Another ink from one of my favourite companies. This ink is not one I would have chosen but I got a free bottle with a pen I bought so thought go out on a limb and get something you wouldn’t usually buy. I have reviewed five Birmingham Pen Co. inks so far and still rate the inks and service from the company. In the past the inks were made in Germany and bottled in Pittsburgh, production is moving so the inks can be made ‘in house’, consequently Birmingham pens are carrying very little stock presently but they will be back with more.
Mary Reinhart born in Allegheny City (Pittsburgh) in 1876 was a writer best known for her mystery novels. Mary trained as a nurse but due to the stock market crash of 1903 she and her husband lost their savings so she turned to writing as a means to earn an income, churning out 45 short stories in one year. Her 1930 novel ‘The Door’ is credited with coining the phrase "the butler did it" because the butler did in the story though the phrase was never used in the book. She is also credited with inventing the “had I but known” school of mystery writing. Reinhart wrote hundreds of stories, poems and travelogues and was at one time considered more famous than her rival Agatha Christie. She died in New York in 1958.
Chromatography revealed a very dark green. There are a few shades of green, surprisingly some grey and even a hint of teal but put all together its a dark olive green.
Swatches on col-o-ring and Tomoe couldn’t be more different. On col-o-ring it's definitely green, I would like to say dark olive but there is a hint of grey now. On Tomoe the grey dominates, it is a very vary dark grey green which hints at shading.
For the writing test I used a Birmingham Pen Co 6th Avenue pen with a medium nib and Rhodia, Tomoe river and copy paper in that order.
On Rhodia it writes as a dark green, there is minimal shade, no sheen and it is very quick drying.
On Tomoe there is a little shading but the grey dominates and it writes as a very very dark ink with little suggestion that it is green. It was so dark in the picture I went back to the paper to see if the colour was correct and it really does write that dark. It is also very slow to dry on this paper.
It was the nicest colour on copy paper, very green dominant and almost instantaneous drying.
I am not sure what I was expecting from this ink. I am disappointed about the colour on Tomoe river paper but I do like the shade on the cheapest of papers and it dried quickly so it will be a useful ink for work. The closest dupe I could find was KWZ IG greengold. If you like the colour I would still recommend buying it, I have not yet tried any of my KWZ inks so have no idea how they compare behaviour-wise with this ink and I have had nothing but praise in the past for Birmingham Pen Co inks, this was a free ink and I am not sure I would have got this colour if I had been buying.
In summary –
Saturation – high but colour seem to change depending on the paper
Shading – minimal
Sheen – no
Flow - good
Nib dry-out - none
Nib creep – none
Start-up - immediate
Feathering – no
Drying – fantastic on cheap paper
Cleaning – very easy
Water resistance – not sold as waterproof but is very good, grey washes out and leaves a lovely dark green colour.
After recently buying a bunch of green inks I noticed that I had a “moss colored” ink in collection from Birmingham. I wish I’d stumbled onto this “Thundercloud” ink instead, since it’s actually green rather than grey.
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