The Fast Life

While searching for El Marko i come across all sorts of reprobates misfits and crazy geniuses in strange countries all over the world, However it can be few and far between that  i get leads as to the where about’s of the illusive El Marko.

Sometimes while on my quest i find jems of marker history that just blow me away with the quality and craftsmanship of the work that must of been put into making these tools of signature. The SPEEDDRY brand is one of these jems and today i have two very old marker kits to show you from said brand.

Exquisitely made from Bakelite i have the SPEEDRY “brush pen standard” kit and the super heavy metal made SPEEDRY  “brush pen No 56” which has a self filling  capillary action, both of these pens are  beautifully made but the no 56 is a pure genius of design.

The Original SPEEDRY brush pen standard is one of the earliest markers i have ever found and at production the US patent was still pending, so it has no patent number, i would say it must be late 30’s to the 1940’s that this was made ,but that is just a guess and it could be earlier, if you have seen my post about Magic Markers these where the fore runners to them markers and i believe from the same company Sidney Rosenthals   “SPEEDRY” , however these pens i show you today i am still researching and its taking longer than i first thought and seeing as im busy travelling at the moment i will update the history later when i have realised my goal.

Speedry brush pen standard kit.

click image for larger photo

click on image to read

Speedry early ink and pipette

marker and ink

The SPEEDRY no 56 kit.

model no 56 parts


The Wizard and the Writer.

While searchin for El Marko a few years ago I bumped in-to a wise wizard (His name was Cheech) he told me “There is magic in your quest for El Marko , be pure of heart and all shall be revealed ”

I could tell you what I know about these little sexy glass and steel baby’s but I have sworn an oath (To The Cheech Wizard) never to tell, so instead of me breaking my word to the Gods of the Marker world and the Infamous Wizard I will give you this this…….. because i dont want a kick in the balls (Cheech’s favoured method of punishment)


Lee Newman patented a felt-tipped marking pen in 1910.[3] However, markers of this sort began to be popularized with the sale of Sidney Rosenthal‘s Magic Marker which consisted of a glass tube of ink with a felt wick. By 1958 use of felt-tipped markers was commonplace for a variety of applications such as lettering, labeling, and creating posters.[4] The year 1962 brought the development of the modern fiber-tipped pen (in contrast to the marker, which generally has a thicker point) by Yukio Horie of the Tokyo Stationary Company.

Vintage magic markers

net find

Net find

net find

These markers are pretty amazing and very much a separate addiction on there own , the smell alone can transport you to a time when Graffiti was just a baby reaching for the thumb of the MTA, These have always been expensive pens im told so only the true of heart who racked them up would of had them, the colour palette is pretty amazing too ,i have a good selection in my collection but by no means do I have a whole set , there are other variants of these pens too , When they first arrived on shelf’s they came in only 6 colours i have seen these older pens but alas i have none as of yet.

Magic Markers are still made today and the company now resides in Manchester England I am told.

Steel is my favourite

United States and Canada

In the United States, the word “marker” is used, as well as “magic marker”, which is a genericized trademark.

In Canada and the U.S., “Magic Marker” is sometimes used to refer to “reveal markers” for “magic picture books” where the colours of a picture are revealed by a colorless marker. Sharpie is a popular brand of permanent markers used for labeling. Markers are also sometimes referred to as felt-pens or felts in some parts of Canada.

The use of the terms “marker” and “felt-tipped pen” varies significantly among different parts of the world. This is because most English dialects contain words for particular types of marker, often generic brand names, but there are no such terms in widespread international use.


In India, felt-tip pens are referred to as “sketch pens” because they are mainly used for sketching purposes whereas the permanent felt-tip markers are referred to as just “markers”. In Malaysia, marker pen is just called marker without the word “pen”. In the Philippines, a marker is commonly referred to as a “Pentel Pen”. In Indonesia a marker pen is referred to as “Spidol”. In South Korea and Japan marker pens are referred to as “sign pens” or “name pens”. In Japan permanent pens are also referred to as “Magic” (from a famous pen brand name).


In Australia, the term “marker” usually refers only to large-tip markers, and the terms “felt-tip” and “felt pen” usually refers only to fine-tip markers. Markers in Australia are sometimes called “texta”. “Texta” is a brand name of a type of permanent marker, which is sometimes used generically.


The common term for “markers”, in particular permanent markers in Germany is “edding”. Edding is the leading brand for markers and stationery. Another term used is “Filzschreiber” or “Filzstift” what means felt pen. It is more common for non-toxic and non-permanent felt pens for children. However, some permanent markers are labeled “Filzschreiber”.

Hispanic Countries

In Spanish-speaking countries, the common word for marker is “rotulador”, or “marcador” and “plumón” in South American or Latin America countries. Hightlighting markers are known as “rotulador fluorescente”, “marcatextos”, “resaltador” or “fosforito”.

New Zealand

One would use the term “Sharpie” or “Vivid” only if using pens of those particular brands. The generic term for fine tipped marker is usually “felt pen” or “felts”.

Russia, Lithuania, and generally throughout the Balkans



The generic term used for most felt tip pens in Romania is “carioca” (pl. “carioci”), which comes from the brand name of the first felt tips being commercialised in Romania during the communist period. In recent times though the English word “marker” was coopted into the language (spelled as in English but with the plural “markere”) and is used especially when referring to the permanent and highlighter variety of felt tip pens.

South Africa

The term “Koki” is used for both felt pens and markers.

Here’s the modern version of the magic marker Monami’s Oil magic ink , there still in the small easy to conceal glass bottle but the Metal parts have been replaced with plastic ,still ….at least the retro cream Bakelite look a like lids are a cool  throw back to the halcyon days of Marker Magic.

You can find these Monami pens in Hong Kong but they are  made in Korea so none of this no poisons bullshit , they smell deadly like a 1985 Edding 800/850 (that’s another blog entry in the making) the ink is lush and dark ..these Oil magic markers are the shit ……………..oooooooh fuck my heads spinning i left the lids off.

I also picked up possibly the smallest markers ever in these tiny (and I mean tiny) limited editions that have long sold out.

Check the pictures for  pure full frontal marker porn.

Dam im all markered out …ooooooooohhh time for a cigarette baby ….. aaarrhhhhhh (lays back blowing smoke rings) Cigarettes are great after marker porn.

Father forgive me for i have sinned.

While searching for El Marko the other day i bumped in to the postman who had these 1976 carters Marks a lot’s all the way from a dusty shelf in Richmond Virginia via a relative who kindly send them to me,Vintage by the box , i wont go into any-more history as iv covered that in my last post all i will say is that all these pens are in perfect working condition and they smell so great its like iv sniffed a whole box up and gone to Marker heaven….. god forgive me  for my Vintage marker Obsession.


You can almost imagine a young TAKI183 using these pens when they where brand new during the formative years of the graffiti culture.

Collect the whole set.

Sir Marks a lot…

While searchin for El Marko the other day i came across these (literally) Vintage Marks a lot markers from various years of production.

The William Carter Company, the forerunner of Carter’s Ink, was founded in 1858 by Boston stationer William Carter who, in order to supplement his paper sales, had started repackaging other companies’ inks and selling them under his own name. In 1860, William Carter’s brother, Edward Carter, joined the company and the firm became known as “William Carter and Bro.”[2]

The Civil War disrupted Carter’s primary ink supplier, so William Carter obtained the use of its formulas on a royalty basis and started making his own inks and mucilage, which necessitated the move to a larger building. Another brother, John H. Carter, joined the company, which became “William Carter & Bros.”[2]

In 1865 William’s cousin, John W. Carter, joined the enterprise and the name became “Carter Bros. & Company.” John W. Carter focused his efforts on the ink part of the business which, along with the sales efforts of James P. Dinsmore, resulted in such growth that the ink business was separated from the paper business and moved into its own quarters in 1868.”[2]

The entire firm and both of its divisions and their separate buildings were destroyed the night of November 9, 1872, in what has been called the Great Boston Fire of 1872. All that was left was the company’s good will and its formulas.[2]

full page ad from 1966 ..and 2 Carters large …….


After the fire in 1872, John W. Carter teamed up with James P. Dinsmore to buy the ink division and start a new firm known as “Carter, Dinsmore and Company.” The new company thrived and by 1884 had become the largest ink producer in the world. Contributing to this growth was John W. Carter’s belief in and commitment to research to develop new and better inks.[2]

James P. Dinsmore retired in 1888,[2] and John W. Carter drowned in 1895, which created an organizational crisis in the unincorporated enterprise, which led to its incorporation later that year as “The Carter’s Ink Company.[1]



At the time of John W. Carter’s death, his son, Richard B. Carter was still studying at Harvard, but after his graduation in 1898, he joined the company and after a period of learning the business became its head in 1903.[1]

Under Richard Carter’s leadership the company outgrew its Boston location and in 1909 a new factory was built in Cambridge and occupied in 1910. The building’s huge “Carter’s Inks” electric sign faced the Charles River and was an area landmark for many years. Richard Carter continued his father’s commitment to research and development of inks, glues and related products.[1]

Carter pens

In the 1920s, when upmarket writing pens were a popular luxury item, Carter began its range of pens. The line was discontinued in the early 1930s, but they are still fondly remembered and sought after by collectors.

Americas Favourite Markers


Samuel D. Wonders was elected president of the company in 1949 and served intil 1955.

In 1975 the company was sold to Dennison Manufacturing Company, now Avery Dennison.[1]

Samuel D. Wonders was followed by Nathan C. Hubley, Jr who retired as President in 1976 when the company was sold to Dennison. To help with the transition, he remained with Dennison as Vice President until 1977.

1975 to date

After acquiring Carter’s Ink Company in 1975, Dennison made the business decision to trash all of Carter’s records from the 1860s on. Among the things destroyed unfortunately were all of Carter’s meticulous ink research records. The Carter name is still used by Avery-Dennison on some ink-related products such as stamp pads. The Carter’s Ink building in Cambridge still stands but has been adapted to other uses.[1]

1958 Baby Carters Marks a lot…

Carters Marks a lot Markers Baby 58 ..Large 66’s and box fresh Medium 66’s

Full frontal marker porn

Open for the smell of 1966 ….. shrink wrapped mediums

Vintage Cigar Markers.

While searchin for El Marko I have met some very rum old characters of graffiti’s yesteryears, i came across these (not literally) while on my quest , vintage cigar markers from 2  American companies that have both been producing metal barrel markers for over 50 years, and in the marsh 99 case is still in production today.

The photo of my 2 vintage marsh 99’s shows a early unused and boxed 99 in all its glory ,the rather dirty and used 99 is even older and still has the JAS.H.MATTHEWS & CO. name  also , this is the only 99 iv seen with this name on the barrel, I was told it was the cigar company that made the barrels for these marker’s but im not sure .

Both made in Belleville Illinois USA

The next photo shows 4 of my vintage cigar markers and includes the 2 old Diagraph’s from St.Louis USA both are different models one has the valve system the other from earlier i assume just screws straight in to the barrel and has no valve, interestingImage that Diagraph still make Metal barrel markers today.

The other photo I got from a Google ( forgotten art products ) search shows vintage Marsh 77 nibs of different shapes and sizes. I will get too the model 77 in another blog entry soon, i have a few 77’s in my collection.


El Marko’s Greatest moments in sports.

The Greatest moments in sport……… not the London 2012 Olympics but a promotional record from El Marko produced in Deerfeild Illinois in the 1950’s, you can hear……..

Side 1

…Joe Luis KO Max Schmeling in one round.

…Fantastic finish of the 1948 Army-Navy Game

…Historic N.Y Giants Football Game …Dec 7, 1941

…The immortal words of Babe Ruth

…Yankees-Dodgers, 1947 World Series


…Bobby thompson’s Pennant-Winning Homer for the 1951 Giants

…Jesse Owens’ great Olympic victories in Berlin

…Rodger Bannister break the 4 minute mile

…Whirlaway win the 1941 Kentucky Derby

…Knute Rockne’s famous Notre Dame Fight talk