Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Paper Dreams

As luck would have it, paper has made its way into the spotlight again. Totally unaware of what was coming and what Saturday’s post would leave in my mailbox, a pleasant shock arrived in the form of six note pads from Richard Binder. They came to me via my friend and cousin in Louisiana, Carolyne the Cajun Queen. She has the perfect knack for knowing just the thing that will bring the greatest pleasure and enjoyment.

Richard Binder is no stranger to anyone with an interest in fountain pens and his website is in my bookmarks, but for those unfamiliar with the name… Richard Binder is a fountain pen and nib expert running a family business repairing and restoring pens. He and his wife and two assistants work out of an 1846 Italianate house in Nashua, New Hampshire. In 2002 he gave up his work in the computer business to become a full-time pen person.

The Richard Binder Note Pads are not anything new, or at least I don’t think they’re new. Pocket Blonde put up a post about them earlier this month, and 2008 appears at the bottom of the cover sheet with all the note pad information. There are six note pads in a set, each measuring 5¼ x 8½in, a size that fits into a standard A5 pad folio. Each pad contains 50 sheets of ultra-smooth 28lb bright white paper. Richard Binder’s printer researched and tested paper, ending up with a smooth high-brightness premium paper. It is produced by the last family-owned paper mill in the US. One point explained is that the paper is uncoated, giving it the best surface for smooth writing, and because it’s uncoated there is no risk your pens will be clogged with clay or chalk.

Each of the six note pads in a set are printed with a photo of a vintage fountain pen. The photos are crisp, high resolution pictures unlike the low resolution photo shown here.

The six pens, one for each note pad are, from left to right:

• Conklin’s Endura Senior, c1926

• Parker “51” Nassaue Green, 1940s

• Sheaffer’s Model 47 Crest, 1937-1941

• Wahl 652C, c1925

• Waterman’s Ideal No. 5, c1927

• Waterman’s Hundred Year Pen, 1939

For those wanting to use the note pads as stationery, the Binder website also offers a package of six plain pads. The photo pads are printed on a high-speed Heidelberg press and allow writing over the pen photos without worry about skipping or blurring of the photos.

Once again the Cajun Queen has surprised me with a handsome and useful gift. She wrote an email note today saying that she found the Binder Note Pads on Pocket Blonde and ordered a set of the plain for herself and a set of the pen design pads for me. My thanks to both Diane at Pocket Blonde and my cousin Carolyne in Louisiana.


  1. What a great present and a great cousin as well. The paper is amazing, really great for fountain pens and I like the choice of pens. Enjoy and waves to Carolyne!

  2. I am drooling over the beautiful pens. A feast for the eyes.
    The Japanese inventions are wonderful. Do you know we have an American version of the Shouting Vase? It's called the Cough Silencer, for use when you get a tickle in your throat in the deer woods. The Bicycle Tree was the most interesting invention of all.


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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America