That Fountain Pen

The weekend and another FYI that actually teaches some history……today’s post is about the invention of the fountain pen…..

When I was working as a field analyst in the Middle East a Palestinian friend because of my extensive note taking called ibn al-Qalam….loosely translated from Arabic it means “son of the pen”……to this day I still write with a fountain pen plus I have a massive collection of them.

Background behind us……the history part of the post…..

For the longest time in history a dip pen was used to write……you write awhile and then have to dip the tip in ink to continue….so when did the fountain pen come into existence?

Well the first patent was given to a Belgian named Folsch…..

From the beginning of the 19th century, the number of fountain pen designs patented and produced began to multiply. The first English fountain pen patent was granted to Frederick Fölsch in May 1809, followed by Joseph Bramah’s feed patent of September 1809. John Scheffer’s patent of 1819 was the first design to see commercial success, with a number of surviving examples of his “Penographic” known. Another noteworthy pioneer design was John Jacob Parker’s, patented in 1832 — a self-filler with a screw-operated piston. Three subsequent advances, however, paved the way for the fountain pen’s widespread acceptance: the invention of hard rubber (a naturally-derived plastic, resistant to chemicals, easily machined, and relatively cheap); the availability of iridium-tipped gold nibs; and improved inks, not laden with clogging sediment. All three factors fell into place around the middle of the century; it was in the later 1870s and 1880s, however, that fountain pen production took off in earnest.

But actually the idea of a “fountain pen” was made by an individual named al-Mu’izz in 973 in North Africa.

Earliest mention of a pen that has an ink reservoir is from year 973. Ma’ād al-Mu’izz, the caliph of the Maghreb, region of Northwest Africa, asked for a pen that would keep his hand clean while he uses it and would not leave as much mess as standard pens and quills. His wish was fulfilled with a pen that held ink inside and could be held upside-down without spilling but we don’t know precisely how this pen worked or how it looked like. Next mention of a pen with inner reservoir comes from 17th century when German inventor Daniel Schwenter invented a pen made from two quills. One quill was placed inside the other; it held the ink and was closed with a cork. Ink left the reservoir through a small hole which led to a nib.

Like I said he had the idea but not the patent….so who was the first to come up with the idea?

This means little to most nowadays…..for the art of writing is slowly disappearing….at least I will keep the tradition alive as long as I breath.

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

5 thoughts on “That Fountain Pen

  1. I used to write with a fountain pen. I still have two, a Cross, and a Mont Blanc. But since injuring my wrist a while back, I can no longer hold a pen for very long, so use a slim ballpoint, or type letters.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. I remember when I was in school, dumbassed teachers would preach to me, “You cannot do handwriting with a ball point pen.” When I got tired of hearing that, I began to do calligraphy with a ball point pen on all my assignments and they got their minds blown.

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