Posted in Pens, Reviews, Stories

Osmiroid

Osmiroid roots run deep, all the way back to the early part of the nineteenth Century. James Perry an educationalist promoted an idea based on a revolutionary idea, peak a student’s interest and they will enthusiastic pursue their studies. Students of the time wrote with a quill pen and quills required constant attention. While in class, they would sit idol waiting for the usher to pass by and mend their quill.

In response to the wasted time, James inventing a metal pen with a slit to provide flexibility and controlled ink flow in 1819, patenting his design in 1830. Soon after, James and his brother started a pen (nib) company, manufacturing pens in Manchester, Birmingham and London. By 1876, their success rivaled Esterbrook, making them the second largest manufacturer of pen nibs in the world.

Post World War II, the company changed direction after a century plus of manufacturing nibs for dip pens and bet their future on fountain pens. Keeping in touch with their roots, the company focused on the needs of school children, introducing the “Osmiroid 65” fountain pen. They also produced a large range of nibs suited for left handed users. In 1971, the Company began marketing a range of teaching aids, having great success in the U.K., Australia, America and the Far East.

Osmiroid Squeeze Converter

Osmiroid’s new design with improved ink flow was introduced around 1980. Marketed as “The Pilot”, “The Sonic” and “the Easy Change” . This model didn’t use the screw in nib unit common to the models 65 and 75 but combined the nib, the section and the feed into a single replaceable unit. The nibs are the same used in the previous assemblies and available in a wider range of sizes aimed at the calligraphy market. These pens accept ink cartridges or a “Squeeze fill converter.” The pens were plagued by an issue with the plastic of the cap – it is too thin and prone to cracking.

Osmiroid New Design pen

The beginning of the end….in 1989, Berol acquired Osmiroid. Manufacturing and general operations consolidated into Berol by 1991. Newell acquired Berol in 1995, discontinuing the Osmiroid line of products in 1999. Thus ends the story of a 170 year-old company.

My Pen

Is a new design Easy Change model I believe. It sports a B3 nib – “medium width lettering nib for general illuminating.” The ink reservoir is a squeeze fill converter. The pen is black plastic with a wide stainless cap band and clip terminating with a round metal jewel – reminiscent of a the Esterbrook Dollar pen.

Yet the pen has several characteristics associated with their Viscount model, including a clip with the boxed “O”, a wide cap band and a metal ring around the base of the section to better secure the cap. The new design Easy Change typically has “Osmiroid” imprinted on the clip, with multiple thin cap bands and does not include the metal ring around the section.

The nib is worth noting, as I’ve never written with a calligraphy nib. I wasn’t sure what to expect, it is 2mm wide with 2 slits. I soaked the nib for 2 days removing the old ink. As you can see, some ink remains in the feed.

I inked up the squeeze converter, which was probably a mistake. I should have filled the reservoir through the nib. It took an effort getting the ink flowing but as you can see it works.

Obviously, the lettering is large compared to a normal medium nib. I like the way the letters form, must be the calligraphy aspect of the nib.

The next day I could not get the ink flowing, what a bummer, though the pen may have been out of ink as I didn’t add much for the demo and well it uses a lot of ink.

Vital Statistics

  • Capped length 129.5mm,
  • Uncapped length 118mm,
  • Barrel diameter 12mm,
  • Cap diameter 12.5mm,
  • Pen weighs in at 11..

Author:

I'm a loser as my wife likes to tell me, I enjoy researching dead cousins and playing with fountain pens.

6 thoughts on “Osmiroid

  1. I have the same set. Fine, medium, broad italic. Copperplate nib. One B4 and four B2 nibs. Love the fine and medium nibs to bits. Got the same filler and also a small converter the size of small standard cartridges. I used an Osmiroid heavier built pen with lever and medium nib all through secondary school. So feel really at home with this Osmiroid format. Used it in my patients notes too when a Staff Nurse. Love the explanation you have put together. The B3 triple tine looks interesting. But my style of writing can’t cope with wider nibs. Have been uploading writing examples on cut to A4 sized heavy duty wallpaper lining paper. Great for practicing on. These nibs work really well on it. You seem to be very relaxed and comfortable with them. Again. Nice review. Cheers. All the best.

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    1. Thank you for visiting. I love the nib, My handwriting is atrocious and it makes me slow down and concentrate. Writing smaller is a challenge some of the motions of the pen put the bite on the paper. Speaking of, the paper I used as the example is cheap (a moleskin field journal). Any suggestions on how to address the ink flow issue?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I use the basic cartridges on my set up. WHSmith basic stuff. Works well every time on the fine, medium and broad nibs. Watched a few YouTube videos about general advice from fountain pen users with obsessions. Because of their love of different artisan inks they have kept the basic cartridges once empty and put their array of bottled ink choices into a needle and syringed and filled them up. I’ll have a go when I can. To be honest, the B2 and B4 didn’t flow as well as the fine/medium/broad and copperplate nib choices. That’s with cartridges too. So not sure if it is the design as yet. Or they need a clean. But they presented well looking wise. No gunge or dry ink seen. That suction converter may be the problem too. I got one with the collective eBay purchase (£19.99) but haven’t tried it. Some converters just do not deliver well. I’d say get some cartridges and give them a try. Your writing looks grand. I’m following my own lettering naive skills. I’m writing for fun in journals and writing down lyrics and poems I put together for songwriting. So no pressure. Tried calligraphy and ‘Ooops!’. Rubbish! Too disciplined. 😉 Paper. Love Moleskine but it doesn’t like inks. Use Leuchtterm for posh stuff but with a fine nib and Khadi handmade Indian paper of different GSM grades and colours. I’m into dip nibs too for all sorts of types of calligraphy and script nibs. With an added reservoir on a dip nib it can write for a fair few sentences. India China inks are great to try with those. Drier and more controlled. Sorry for the long reply. Love your explanation and the information content is great. Cheers.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have a cartridge but need a syringe and needle, I’ll make a go with their squeeze converter after I’ve cleaned the nib yet again. I have a variety of dip pens but use them for sketching. I’m trying to come to grips with using document ink for water based ink then making use of a wet brush. Beats sitting around playing video games. Thanks again.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I was a Staff Nurse until last July. So feels weird using syringes for ink use. 😆 You can get blunt ended needles which are safer. Read some of your posts and you are well up on your knowledge. Well done. Nice site. I’m learning since retiring, so it’s good to get advice. I bought a Rotring/Pelikan set in a charity shop. A box of goodies with graphos nibs galore, Art pens x 2 and inks. Drawing is using the nibs on their sides. You can change angle of nib for thin to wide lines. Also in the box we’re various dip pen nibs. Esterbrook relief 314 without reservoir shone. Also Brandauer Clan Glengarry too. Shellac is a nice sheen ink. Good luck with all your pen pursuits.

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