“Fountain pens,” conjure the thought of antiquated writing instruments, long forgotten and relegated to the back of cluttered desk drawers, buried under “stuff” or the choice of highbrow NYC lawyers. You may be surprised to learn that there are a number of celebrities & A-listers who own and use fountain pens! I make no claim to doing the research, I found an assortment of lists on this topic which I combined, edited and skinnied down, and adding my own finds.
- Mark Twain – Conklin Crescent Filler.
Twain was a prominent influence in the fountain pen industry, helping put an end to the days of the eyedropper filling method by fiercely promoting the newly invented Conklin Crescent Filler.
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – Parker Duofold.
Doyle penned four canonized Sherlock Holmes novels and 56 short stories.
- Ernest Hemingway – Montegrappa.
All he needed as a blue-backed notebook, two pencils and his ELMO pen.
- Jane Austen – Dip Pen.
Her writings predate fountain pens but I thought it was a fun fact that she had her own special iron gall ink recipe and used a special type of notebooks, “quarto stationer’s notebook bound with quarter tanned sheep over boards sided with marble paper. The edges of the leaves [were] plain cut and sprinkled red.”
- Dylan Thomas – Parker 51.
Thomas is a Welch poet probably best known for his poem Do Not Go Gentle Into the Good Night made known to the Sci-Fi community for its inclusion in the movie Interstellar.
- Harper Lee – brand unknown but she explicitly placed one in Atticus Finch’s coat pocket during the famous courtroom scene in To Kill a Mockingbird.
- Anne Frank – Montblanc Meisterstück.
In her diary, there is a chapter where she mourns the loss of her pen after it is accidentally burnt in a fire, a gift from her grandmother.
- Salman Rushdie – Vintage Fountain Pens.
His primary go-to vintage pen is a Montblanc Meisterstück
- Stephen King – Waterman Hemisphere.
King has written 95+ novels including It and Carrie with this instrument claiming, in 2014 he wore out 4 pens writing Dreamcather.
- Neil Gaiman – Pilot Custom 823 and LAMY 2000.
Changes his ink color daily to track progress, the first draft of each of his novels is in longhand.
- Joe Hill (son of Stephen King) – Pilot Metropolitan.
Hill is the author of comic book series Locke and Key (now a Netflix series) and a handful of novels, of which NOS4A2 is soon to be a AMC series.
- Christopher Paolini – LAMY and Pilot Decimo.
Best known for his fantasy & sci-fi books Eragon and To Sleep in a Sea of Stars. Both books I own.
- Charlie Chaplin – Parker Duofold.
Most of Chaplin’s journal writing and poems remain unpublished, a poem of his about self-appreciation has circulated the internet – “As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is ‘AUTHENTICITY.’”
- Johnny Depp – Montblanc Meisterstück 149.
- Debra Messing – Montegrappa Fortuna Copper Mule.
- Rick Wakeman – Conway Stewart.
Wakeman the keyboard player for 70’s super group Yes and an avid journalist. Listing fountain pens as one of his “Top Ten Outsides Family and Music” interests and concocting his own ink blend.
- Oprah Winfrey – Viscounti.
Her pen was fabricated with the tiniest drops of gold and silver using the intricate filigree technique, a traditional Italian art form that has been passed down from jewelry master to jewelry master for generations.
- Diane Keaton – Montblanc.
- Dustin Hoffman – Montblanc.
- Edward Norton – Montblanc.
- Howard Stern – Visconti Arte Mudejat Aragones.
A gift valued at $1,700. Its design is inspired by the Aragon region of Spain and celebrates the harmonious coexistence of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism that occurred there between 1000 and 1600 AD.
- Diane Sawyer – Waterman.
- Alton Brown – unknown.
When asked what he cannot leave the house without. “Nutmeg, a pocket knife, cash, a small notebook of some type, a fountain pen, and my iPhone.”
- Kevin Pollack – Waterman Edson.
- Kristen Stewart – Tibaldi Bentley Crewe.
Avid journalist and owner of an extensive fountain pen collection. She was gifted the TBC valued at $46,000 as a present on her 23rd birthday.
- Walt Disney – Sheafer Balanced.
A well used Balance fountain pen, 1930’s vintage, was found in Walt Disney’s desk in 1970 when his office was being inventoried by the Walt Disney Archives.
- Carl Banks – Esterbrook.
Used an Esteerbrook 356 Art & Drafting Pen to ink Donald Duck.
- Sylvestor Stallone – Montegrappap Chaos.
As seen in his film Expendables II.
- Emma Watson – Parker 51
A Parker fountain pen accompanied her to class at Brown University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature.
- Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II – Parker 51.
- General Dwight D. Eisenhower – Parker 51.
Used to sign the German Instrument of Surrender in Reims, France.
- General Douglas MacArthur – Parker Duofold.
Used a 1928 Duofold to sign the Japanese Instrument of Surrender on the deck of the USS Missouri.
- Lyndon B Jonson – Esterbrook.
A set of 74 clear Lucite Esterbrooks were used to sign the Civil Rights bill into law in 1964.
- Theresa May – Parker Duofold.
She used the Parker to sign Article 50 commencing “Brexit.”
- Vladimir Putin – Montblanc Meisterstück 146.
He used the Montblanc to sign the document “admitting” the Crimea and Sevastopol back into the Russian Federation, after his militia invaded the territories.
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – Kaweco Sport
Odd man out
- Albert Einstein – Pelkan 100 N and Waterman taper-cap.
The Waterman was used to write the Theory of Relativity and is on display at the Boerhaave Museum in Leiden.