Advise needed on Fisher Space Pen


Anybody out there who can help out?

"I've been using moleskines since high school, and I'm going into the archival field after graduate school. Currently, I use a Fisher Space Pen and love the way it writes–especially on a moleskine. But is the ink archival quality? I want to be able to read my journals years from now, and having a pen with me that I can use for my work in addition to my journaling would be immensely helpful. Please advice me on how to tell if my ink is archival safe–I can't find the information anywhere on the web, or on the package of my refills!"


P. Matthew Stinson II

15 thoughts on “Advise needed on Fisher Space Pen

  1. It’s a long-shot, but try see if ISO-11798 is printed somewhere on the ink. (a standard for archive quality inks)

    Note, that I don’t see any on certification on my moleskine (for paper it should be ISO 9705 or infinity symbol or ISO 11108). Although the paper is acid-free, the moleskine might not be due to glues etc.

  2. Contacted Fisher regarding archival quality. quote ” Sorry, not in the general sense. It’s a thixotropic type ink, so it does last longer than normal ink.”

    In my opinion I wouldn’t worry unless you have open pages exposed to sunlight for a day or more. In a closed notebook it should last a long long time.

  3. I agree with Bob. I have several space pens and I’ve never known the ink to be of archival quality but if you keep the paper stored properly it shouldn’t be an issue. There are archival inks though if you’re keen to have them. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think both Parker and Papermate ballpoint ink are archival quality.

  4. I have the entry-level space pens…the one above is far too expensive for me! They all write with the same ink anyways…

  5. in general I believe if it is archival it would be listed as that or say so somewhere on the packaging. so my guess in no, not archival

  6. I have some old Moleskines (2003-ish) with the older formulations of Space Pen ink, and there was some yellowing of the ink onto the opposite pages. However, around 2004-5, Fisher seems to have redone their ink. It was smoother, darker, and it seems not to yellow up paper over time. But I echo those who echo Bob. As long as your notebook is closed, it should be fine. 🙂

  7. I don’t see any mention of archival quality on their web site, so I would guess no. I just emailed them and asked, I’ll post back here if I get a response.

    Though I agree w/ the others, probably would be fine as long as stored reasonably well.

  8. I will have to do a fade test on this ink. The last response from them sounds like a “this is what you want to hear answer”. I won’t be able to post photos but I will respond with honest results.

  9. Depends what you mean by archival. From my perspective, the two most important aspects would be 1) fadeproof and 2) acid-free. Fading is an obvious problem, but the acid in the ink can discolor the paper, and in the case of iron gall inks, actually eat the paper.

    You can buy a four pack of Uniball 207 gel ink pens for $5 at Wal-Mart. They’re advertised with Uniball Super Ink which is acid-free, water resistant and fade-proof. According to the Uniball web page, they are also “archival quality”

  10. I can’t believe I forgot to mention this, but Noodlers Ink has a series of bulletproof and eternal inks. Of course, you’ll need a fountain pen for to use those, but $20 Lamy Safari (with a converter) is a really good starter pen. Heart of Darkness even includes a free eyedropper pen with it. That ink is categorized as both eternal and bulletproof.

    Lastly, archival quality also depends a lot on the paper you’re using. Moleskine paper is acid-free, so that alone will ensure your writings last longer than they would on cheaper paper. HTH.

  11. I covered a 1″ x 8″ rectangle of 80lb acid free paper with the ink, ensuring that all surface area of the rectangle was saturated with the ink. I placed three pieces of black paper over the image to prevent light from getting to it. I then allowed random sunlight and random ambient light to strike the image for two days. There was some fading and and thin slivers of semi white paper could be seen within the image as if the ink shrunk and seperated. The ink was more solid beneath the black squares. None of this was scientific nor conclusive. Heat and humidity may have affected the paper and ink. In my opinion and for my purposes as an artist I would not use this ink as an archival medium. But for acid free notebooks I would expect this ink to last for decades with little or no problem as a good and reliable product. Go forth and write up a storm.

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