Friday, September 25, 2009

Vintage Inks: Green and Parker Super Quink Inks

Here are the two vintage inks I found last month when I joined fellow FPN-P members on a pen/ink/paper hunt in Recto and Avenida, in Old Manila. I love to call them my Christmas inks because of their color combination: Red and Green.

Ink No. 1: Parker Super Quink Permanent Red with Solv-X

I got this bottle of red ink from Conanan's at Recto. The bottle contains 2fl oz of ink, and against bright light, the contents appear to be brown rather than red. I used the black Hero 221 to try this ink, a pen I got from Corona, a shop full of Hero, Youlian, and Youth pens, still in Recto. As I wrote, I noticed that the ink starts out pale and almost pinkish, while it is still wet. Once it dries, it becomes a bright, happy, beautiful red. It's not as bloody red as Camel Scarlet, my other red ink from India, but I like the red it becomes on white paper when it dries. I love this kind of red and I'll try it on my medium-nibbed pens later on.

Ink No. 2: Parker Super Quink Permanent Green with Solv-X

This ink I got from Merriam and Webster along Avenida. The bottle contains 2fl oz of ink, and while so much ink has been lost to evaporation, there is something very special with this ink: it's made in the Philippines. I used another Hero 221 from Corona to test it. As I wrote using the Hero, I noticed that this green ink starts ever paler than the red one. It looked washed-out or even watered-down when it's wet. Surprisingly, it turns an impressive green as soon as it dries. I'm not a fan of green inks, but I particularly like the way this green turns out on white paper. Not too dark, for me to even mistake it for green-black ink, and not too light, to make it appear watered-down. It's green as I want green to be.

Writing sample and short review of inks on Cattleya paper:

I'm not sure if it is the pen I used, but both inks showed feathering and bleed through. I'm surprised to see it as the Cattleya has proven to be almost feather- and bleed through-resistant in the past. Nevertheless, both Red and Green inks showed impressive and bright colors once they have dried on paper, and looking at them, no one would ever think they're vintage inks we scoured from dust-laden cabinets, inspected meticulously for molds and sediments, and sniffed carefully for acidity.


  1. Great work on this review!

  2. Thank you, Woodworker!

  3. Fascinating. About 30 years ago I bought a 1 pint and a 2 pint bottle of Quink, from an ancient stationers closing down. It was called 'Emerald Green'. In stout cardboard boxes, each with an additional rubber spout for filling bottles. I hoped that would last out my teaching career. It did. I wrote to Parker to ask for some empty Quink bottles and they obliged with a box of about a dozen. No charge. Happy days of real customer service. Kind regards, Glyn Willis.


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