Pen collectors from around the country will display and sell pens at the Ohio Pen Show, running Friday through Sunday, Nov. 4-6, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 600 Metro Place North, Dublin.

Pen collectors from around the country will display and sell pens at the Ohio Pen Show, running Friday through Sunday, Nov. 4-6, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 600 Metro Place North, Dublin.

Mike Hansen of Sunbury will be there, sharing his interest in and inventory of vintage fountain pens. He’s attended the event, now in its 17th year, since its beginning.

The show is fun for seasoned and beginning collectors, as well as for people looking for a writing instrument, Hansen said.

“A pen show is the best place to find vintage pens,” Hansen said. “You’ll see more pens in one place than you’ll see elsewhere. All the collectors are friendly and willing to share information with people who are new to the hobby.

New pens are also available for purchase.

Since the 1980s, when the hobby’s popularity grew, domestic manufacturing of high-quality pens also returned.

Howard Levy of Bexley Pen Company started as a collector, Hansen said.

“Then with his background in manufacturing, he decided to manufacture high-quality, beautifully designed pens. They’re quite popular and desirable pens.”

Hansen purchased his first vintage fountain pen for $1 at an antique store in 1971.

“I kept it for many years but could never figure out how to make it work again,” he said, so he put it aside until the late 1980s, when he read a newspaper article about old pens and restoring them.

“I contacted other collectors and learned that there was a company that made replacement pen sacks,” Hansen said. In vintage pens, rubber sacks hold the ink and typically turn dry and brittle with age.

Since then he has enjoyed collecting and restoring fountain pens.

“I’ve always liked to write,” said Hansen of his choice of hobbies. “I used to be an editor of a quarterly publication on Ohio geology for 22 years, so I had to write a lot of articles. I got fascinated by these old writing instruments that people used to use, but for a long time they were glad to get rid of them because they leaked and were messy at times.”

Fountain pens bring elegance to writing, he said.

“Using fountain pens forces you to write more neatly,” Hansen said.

Wahl Eversharp fountain pens from the late 1920s and 1930s are his favorites.

“They were made in a variety of colors,” he said. “Once the writing systems were perfected, then the selling point became the design and the colors.”

For writing, he prefers Sheaffer fountain pens from the 1930s and 1940s, “though they’re less desirable to collectors because Sheaffer made so many of them,” he said.

“They have a very high-quality nib, the writing portion on the pen,” he said. “The high-quality pens all have 14 karat gold nibs. And the (Sheaffer nibs) have a tiny polished ball of iridium, a rare and hard metal that does not wear out quickly. It glides over the paper.”

Hansen also enjoys collecting desk sets, which is one of his specialties.

The pen show runs 1 to 6 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4-6. Admission is $5 daily. Admission for children under 12 accompanied by an adult is free. For more information, visit www. ohiopenshow.com.