a line-etched metallic surface. The delicate blossoms were screen-printed in multiple colors.

    2012 – One of our most popular designs, the 2012 pens were a work of art in contrasting black and white with tiny pink blossoms. The featured landmark was the White House – a fitting theme during this election year!

    2013 – Last year’s collection captured the delicacy of the blossoms swirling around the Tidal Basin, the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial in multiple layers of enamel in blues, pinks and white. In case you missed it, there are a few fountain pens left in this collection!

    You can view images of the past Cherry Blossom pens on our Blogspot. To see the new 2014 Cherry Blossom collection, follow the link below – and keep the ink flowing!

    View 2014 Cherry Blossom Collection HERE

    02/12/14
    The Campaign for Cursive presents its ´Cursive is Cool´ Handwriting Contest

    The Common Core Curriculum, adopted by 45 U.S. states, has omitted the requirement for public schools to teach cursive handwriting. Current research demonstrates that kids who learn cursive early do better with spelling, reading and remembering the spoken and written word. Removing the requirement to teach cursive from the curriculum is simply a bad idea. One of the primary concerns is the social and physiological implication of phasing out an important early brain development tool. "We feel compelled to speak up for our young children. They all deserve to have a well-rounded education," said Gayna Scott, Chair of Campaign for Cursive. Throughout ALL of history, those who were able to read and write by hand were in a better position than those who could not. Just like verbal communication has two components, listening and speaking, so does written communication, reading and writing," emphasizes handwriting expert Edda Manley.

    Fahrney’s is proud to be a sponsor of the Campaign for Cursive committee’s National ‘Cursive is Cool’ Handwriting Contest to promote literacy for school children. It’s easy to participate and a great way for kids to learn the fun of expressing themselves with cursive writing.

    Children in 1st through 6th grade can enter by choosing from the following topics to write a short essay (in cursive of course):
    • Why cursive is cool.
    • What do you think is fun to do that involves cursive handwriting?
    • If you could get an autograph from someone, whose would it be and why?
    A boy and a girl from each grade will be selected based on the content and quality of penmanship of their entries. Entry forms will be accepted from Feb. 1st through March 31st. Winners will be announced on April 10, 2014.

    Winners can choose from these great prizes:
    • New Pelikan Twist fountain pen from Fahrney’s Pens
    • ‘Cursive is Cool’ t-shirt
    • ‘Cursive is Cool’ pencils and stickers
    • New American Cursive workbook
    Visit the American Handwriting Analysis Foundation website for more details.

    We hope you’ll encourage your children to participate in the Cursive is Cool Handwriting Contest and keep the ink flowing!

    01/28/14
    Spread the (Handwritten) Word!

    This Thursday (January 23) is National Handwriting Day in the United States. Established in 1977 as a day to acknowledge and celebrate the handwritten word it was created by the Writing Instruments Manufacturing Association “as a chance for all of us to re-explore the purity and power of handwriting”.

    The day also commemorates the birthday of John Hancock, whose iconic signature on the Declaration of Independence made his name synonymous with the term ‘signature’. Hancock is rumored to have claimed that he signed his name very large and clearly so that King George III could easily read it without his glasses.

    To encourage everyone to pick up a pen and express themselves, Fahrney’s invites customers of all ages to enter its third annual Handwriting Day Contest for 2014! You can read all the details for the popular contest here. Deadline for entries is January, 31st, so don’t delay!

    As computers and other word processing devices proliferate and schools continue to eliminate penmanship classes; it is up to each and every one of us to do our part to stress the importance of the written word. Whether it is by writing a letter to a special someone (there is still no comparison to opening a hand-delivered letter versus receiving an e-mail or text) or giving a young person his/her first fine writing instrument; we can each do our small part to make sure the ink never stops flowing.

    01/21/14

    The Legend of Valentine’s Day – Just One Month Away!

    Valentine's Day is the holiday when thoughts turn to those we love, a day when millions across the world present their sweethearts with chocolates, flowers or other romantic gifts.

    In Roman mythology, Cupid, (or the ancient Greek god Eros) gives us the inspiration for this special holiday, though St. Valentine supplied the name. There are a number of Valentine legends that link his name to lovers. One is that the Roman emperor Claudius II believed single men made better soldiers and forbade them to marry. St. Valentine is said to have secretly married many young lovers. Another claims Valentine was imprisoned for his Christian faith and fell in love with his jailer's daughter, sending her a love letter entitled “from your Valentine” as a farewell before his execution.

    St. Valentine's Day as we know it today is observed each year on February 14th and is viewed as the “holiday of love.” If you’ve been lucky enough to be pierced in the heart by one of Cupid’s arrows, it is a day to celebrate the most beautiful feeling in the world.

    What better way to say "I Love You" than with a fine writing instrument or accessory from Fahrney's Pens? We make your selection easy and worry-free by offering a Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for your shopping convenience. You can rely on Fahrney's for the perfect Valentine's keepsake. And don't forget, we offer free gift wrap with a handwritten gift card. Happy Valentine’s Day – and keep the love letters flowing!

    01/14/14

    Happy New Year!

    Thank you for making 2013 a great year for Fahrney’s Pens. It is an honor and a privilege to be your preferred destination for fine writing instruments and accessories. As we head into 2014 (our 85th year in business) we hope to make it a year full of exciting new and exclusive offerings and even more opportunities to deliver exceptional values to you, our loyal customers.

    We’ll be celebrating all year with special events, promotions and exclusive 85th Anniversary products. To kick off our celebration, we are offering FREE GROUND SHIPPING on orders of $85 within the continental U.S. You will also not want to miss our popular Winter Closeout Sale with savings up to 60% while our supplies last.

    We are very excited to introduce Dalvey’s of Scotland, a unique line of mens’ accessories founded in 1897. The accessories offer classic designs for the modern gentleman and make exceptional gifts.

    January 23rd marks the observation of National Handwriting Day and in conjunction we will be doing something that’s mighty special – In honor of National Handwriting Day 2014, Fahrney’s Pens invites writers of every age to enter its third annual Handwriting Day Contest. The contest winner will receive a Stipula Green Rainbow Limited Edition Fountain Pen with a 14K gold nib! Click here for more details on the contest.

    March will kick off the launch of “Making their Mark: Stories through Signatures”, a new exhibit that Fahrney’s is sponsoring in conjunction with the National Archives Museum that will run through the end of the year. Just a few blocks from our DC retail store, the National Archives is home to billions of American historical records. The exhibit will feature, among others, the most famous of all American signatures - those found on the Declaration of Independence. To complement the exhibit, we teamed up with Retro 51 to create the special edition ‘Signatures’ pen collection. Every purchase will help support the National Archives Foundation.

    Stay tuned for a year that we think will be our biggest yet with lots of 85th Anniversary surprises and special offers - and as always keep the ink flowing.

    01/07/14

    Celebrating Parker Pens & 125 Years!

    To kick off its 125th Anniversary, Parker launched the Limited Edition Duofold Mandarin Yellow Fountain Pen earlier this year. Paying homage to George Parker´s tremendous vision and legacy, the luxuriously yellow resin color was distinctive to the Orient in the 1920´s and an inspiration for George S. Parker. Fahrney´s has just one Duofold Mandarin fountain pen left - act fast to make it your own!

    As an anniversary event, Fahrney´s welcomed Geoffrey S. Parker, great-grandson of Parker´s founder, George S. Parker, to its Washington, DC store on May 2nd. For the past 15 years Geoffrey has been involved in an extensive archive and restoration project on the Parker family history, incorporating the family´s collection of four generations of photos and memorabilia. He has taken his story and amazing Parker Jotter collection on the road and is a regular speaker at collector pen shows. What a great event!

    This fall Parker added another chapter to its rich 125-year history with a smashing contemporary update of its Premier series, first introduced in 1983. The Parker Premier LX is full of character and design integrity - the result of state-of-the-art manufacturing, rich materials and expert craftsmanship. The brand´s distinctive design elements are given an air of modern luxury for the newest Premiers in Soft Touch lacquers with precious metal accents.

    Parker´s founder George S. Parker would have celebrated his 150th birthday November 1st, which coincidentally, is the same date as the annual “Fountain Pen Day.” At only 25 years of age, Parker started his own company, now known all over the world for its excellence and craftsmanship in fine pen making.

    Just in time for the holidays, Parker presents its 125th Anniversary Special Edition Urban series in historical Parker colors of Mandarin Yellow and Penman Ink Blue. A mix of the old and the new, the special edition Urban pens are available this year only!

    To crown its 125 years of ongoing innovation and exquisite craftsmanship, Parker has created the outstanding Duofold Giant Limited Edition Fountain Pen – 125 exceptional masterpieces that embody and reflect the brand’s distinctive authenticity and deep roots. The Duofold Giant will instantly command respect with its monumental size. Its precious black resin body is sheathed in a solid 18K gold overlay set with 16 diamonds artfully placed on the barrel and cap. A spectacular tribute to Parker´s legacy!

    11/11/13

    The Write Point Archives Keep your kids writing with a letter to Santa

    Handwriting is one of the few ways kids can uniquely express themselves. In fact, studies show that writing helps children´s brain synapses to develop because it requires fluid movement, eye-hand coordination and fine motor skill development.

    However, though penmanship was once an important part of every student´s early education, the world of personal computers, tablets, e-mail and texting has rendered the handwritten note an obsolete form of communication - a skill that many of today´s students only learn to appreciate from their grandparents. Schools are spending less time than ever teaching the art of cursive handwriting as more effort is devoted to typing in the early grades.

    To do our part in teaching our children the importance of the written word, Fahrney´s is encouraging children to practice and show off their penmanship by participating in our Kid´s Cursive Handwriting Contest. These contests will be held bi-monthly and the winning entry will be framed and displayed in our Washington, DC store and posted on our Facebook page.

    This holiday season Fahrney´s is encouraging children to practice and show off their cursive penmanship by participating in our Letter to Santa Contest.

    If an address is included with then entry, the participant will receive a letter back from Santa!

    One of Santa´s elves will select a winner at random on December 20th. The gift will be mailed to arrive in time to put it under the tree. Entries will be accepted November 1st - December 18th.

    The winner will receive a Pelikan Twist fountain pen, Cursive Writing Workbook and Practice Pad - over $50 value! The winning entry will be framed and displayed in our Washington, DC store and posted on our Facebook page.

    Entries can be placed in the mailbox provided by the Smithsonian National Postal Museum at our Washington, DC store or through the mail:

    Store Location:
    1317 F Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20004

    Mailing address:
    Attn: Letter to Santa Contest
    8329 Old Marlboro Pike, B13
    Upper Marlboro, MD 20072

    11/05/13


    All Treats. No Tricks.

    Trick-or-Treating is the activity on Halloween where children proceed from house to house in costumes asking for treats with the question, “Trick or Treat?” We at Fahrney’s Pens believe the adults should not be left out of all the fun, so we are offering up a few treats of our own this week and no costume is required.

    Just in, Montegrappa’s Skull Series brings to mind pirates and devilish deeds, now at a reduced price! ACME’s Dracula commemorates the 100th anniversary of the death of author Bram Stoker. Complete with blood-red ink and haunting music that plays when the coffin is open.

    To celebrate Halloween, for this week only we are offering the fashionable Orange Delta Markiaro Single Slot Leather Pen Case at 30% off! Get yours today.

    If the urge to dress up in costume and get out of the house for some spooky fun proves to be too much to resist, we understand. As we all know, mingling with goons and goblins is not just a child’s pastime. We will continue to provide the treats and simply ask that you keep the ink flowing.
    10/29/13

    The Evolution of the Boombox

    Who could have imagined that two loud speakers, an amplifier, a radio tuner and built-in cassette player, housed in a plastic or metal case with a handle for easy portability, would change not only the modern musical landscape but the urban culture in general. The ´Radiorecorder´, as it was called in 1969 when Philips N.V. launched it, later became known as the ´Boombox´ and 44 years later Retro 51 pays tribute to this icon with the ´Boomer´, a limited edition click-action ballpoint from it´s Popper Tornado series.

    By the mid 1970´s the boombox had taken hold (to the chagrin of the noise-averse populace) in cities across the U.S. because of their easy portability and booming sound. As the desire for louder boxes with more bass grew, so did the size of these early ´mobile devices´. Additional features included microphones and turntables (with CD players coming later).

    Retro 51´s Boomer Tornado pen has an acid-etched barrel with the texture of a boombox speaker and a push-button top that resembles the ´play´ button. Whether you once toted your own boombox, had children who did, or just have a fond memory or nostalgia for the iconic device, we think the Boomer pen will blow you away.

    Inevitably, the rise in popularity of the boombox couldn´t last as smaller, more portable electronics emerged such as the Sony Walkman and later the iPod. Some will always remember the boombox as an essential part of performances by LL Cool J or The Beastie Boys, while others will recall the scene when John Cusack used one in an attempt to woo Ione Skye in the film, "Say Anything". Whether you fall into these two camps or just appreciate a stylish pen that´s affordably priced, we hope you´ll give the Boomer a try and keep the ink flowing.

    Get yours today while they last, the Retro 51 Popper Boomer Tornado Rollerball is a numbered, limited edition of only 500 pieces!
    10/22/13

    Hug a Tree (or at least hold one in your hand)!

    From Japan, to Germany, to the U. S. of A., we’ve recently noticed a trend in pens made of wood. The natural finishes are enjoyed for their unique patterns and colors, tactile warmth and appealing patina that will change over time.

    As shown above, the Sailor Kabazaiku Cherry Bark Fountain Pen is crafted in natural wild Cherry bark using traditional Japanese art that flourished in Kakundate, the Akita prefecture of Japan. The Denshiro technique was used 250 years ago by Samurai warriors to decorate weapons and has been handed down through generations.

    When it comes to making wood writing instruments, Faber-Castell´s 250-year history is a testament to the appeal of this natural material. The smoked oak finish of the new Ondoro Oak will acquire a distinctive patina over time on its large, hexagonal barrel.

    You will be sure to start thinking of palm trees and exotic locations when you use the Retro 51 Bocote Wood series. Following the success of its Bamboo series, Retro 51’s new wood, Bocote, has a striking grain pattern in dark amber spiced with dramatic brown stripes - some even have "eyes" on the barrel.

    William Henry’s Limited Edition Chablis ballpoint pens are refined and sophisticated featuring beautiful woods and other extraordinary materials that are the hallmark of William Henry´s work. Sporting exceptional wood barrels accented with mokume gane and stainless steel with jewels set into the clip and band, these twist ballpoint pens are available at an incredible price!

    We also offer wood pens from Historical Woods of America, where our nation´s rich cultural history and the integrity of our environment is preserved, working exclusively with trees that have fallen in storms, are diseased, unsafe, or are being removed for construction -- along with timbers removed from historical sites during renovation of existing structures. Its goal is to keep the history of America alive for current and future generations through the reclamation, salvaging and creative repurposing of historical trees and timbers.

    And just wait until you see Pilot’s 50th Anniversary Limited Edition Maplewood Vanishing Point! Stay tuned and keep the ink flowing!
    10/08/13


    Fahrney´s Fall Pen Show & Sale

    A new term of the U.S. Supreme Court begins, by statute, on the first Monday in October. This will be the case regardless of a possible government shutdown. There is also the possibility that your travel plans call for a trip to the nation´s capital in October (a gorgeous time to visit) and the government´s slight case of dysfunction does not concern you. May we suggest a function that is sure to delight any and all fans of fine writing instruments? Fahrney´s Pens Annual Fall Pen Show and Sale takes place on October 18th & 19th at its downtown Washington, DC retail store.

    Our store events are always a chance to visit with old friends, meet some new ones and bask in the world of fine writing. While you´re there, you can discuss the finer points of writing instruments with the well-traveled and well-informed vendor representatives from your favorite brands. Of course, they will be happy to show you the newest pens from their lines (including limited editions) and offer you a chance to "test drive" each one. There´s also a chance they´ll have a few "retired" models on hand to offer at specially reduced prices as well as free gifts with purchases.

    The door prizes at Fahrney´s pen events always generate a lot of excitement – this year we will have a treasure trove of gifts valued at over $6,000. The only way to win is to come to the store and enter. While you´re there, you can enjoy EXTRA EVENT SAVINGS on everything in the store!

    The Fall Pen Show will also give you the opportunity to see a sneak preview of some new and exclusive items. We will be featuring Fahrney´s Exclusive collection in honor of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence. Learn more about it at the show. We´ll also have a sample of the new Parker 125th Anniversary Limited Edition Duofold Giant coming out this fall. Did we mention this beauty is made of solid gold and costs $38,000? It is a spectacular tribute to Parker´s legacy.

    Fahrney´s biggest event of the year is not one to be missed and truly is the ideal time to avoid the hectic holiday rush. You can stock up on special gifts at terrific prices (no one has to know what a great deal you got). We will look forward to seeing you in two weeks and until then keep the ink flowing.
    10/01/13

    Edelberg – Made in Switzerland with Love

    Fahrney´s is excited to introduce an exceptional new line of fine Swiss-made writing instruments to our discerning customers. Prepare to be impressed!

    For some things in life, ordinary is not enough. Edelberg is anything but ordinary. For individuals who appreciate unique design, Edelberg brings you something fresh, something different. Edelberg understands the power of individuality and this is reflected in its captivating range of Swiss-made high-tech writing instruments and Italian accessories. Combining passion, design and innovation, the pieces are as unique as those who own them.

    Edelberg´s creator, Carlo E. Naldi, is an Italian entrepreneur with a keen eye for design and a lifelong collector and lover of beautiful pens and accessories. It is Edelberg´s dedication to and appreciation of beauty and fine design that has inspired his original and distinctive style.

    Each design concept is brought to life by a team of highly creative minds and then lovingly crafted by skilled artisans at the Edelberg factory in Geneva, Switzerland using the finest and most innovative materials.

    The name Edelberg is actually formed from two words - Edelweiss and Gutenberg. Edelweiss, the noble white flower and national symbol of Switzerland, and Gutenberg in honor of Johannes Gutenberg, global inventor of the mechanical printing press.

    Take a look at these fine Swiss-made writing instruments on Fahrney´s website.
    9/24/13

    Layar App

    While the rumors of Fahrney´s Pens relocating to Orbit City (the futuristic space age home of TV´s "The Jetsons") have not been substantiated; it is becoming increasingly obvious that Fahrney´s 84 years in business does not mean its trapped in the past. The future is today and anyone who has received the latest Fall 2013 catalog from Fahrney´s will understand what that means.

    We have introduced a new technological enhancement, which its developers call "augmented reality", into our September catalog. With a free app called Layar, users of iPhones, iPads and Androids can scan a printed page that has been embedded with additional digital content and access videos, enhanced images, audio recordings and other supplements to the printed material. In our world, that might translate into a video showing how to fill a particular pen or a demonstration of a pen making technique. Or, it could be a special offer or promotion.

    The technology can add greater functionality to the printed catalog page with pop-up images of color and nib choices, "buy now" buttons (for instant pen gratification), and voice-over recordings with additional details. The possibilities are limitless! The best way to get the idea is to experience it for your self. Download the free app from iTunes or Google Play. Browse Fahrney´s catalog and look for pages with the Layar icon. Scan the page using the Layar app and the enhancements will pop up on your screen! You can also see Layar´s augmented reality in action by going to Fahrney´s website and browsing the virtual catalog.

    Fahrney´s hopes to make these enhancements a way to enrich your catalog browsing experience! We firmly believe that by bringing new levels of engagement and information to a previously one-dimensional format, we can continue to reach the next generation of fine writing aficionado´s. This merging of online and offline worlds will allow us to continue to serve the needs of our loyal, traditional clients while expanding into non-traditional pen areas.

    In 2062, we can not be sure where advances in technology will have taken us or if Hanna-Barbera´s space age vision will seem quaint. We do know that there is no time to rest when it comes to informing and educating a technology-inundated generation that is not likely to understand the importance of the written word. Rest assured, until the day Mr. Spacely fires us (we´re reasonably sure he will then re-hire us) we will keep the ink flowing.
    9/17/13

    The Wheels Keep Turning – Giuliano Mazzuoli & Officina

    For centuries the Bacci and Mazzouli families made their homes in the Tuscany region of Italy; mainly in Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, a small town in the hills of Florence. Both families were known for their fine artisanship: the Bacci family was one of the best bicycle makers in the region with its own bicycle team; the Mazzouli´s were watch-makers who constructed some of the most beautiful tower clocks in all of Italy.

    By the time Giuliano Mazzouli was born, the two families had entered into the printing business. To encourage their son´s creative talents, they sent the young Giuliano to Florence to work for a family friend in the haberdashery business. In the early 1970´s, following the unexpected passing of his father, Giuliano Sr., he returned home to run the family printing business. When he took over the company he modernized the facilities and expanded its capabilities to include the printing of advertising and product catalogs, primarily for the furniture and interior design industry.

    In 2000, while developing an idea for a limited edition organizer, a friend of Guiliano´s suggested he design a pen to go with it. His first inspiration came from some mechanical tools he had stumbled across, which reminded him of an old box of bicycle tools in his grandfather´s workshop that he played with as a child. He decided to call the collection " Officina, Writing Instruments" (´officina´ means workshop in Italian) and have the pens resemble mechanical tools. The enthusiastic response to his new designs led to the launch of Mazzuoli´s pen business, which has now expanded to include men´s accessories and leather goods, as well as a design collaboration with Museo Ducati. Here´s just a few of our favorites:

    The newest Ducati pen is called the " Multiwriter" for its multitude of writing options: the Quattro can be a fountain pen, ball pen, rollerball or 2mm pencil. Milled from a solid piece of aluminum, the body of the pen has an elegant shape and comfortable feel; the cap, in Ducati red, black or brushed chrome, is designed to perfectly balance the pen while you write. Match your pen with the new Ducati line of leather goods handmade by Florentine artisans using naturally tanned, full-grain calfskin. The quality of the precious leather is obvious to the touch in the classic Ducati colors of black and red.

    As a tribute to the courage, ingenuity and passion of the Italian general and explorer, Umberto Nobile, Giuliani Mazzuoli created a unique collector´s multi-function pen, Nobile Italia. The exclusive shape, inspired by the general´s airship, is expertly crafted in solid chrome in your choice of polished or matte finish. Perhaps our most popular men´s accessory is the Officina hinged money clip. Made of solid metal with a strong hinge, the clip maintains Officina´s creative interpretation of industrial objects and is crafted in Italy using the highest standards of manufacturing.

    Today, Giuliano Mazzouli focuses on his namesake watch-making enterprise while his two sons, Emiliano and Tommaso are at the helm of the pen business. Their inspiration still comes from taking every day objects and transforming them into something altogether different. We are proud to represent this fine family of Italian artisans and their unique views on design. Keep the creative wheels turning and we will keep the ink flowing.
    9/10/13

    A Pen Lover’s Trip to Italy

    This week Fahrney’s is featuring a new FaceBook contest to win an exclusive work of art from Delta – the original design and concept drawings of the Italian pen manufacturer’s latest special edition collection, Romeo & Juliet. The stunning series is a love letter to the Renaissance city of Verona as well as a tribute to Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers. And how, you may ask, did we come to possess these unique drawings? It’s a tale worth sharing with our pen-loving readers . . .

    This past spring, our intrepid leader, Chris Sullivan and his lovely wife, Kim, were invited to visit the Delta Pen company in Naples as the guests of Nino Marino, president of Delta, and Yair Greenberg, the head of Yafa Pen, its U.S. distributor. With Yafa’s VP of Sales, Ken Jones, as their guide, the Sullivans were treated to a fascinating tour of Delta’s factory and the beautiful Italian city where it is located.

    With a view of Mt. Vesuvius and the Gulf of Naples in the distance, Delta’s pristine factory is a model of great Italian design and efficiency. The impressive lobby leads to the production area which is organized in sections that follow the logical progression of pen making from start to finish, beginning with parts and tools and ending with the final inspection, packing and shipping department.

    The pen-making process begins with the barrels and caps that are hand-turned from solid blocks of resin. Once they are perfectly shaped, each rod is drilled on the inside to exact specifications. Many levels of buffing and polishing follow to create the sheen on the finish. In the case of clear demonstrator pens, the process is more complex as the barrels and caps have to be polished inside and out using four grit sizes of sandpaper to achieve the desired “crystal clear” finish.

    The same meticulous attention to detail is found in the areas making metal clips (too many steps to mention!), tassies, medallions, rings, bands and tips. The nib-making department is the heart of the operation – using gold, steel, rhodium and titanium, the nibs are hand-crafted, molded, engraved, fitted, tested – the list of processes goes on!

    Once all the parts are manufactured and inspected, the pens go to the assembly department. Every piece of each pen model is assembled by hand and carefully checked once again. When the pens are at last ready, they are sent to the final inspection area before being packaged and readied for shipping.

    During the tour, Chris and Kim encountered the production samples of the new Romeo & Juliet pens. Their enthusiasm and appreciation of these new models compelled Nino Marino to offer them the original production drawings of the pens as a souvenir of their visit. Now, you can be the proud owner of these one-of-a-kind drawings by entering our FaceBook contest. The contest ends on Thursday, September 5th, so don’t delay!

    If you’d like to read more about the trip to Italy and see the gallery of photos, please visit Fahrney’s new blog at
    www.PenAdventures.com. Arrivederci!

    9/03/13

    A Study Worth Mentioning...

    I read an interesting article the other day .... this article stated that the folks that manage the SAT, (Scholastic Aptitude Test), say there may be a real reason to use your brain to LEARN how to write in cursive. According to recent research (done over a several year period, using a very large number of people), one´s ability to LEARN to write in cursive, via some sort of writing instrument, be it a ball pen, pencil, rollerball, or my personal favorite, the fountain pen, is directly proportional to one´s ability to LEARN anything. It turns out, and the research proves just this, the use of cursive writing to express one´s thoughts, is not just an archaic form of communication, but a teaching tool for one´s brain.

    To write anything well you must be able to put the lines on the paper without thinking about each line. That would apply to what is trying to be communicated with the line, as well as the shape and readability of the same. As a testing tool it´s ideal. If a person being tested can write a free thought, clearly and legibly, in "X" number of words, then that person has at least the ability to LEARN just about anything. Thus, the essay question has returned to the SAT.

    Take the time to learn how to write in cursive, and you´ll be teaching your brain how to work on several different levels at once. Try it - try to learn how to write in cursive, and practice it regularly so that you do it well. Your thought process will improve. Teach your children how to write in cursive, too. They´ll thank you for teaching them this "archaic" form of learning!

    BTW: The same theory applies to typing on any form of keyboard, but to a much lesser degree. In fact, most people don´t type at all, they hunt and peck, mostly with their thumbs, which is fine if they get their point across, but in most cases the folks that didn´t/don´t take the time to learn how to WRITE, didn´t take the time to teach their brain how to type either.

    Food for thought...
    Bob Huesman
    8/27/13

    The Further Adventures of Ms. Pen L. Ope

    When we last heard from Ms. Pen L. Ope, she was in Rome. This is her next correspondence with us:

    Hola-
    We have left Rome and are on our way to sunny Spain! We caught an early flight and Ida´s son, Ben Jr., is now getting restless. It´s a good thing that Ida remembered to pack the Faber-Castell Drawing and Sketching Set as well as the cursive writing workbooks that were purchased at Fahrney´s to help keep him occupied!

    Our first stop is the Costa del Sol for a few days of fun in the sun and a short trip to Gibraltor to see the Barbary Macaques. Ben Jr. is enjoying feeding the monkeys who are very tame around the many tourists. We are now settled in our hotel room and Ida has decided to relax and write some more postcards to friends. Waiting on the desk was a letter from a friend back home. Ida very adroitly opened the note with her beautiful El Casco letter opener, handcrafted right here in Spain. After a few days of traveling through the countryside of Spain, we are headed to Barcelona.

    Adios,
    Ms. Pen L. Ope

    It is now our second day in Barcelona. We are taking a day trip to Figueres to visit Ida´s old friend Salvador Dali. When he opened the door to his museum, she said "Hello, Dali. You´re looking swell Dali." They had a great time catching up as he showed us around the museum. Tomorrow, we drive to Madrid where we catch a flight to Paris.

    All for now,
    Ms. Pen L. Ope

    It is a few days later now, and we are in Paris. Later today, we will be visiting more friends of Ida´s, including the Sonnet branch of the Parker family. There are not only fountain pens like me, but also rollerballs and ball points which are very practical for folks who travel frequently. Before our visit, Ida and I have been sitting in a sidewalk café eating bread and cheese and she is using me to write yet another letter back home on her G. Lalo stationery.

    ...Another beautiful day in Paris, and Ida and I are strolling the Avenue des Champs Élysées. Ida is shopping in all the boutiques for that perfect dress. Tonight we are having dinner in the restaurant that is half-way up the Eiffel Tower!... Alas, Ida just spilled red wine on her designer dress. She is very upset but just remembered that she packed Amodex stain remover, which is doing the job. Amodex to the rescue!... We just got back to the hotel, and Ida is making a long-distance phone call to her husband, Ivan Been Writing. They are making arrangements to meet back in Rome later this week to celebrate their anniversary. Ida wrote the details on the Exacompta´s FAF writing pad on the room´s desk. This pad is made here in a Parisian workshop built by Gustave Eiffel. Tomorrow and the next day, Ida, Ben Jr. and I will be doing an extensive tour of the Louvre. She is such an art lover and of course wants to see the Mona Lisa. Ida will be taking her French ruled Clairfontaine notebook to take notes while we are there.

    Au revoir ´til we are back in Rome! Ms. Pen L. Ope
    8/20/13

    School is Back in Session!

    It´s hard to believe Summer is coming to a close and school starts back up in less than two weeks! At least for my daughter that is. It has been quite an eventful summer break with trips to the beach, water parks, camps, museums, and frequent pool visits. Now her 10th birthday is looming and soccer season has begun. I am ready for reality to resume and for my wallet to get a break.

    Fahrney´s Summer of Savings should help cushion the blow for those looking to outfit their returning student with the finest in writing instruments and accessories. There are still plenty of amazing deals and whether your student is off to college or beginning first grade; we have the "write" pens to make the best impression.

    And let´s not forget the often times under appreciated teachers who will spend the next 9 months preparing our children for life´s many challenges. As Writer Donald Quinn so truthfully said, "If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn´t want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher´s job." Apples and gift cards are nice but make a great first impression with some of our suggested offerings.

    But before I get ahead of myself, I have to get through this birthday party, buying school supplies and let´s not forget the redecorated bedroom. (Because no 10 year old wants a bedroom that looks like a 9 year olds). Just call me Supermom and keep the ink flowing!

    Kim Graham
    Marketing Director

    Start the new school year off right with Fahrney´s top-selling back-to-school essentials!
    8/13/13

    The World of Social Media Communication

    The creating, sharing and exchanging of information and ideas via the blindingly fast evolving world of social media shows no sign of slowing down. Companies not even in existence 10 years ago such as Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and Pinterest are now as recognizable (particularly to younger generations) as any company.

    So how does Fahrney´s Pens, an established 84 year-old company (in an industry not exactly thought of when considering breakthrough technological advancements) make use of the changing forms of communication?

    Well, we get behind the wheel and drive full speed ahead!
    Facebook - Twitter - You Tube - Pinterest

    Here is an examination of the phenomenon known as ASMR, induced by flipping through pages of Fahrney´s catalog accompanied with very soothing narration. Click here.

    Fahrney´s has also embraced a new app called Layar, which allows Fahrney´s customers to view interactive content on their smart phone or tablet by scanning a printed page, bringing new levels of engagement and information to life. This merging of online and offline worlds allows Fahrney´s to present enhanced images, videos, additional details and special promotions for your viewing pleasure when you simply scan a catalog page marked with the Layar icon. Look for the Layar icon on future Fahrney´s catalogs, ads and store signs to enjoy this exciting new way to learn more about the world of fine writing instruments.

    As the premier fine writing instrument experts in this country, Fahrney´s Pens will continue to lead the charge in promoting the importance of the written word through new and traditional channels. We will not ignore the changing landscape of communication and the opportunities to be a true advocate for preserving the act of putting pen to paper. We also realize that we can not do this alone and thank you, our loyal customers, for all you do to preserve this vital function, which is still the primary tool for communication. Keep the ink flowing!
    8/06/13

    Fahrney´s First Kid´s Cursive Handwriting Contest

    Keep your kids writing this summer with Fahrney´s Kid´s Cursive Handwriting Contest!

    Fahrney´s is encouraging children ages 6 to 12 years old to practice and show off their good penmanship by participating in our Kid´s Cursive Handwriting Contest. They may write about a summer adventure, family vacation or any topic that gets their ink (or lead) flowing.

    The winning entry (selected based on penmanship and content) will be framed and displayed in our Washington, DC store and posted on our Facebook page. The winner will also receive a Pelikan Pelikano Jr. fountain pen!
    Junior Pen
    Penmanship was once an important part of every student´s early education, but the world of personal computers, tablets, e-mail and texting has rendered the handwritten note an obsolete form of communication – a skill that many of today´s students only learn to appreciate from their grandparents. Schools are spending less time than ever teaching the art of cursive handwriting as more effort is devoted to typing in the early grades.

    Handwriting is one of the few ways kids can uniquely express themselves and it´s up to parents to assure their children learn the art of cursive handwriting outside of school if necessary. In fact, studies show that writing helps children´s brain synapses to develop because it requires fluid movement, eye-hand coordination and fine motor skill development.

    Handwritten entries may be submitted by mail, fax or email by September 1st, 2013. The winner will be chosen and announced by September 6th.

    Fahrney´s Pens
    Attn: Kid´s Cursive Handwriting Contest
    8329 Old Marlboro Pike, B13
    Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

    Fax: 301-736-2926
    Email (must be a scanned version of their handwritten story): kgraham@fahrneyspens.com
    7/30/13

    OMAS Bologna

    Officina Meccanica Armando Simoni (also known as OMAS) is the Italian manufacturer of fine writing instruments, inks and other luxury goods. The company was founded in 1925 in Bologna by the young Armando Simoni who had previously repaired and reconditioned fountain pens brought back by soldiers serving in WWI; OMAS soon became synonymous with the most technically innovative and creative products in the world.

    Until his death in 1958, Simoni amazed the pen world with such groundbreaking products as a pen with two nibs, a series with a transparent barrel and a fountain pen with a tapered aerodynamic shape fitted with a nib designed to offer flexible or rigid writing simultaneously and even the possibility of drawing. He was later referred to as il Cavaliere having been bestowed the prestigious title of Knight of the Italian Crown.

    To celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2005, OMAS for the first time named a line of pens after its city of origin, Bologna. This would need to be a particularly special pen to mark this wonderful occasion and indeed it was. The Bologna series with it’s flexible 14K gold nibs and new well-balanced design with a “falsely” simple and discreet roundness thrilled all who were able to acquire one. The symbol of the city of Bologna, its famous porticos stretching over the city, were engraved on the nib and the grip section of the rollerball and ballpoint pen.

    Eight years later, the Bologna line still is one of the more popular in the OMAS family of pens. Fahrney’s Pens has been given the exclusive privilege of carrying a new Bologna series with a Caramello finish. These irresistible beauties have rich, caramel-colored swirls that flow throughout the pearlescent deep brown and black resin bodies. These are very limited special editions with 50 fountain pens, 60 twist-advance ball pens and 40 capped rollerballs. The crown of each cap is inlaid with the OMAS “O” logo and these rarities will surely be one that any fan of OMAS or beautiful pens in general will not want to miss. A special thanks to the gifted artisans at OMAS who’s unwavering dedication to their craft have made it even more stylish for all of us to keep the ink flowing.
    7/23/13

    Christmas in July

    When Jon and Corinne Sullivan purchased Fahrney´s Pens from Earl Fahrney in 1972, it was a single-unit brick and mortar business based on New York Avenue in downtown Washington, D.C. Shortly after that the catalog business was launched and years later their son and current president, Chris Sullivan, started Fahrney´s website. Purchasing and predicting inventory has grown exponentially and that challenge has turned into something akin to Christmas in July for our loyal customers.

    One listed definition of "a sale" states, "a special disposal of goods at lowered prices". We at Fahrney´s (and our fine writing instruments in particular) take issue with this characterization. For one, no pen, unless it has been certified as beyond human help by one of our on-site Pen Doctors, is being "disposed" of. It is simply being relocated due to over-crowded conditions to homes and businesses that will give these fine instruments the love and attention they deserve.

    Secondly, the term "disposal" has become more synonymous with garbage than treasured possessions. These beautiful, functional, never-used beauties are anything but junk. They simply had the misfortune of being stacked on the shelf towards the rear or in some cases were a member of a family of pens that was far too unwieldy for one manufacturer to find a proper home for.

    In any case, Fahrney´s buying team has meticulously assembled the best and the brightest of this overstock merchandise to share some non-seasonal joy with all who should not have to wait another six months for such joyful tidings. The selected writing instruments have been coached and counseled that they are indeed special and will soon be loved and appreciated in ways they cannot possibly imagine.

    We thank you all for your continued support of this worthy program and know that you are making a difference. And please, keep the ink flowing.
    7/16/13

    Fahrney´s Pens Cursive Handwriting Workshop

    For children ages 8 to 12 years (3rd - 6th grade)

    Penmanship was once an important part of every student´s early education, but the world of personal computers, tablets, e-mail and texting has rendered the handwritten note an obsolete form of communication – a skill that many of today´s students only learn to appreciate from their grandparents. Schools are spending less time than ever teaching the art of cursive handwriting as more effort is devoted to typing in the early grades.

    Since other subjects are taking precedence over penmanship, so many students can´t read or write in cursive and parents are realizing that their children are graduating with illegible handwriting. So Fahrney´s decided to start offering a workshop to help children learn the art of cursive writing.

    With these classes, Fahrney´s hopes to introduce the younger generation to the joys of the written word and to reinforce the importance of clear communication. Studies show that learning cursive helps children´s brain synapses to develop because it requires fluid movement, eye-hand coordination and fine motor skill development.

    This two-hour workshop is being held on Saturday, August 3rd from 1:00pm - 3:00pm in Fahrney´s downtown store and is limited to only six students. The cost is $60, which includes a workbook and fountain pen that they can take home and practice with. Fahrney´s very own calligrapher and class instructor, Elizabeth Bunn, brings 20 years of experience in the field of beautiful writing. For additional details, visit the "Cursive for Kids" event page.

    Here are a few comments from Elizabeth regarding previously held classes:
    • All the kids were very enthusiastic, from the very youngest to the oldest (even my 13 year old student).
    • As they were practicing during class, all the kids were concentrating very intently, even the youngest. No one was restless.
    • Parents who were there observing could already see marked improvement in just the few hours of practice in class.
    • I received cursive thank-yous from some of the children as well as parents in the mail!
    • A step-father of a boy who took my first class wants his young daughter to take the class as soon as she is old enough... she is 3 or 4 now.
    Click here for a list of pens, journals and workbooks we recommend for our younger generation of writers.
    7/09/13

    The Gettysburg Address

    It was 150 years ago this week (July 1 – 3, 1863) that the bloodiest battle in U.S. history took place. In the small town of Gettysburg, Pa. more soldiers lost their lives than the casualties from the American Revolution, War of 1812 and Mexican War combined. Four and a half months later President Lincoln used the dedication ceremony for the Gettysburg National Cemetery to issue his historic Gettysburg Address.

    There were close to 50,000 lives lost in what is commonly considered the turning point of the Civil War. Union Major General George Meade´s Army of the Potomac withheld three days of attacks by General Robert E Lee´s Army of Northern Virginia, ending Lee´s invasion of the North.

    The following day, on the Fourth of July, Vicksburg, Mississippi fell to Union Major General U.S. Grant. Even though the war dragged on for almost another two years, the Confederacy was logistically fractured and never recovered.

    We at Fahrney´s pay tribute to all the brave men and women who have died serving this great country and wish it a very happy 237th birthday this Fourth of July.

    The Gettysburg Address
    (The Nicolay Draft often referred to as the "first draft")
    Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that "all men are created equal".

    Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety do. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow, this ground—The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.

    It is rather for us, the living, to stand here, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that, from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here, gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people by the people for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

    7/02/13

    As told to Ms. Inky Spinky

    Happy Summer! Let me introduce myself. My name is Ms. Pen L. Ope. I am a fountain pen and I was just recently adopted by my owner, Ida Rather B. Writing, through Fahrney´s Pens. This summer I will be going on several trips with my owner and I will be relaying tales of my adventures to you during the coming months.

    Our first destination is Italy and Ida is finishing packing now. There she goes again throwing me into her handbag (aka Bermuda Triangle). Ouch, I´m getting all scratched up. When she bought me at Fahrney´s, I told her to buy a leather case for me as did the nice sales associate.... Did Ida listen to us?... NO! She is lucky I don´t suffer from claustrophobia. Fahrney´s has a nice selection of cases that I would love to slip into! At the rate this woman is going, I´m going to need a doctor... a pen doctor if she doesn´t buy a case for me NOW!

    We are on the airplane now... a few minutes ago airport security almost didn´t let me through because they thought my passport photo didn´t look like me. Unfortunately, the change in cabin pressure has made my ink leak and my ears are aching... does anyone have any chewing gum? Maybe I´ll just try to take a nap if that screaming child would just be quiet!

    At last we have landed in beautiful, romantic, sunny Rome, that city made so famous by Audrey Hepburn in the movie, "Roman Holiday." I remember seeing her framed autograph on the walls of Fahrney´s DC store. After dropping the luggage at our hotel, we will be touring the Colosseum. I plan to visit my pen cousins, the Gladiators who will also be visiting Rome from their home at Stipula in Firenze (Florence). It will be so grand touring that historic site with family. In the evening, I will be having dinner with pen pals, the Optimas from their home at Aurora in Torino. Afterwards, we plan on throwing three coins in the Trevi Fountain for good luck. I figured it would be much better throwing the coins in the fountain as opposed to the coin cufflinks that Ida bought at Fahrney´s to give to her husband as an anniversary gift when he meets us back in Rome in a few weeks.

    It is the next morning, and we are spending it walking the streets of this Eternal City, in and out of shoe boutiques... gee Ida can shop. I´ve signed so many of those thermal paper credit card receipts... oh, my aching nib! Then to add insult to injury, her son decided we should head out into the countryside and test my durability by throwing me out of the Leaning Tower of Pisa... nib first! This morning through the muffle of Ida´s handbag, I thought I heard her say we were going to get pizza. Little did I know what I would be in for. Fortunately, I had a soft landing and not much damage was done. Oh for a nice soothing bath of 2 parts cold water and 1 part eau de ammonia followed by a refill of Fahrney´s Spearmint Ink, which would be Plum Perfect... instead I got Orange Crush. All for today, ´til I get my tines straightened out. Day after tomorrow, we will be in Naples.

    We are in Naples now... Ida is relaxing by the hotel pool, soaking up some rays, sporting her Cross Sun Readers and looking "spec"tacular. Today she has me filled with Fahrney´s Naples Blue Ink... it´s so soothing, cool and apropros to our locale. Ida is using me to write in her new travel journal made by Graphic Image... it has such pen-friendly paper that is of archival quality. I just love writing on it!

    All for now...Tomorrow we are in Spain... Arrivederci,
    Ms. Pen L. Ope
    6/25/13

    Fahrney’s 84th Anniversary

    In June of 1929 Earl Fahrney set up shop in DC’s Willard Hotel and in no time senators and members of congress were standing in line to have their fountain pens serviced, using the store as an impromptu meeting place. In 1972, Jon and Corrine Sullivan bought the business from Mr. Fahrney and 41 years later, loyal customers braved tropical storm conditions to help celebrate Fahrney’s Pens’ 84 glorious years in business at its annual Anniversary Event.

    Eighteen vendors representing 38 pen manufacturers were also on hand for the June 7-8 event and despite the weather sales were brisk and the turn out was phenomenal. Due to the storm, special savings were extended beyond the show. Visitors announced themselves from the UK, Italy, Iran, Australia, Brazil and Japan, as well as countless out-of-state travelers who stated the Anniversary Sale was their sole purpose for traveling to Washington DC.

    Everyone associated with this venerable pen institution was humbled by the outpouring of support from long-time friends and new acquaintances. The many pen representatives who sacrificed a part of their weekend to share in the experience stated that what never ceased to amaze them was the sheer exuberance they witnessed from the visiting throngs. The store memories, the fallen and resurrected pen stories, and the gentle debates on the best pens to own are all rehashed with great zeal and affection.

    As Fahrney’s steams ahead towards the big 85th there will be no resting on its laurels. The website is considered the best in the pen business, the catalog has the largest circulation in the industry and the store is considered the showplace of the company. All three areas will be undergoing changes and improvements in the months ahead. Technology will continue to advance and Fahrney’s will endeavor to mesh the new with the traditional simplicity and beauty of pen to paper. We thank each and every customer – without you there would not be this fine place in the world to shop for pens – and as always let us endeavor to keep the ink flowing.
    6/18/13

    Plant a Tree, Create a Legacy – just like our Founding Fathers

    Fahrney’s is excited to present each year an exclusive limited edition knife crafted in woods of historic significance and custom-made for us by the artisans at William Henry Studio. The first piece in the series features the wood from a Horse Chestnut tree planted by George Washington - just a few pieces left! Our newest limited edition knife features an inlay of the natural wood from a Tulip Poplar tree widely believed to have been planted by Thomas Jefferson on the southwest corner of his beloved Virginia home, Monticello. Removed for safety reasons in 2008, the tree was one of the grandest specimens of its kind.

    It seems that many of our founding fathers had an affinity for trees, recording the conditions, locations and progress of various plantings – and leaving us today with fascinating documents detailing their arboreal passions. Jefferson was particularly enchanted with trees, having been described as "the father of American forestry" for an 1804 planting of white pine and hemlock – not to mention the other 158 species of trees he cultivated. His commitment to tree preservation was strongly suggested by a statement he allegedly made during a dinner at the President´s House: "I wish I was a despot that I might save the noble, beautiful trees that are daily falling sacrifice to the cupidity of their owners, or the necessity of the poor. . . .The unnecessary felling of a tree, perhaps the growth of centuries, seems to me a crime little short of murder." Two months before his death, at the age of eighty-three, he designed an arboretum for the University of Virginia. Such an epilogue to years of planting at Monticello was perhaps inspired by Jefferson´s own adage: "Too old to plant trees for my own gratification I shall do it for posterity."

    Jefferson might be pleased to learn that his Tulip Poplar lives on today, not only as a handsome and useful knife, but also on a college campus in a state that did not even exist in his lifetime. After a ferocious storm in 2006, the ravaged landscape of the grounds at Kansas University in Lawrence was slowly brought back to life with the planting of new trees. One concerned alumnus brought a seedling from the Tulip Poplar that stood on the west lawn at Monticello, which Jefferson likely planted in 1807. "It´s a tree descended from a man who loved learning more than anything," said Dennis Farney, the KU alumnus who donated the tree.

    Farney (no relation to Fahrney’s) bought the seedling eight years earlier at Monticello, flew it home and had been nurturing it before replanting at KU. Farney earned journalism and political science degrees at the university. A retired journalist, he held many positions, including White House correspondent, at the Wall Street Journal. We will try to contact Mr. Farney to find out the progress of his seedling to share with you. In the meantime, keep the ink flowing and the trees growing!
    6/11/13

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