The Ohio Show..... In the Beginning
Sometime in the late 1970's , three pen collectors gathered at the Meeker Ohio Sportsman Club. They were Dick Johnson, George Brown and Ron Niles. On that day they started a new tradition in Ohio.
Dick who had been collecting pens since 1958, remembers that about one dozen tables were covered with pens.
He said "we just sort of stood around, not quite sure what we should do".
Then in late 1983, just a few months after the Mawhorters began buying and selling fountain pens, Mike Fultz organized a pen gathering in Columbus. Terry was unable to attend due to organizing a company picnic where he worked at the time so Sonya attended. Although there were only about two dozen exhibitors she remembered feeling overwhelmed. Some of those attending were Abe Schwartz, Dick Johnson, Steve Overbury, Mike Fultz, Stu Schneider, Harry Bouras, Jack Price,
George Brown and Glen Bowen.
In 1984, Howard Edelstein organized a gathering of pen collectors in his hometown of Cleveland.
It was attended by Jack Price, Dick Johnson and Harry Bouras among others.
Mike Fultz's first attempt at a regional show in the Ohio Valley spawned a fever among collectors in the Tri-sate and soon pen clubs started meeting in Columbus, Indianapolis and Detroit area. Then Bob Johnson organized a pen show in Cincinnati in 1991 called the Ohio Pen Show. It was held by the airport in Florence, Kentucky.
In 1993 it was renamed the Cincinnati Tri-state pen show.
We began to get requests to start a show in Columbus. Having attended pen shows starting in 1988 we felt we had some knowledge about how to run a show but we wanted to put our own mark on the show. We wanted it to be known as the most friendly, welcoming pen show always taking into consideration the needs of the exhibitors.
So in November 1995, with the trust and support of our table holders spread out over 48 tables, we started the Capital City Pen Show at the Holiday Inn East in Columbus, the capital city of Ohio. The following year we grew to 72 tables and moved to the Clarion Hotel in North Columbus. It became clear that we needed a bigger hotel for future growth so we moved again to the Columbus Marriott North where we could accommodate 102 tables in the ballroom. It was here that we expanded from a one day public show to a two day public show. We began to have attendees join us from outside the United States.
In 1999, the name of the show was changed to the Ohio Pen Show. In the beginning, we knew that one of our main goals was to make the show fun. We wanted exhibitors and collectors to feel like they were visiting good friends in a comfortable atmosphere. We added hospitality parties, morning coffee and are always looking for way to improve the show. We eventually added one auction and later a second auction.
It soon became clear that we were going to out grow the Marriott. In 2003, we moved to what is now our current location the Crowne Plaza Dublin Ohio. Here we have space for 160 tables divided between the Waterford room behind the registration tables, the hallway leading to the foyer, the foyer and the main ballroom.
So our little show grew from 48 tables to 160 tables, now the third largest pen show in the world behind DC and LA.
THE ORIGINAL EXHIBITORS:
Jim Dolive Bill Weakley Susan Wirth Mike Hansen Howard Levy Steve Nagy Frank Hoban Dick Johnson Ken Jones
David Nishimura Jim Beattie Jack Price Steve Berger Ralph Stillwell Tony Dowell John Harrison Mike Clifton
Mike Fultz Mike Krut Joe Lowe Howard Edelstein Phil Bee Brad Knapp John McDaniel Vern Davis Doug Berg
Jack Pilkins Labron Miller Steve Nelson Abe Schwartz Frank Dubiel Bob Donaldson Jim Lobb Steve Parker
Myron Kutz Wes Cook Pat Spidell Terry Bose Randy Price George Brown Bernie Barston