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Pen, Ink, & Evidence: A Study of Writing and Writing Materials for the Penman, Collector, and Document Detective Hardcover – May, 2000

2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1584560173 ISBN-10: 1584560177 Edition: Reprint

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Editorial Reviews


The most important work on the subject since Thomas Astle's landmark Origins and Progress of Handwriting in 1784. Certain to become a classic. -- Charles Hamilton, From the Foreword

About the Author

Joe Nickell is a former professional investigator with a world-famous detective agency. A calligrapher and document collector, he teaches business and technical writing at the University of Kentucky. He is the author of two books on forgery and other means of deception, Inquest on the Shroud of Turin and Secrets of the Supernatural (with John F. Fischer).

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Oak Knoll Press; Reprint edition (May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584560177
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584560173
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 8.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,848,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Joe Nickell has been called "the modern Sherlock Holmes." Since 1995 he has been the world's only full-time, professional, science-based paranormal investigator. His careful, often innovative investigations have won him international respect in a field charged with controversy.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kilgore Gagarin TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
PEN, INK, & EVIDENCE is a good companion volume to Nickell's DETECTING FORGERY: FORENSIC INVESTIGATION OF DOCUMENTS. Like that work, it is apparently targeted towards the beginner (me) and NOT the practicing professional. For example, when an analysis technique is mentioned (and not all techniques are covered) Nickell tends not to go into elaborate detail on the actual practices. The chapter notes serve as a bibliography and are valuable leaping off points for more indepth research and understanding.
This book is divided into five major sections: (I) Writing Instruments, (II) Ink, (III) Paper, (IV) Writing, and (V) Examining Documents. There are three appendices covering (1) Eighteenth Century Scripts, (2) Chronology of Writing and Writing Materials, and (3) Laboratory Identification of Pens, Inks, & Papers.
Nickell has access to a huge array of relevant materials which are profusely included in black and white photographs throughout the book. The photographs are of fair quality and I assume that higher quality photos would result in higher price (duh).
Overall, I found it interesting, useful, and satisfyingly broad in subject coverage. Nickell's writing style is accessible and clear. The ubiquitous use of anecdotes is essential and entertaining. E.g., "Of course, one approach to duplicating security watermarks -- like those placed in prescription blanks for alchohol during Prohibition ... -- was simply to dupe a legitimate paper company intor producing paper bearing watermarks." -pg 85. I want to know more about alcohol prescriptions during Prohibition!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr. Nickell's book is a delight to read. He treats the subject in a way that engages the reader on a popular level, without sacrificing scholarship. Nicely executed.
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