Pen or Pencil Writing Last Longer?

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Tony Fischer

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Jul 20, 2004, 11:18:03 PM7/20/04
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I have recently begun writing a journal and hope that it will last for
future generations to read. I have seen old letters and other writing
that has faded over many years and don't want to have that happen to
my writings.

I would like to know if it is better to write with a pen or pencil
and, if possible, some specific recommendations on which lead or ink
is best.

Thank you,

Tony

William Penrose

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Jul 20, 2004, 11:42:08 PM7/20/04
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On 20 Jul 2004 20:18:03 -0700, goo...@tonyfischer.com (Tony Fischer)
wrote:

>I would like to know if it is better to write with a pen or pencil
>and, if possible, some specific recommendations on which lead or ink
>is best.

I have a chemistry text from 1865 with pencil notations in it that
look like they were made a week ago.

Ink with carbon particles in it, like India ink, will last as long as
the paper, but ink with organic dyes, like ballpoint pen, you cannot
count on.

More important than the ink is the paper. You need to get the notebook
from a reputable paper maker. I think the grade you are looking for is
called 'archival' or something. But research carefully before you buy.
I have a notebook from my teenage years that is turning to dust. I
also have notes on cheap exercise paper that are in excellent
condition.

Scientific laboratory notebooks usually have the quality paper you
need, but expect to pay $30 or $40 for a 100 page notebook.

Bill Penrose

Servo

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Jul 21, 2004, 12:05:23 AM7/21/04
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William Penrose <wpen...@customsensorsolutions.com> wrote in message
news:fvorf0dq55b0nkauu...@4ax.com...

> On 20 Jul 2004 20:18:03 -0700, goo...@tonyfischer.com (Tony Fischer)
> wrote:
>
> >I would like to know if it is better to write with a pen or pencil
> >and, if possible, some specific recommendations on which lead or ink
> >is best.
>
> I have a chemistry text from 1865 with pencil notations in it that
> look like they were made a week ago.

Diamonds are forever, and so is graphite.


> Ink with carbon particles in it, like India ink, will last as long as
> the paper, but ink with organic dyes, like ballpoint pen, you cannot
> count on.
>
> More important than the ink is the paper. You need to get the notebook
> from a reputable paper maker. I think the grade you are looking for is
> called 'archival' or something. But research carefully before you buy.
> I have a notebook from my teenage years that is turning to dust. I
> also have notes on cheap exercise paper that are in excellent
> condition.

Any genuine "acid-free" paper should last hundreds of years, and
the "archival" term is supposed to imply that.


> Scientific laboratory notebooks usually have the quality paper you
> need, but expect to pay $30 or $40 for a 100 page notebook.

A quality binding is important, too.

Servo


Jackson Pillock

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Jul 21, 2004, 7:41:28 AM7/21/04
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"Servo" <divi...@zero.moc> wrote in message
news:cdl17...@news2.newsguy.com...
:
: William Penrose <wpen...@customsensorsolutions.com> wrote in message

: news:fvorf0dq55b0nkauu...@4ax.com...
: > On 20 Jul 2004 20:18:03 -0700, goo...@tonyfischer.com (Tony Fischer)
: > wrote:
: >
: > >I would like to know if it is better to write with a pen or pencil
: > >and, if possible, some specific recommendations on which lead or ink
: > >is best.
: >
: > I have a chemistry text from 1865 with pencil notations in it that
: > look like they were made a week ago.
:
: Diamonds are forever, and so is graphite.

Indeed. You'll notice that artists tend to sign prints in graphite.

:
:


Tony Fischer

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Jul 21, 2004, 2:00:41 PM7/21/04
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Thanks for the information. The Journal I purchased is of very high
quality paper so that should not be a problem.

What about fountain pen ink? I know it is mostly water these days. I
have also seen that the Ph of fountain ben ink can range from 1.7 -
9.0 (see http://www.marcuslink.com/pens/ink-01.html) Do you think a
more neutral ink (around 7) is best or does it mater with regard to
longevity?

Tony

Raqueeb Hassan

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Jul 21, 2004, 2:45:21 PM7/21/04
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> : Diamonds are forever, and so is graphite.

That's what I also believe in.


--
raqueeb hassan
congo (drc)

Servo

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Jul 21, 2004, 9:53:16 PM7/21/04
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Tony Fischer <goo...@tonyfischer.com> wrote in message
news:2c0b0c28.04072...@posting.google.com...

Some organic dyes can last centuries, while some will fade in
just years, as WP pointed out. Eastern rugs are a good example
of this.

Any ink with suspended carbon, as WP pointed out, is damned
permanent. Everything else is suspect, but an "archival" quality
ink made by a reputable firm should be fine, until the sun goes
red giant, which shouldn't happen for several weeks.

Servo


ericsil...@gmail.com

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Jun 29, 2017, 12:55:25 AM6/29/17
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Iron gall inks and other inks classed as archival will last quite some time, but not forever. Note: the Drclaration of Independence was written with Iron Gall ink, and it is quite faded. Some copies of Magna Carta survive, and they're quite readable. Those who have noted pencil texts are aware that pencil doesn't fade. As long as the paper holds out, the pencil will look as if it had been written last week. There are some pencil texts over 2 centuries old, and they're hanging in thete.

bdws...@gmail.com

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Sep 6, 2019, 11:05:53 PM9/6/19
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Bill Penrose, difference is now the USA is switching to pencils with no lead, so idk if they lasts as long as pencil with lead. The schools here have banned all pencils from china because of the lead in them.

Barbra Barbour

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Mar 1, 2021, 8:29:35 PM3/1/21
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On Thursday, June 29, 2017 at 12:55:25 AM UTC-4, ericsil...@gmail.com wrote:
> Iron gall inks and other inks classed as archival will last quite some time, but not forever. Note: the Drclaration of Independence was written with Iron Gall ink, and it is quite faded. Some copies of Magna Carta survive, and they're quite readable. Those who have noted pencil texts are aware that pencil doesn't fade. As long as the paper holds out, the pencil will look as if it had been written last week. There are some pencil texts over 2 centuries old, and they're hanging in thete.


Gall inks are actually the exception to the archival rule. The ph is not neutral, and cannot be brought to neutral either.
Message has been deleted

Emma Parker

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Nov 1, 2021, 5:39:40 AM11/1/21
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вторник, 2 марта 2021 г. в 04:29:35 UTC+3, Barbra Barbour:
> On Thursday, June 29, 2017 at 12:55:25 AM UTC-4, ericsil...@gmail.com wrote:
> > Iron gall inks and other inks classed as archival will last quite some time, but not forever. Note: the Drclaration of Independence was written with Iron Gall ink, and it is quite faded. Some copies of Magna Carta survive, and they're quite readable. Those who have noted pencil texts are aware that pencil doesn't fade. As long as the paper holds out, the pencil will look as if it had been written last week. There are some pencil texts over 2 centuries old, and they're hanging in thete.
> Gall inks are actually the exception to the archival rule. The ph is not neutral, and cannot be brought to neutral either.

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