History Of The Fountain Pen

The fountain pen solved the problem of messy quills and pens that must be dipped in ink.

The stains from dripping pens smear paper, hands, and clothes. The fountain pens contain a reservoir that holds water-based ink that enables longer writing periods. There are multiple ways that pens can be filled with ink, depending on how the pen was designed. The fountain pen can be filled with a syringe or a pipette, tube cartridge, cartridges with a converter, squeeze converter, built in filling system, and even pens with ink tablets that dissolve in water which is then poured into the fountain pen.

Notable Fountain Pen Users

The earliest mention of a fountain pen, one with an internal ink reservoir, comes from year 973. In the North Africa region, Ma’ad al-Mu’izz, the caliph of the Maghred, requested a pen that would keep his hands from getting dirty. We know that he received his request for a pen that could be held upside down without any ink spilling, but it is uncertain how the pen worked or what it looked like.

In the 17th century a German, Daniel Schwenter, innovated a pen from two quills that were placed inside of one another. The inner quill contained the ink and was enclosed by a cork. The ink leaked from the reservoir into a small hole, which led to the nib. It was, also, noted in English naval administer, Samuel Pepys’ dairies about a metal pen that carried ink, in 1663. Other historians have mentioned fountain pens existing in the 17th century.

The First Fountain Pen Patents

Roman inventor, Petrache Poenaru, received a patent in France in 1827 for the fountain pen. Mr. Poenaru was a mathematician, inventor, educator, and engineer. His fountain pen was fashioned from a large swan quill that formed the barrel. The name of this pen was, “portable pen which does not end, which feeds itself alone with ink”.

In America, an inventor, received a patent for a fountain pen that used a reservoir in the handle to supply ink to the pen, in 1848. The first fountain pen to contain three of the innovations from the 17th and 18th century was created in 1850. The fountain pen had an iridium tipped gold nib with hard rubber and free flowing ink, which made it wildly popular. However, these fountain pens from history still could be messy and leaking. But the evolutions of the pen in the latter half of the 1800s brought pens with a trustier ink flow and efficient filing system.

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