Fountain Pen Restoration

The Ink Is The Thing

I like to use vintage inks in my vintage pens. I have a decent supply to vintage Skrip, Quink, and Carters Inks.  Some vintage bottles were photographed and discussed in these previous articles ~

Ink Spots –  January 23, 2008

The Story Your Ink Bottle Tells – November 3, 2010

Whenever I get the opportunity to pick up some full bottles of vintage inks, I jump at the opportunity.  Just such an opportunity arose last week and I snapped up these two bottles of vintage Waterman’s Ink.



It is not all that unusual to find vintage ink bottles, but to find previously unopened ones is more difficult.  I have seen advertisements for these inks in the 1940s and they are the famous Waterman “tip-fill bottles” that can be tilted to the side by themselves when filling to get deeper into the bottle as it reduces.  The same shape is used today by Waterman.

Below is a Waterman Timeline of Tip-Fill bottles that includes a current Florida Blue bottle on the far right ~


Other colors besides these two that were produced in the US were Permanent Blue Black, Permanent Black, Aztec Brown, Tropic Green, South Seas Blue, and Carnation Red.

If your hunts in the wild for Fountain Pens come up dry, keep an eye out for bottles.  They are hidden gems…


February 2, 2012 - Posted by | Ink, Waterman Fountain Pen Ink | ,


  1. I am always on the hunt for old bottles of ink, opened or unopened. I have yet to find any Waterman or Parker ink bottles that have any ink in them. However, I have had pretty good luck finding bottles of Skrip, some of which are still unopened (my oldest being a 4oz. bottle of Permanent Blue-Black w/Chem-O-Pure). I’ve found one empty bottle of Waterman’s, but I’m not sure how old it is. It is before the tip-fill style. Like Carter’s, those old Waterman inks had really nice labels.

    Comment by ThirdeYe | February 2, 2012 | Reply

  2. Washable Ink is really washable ?

    Comment by Tomo | February 2, 2012 | Reply

    • Depends on the manufacturer. Skrip labels on their vintage washable inks claimed that Skrip was “washable from most fabrics, with soap and water”, and this seems to be true.

      Generally, the stronger the dye in the ink, the more likely it will leave a stain. The dyes in inks are made to bond with cellulose fibres in paper. They may also bond with cellulose fibres in fabrics.

      Even a “permanent” ink may be washable, with certain solvents. Noodler’s makes some truly permanent inks, which it calls “bulletproof”. These will stand up to nearly any solvent, including those commonly used for cheque-washing fraud.

      Comment by Larynxa | February 28, 2012 | Reply

      • L –

        Thank you for this excellent information. I appreciate your adding to this. Phil

        Comment by PKM | March 1, 2012

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