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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thanks, Daly’s Pen Shop! We’ll be back to visit soon!
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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…
Reblogged this on A Wandering Albatross and commented:
Also on the ‘to visit’ list.
I just love those vintage inks! Are they selling them by any chance or are they just for display?
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.
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
Enjoyed reading this. I don’t see pen shops around where I live, so seeing the old advertisements was especially a treat!
You’re only an hour and half away from another pen shop! Head on north and come visit!
Brian, you are on my list for next year!