BRIEF HISTORY OF FOUNTAIN PENS

The recent trend of fountain pens is surely unexpected. For many people, about fountain pens bring back memories of using them during school days. Companies that produced fountain pens have claimed that they have seen a worldwide resurgence trend in the last five years.

Although there are ballpoints that have made its way to the market, some reason about fountain pens remains a mark and a symbol of luxury items.

History

Humans have always been interested in art writing. The proof of it started from the doodle that was made by the cavemen. Men started invented words, to pass on a message even several generations down. The need for men to communicate through a distance was the one that made men created quills and pens.

Quills and pens with no ink reservoir are one of the first inventions of humans in order to be able to send a message through a distance. However, it was not practical because they have to be constantly dipped in the ink reservoir. Because of that, they are also very prone to staining.

A fountain pen is the first innovation to solve the otherwise staining method of writing by quill and pen. It has a reservoir of ink in its body which holds water-based liquid ink for longer writing. The ink then will pass through a feed to nib under the influence of gravity and capillary action.

Dependable on how it was built, it can be filled with ink in several ways; by filling the ink through a pipette, piston filling mechanism, etc.

The earliest pen that has the ink reservoir is recorded in the year 973. However, there was not an extended record of how the pen was actually built and what kind of mechanism that was used.

The next pen reservoir comes from the 17th century. This is when a German inventor named Daniel Schwenter invented a pen that is made with two quills. One of the quills is placed inside the other. That quill held the ink and was closed with a cork. The ink would leave the reservoir through a small hole which led to a nib.

The much more modern version of the fountain pens that are similar to the ones that we see these days are recorded by Samuel Pepys. He was an English naval administrator who mentioned that he was trying to write with a metal pen. On the other end of the world, a Maryland historian also wrote about the existence of fountain pens.

In the 19th century, we can see the emergence of various fountain pens from all over the world. In Peru, a Romanian inventor received the patent for a fountain pen which had a barrel made from a large swan quill. In the United States, another inventor received the patent for pens who supplies its ink from a reservoir that is located in the handle of the pen itself.

Commercial production

Lewis waterman is the first one that produces the fountain pen in a commercial manner. It basically used the capillarity principle. The pen used air to ensure a steady and even flow of ink. His idea was to add an air hole in the nib and three grooves inside the feed mechanism. He would later decorate his pen with wood accents and become the first one to receive a patent for it in 1884. He would later be the first one who starts selling off his pen to other people.

Material

Historically, the first nibs were made of gold alloys, and often coated in iridium, a hard metal that is known for its strength. With the increasing demand for the pen, it became too expensive to produce a pen with gold alloys. The companies later replaced gold alloys with steel.

Some pens that are being bought because their exclusivity would have been made with solid gold ranges from 18 to 22 karat that is used for the nibs of the pen.

Nowadays, you can find a fountain pen being made from a wide array of materials. The finer exclusive ones would be made by high-quality material such as brass, silver or gold.

 For the mass production fountain pen, you would find material such as acrylic resin, is used. Other alternatives to this type of pen are also cellulose acetate or even other moldable polymers. The reason for this is, of course, to make a higher profit margin by choosing a less expensive material.

There are also hand made fountain pens that are produced. Handmade pens are usually created from wood or any other solid material such as plywood, crushed velvet, bone, leather, and even antlers.

The nib of the pen is usually made of stainless steel, also there are some that use gold or sterling silver.

Quality of the nib

Some of you would be asking, whether the material of the nib would affect the smoothness of the fountain pen. The answer is it does not. The smoothness of a nib is rather determined by its tipping. The shape of the nib is basically divided into two different ones:

  • Round tips

Fountain pens that have round tips tend to create a uniform line regardless of the direction or the orientation of the nib. This flexibility is the reason why there are so many fountain pens that have that style of nibs.

  • Italic

This type of nibs is also referred to as a stub or calligraphy tip. These types of nibs are wide and flat and tend to create wide vertical strokes and narrow horizontal strokes.

These types of However, they are not so practical in usage because they tend to need more practice rather than round-tipped fountain pens.

nibs are great for calligraphy because they can be used to add style to any type of writing.

Choosing your fountain pen

Depending on what you aim to use the pen for, there are various of fountain pens that you can choose from out there. Like we have stated before, the main difference of the fountain pen lays in the type of the nib that the pen has.

Another factor that would determine yo

ur comfort is the size of the tip. Larger tip size would create lines that are suitable for bold writing. These type of pen are usually used to showcase the ink that the pen use. A smaller type of tip would create smaller lines, which would be similar to our modern ballpoint pen.

The broader the tip of the pen will also determine the amount of ink that would flow. The smaller tip pens tend to be able to save the ink longer than the broad tipped ones.