Here is my ‘new’ 1936 Sheaffer Balance in a golden brown striated finish. The Balance was the first fountain pen with this beautifully balanced, streamlined torpedo shape. Prior to that, fountain pens were flat-capped and chunky. The Balance was also innovative in its use of celluloid, as opposed to the plain hard rubber offerings of its time. The Sheaffer Balance simply stood out with its Art Deco inspired elegance and sheer reliability.
This pen was made in 1936, which means that it’s 78 years old. It’s utterly mind-boggling to imagine what this pen has lived through. In 1936, Hitler broke the Treaty of Versailles by marching into Rhineland, while Japan invaded China. Racism and segregation were rampant, while Jesse Owens won big at the Olympics in Nazi Germany. My own parents weren’t even born yet.
To think of the hands that had held this pen and the words that it had written. Just imagine the feelings that it shared, the secrets it kept, the memories it recorded, the stories it told, the ideas it hatched and the love that it had professed. Now, it belongs to me. I shall duly put pen to paper, and allow this effusive nib a voice again.