Farewell to Fred Krinke, L.A.’s Fountain Pen King

We’re saddened to learn that Fred Krinke, third generation proprietor of The Fountain Pen Shop—founded in Downtown Los Angeles in 1922, housed in recent years in a Monrovia industrial park—died on Sunday.

Fred was a cool, wise character who is probably responsible for turning more Southern Californians on to the frustrations and fussy pleasures of fountain pen use than anyone else. A visit to his shop was always a kick for us, with Richard testing nibs of newly manufactured daily pen options, while Kim, who owns more vintage fountain pens than she’ll be able to wear out in this lifetime, explored Fred’s mini-museum in the front room.

The future of the family-run Fountain Pen Shop is uncertain, but Fred’s sweet influence will never be forgotten. Our sympathies go to his family, and to the extended family of scribers who will start feeling anxious as their stock of Fred’s Secret Sauce pen cleaner runs low.

We hope you enjoy these photos of Fred’s magical shop, taken on a visit in April 2017, when we were able to share with him the happy news that Angels Flight Railway would soon be running again. With his passing, a door closes on a lost era of Downtown Los Angeles, and a golden thread of generations of writers creative and practical, who appreciate the old ways and the cultured gentleman who always kept their pens, and by extension their thoughts, flowing. Farewell and thank you, Fred!

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