So when (at the end of a month-long calligraphy contest on the Fountain Pen Network in October) I had the opportunity to choose a prize from among several donated pens, I chose the NOS (New Old Stock) Eversharp Symphony -- a beautiful pen (with a fine 14k semi-flex nib!) manufactured some 60 years ago but that had never been inked (and it was all mine for simply doing what I love to do!)
I'm still many, many hours of practice away from the point where my new pen will feel like an extension of me. But we've already inked enough paper together for me to know that any time we spend together will be sublime.
A Few Parting Thoughts About NOS: In the late 50s and early 60s the fountain pen industry was dying. The ball point pen had been developed during WW II and, as post-war society accelerated into first the Jet Age and then the Space Age, even trendy new designs like the Parker 51 could only postpone what was seen by many as the inevitable.
As sales slumped drug stores and department stores began pulling fountain pens from their shelves to make room for merchandise that would sell, put the pens in storage... and forgot about them. Jump ahead half a century and suddenly the fountain pen is making a comeback, new pens are being manufactured, limited edition pens are fetching a premium price, vintage pens are sought after for their craftsmanship and exceptional nibs (nibs that surpass anything being manufactured today)... and someone, somewhere finds the first batch of New Old Stock -- those brand new pens that were stuck away in storage half a century ago because no one was buying them any more.
So, if you're in the market for a new, never-been-inked pen and find the idea of purchasing something that comes with its own history (and very possibly a smooth-as-glass 14k nib) for no more than a modern, modestly priced, entry-level pen, think about attending a pen show in your area or Google "nos fountain pens" and see what turns up.