Fountain Pen Restoration

The Story Your Ink Bottle Tells

I recently picked up a book titled ” The Story Your Ink Bottle Tells”, as it was rejected from a library. The cover, shown below, doesn’t reveal that it is actually a book published by the Carter’s Ink Company.  It covers all aspects of the Company, including the history of ink production, different types of ink, and the production process at Carter’s in Boston, MA.  There are many interesting photos in the book of  the Carter factory, machines, and production lines.  I would place the publication date in the late 1920s as the Library Stamp on the inside cover is 1928.  The withdrawal stamps on the back jacket show that it was checked out 12 times between May of 1933 and April of 1992.


I like the first page ~


Here is Chapter 1, with a large photo of the factory, presumably in the 1920s.


The last page shows a sketch of the factory again.


After purchasing this book, I thought it would be a good idea to put together some of the magazine advertisements and ink bottles in my collection relating to Carter’s.

Here is a Saturday Evening Post Advertisement from an October 25, 1941 issue, promoting their very creative and colorful cubes, priced at 10 cents.

10*25*1941 SEP

These are very interesting, colorful and easily collectible bottles for the fountain pen enthusiast.  I have photographed the seven cubes that I have in my collection below.  This is by no means a comprehensive collection – just ones I have run into over the years of looking for pens.  I have seen photos of several collections that are amazing and include most or all of the cubes that were produced – amazing collections.




Here is another advertisement for the American Blue Ink produced by Carter’s at about the same time, followed by a photograph of a box and bottle of this ink.  When I found this the box was in excellent condition, but unfortunately the ink bottle was empty.



Below is the insert that is in the above box.  Carter’s prophesies that the user will buy it again and again.


The final piece of Carter’s ephemera that I have is the blotter below, provided by J. F. Parker of Danville, VA.  The Colonel Roosevelt referred to is Theodore Roosevelt who was the 26th President of the United States, prior to this trip in 1909-1910.


The trip, which included Carter’s Pen Fluid, is detailed here ~ Theodore Roosevelt’s African Safari & Scientific Expedition.  This blotter clearly predates the ink cube advertisement above by many years, maybe close to 30.


I had not written about inks in quite some time – the last being Ink Spots, on January 23, 2008.  That seems like a long time, considering how important ink is to the fountain pen.   Over the next year, I will try to research a few more.



November 3, 2010 - Posted by | Carters, Ink |


  1. Wonderful information. Thank you very much for sharing it.

    Comment by Bart | November 10, 2010 | Reply

  2. Fantastic. I have a growing collection of Carter ink bottles on my shelf. I really like the Roosevelt blotter!

    Comment by Sandy | November 24, 2010 | Reply

  3. I love the “magic ink” quote and all of the great illustrations. Thanks!

    Comment by Van | December 31, 2010 | Reply

  4. That book is probably out of copyright. You could scan it and sell the digital copies on CDs, to collectors like me who are very interested in reading it.

    Comment by Larynxa | February 28, 2012 | Reply

  5. I would be interested in a copy, my grandfather worked at Carter’s advertising department in Cambridge for more than 20 years, losing his job during the depression.

    Comment by Fletcher | June 13, 2012 | Reply

  6. I am a member of the Carter family, and a director of the successor firm established when the Carter’s Ink Company was sold to Denison in the 1970. Several colleagues and I are preparing a history of the company and the family members who established and operated it over the years. The Carter publication you show in your blog would be of interest to us. Any way you could make it available? Michael

    Comment by Michael Metcalf | November 24, 2014 | Reply

  7. […] Why can’t we have ink bottles like this now? Photo from […]

    Pingback by The Noodler’s Cinematic Universe: Six Degrees of Baystate Blue – Left Hook Pens | July 15, 2021 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: