Float About... #33 © Copyright Sun/Feb 3, 2002
a bi-monthly newsletter dedicated to Eskesen floaty pen collectors
Happy 2002... Floaty Fans. 2001 is all but a distant memory as we float forward into a brand new year. Ohioans are enjoying decent weather. So far, outside of a few moderately cold days, our winter has been tolerable. Have you been as lucky? Any travel plans? It is unlikely Bill and I will be heading westward this year. That hasn't deterred my California and Seattle dreamin'. Sarah Watson had news to temper my disappointment. Ms Watson found two fresh perked float pen designs in the java capital of the USA... Seattle.
When Bill and I visit Seattle, we skip any number of Starbuck establishments to savor a cup of joe at SBC, Seattle's Best Coffee. The SBC in Post Alley, just a few beans away from Pike Place Market, is our favorite cafe. Ohio is by no means a coffee lovers dominion. Sure we have access to fancy beans, but while many of you stumble over a coffee shop on every street corner... Mansfield doesn't have one SBC or Starbucks store! Like most American households, coffee is a staple at our place. Since our first visit to Seattle, SBC has been our brand of choice.
I am excited to offer both SBC pens on the New Arrivals list. The Seattle's Best Coffee logo is magically brewed into a fresh cup of coffee in the pen featured on the left. A rich brown plume of steam rises and falls from the percolator to cup in the pen pictured right. These designs are strikingly different from one another, but equally attractive. Add them to your collection now.
My pen order was accompanied by a couple of SBC brochures. I was amazed to learn that the company got it's start in 1968! It didn't take me long to discover this is an exceptional organization. Unlike many modern corporate entities, SBC is goal oriented but they are actively dedicated to preserving a healthy ecosystem. They manage to balance profit margins while protecting the environment that yields their beans.
Founder, Jim Stewart proclaims, “I made it my mission to tour the farms and growing regions to help the farmers produce quality coffee, be more profitable and live a better life”. The company certainly reflects his values and attitudes. If you would like to learn more about SBC, their products and history, visit their website. ww.SeattlesBest.com for a tour. Grab a cart and do some shopping while you are there!
Issue #32 of Float About posted ... way back on October 28, 2001. I did follow-up with Bulletin #3 early in December. It's only a few pages long, but many new designs were introduced. The Bulletin has since been tagged onto the bottom of issue #32.
It has been suggested that because collectors sometimes overlook an issue, pens from the current issue plus the preceding issue should be included in the new arrivals category. Good idea. Thy will be done. Pens from issues prior to December have been mixed into the Main List.
New pens are hard to come by... during the winter months. Most distributors are in the design process and preparing for the upcoming spring season. Consequently, there isn't a great deal of news and the New Arrivals list is shorter than usual. I think you will agree quality compensates for the lack of quantity.
Some of you still regret missing... the coveted Heinz ketchup pen. For me, this pen holds a firm spot in my Top 5 favorites. Heinz and distributor Ideal Motion Promotion are responsible for this masterpiece. It has become a classic example of float pen design at it's finest.
To get the attention of their younger patrons, Heinz, the Czar of condiments in the USA, introduced EZ-Squeeze ketchup in color, vibrant colors. As an adult you are probably content with plain old red ketchup. That's ok. Little squirts all over the country take delight in decorating their hot dogs, burgers, and fries in red, green and purple.
To celebrate and promote their new color palette, Heinz once again turned to Ideal Motion Promotion. Together they have created three new float pens. Like the original design, these are all conceal/reveal pens with a clicker top. Each pen shares the same classic caption panel that includes the 'HEINZ' logo boldly presented on a white backdrop. The ketchup oozes over a basket of fresh french fries.
I have stopped the action at the halfway point to depict motion. The ketchup continues to pour across the fries. Tip the pen back and the ketchup is magically returned to the squeeze bottle. Located under New Arrivals at a nice price, $5 each or $12 for the trio.
Eskesen mailed numerous holiday cards ... to collectors and fans. Their card was accompanied by a very special seasonal pen. A slot in the card allows the pen to be clipped directly over the pen pictured on the card. To date, this is my favorite 'E' card and pen combo.
'E' also incorporated our collectors united design in a company promo pen. The artwork was slightly modified to include a keyring and the caption panel is brand new. I purchased two dozen of the holiday and promo pens to share, but it's a sad story. Because I placed the pen package atop my electric oil heater and then forgot about it... every pen has a bubble. The bubbles in the holiday pens are big enough I will not be offering them for sale. I will include a free holiday pen in the first 21 orders that I receive (as of 02/04/02:00 pm, holiday pens are all gone!) The promo pen has a much smaller bubble (visible in the caption panel of the scan). Because the bubble is all my fault, I am selling 21 promo pens for just $1.50 each. It is possible (but very unlikely) that the bubbles will dissipate in time.
I broke the fundamental rule of float pen care. Never place your pens where they will get HOT. I always include an ‘avoid bubbles warning’ on my outgoing packages. Bubbles caused by cold are easier to shake than bubbles formed by excessive heat. Many a pen has been fried on the dashboard of a car parked in the direct path of the sun. I gasp when I shop at a flea market and find float pens displayed in glass covered cases with the sun pouring in. The dealer is often puzzled why the pen has developed a bubble, the barrel has bowed and the colors have faded. Not a mystery to an educated float pen collector. Store and display your pens in a room where the temperature is moderate and remains fairly constant.
Between Turn of the Century, Float About, family and friends... Bill and I felt we had to
trim our holiday mailing list to 150 cards. It was really a tough call. I received a flood of incredible cards from my pen collectors. Kristen Marino even included a copy of her end-of-the-year family and friends letter. Reading about the travel adventures of Eugene and Kristen was great fun. I was so happy to hear about the adoption of their third cat... Crinkle, a Siamese mix. While Kristen's holiday communication was by far the most in-depth, Andre' Perrin had the most unique greeting card (pictured above). Truly inspirational. Ron Lanyi's photo card featured daughter Claire in sunny California. She appears to be two years older than when we saw her last spring. Thank you all for thinking of me during the busy holiday season. Your cards and best wishes were most appreciated.
We received a thank you letter... from the Red Cross recognizing our generous donation of $2,556.84. I submitted a check, letter and list of all of our donors to the local Red Cross chapter. I requested that the full amount be designated for 9-11 relief. The check was forwarded to National and cashed, so the Red Cross Project is officially over. Lupita Vargas, at Topline Products, provided the inventory and you did the rest. Thank you one and all.
Sales from the History of America set of six pens continues to generate funds for the Salvation Army. Plenty of inventory remains. The sets sell for $10, with $8 of each sale going to the charity. To date, $240+ has been collected. I am posting sets on eBay too in hopes of gaining some outside interest. I will keep you posted on the progress.
This isn't exactly a media sighting... but it's close. Rosie O'Donnell has created a custom float pen to promote her TV program. I have visited her website in hopes of obtaining pens for all of us, but alas... no go! I feel terrible because I haven't a clue how you are going to get one for your collection. All of my attempts failed. If your pursuit is successful, please let me know. The pen is a twist n click with a slanted top in a variety of translucent barrel colors. Best of luck finding the elusive Rosie pen.
This is one you can... get your hands on. DynaPen is offering a very cool vintage 1970's ‘America, Love It or Leave It’ conceal/reveal pen for just $3.50. Russell has several vintage float pen designs in stock from that same era. Visit DynaPen to place your order. (6/6/05 link disabled - this domain has closed)
We have explored the variety of occupations ... and life styles represented within our floaty family. Among us there is at least one member of just about every imaginable profession. To my knowledge we have but one collector that is a musician with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Bass trombonist, Doug Yeo, began collecting pens while traveling with the Symphony. His talent has taken him all over the globe, but Doug is especially excited about an upcoming performance.
The BSO is scheduled to play at the Super Bowl this year. Doug will maintain an up-to-date online diary of preparations and activities involved before and throughout the event, from a personal perspective. You are welcome to read his reflections of this once-in-a-lifetime escapade on his web page. Enjoy.
The Trader's List has been renovated ... and it's about time. Defunct email addresses have been removed and collectors that I have not heard from in a year or so have been deleted. All remaining collectors were contacted to confirm their trading status. The result is an up-to-date list of pen traders. Ralf Brosig, Ginny Salkowe, and Finn Sørensen are the latest additions. I have also included an email address for Mr Mahfoud Zanat. Welcome aboard everyone and happy trades to you.
In many circles, French collector Mr Zanat... is considered the #1 Eskesen collector on the planet. Mahfoud has been collecting pens for decades. He has also commissioned more than one custom float pen to declare his devotion to his hobby. Late in 2001 Zanat created a pen that pays tribute to Peder Eskesen and recognizes famous international collectors. Zanat is prominently featured on the front panel with a photo of Peder. The back panel is a photo gallery of five other collectors. I am certain the collectors included were honored to be in this pen gallery. Miranda and I were ecstatic to be a part of it all. I apologize for not including a scan. I worked for over an hour on the image, but I remain dissatisfied with the results. Surely Mahfoud has extras to trade. firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Zanat does not speak English, but he has software which will translate e-communications. Keep your correspondence short and simple and you should be able to arrange trades. Remember, he has more pens than a porcupine has quills, so do not get discouraged if you do not have designs that he needs. There is no harm in trying. Welcome him to our float community.
Stephen Kenneth has changed ... the link to his website. Update your bookmarks... new url www.thefloatypenzone.co.uk
Phyllis Farrer is the force behind a series ... of four Pembroke Welsh Corgi pens. The pens were created as a fund-raising project for Corgi rescue by the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of the Garden State. Each pen depicts a Corgi participating in a performance competition. Phyllis is offering the newest design, a Corgi proudly carrying a dumbbell across the obedience ring and three other pens for sale. Earlier designs pictured Corgis herding sheep, in the show ring and running the agility course. Past designs are in limited supply. Price per pen is $4.50 + actual postage. Contact Phyllis directly via email at email@example.com or call and place your order today (732)297-0473.
Sarah James was preparing ...
for her wedding when last reported in issue #32. She was also anxiously
awaiting the arrival of their custom made wedding pen. The clock was ticking,
but sure enough... the pens arrived just in time. Sarah James is now Sarah
Garrett. The couple was kind to share their very personal wedding memento with
the rest of us.
Shirley Glaettli has decided to sell... her entire pen collection. If you are new to float pen collecting and would like to get a jump start... there are pens in each of these categories: Adv/Promo, Animals, Cartoons, Celebrities, Disney, Events, History, Holidays, Museums, Olympics, Locations USA/Foreign and more. Shirley would like to sell the entire collection of 133 pens for $500 to one buyer. That is less than $4 per pen, which is a fair market value. If you are seriously interested in purchasing the collection, you may contact Shirley via email. You may also reach her via phone. Shirley has prepared a complete list of the pens available. Please, serious inquiries only. (NOTE: email and phone removed May 2015; Pens sold long ago.)
Miranda Wittebol... has crossed the 6,000 mark. I predict there will come a day when Miranda is included in the Guiness World Book of Records. That is a dream I would like to see come true.
Thank you Ron Lanyi and Kerri Drylie... for the spectacular gifts. Kerri emailed a photo of a glorious Florida sunset from her hometown of Christmas. Can you feel the heat?! Ron forwarded several postcards that prominently feature the sun down. They each make a unique and wonderful addition to my collection of sunset images.
Karen Swanson was astonished... to find a float pen collection displayed in the Hobby Hall at the 2001 Thurston County Fair. Karen took a photo, but she has since lost the name of the collector. Maybe this is someone you know? It has to be someone from the Olympia, Washington area. The photo includes approximately 400-500 pens suspended by wire inside a wooden framed box with a clear front, marked #61. Do you know this mystery collector?
Dee Paparatto recently took her children...to see the Big Duck. The 20-foot tall white duck building was fashioned from concrete and wood in 1931 by duck farmer Martin Maurer. The belly of the beast became the shop where Maurer sold ducks and eggs. The Big Duck now serves as a tourism center for the East end of Long Island, NY. Dee found a site specific float pen in the gift shop.
The twist n click pen features the Big Duck building afloat over a grassy green meadow. The design is very simplistic with a few white clouds suspended in a blue sky backdrop. The caption panel includes a pic + 'The Big Duck' 'Long Island, NY' over the same meadow scene. Dee thought it wise to reveal the price... $7 per pen! Out of line, but in that part of the country, they can get it. If you need to know more, Roadside America has an article all about it. As a souvenir enthusiast you will enjoy this online guide to offbeat USA roadside attractions. A hard copy publication is available too. Thanks for the tip Dee.
While Hawkeye Breeders is working... on a new prototype for their newest design, Ginny Salkowe has word of an earlier sperm pen. The caption panel reads: ‘Superior Genetics, Inc.’ 134 Pea Ridge N. S.E. Eatonton, Georgia 31024'. Ginny describes the art. “The floater is 3 big-eyed sperm. The foreground includes a cow on one end and a bull on the other side with Federated Genetics written in between. The cows are smaller and the sperm bigger on this pen. I got this from a trader in Denmark! Gotta love it!” Superior Genetics has since gone out of business. Your hunt for this pen should begin at flea markets, antique shows and eBay.
Valentine's Day Sale!... now in effect. The Float Aways category remains unchanged from the last issue. It was probably a year ago I announced that I wanted to trim the number of designs on my list from 650 to 500. Well, there are currently 648 designs listed. Not much of a change. Because there are only a handful of new pens in this issue and I am overstocked on some designs... welcome to the Valentines Day Sale. From now through midnight February 14th 50¢ will be deducted from the price of each and every item on the Main List with one exception, the Related Products category. 50+ pen scans have been added to the Main List for your convenience. Now that there are pictures for every pen on the list, I will going back and replacing old scans with improved images.
Sale continues... get 50¢ off each Foreign/Location pen you buy OR buy ANY 10 Foreign pens for $25! This is an opportunity to add to your exotic location category without the expense of a trip to Asia, Australia, Britain, or the Netherlands. Just think of the money you will save! Having 10 new tour pens is almost like being there! Offer good through midnight Valentines Day, or at least while designs last.
Pens Past, Present and Future...
Pens found, lost and found again.... and my head is spinning. Miranda shipped 25 of the Dutch collectors pens weeks ago. I must have put them in a really safe place. Bill and I spent hours tearing the house apart looking for them. We are convinced the house ate them. Bill promises they will surface the minute I print and post the newsletter. Hopefully he's right.
While searching for the Dutch collectors pen I found 15 Hawkeye Breeders sperm pens. I received the pens in a number of different shipments. Apparently I put one group aside and they were never added to the database count. Many collectors missed out on this one. To make sure it doesn't get overlooked, I am including this pen in the New Arrivals category.
Miranda ordered three art pens on my behalf. The shipper mistyped her postal code condemning the package to float in limbo. I delayed publication of Float About knowing the pens would eventually reach Miranda. That didn't happen. As of a week ago, no sign of the package. We were all certain the pens were lost forever... until today (1/31/02). Miranda received notice that the missing package has finally been returned to the shipper. Hurray! Miranda will ship them to me ASAP. Since 9-11 postal service has been so erratic I won't make any promises. If and when they arrive, I will let you know!
Did I tell you I can NOT restock... the Alaska pens? All of the Alaska inventory on my list is now considered endangered. (note: Alaska pens have been saved! Another distributor has picked them up. They are NOT endangered.) There are a few items that have been out of stock for awhile, but are now available: Humor/Sushi Smorgasbord, Politics/Elvis meet Nixon, and Display/Black Gridwork.
New pens are scarce... but fabulous. Rather than provide a link for each individual pen, this is a direct link to the New Arrivals category. The Live only Love pen will come and go very quickly. The distributor is not going to put the design into full production. The Europees Platform pens arrived just hours before I completed the newsletter. National Snow, Rudolph & Sletten and Skeeter are in short supply.
Issue #34 is due to release... on April 2nd. I will do the best I can. Bill and I are enjoying a quiet winter. The most exciting event we have shared was having Josh and his two male cats home for the holidays. They arrived just two days after we adopted Kobey (pictured left). Josh made over 100 glass beads. Bill tinkered in the shop. I spent a lot of time cooking. The boy cats had a great time. The old girl cats, Keogh and Minki, headed for cover and hibernated for the duration. The rest of us had a blast! I hope this letter finds you comfy and cozy in your winter nest? When next we meet it will be the season for flowers and showers.
Frozen, but afloat...
FLOAT ABOUT... Diana Andra, 1676 Millsboro Road, Mansfield, OH 44906-3374
phone 419/529-8876 or fax 419/529-3354
Copyright © February 3rd, 2002 Float About... Diana Andra