Frederick Douglass was an American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman. Originally from Maryland, he escaped slavery and became a national leader of the abolitionist movement in Massachusetts and New York. Douglass went on to write three autobiographies. Noteworthy is that Douglass actively supported women’s suffrage, and held several public offices. The Retro 51 Tornado Douglass 3-Piece Set is a wonderful tribute to this man. Admittedly, I don’t know much about history. So when I saw this pen set, I had to do some research about who Frederick Douglass was. Of course, that meant turning to Wikipedia. There’s so much more incredibly moving history about Douglass than I can include in this blog review, so I encourage you to read up on him if you’re not already familiar.
First of all, the Retro 51 Tornado Douglass 3-Piece Set comes with a fountain pen, ballpoint (capless rollerball), and mechanical pencil. Each writing instrument is made with a tactile computer engraved texture on stonewashed pewter finish. This set comes complete with a sturdy gift box which displays Douglass’ portrait on the front. Douglass’ portrait is also on the finial of the fountain pen and ballpoint. It has a magnetic closure for secure holding. Included are a converter, spare erasers, and spare lead.
Secondly, the fountain pen is equipped with a smooth, high-quality steel nib. It’s available in: extra fine, fine, medium, and 1.1 stub. The only thing I wish was different is the grip section. A plastic grip section doesn’t seem to match the rest of the all-metal cap and body to me. However, the overall look, feel, and balance is enjoyable. I’d fill this fountain pen with Monteverde’s Moonstone ink.
Next up, Retro 51 calls the ballpoint a capless rollerball. In addition to the smooth twist-action retraction, it comes equipped with a Schmidt short capless rollerball refill (as do most Retro 51 Tornado ballpoints). I call it a ballpoint because that’s what it is. It doesn’t have a cap, and can also take a Monteverde Parker Style ballpoint or gel refill. Therefore, there’s plenty of options.
Finally, Retro 51 mechanical pencils are awesome. I’m partial to their thick 1.15mm lead. I love how that makes it more durable while writing, and creates more surface area to write on which makes it smoother. There’s storage for spare lead in the top of the pencil. You load in the next piece of lead from the front when replacing. These pencils are so practical and well-made.
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