The Annual Philadelphia Pen Show was held January 12th-14th at the Westin Hotel in Philadelphia, PA. This was my first year attending after hearing stories about how amazing it was. You could find everything from vintage pens to new, pencils, inks, papers, writing paraphernalia, classes, accessories, and the best find of all is the friendships and stories that you will take home with you. I want to bring you some of the sights from the show to help you feel like you were there.


Upon arriving at the hotel, you could already feel the energy from the guests. Everywhere you looked, people were sharing their pen and ink collections, showing those amazing items they found at various seller tables, trading pens, and exchanging stories. There was a registration table to check in and a name tag station which Eric Orozco who was in charge of the show was helping at. The table across from the check in table was run by Pen World, offering subscriptions and giving out a free copy of Pen World.


The main hallway had tables lining both walls with various vendors including: InkJournalFranklin-ChristophPhiladelphia Calligraphers SocietyToys in the Attic, and Bertram’s Inkwell. (From left to right Adam from Bertram’s Inkwell, Me, Eric Orozco, and Bertram from Bertram’s Inkwell).


After you reached the end of the hallway, you entered the main show room. The layout was very well thought out. The vendor tables were spaced nicely allowing plenty of room for traffic and easy access to tables without bumping into other pen enthusiasts. In the center of the room, there were rows of high-top tables and chairs so you could sit and look at your new purchases or just rest for a moment. Many of the well-known names from the Fountain Pen community were present:

Ryan Krusac and his beautiful wood, painted, and scrimshaw creations.

Brian and Lisa Anderson (Anderson Pens).

Cary Yeager (Fountain Pen Day) and Kenro Inc.

Tom Harvey (The Pen Guardian).

Visconti, Yafa, Fountain Pen Hospital, Ralph from the BYOB Pen podcast @reachingralph, and many other great vendors were present, as well. It was hard to not spend my entire yearly pen budget in the few hours that I was there. Seminars were held throughout the weekend with topics covering Basic Spencerian calligraphy and Nib smoothing and tuning.


This was my first time attending The Philadelphia Pen Show and it will not be the last time. My wife (the photographer) enjoyed her first pen show and helped me pick out a number of purchases and tried out a few pens for herself. If you have not yet attended a pen show, I highly recommend going to one even if you don’t need to buy anything, just to enjoy the sights, sounds, stories, and friendship.

“Make your mark”
Eric Aycock (Pengeek13)



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