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Thread: Official pen for signing bills into law?

  1. #1

    Default Official pen for signing bills into law?

    I was looking at a nice pen I just received and it occured to me that presidents, congress folks, governors etc have these signing cermonies. Perhaps treaties and things like that.

    Long ago they used a feather. Was it an official feather or was it "Hey Ben, got a pen?" when signing the Declaration of Indepence?

    Even today, do they still use a quill pen? A Sharpie? Did the leader of Japan have to borrow a BiC from his underling or did the US president have an official pen when the declaration of war was over after WW2?
    John 3:16

  2. #2
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Official pen for signing bills into law?

    The last several have used some form of "Cross." Trump uses a Century II black n gold. Can't remember what they used before but Obama used a different Cross and switched to the c2.

    What's more interesting to me is that some use multiples on bills and hand them out as souvenirs. There are a few articles about it but I haven't had a chance to look.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* RedLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Official pen for signing bills into law?

    Fixer,

    I have covered, and photographed many bill signings. President Trump mostly uses one pen, other presidents use many pens signing a small portion of their name, with each pen, I have seen what look like twenty that were being used at different events. They are then given to the authors of the bill, and other guests in the ceremony. President Clinton gave me one at a ceremony in California years ago. He also told me for a bill to be officially legal a president must sign his full name, no initials, spelled all the way out, or the law does not go into effect.

    Bush, Obama and Trump, at least the ones I have seen never did that. I don't know if Clinton was right, however, he was in a very good position to know that, and I would not doubt him.

    One thing I have never seen other presidents do is what President Trump does is after signing the bill is to display it to the cameras and audience. At least the ones I have witnessed. I like that.

    The Quill pen you mention, I believe is an old tradition at the Supreme Court, when a case is heard, the attorneys arguing before the justices receive a quill pen as a memento of trying a case before the court. Don't hold me to this, maybe there is a lawyer here who may know their traditions better than myself.

    One thing about presidential events I have noticed over the years is that things are the not always the same. There are minor changes to things and no explanation is offered. And things change from administration to administration, and the Pen thing seems to be one.

    The surrender of WW II, was held on the deck the battleship USS Missouri, and General Douglas MacArthur Signed for the US, and a delegation of Japanese officials represented Japan. I think just a regular pen was used. At that point, they were all just glad it was over.

    Hope this helps,

    Your pooler,

    RL
    Last edited by RedLED; 06-07-2019 at 01:29 AM.
    Check my Web Site: www.Redwayphoto.com

  4. #4

    Default Re: Official pen for signing bills into law?

    Thanx Red. I thought of you while writing this thread.

    I remember years ago an engineer I worked for used to grab any old pen from any old desk to sign drawings he was approving and holler "doesn't anybody have a pen that writes from the time you start writing?" Same guy used to say "if I'd known that error was on the plans I never would've signed them". He was too cheap to buy a good pen.

    I like the look Trump gets on his face when he signs a bill and shows the signature to the camera. Like a 12 year old kid who just got away with writing in concrete. I suppose every president feels a certain thrill signing a bill into law.

    I wonder if MacAurthor had a treaty signing pose for the camera.
    John 3:16

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* RedLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Official pen for signing bills into law?

    No, MacAuthur had his fill of the war. Would it not be funny if the WH advance aide put down a pen that did not write for POTUS? We would get some great reaction shots in the pool! And he would be walked off the grounds or the site, swiftly and efficiently!
    Check my Web Site: www.Redwayphoto.com

  6. #6

    Default Re: Official pen for signing bills into law?

    Never to be heard from again....

    (Person in aviator shades talking to his/her wrist) "eagle 1 has a broken feather" which means take the offender bird hunting with Dick Cheney....
    John 3:16

  7. #7

    Default Re: Official pen for signing bills into law?

    One stands a better chance duck hunting with Cheney than taking a ride in Kennedy's car.
    Never point a flashlight at anything you don't intend to illuminate! Never buy a flashlight you have to make payments on.

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    Flashaholic* RedLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Official pen for signing bills into law?

    Fixer, you can write a letter and ask for a pen with the presidential seal on it, no guarantee but, they give out some cool things. They were Parker Jotters at one point years ago.
    Check my Web Site: www.Redwayphoto.com

  9. #9

    Default Re: Official pen for signing bills into law?

    I may do that.

    I have (stamped) autograph photos of presidents Carter, Reagan and Bush 1. The Carter one was actually a water color winter scene of the White House with a bunch of signatures like Jimmy and his wife Rosalyn and some staff members. So I may ask The Donald for his autograph and what pen he uses.

    Still too soon CG...still too soon.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 06-02-2019 at 09:24 PM.
    John 3:16

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    Flashaholic* RedLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Official pen for signing bills into law?

    On the photos they send out with the president's signature, unless you are a heavy VIP, they use a machine called an Auto Pen. I used to see the one at President Ford's office. However, he signed the photos and letters of people he knew, and there were a lot of them.

    President Ford posed for every photo, and signed every autograph. I'm so glad he did not have to deal with selfies!

    Covering President Obama, if you attempted a selfie, you were escorted out, at once!
    Last edited by RedLED; 06-03-2019 at 05:17 PM.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Official pen for signing bills into law?

    Hi RedLED,

    How were your experiences with President AND Mrs. Clinton? Did you manage a selfie with either of them?
    Never point a flashlight at anything you don't intend to illuminate! Never buy a flashlight you have to make payments on.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Official pen for signing bills into law?

    Oops! Hit the cap lock. I had written POTUS, then edited my post. Left the cap locks on. Duha, me.
    Never point a flashlight at anything you don't intend to illuminate! Never buy a flashlight you have to make payments on.

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    Flashaholic* RedLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Official pen for signing bills into law?

    Well, no because while Clinton was in office, there were no camera phones. I just had the White House photographer take photos. Obama was the first real smart phone president. President Bush 43, hated Cell phones after a reporters rang in the Oval Office. And he was furious. So, on my trips with him, I turned my phone off! I still don't want be the one, at any event to have the phone go off, even in any setting.

    When I retire, my phone is to be smashed with a sledge hammer! Ceremonniesly, of course. I'll will need to get a sledge hammer first.
    Check my Web Site: www.Redwayphoto.com

  14. #14

    Default Re: Official pen for signing bills into law?

    LOL! I was taking selfies long before the advent of smartphones.
    Never point a flashlight at anything you don't intend to illuminate! Never buy a flashlight you have to make payments on.

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    Flashaholic* RedLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Official pen for signing bills into law?

    That's true, and I will confess to one myself boarding a US Navy Sea Hawk enroute to a Super Carrier already at sea. I was able to freeze the rotor blades. But...that's it! Buzz Aldrin stated he took one of himself on the Moon during Apollo 11.

    So, I guess one selfie is not too many.
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    Default Re: Official pen for signing bills into law?

    About 10 years ago NPR did a story/article on the history of the presidents signing pen. I have been a huge collector of pens for years and it all started with the history of the space pen. I was equally inspired by the history of the presidential pen. I think it all started by Harry Truman, fellow Missouri boy, he got a box of pens that stated, “I swiped this from Harry Truman’s desk” I check eBay every once in a while to see if presidential pens pop up. I have never bought one though.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Official pen for signing bills into law?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedLED View Post
    That's true, and I will confess to one myself boarding a US Navy Sea Hawk enroute to a Super Carrier already at sea. I was able to freeze the rotor blades. But...that's it! Buzz Aldrin stated he took one of himself on the Moon during Apollo 11.

    So, I guess one selfie is not too many.
    WOW! That's very cool! That's like James Bond cool. You've lived an exciting life, Red.
    Never point a flashlight at anything you don't intend to illuminate! Never buy a flashlight you have to make payments on.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* RedLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Official pen for signing bills into law?

    I can say that I have never had a bad or dull day working!
    Check my Web Site: www.Redwayphoto.com

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