Field Trip: Daly’s Pen Shop in Milwaukee

 

Daly's Pen Shop Milwaukee

While on the road this week, we got to make another stop. This time, we got to visit the legendary Daly’s Pen Shop in Milwaukee, WI. Daly’s has been in business since 1924. The location has changed but its one of the oldest pen shops in the US. Its a lovely shop filled with all the lots of great stuff including a wide variety of pens, inks and paper. The owner Brad Bodart was friendly, helpful and patient with all my questions.

Daly's Pen Shop Sheaffer's vintage pen display

The first thing I gravitated toward was this vintage Sheaffer case. The bottom row are mostly vintage Esterbrooks. The beautiful Parker Duofold on the right on the middle shelf is actually a reproduction with a ballpoint from the 70s. It explained the $35 price!

Daly's Pen Shop Clock

Across the back wall of the shop was a fabulous vintage Parker Duofold clock with 1920s-style tortoiseshell celluloid frame and framed original trolley car advertisements.

Daly's Pen Shop Sheaffer's Case

Daly's Pen Shop Sheaffer's Case open

Sheaffer custom-built this glass and aluminum display case for Daly’s with grooves to hold pens and a secret cubby to store inks (Skrip, of course!). When the shop relocated over the years, this is one of the items that they always made sure was moved to the new location. They also moved a wooden case that runs the length of one wall full or narrow drawers to hold pens, ink and accessories.

Daly's Pen Shop Calendar

The Daly’s advertising calendar behind the cash register is fabulous and I was tickled that it hadn’t been changed since my birthday. Brad said that he always knocked it off the wall while trying to change out the date cards so he had stopped chainging it. He promised to leave it my birthday for awhile so if you go in, check and see if its still up.

Daly's Pen Shop vintage ink bottles Daly's Pen Shop Quink V Mail ink

In the front corner of the store was a case full of vintage ink bottles. I love the labels! I particularly like the box of vintage Quink “reproduces best for V-Mail” box. Amazing.

Daly's Pen Shop Billboard

The billboard was actually a framed photo but I like to pretend that we passed it on our way in to Milwaukee. Of course, now most of Daly’s business in online. I got a peek in the backroom with shelves of pens and accessories for their massive online shop.

If you didn’t see it, there was an audio interview with Daly’s Pens on NPR in November 2013. Its worth a listen.

Daly's Pen Shop Front Window

Thanks, Daly’s Pen Shop! We’ll be back to visit soon!

0 comment on Field Trip: Daly’s Pen Shop in Milwaukee

  1. Tom J. Hall
    July 7, 2014 at 10:14 am (4 months ago)

    Being a Milwaukee boy, I bought some of my first fountain pens a Daly’s.
    Glad to see the new shop retains some of the character of their old downtown location, but that store was a treat.
    Glass and gleaming woodwork and built in cabinets filled with mysteries.
    Think Olivander’s Wand shop…

    Reply
  2. Peninkcillin
    July 7, 2014 at 9:28 pm (4 months ago)

    I just love those vintage inks! Are they selling them by any chance or are they just for display?

    Reply
    • The Well-Appointed Desk
      July 8, 2014 at 11:33 am (4 months ago)

      I didn’t ask but suspect those were for display purposes. I do know Daly’s does a lot of ebay sales of vintage pens so you might ask about any old ink bottles.

      Reply
  3. Bob
    July 8, 2014 at 7:03 am (4 months ago)

    I’m envious you were able to fit this in on another trip. I have most of the well known shops on a map and constantly hoping my limited travels take me within rental car distance of one. Love the old ink collection. I have a few but wow! on Daly’s. Thanks for the virtual visit

    Reply
  4. Winnie
    July 8, 2014 at 7:19 am (4 months ago)

    Enjoyed reading this. I don’t see pen shops around where I live, so seeing the old advertisements was especially a treat!

    Reply
  5. Brian Anderson
    July 8, 2014 at 9:34 am (4 months ago)

    You’re only an hour and half away from another pen shop! Head on north and come visit!

    Reply

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