The Ellis Island Collection is the 34th in the David Oscarson™ series of Limited Edition writing instruments and will be produced in three design variations; each limited to production of 62 pieces (including fountain pens and roller balls). Consistent with previous designs, the Ellis Island Collection is created by employing the expertise of Guilloché engraving and the artistic mastery of Hard Enamel.
This Ellis Island fountain pen is made with sterling silver, Guilloché, and hot enamel in Translucent Pearl White with sterling silver trim.
David Oscarson’s unique filling system accommodates a cartridge, converter or eyedropper fill; a series of seals and “O” rings prevents the ink from leaving the chamber at any point. Engineered in Heidelberg, Germany, the 18-karat gold nib is unsurpassed in quality and form. Coupled with an ebonite feeder, each nib is plated with rhodium and tipped with iridium to ensure durability in fine, medium and broad sizes.
From 1892 to 1954, over 12 million immigrants passed through the portals at Ellis Island seeking freedom and the bright promise of opportunity in America. Some sought wealth and fortune; for others, the journey was made to escape war, drought, famine or religious persecution, but all who came shared the common hope for a better life in the new world.
Originally called Gull Island by the Mohegan Indians, this little piece of land just south of Manhattan was acquired by the Dutch in 1630 and renamed Oyster Island. During the 1760’s, it was known as Gibbet Island, named for the gibbet, or gallows tree, used to hang men convicted of piracy. During the Revolutionary War, New York merchant Samuel Ellis purchased the island and built a tavern on it to cater to local fishermen.
In 1808, the state of New York purchased Ellis Island for $10,000 and the US War Department paid the state to use the island for military fortifications and ammunition storage during the war of 1812. During the US Civil War, Ellis Island was used as a munitions arsenal for the Union Army.
After the Civil War, Ellis Island stood vacant until the US government decided to replace the New York immigration station at Castle Garden, which closed in 1890. Control of immigration was turned over to the federal government, and $75,000 was appropriated for construction of the first federal immigration station on Ellis Island. Artesian wells were dug and the island’s size was doubled to over six acres, with landfill created from incoming ships’ ballast and the excavation of subway tunnels in New York.
When the first great wave of immigration began in 1814, there was very little regulation, but by 1875, the United States began to deny entry to prostitutes and criminals; “lunatics” and “idiots” were also forbidden to enter the country.
The first Ellis Island Immigration Station officially opened on January 1, 1892 as three large ships waited to land. Seven hundred immigrants passed through Ellis Island that day, and nearly 450,000 followed over the course of that first year.
After an arduous sea voyage, immigrants were tagged with information from their ship’s registry, then waited in long lines for medical and legal inspections to determine if they were fit for entry into the United States.
Over the next five decades, until its closing in November, 1954, more than 12 million people passed through the island on their way into the United States. Today, 40 percent of all current U.S. citizens can trace at least one of their ancestors to Ellis Island. The Ellis Island Limited Edition Collection stands as a tribute to the millions of immigrants who came to the United States seeking freedom and opportunity and who together built a great nation “out of many, one”.
Flags from countries with the greatest numbers of immigrants from 1892 to 1954 are displayed in high and low relief in guilloché and hot enamel. The American flag stands at the front of the cap in the forefront of the Statue of Liberty outlined underneath. The torch on the clip is a symbol of enlightenment, lighting the way to freedom along the path to liberty. The seal of Public Health adorns the top of the cap and a detention stamp is engraved at the bottom of the barrel.
Hand-crafted from 18-karat gold and .925 Sterling Silver, each precious metal component passes through multiple stages of precision engraving, creating an intricate pattern known as guilloché; a painstaking process which brings life and light to the surface of precious metals.
About Hard Enamel:
Using a mortar and pestle, a composition of glass, water and metal oxides is ground for hours by hand. When settled, the water is removed, leaving the fine paste that is the basis for hard enamel. A quill is then used to apply each coat of the mixture to the surface of the metal, ensuring that the entire guilloché area is completely covered in enamel. The components are then fired in a furnace at temperatures exceeding 1,000° F, fusing the enamel to the metal and forming a layer of glass.
After cooling, the pieces are manually ground with a diamond file, restoring their proper shape and surface. This tedious process is repeated at length until the level of enamel reaches the depth required to cover the peaks and fill the valleys of each intricate guilloché pattern. When the final stages of firing are completed, the pieces are polished and buffed, revealing the velvet finish of translucent hard enamel.
Production of translucent hard enamel demands the highest levels of patience, experience and skill. A five-year apprenticeship is required to ensure that the highest levels of quality will be met in each individual Collection piece.
Please allow us up to several extra days for shipping of this pen. Please also note we are unable to accept a return of this pen for any reason once it has been used with ink. Please thoroughly inspect and dry test the pen before use.
- David Oscarson
- Fountain Pens
Whether or not the barrel of the pen is translucent, allowing you to see the ink and filling mechanism inside.
- Body Material
- Hard Enamel over Metal
- Cap Type
How the cap is opened/closed from the barrel of the pen. Some common options include Snap-Cap, Screw-Cap, Magnetic Cap, or Capless (no cap).
- Filling Mechanism
How the pen fills with ink. Click here to watch our video tutorial on common filling mechanisms.
- Cartridge, Converter, Eyedropper
- Grip Material
- Nib Size
- Fine, Medium, Broad
- Nib Color
- Nib Material
- 18k Gold
Whether or not the cap fits securely onto the back of the barrel when open.
Whether or not the nib/tip can retract into the body of the pen (usually for click or twist-open style pens).
- Sterling Silver
Reviews & Questions
How do I fill a fountain pen with ink?
It depends on the pen's filling mechanism, which you can find in the Technical Specs section above.
Here's a quick definition of the most common filling mechanisms:
Cartridge - A small, disposable, sealed plastic reservoir that holds fountain pen ink. These come pre-filled with ink, and typically you just push to insert them into place and you'll be ready to write!
Converter - A detachable and refillable ink reservoir that allows you to use bottled ink in a cartridge-accepting pen. Typically you will install the converter into the grip section, dip the nib/feed into the ink, and twist or pull the converter knob to draw ink into the converter. Here's a video for how to fill a cartridge/converter pen using a LAMY pen as an example.
Eyedropper - A pen that utilizes the entire barrel as a reservoir for ink. Ink is directly filled into the barrel, allowing for a high ink capacity. Here's a video on how to do it!
Piston - A type of filling system that uses a retracting plunger inside a sealed tube to draw ink into a pen. They are typically either twist or push-operated. These pens cannot accept cartridges or a converter, and only fill from bottled ink.
Vacuum - A push-style piston that uses pressure to fill the large pen body with ink. They seal the ink chamber when closed, making it ideal for flying without risk of leaking.
You can learn more with our Fountain Pen 101 video on Filling Mechanisms on YouTube.
How do I clean a fountain pen?
It depends on the filling mechanism, but it mostly comes down to flushing it out with water, and sometimes a little bit of Pen Flush if the ink is really stuck.
It's a bit easier to show than to tell, so we've put together a few quick videos showing you the process:
How often do I need to clean my fountain pen?
We recommend a good cleaning every 2 weeks, and any time you change ink colors.
Water will usually do the trick, but we recommend you use our Goulet Pen Flush if the ink has been left in the pen for a while and could have dried up, or when you’re switching ink colors.
My pen won’t write! What do I do?
First things first... make sure you have ink in the pen! Be sure that the ink cartridge or converter is seated properly in the pen, and that you aren't out of ink.
We always recommend you give your pen a good cleaning first, using our Goulet Pen Flush, or a drop of dish soap in some water. New pens often have some machining oil residue left in the feed, so a good cleaning often does the trick first.
If that still doesn't work, try priming the feed. This consists of either dipping your pen nib and feed in ink, or forcing ink from the converter down into the feed.
If it’s still not working after that, please reach out to us so we can help!
David Oscarson Ellis Island Fountain Pen - Pearl White/Silver
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