Pen researchers and collectors are a dysfunctional lot, so here’s a group photo of all of us that can be found on Shorpy’s photo website. Click on the link to view full size. This photo was posted on various message boards a few years ago, but I thought it applied to all of us here as well. It’s just a joke about the anonymity and dysfunctionality of most of the members of all the pen message boards. In fact, the title should be “Pen People”. I and all the other lurkers on the lists are claiming the guy in the upper-right-hand corner of the photo. Yeah, that’s me just peaking in and emerging from the margins in the top-right corner of the photo. The other guy up in the balcony can represent all the people who haven’t yet decided whether they want to come down to the main floor and join in. From the photo line-up, it looks like we also have some women who are serious pen researchers. Some of them also look like ink bottle hoarders and pen users who are hiding their ink-stained fingers, and some also look like pencil geeks, so we also have some of those types there as well.
To get this back on topic, this photo was originally posted around because of the “Parker Lucky Curve and Waterman’s Ideal Fountain Pens” sign above the group. But looking more closely at it just now I discovered what might be a display case full of pens right behind them, just behind the right hand of the last guy on the left.
The pens are on the middle shelf of the display case, and they are not easy to make out. They are in pen trays stacked up on this middle level. The dead give-away that there are pens on that level is the Waterman’s eyedropper ink bottle on the left corner of the shelf. It might be a 4 oz. ink bottle, but it just might be big enough to be the rare 6 oz. bottle, halfway between the 4 oz. ink pot and the 8 oz. master ink bottle.
It’s a very odd and rare size, probably because very few were sold. I have only ever seen one in my life, and I have never seen it in any Waterman’s catalogues and advertisements, but perhaps I haven’t lived long enough. It's definitely not included in the ink bottle book by Ed & Lucy Faulkner, and the Waterman’s book by Max Davis & Gary Lehrer. The one example I’ve seen is made of purple glass, so that puts it sometime before or during WWI, but it definitely has “6 oz.” embossed on the shoulder of the bottle and “Watermans Ink”, without an apostrophe, on the base.