Ink Review #310: Vintage Sanford Pen-It Cardinal Red


Today's vintage ink is Sanford Pen-It Cardinal Red. This ink was popular in the 1930's and 40's. A sample of this ink was provided by John from Fountain Pen Love.


The color:

Cardinal Red is now a pink. Originally it was a bright red.



In large swabs there is a little bit of bright greenish gold sheen around the edges. This ink really has degraded to a pink instead of a red. This ink was incredibly hard to capture correctly in photographs.


Writing Samples:

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

Dry time: 30 seconds

Water resistance: Low

Feathering: None

Show through: Medium

Bleeding: Low

Other properties: low shadingtiny sheen, and no shimmer. You can only see the sheen in large swabs on Tomoe River paper.

On 24 pound Staples copy paper the ink feathered and bled a bit.

Comparison Swabs:

Ink swabs for comparison, left to right (top to bottom for mobile RSS): Skrip Permanent Red, Sanford Pen-It Cardinal Red, and Diamine Scarlet. Cardinal Red and Permanent Red show similar color degradation.


Longer writing: 

I used a broad Pilot Vanishing Point Crimson Sunrise on Tomoe River paper. The ink had an average flow.


Overall, it's really more of a pink than a red, but I think that's from the ink degrading over time. It shows similar color degradation to Sheaffer Skrip Permanent Red. It still behaves well, and didn't have any flow issues, the color is just more pink than it used to be.

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.