by Mike Shea on 31 January 2005
Here's a note I sent to the creator of the great Noodler's Ink:
I received my first two bottles of Noodler's Ink and I love the stuff. Not only did it survive my battery of tests but it writes better than any other ink I've ever tried. It turned my Waterman Expert 2 from a horror to a joy with which to write.
I wrote a full review of it over at:
and that got quoted over at Moleskinerie:
I know its sort of marketing BS, but have you considered adding an "archival quality" label to your inks? I was suckered into more than a couple of purchases because of that "archival quality" label; it might serve you well.
The work you do helps us record our lives so that thousands of generations can remember what we lived for. I can think of few more noble professions or inventions.
Here is his reply:
People such as yourself are exactly the people I wanted to serve by starting an ink company. When nearly every new grade of paper at a local Office Max store feathered with the fountain pen inks then available - I believed the fountain pen as a writing instrument was being abandoned by existing ink companies. They were going to let it die as just another buggy whip/archaic remnant of the past. In reality, only the fountain pen is capable of serving the user in such vastly different utilities as arctic ink, near infinite color variation, the most permanent ink available, bleach proof and UV light proof ink, waterproof yet water based....etc...etc...ALL IN A SINGLE PEN. A ball pen REQUIRES a new unit, as does a roller ball, as does a gel pen....felt tip, etc....and they can't function in as many environments nor on as many paper grades - nor with as high a bar for fraud resistance. The fountain pen does it all - just one single pen - and can last long enough for the owner's grandchildren to inherit it. It just needs the ink...the rest is amply handled by the best writing instrument design in thousands of years.
I'm getting more moleskin because of you! Thanks!
Founder, Noodler's Ink, L.L.C.
Another Moleskine convert!Even more:
Here is some more info - feel free to post this - as the "Eternal" and "Contract" inks are the only waterproof and UV light proof colored water based fountain pen inks in the world.
Here is the text:
Here is a general info list of Noodler's Inks and their properties:
standard inks, most will come out with bleach, they have a dry time AVERAGING that of other inks on the vast MAJORITY of papers - coated papers or those with odd chemical additives (carbon copy forms for instance) slow the dry time. All the inks are designed to do well on more papers in the AVERAGE person's stationary store than any other ink, which of course includes large numbers of uncoated recycled grades post 1998. They are particularly well suited to use on moleskin - especially standard black.
black is a standard ink, but it is also the ink with the most work in it - one by one each weapon of forgers and identity thieves was defeated through its formula....and it was made archival, UV light proof, repellent to plastics, and even bleach proof (or at least...the paper turns to pulp before the line you wrote goes away, provided you let the line dry on cellulose paper first before soaking) - some of the other standard inks are "bulletproof" (Greg Clark definition), but the black is the standard bearer for the ultimate in bulletproof properties. Most of the standard inks are made for their color properties and ability to write on most standard office supply papers. They write on virtually all papers - but if you are expecting the dry time to be the same on every paper...it WILL vary from near instantaneous to as much as approx. 42 seconds with a moderate flow medium nib (this range covers extensive testing on more than 700 non-coated paper grades found at major stationary stores such as Office Max and Office Depot, etc.., and moderate testing on a far larger number beyond 1,000 grades). Noodler's will bead on plastic and refuse to dry on plastic for extended periods of time - this is by design! It rinses off plastic using tap water...so any paper with polymer content will by definition slow dry times.
any ink that has the term "contract ink" on the label is a type of blue or blue-black, is UV light proof, waterproof once dried on cellulose, and is repelled by plastic (Legal Blue, Legal Lapis, Aquamarine)
any ink that has the term "eternal" on the label is a specialty colored ink made to resist UV light, water once dried on cellulose paper, and most detergents once dried on cellulose...as well as being repelled by plastic (Verdun, Devil Red, Eternal Brown, Hellbender Red, Gulf Stream Blue...& more colors will be introduced as their formulas are perfected)
any ink that has the term "Polar" is virtually freeze proof to very low temperatures, as well as being able to write on SOME coated papers (but not all) with great enough contrast for a text recognition scanner to read, it is also "Bulletproof" (just like standard black) and is the most lubricated ink made by Noodler's. Occasionally this ink will need the nib wiped clean with a tissue if the user does not want extra ink showing near the nib slit (especially if the pen was sitting in a desk drawer for a while) - but this property declines as the temperature declines.
any ink that has the "American Eel" series label contains water based lubricants, has a 7% (on average) slower dry time, writes on all grades of papers that standard inks are capable of writing on, has slightly higher dye content/contrast, and is specifically formulated to assist seal based mechanisms (though thus far most reports - including Greg Clark, simply like its smoothness for writing purposes)
lastly, the company does make some inks for other companies and retailers in Europe, Asia, and North America. These inks currently are quite different from standard Noodler's Inks and they do not have the Noodler's label (a water wave imprint "NOODLER'S INK"/Trade Mark appears at the top of each original label, & original box has a smiling catfish) -- except for the limited eternal and contract ink lines which are sold by: Pendemonium.com, SwisherPens.com, ArtBrown.com. Their properties are different and often specific to the properties requested by the buyer...yet they have archival PH levels and can be mixed with Noodler's inks. Swisher Pens Ink is among these and is specifically made for properties desired by Chuck Swisher - and he likes velum paper and a much faster drying ink (instantaneous on several grades of paper, though will show through thin moleskin).