Ink Review #291: Carter's Washable Blue


Today we are looking at a vintage ink, Carter's Washable Blue. This ink was popular in the 1940's, and sold for 15 cents per bottle. A sample of this ink was provided by Fountain Pen Love, who has an amazing collection of vintage ink.


The color:

Washable Blue is a dark blue, almost a blue-black.


In large swabs and ink drops there is some black sheen. This ink was popular in 1941, and was made in Boston. The consistency is still good, and there is not a noticeable bad smell. The color looks pretty true to ads from the 1940's, so it doesn't seem to have degraded.


Let's take a look at how the ink behaves on fountain pen friendly papers: Rhodia, Tomoe River, and Leuchtturm.

Dry time: 40 seconds

Water resistance: Medium-some of the ink washed away but you would probably still be able to figure out what it said.

Feathering: None

Show through: Medium

Bleeding: None

Other properties: no shadinglow sheen, and no shimmer

On 20 pound copy paper the ink performed well, no issues that I noticed.

Ink swabs for comparison, left to right (top to bottom for mobile RSS): Robert Oster Darkstar Blue, Carter's Washable Blue, and Birmingham Aluminum.

Bungubox 4B, Diamine Blue/Black, and Sailor Sei-boku. I think 4B is the closest ink to Washable Blue.


Longer writing: 

I used a broad Pelikan M805 Vibrant Blue on Tomoe River paper. The ink had an average flow.


Overall, this ink is interesting. It's impressive that it still works well after so long. If you are looking for a modern equivalent, take a look at Bungubox 4B. Give it a try, you might love it.

Disclaimer: A sample of this ink was donated for the purpose of this review. All photos and opinions are my own. There are no affiliate links on this page.