A while back the nice folks from Goulet Pens sent us a few items free of charge for review, so today we are looking at the second of those items which is Noodler’s 54th Massachusetts Fountain Pen Ink. The unique ink is named after the first all African American regiment in the Civil War that fought for equal pay as compared to their white counterparts. Its a great looking blue black ink, so without further ado lets jump into our Noodlers 54th Massachusetts Review.
As with any fountain pen ink, the first glimpse of the color comes when you open up the bottle to see what it looks like on the inside of the lid and the walls of the container. Its usually pretty dark, but sometimes you can see some tones or shades that will give you insight to what the true color on paper might be. In the case of our Noodlers 54th Massachusetts Review, the ink on the inside of the cap definitely shows more blue tones than black. This bottle is a standard size 3 oz or 90 ml bottle and the ink is also part of Noodlers tamper resistant bulletproof series.
Taking a look at the Noodlers 54th writing samples above you can see there is a noticeable difference when written on a plain white paper such as that in a Black n’ Red notebook vs the ivory paper in a Rhodia Webnotebook. On either paper the ink has a distinctive lighter blue gray look as compared to many of the blue black inks that I’ve used. It has almost a wintery or flannel feel to me when I look at it, but especially so on the ivory background of the Rhodia Webnotebook. On each of these papers, the show through on the back side was very minimal and only showed faint shadows in a few spots.
Dry times in our review of the Noodler’s 54th Massachusetts varied and you can see there was a little bit of a snag in our dry time tests in the Black n’ Red notebook. In general though, this ink dried pretty quickly at about 3 seconds on average. I found that on each paper and with the three different pens used (Pilot Vanishing Point, Noodlers Ahab, and Pelikan M215) for the above writing samples, the ink flowed pretty evenly and consistently and was every so slightly to the drier side of things. On the more absorbent Levenger Circa paper (right in the image above) the ink did spread just a bit as compared to the two other samples, but it was certainly within a reasonable range that would be expected.
When it comes to the bulletproof nature of the Noodlers 54th Massachusetts ink, you can see above that I tried soaking the entire sheet of paper from the writing sample in a tub of water. I let it sit in the water for just about two minutes before removing it, and in that time none of the ink seemed to become diluted or fade.
Here is the same sheet of wet paper sitting on the flipped over glass container after I removed it from the water. The one thing you cant tell here though is that while the paper was still wet, I rubbed my finger across the entire surface in an attempt to see if the ink would smear now that it had been wet and was soaking in the water. Although it doesn’t show in the picture, there was a very minor bit of ink that rubbed off, but it was so unnoticeable that I had to look very close to see it. After rubbing a bit and trying to get more ink to rub off though, I found myself rubbing paper off that had started to disintegrate due to it being saturated with water. Obviously it looks like the ink is going to be more durable than the paper that you are writing on, so you shouldn’t have to worry about it being tampered with or disappearing over time.
Overall I’m a really big fan of the Noodler’s 54th Massachusetts Fountain Pen Ink and it definitely has a permanent place in my rotation of daily use inks. Its got a softer and more unique grey tone rather than a drastic black that you find in many blue black inks, and it handles very well on a variety of papers. If you are a blue black ink kind of person like I consider myself, this one is definitely a must have for your rotation. It gives you a little bit of variety in your blue black arsenal without totally going off the reservation and still retains a professional and business appropriate look. Thanks again to the folks from Goulet Pens for providing this free sample for review.