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Article: Why is a Fountain Pen called a Fountain Pen?

Why is a Fountain Pen called a Fountain Pen?

Why is a Fountain Pen called a Fountain Pen?

Why is a Fountain Pen called a Fountain Pen?

First of all,

What is a Fountain Pen?

The answers to this question change depending on who you ask. To some, it's a luxury writing instrument, while others prefer to refer to them simply as fountain pens.

Let's go back to the main topic, Why is a Fountain Pen called a Fountain Pen?

Where did the name "fountain pen" come from?

The messy dip pen is what started the fountain pen's long and complex history. The answer to the question of "How did the fountain pen get its name?" is very simple.

A fountain pen contains a seemingly endless supply of ink and is called a fountain pen.

This is where the story begins on the pen. The fountain pen's history is steeped in the tradition of written communication dating back to a millennia, making it much more complex.

The first prototypes of the (fountain) pens.

The Fatimid caliph Al-Mu'izz li-Din Allah Arab Egypt demanded a pen that wouldn't stain his hands or clothes and was provided with a pen that held ink in a reservoir, allowing it to be held upside-down without leaking.

Evidence shows that Leonardo da Vinci used a fountain pen during the Renaissance. Leonardo's journals have drawings with cross-sections of a pen that works by both gravity and capillary action.

The handwriting in the inventor's surviving journals is of a consistent contrast throughout, unlike the fading pattern typical of a quill pen caused by re-dipping. In museums dedicated to Leonardo, several working models that were reconstructed by Amerigo Bombara in 2011 are on display.

Why is a fountain pen call a fountain pen
Hemming way Fountain pen | The history of fountain pen

Because of the fact that they need to be constantly dipped in ink so they can write or draw, and because of that, they can easily stain the surface on which they write. The first solution for these problems are fountain pens. It has a body that holds water-based liquid ink for longer writing. The ink passes through a feed that is influenced by gravity and capillary action. A fountain pen can be filled with ink in a variety of ways, depending on the way it is built: with a pipette or syringe, with its own filling mechanism that works like apiston or by placing a cartridge filled with ink inside its body. Some models have body ink tablets dissolved in water and poured into a fountain pen.


in Italy, It is possible that Da Vinci constructed his own fountain pens for personal use. There is no evidence that Da Vinci was able to create his designs, even though two illustrations of a design for a more rudimentary stylographic pen appear in his notebook.


A pen with a silver-tubed handle that could be filled with ink, and with a nib of silver or goosefeather was described by the Royal Registry of Augsburg. King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden received a pen after Sweden invaded and conquered their kingdom.


Schwenter wrote about the idea of a fountain pen made from two quills. He says the pen has two quills in it, one being used for ink and the other to hold it all together. The ink would be contained in a cork. In order to use the pen, the ink would be squeezed through a small hole and flow down to the writing tip, creating a quill-reservoir pen.


The governor of the Netherlands wrote in his journal that there were pens in Paris that could be used to write up to thirteen pages.

On August 5th 1663, the British naval administrator Samuel Pepys received a letter from Mr. Schwenter. He promised me to carry inke in, which is very necessary, after receiving a silver pen.


The earliest fountain pen can be found in the antique publisher Michael Finlay's book. There are three pens depicted in the book. He says one of the earliest fountain-pen is from 1702.

Nicholas Bion wrote a book called Traité de la construction et des principaux usages des in 1723 and included an illustration of a fountain pen made of brass and silver.


The steel pen nib was patented by Bryan Donkin, but nothing came out of it. Donkin wanted to sell his patent for metal pens, but no one bought it. The split cylinder steel-pen was introduced by another inventor in London in the early 20th century.


The first English patent for a pen with an ink reservoir was earned by Flsch of Oxford Street. The pen had a piston. The first American patent for a steel pen was earned in the United States by an Englishman. He created a steel pen that would serve his interests better because he had trouble cutting a quill to make it a pen. He was able to fix the rigidity of his original design by adding two more slit to the main slit. This made writing much easier and created more flexible tines. There is a patent that relates to the anatomy of a fountain pen nib. The invention made it more flexible by adding Slits to the sides and shoulders of the pen.


John Scheffer tried to mass-manufacture the first half of the pen after earning a British patent.


Petrache Poenaru patented the "never-ending portable pen, which replenishes itself with ink" and she lives in France. The pen prevented ink leaks as well as paper scratches, which was a step forward.


The first self- filling fountain pen was patented by Englishman John Jacob Parker. Despite being plagued with design flaws, ink spills, and other failures that left the pens impractical and hard to sell, this design would later influence refillable pens.

Lyman's and Baldwin's patent can be found here in 1848. Baldwin's first fountain pen with a rubber sac was granted a patent. The rubber was made in India. The rubber sac would be less likely to leak than previous models.


M. Klein and Henry W. They received a patent for an ink chamber and delivery system in the fountain pen. The design of the pen's ink chamber was very popular, and it would influence a lot of pens in the future.


MacKinnon is a Canadian from Ontario. The first stylos were created by Cross, an American from Rhode Island. A metal tube with a wire inside was used to keep the ink flow under control. These fountain pens became one of the first popular fountain pens and are still used today.


The fountain pens of his day had problems with the ink leaking and blotting pages, as was noticed by Lewis E Waterman. He invented a pen with air holes that would balance the pressure in the ink chamber and reduce blotting. Today, the Waterman Pen Co. is still going strong.


Purvis patented improvements to the fountain pen that made it more durable, cheaper and better to carry in the pocket. The life of the pen and ink was increased with the introduction of an elastic tube that returned excess ink to the reservoir instead of sitting in the nib. The average person can afford the fountain pen thanks to Purvis' innovation. He created and sold many inventions that improved the lives of people.


Morris Moore's Non-Leakable Safety Pen had a retractable nib and cap. It was no longer necessary to disassemble the pen in order to refill it, as the retractable nib made it easier. The "Parker Jointless" pen was patented in 1898 by George Safford Parker and is available here. TheParker Pen Company still exists today.


John T. Davidson patented a method of filling a fountain pen that was much cleaner. The system used a button on the end of the pen to create suction in the ink sac and was much like a modern eyedropper. A user had to press the button, insert the pen into a bottle of ink, and then release the button to draw. Future fountain pen innovations would follow in Davidson's footsteps to make the pens easier to refill.


The Jack-Knife Safety Pen had a screw-on ink tight cap that was an alternative to the retractable nibs used in other safety pens.


Walter A. Sheaffer. He focused on developing a self-filling mechanism for his fountain pens. His business is still going strong today.


During World War One, as letters flowed quickly between the Front and the family members left at home, fountain pens became more popular.


Theodor Kovcs was the Hungarian engineer who introduced the modern piston fillers. Edmund Moster, co-founder of the Moster Penkala Werke A.G. Company, sold a license to Kovcs in 1923 for his design. Kovcs tried to end the contract when Moster wouldn't pay royalties on the patent. His rights to resell his license were freed up by a court ruling after which Moster's licensing territories were restricted. . The invention of the filling method by Pelikan is still being credited today. I wonder if we should be crediting Kovcs.


During the second World War, fountain pens experienced an increase in popularity. When more Americans were left to fight overseas, fountain pens and letter writing became even more important for everyone.


The Sheaffer Snorkel was introduced to allow for cleaner pen filling as the ink no longer stained the nib when dipped and reloaded.


The ink replacement process was made simpler thanks to the plastic pen cartridge.


The Parker “61” changed the fountain pen filling system. The previous pens used mechanical filling systems, but the Parker 61 filled itself with capillary action. Users simply had to remove the back of the pen and leave it in an ink bottle for a few seconds. There were no parts that could be removed from this pen. The design flaw led to the ink clumping inside the pen and rendering it useless, and the Parker 61 was relatively short-lived. The groundwork was laid for fountain pens with its capillary action filling system.

Waterman's early innovation inspired the modern day ink containers. Fountain pens have remained the top choice for many despite Ballpoint pens becoming the primary public writing utensil. Some people preferred the masterpieces for their ease, while others preferred them because they were consistent. Many artists choose fountain pens for their variable line width, while others prefer a pen that will generate less waste. fountain pens are popular and will likely remain so for quite some time, whatever the individual's reason.

The most mention of a (fountain) pen that has an ink reservoir is from 973.

Ma'd al-Mu'izz wanted a pen that would keep his hand clean while he used it and wouldn't leave as much mess as standard pens. He wanted a pen that held ink inside of the reservoir and could be tilted without spilling; but we don't actually know how precisely how this pen worked or how would it looked like. In the 17th century, German inventor Daniel Schwenter invented a pen with two quills. A cork was used to close the other quill, which held the ink. The ink went through a small hole and ended up in a pen.

Fountain Pen Storage

In 1663,

Samuel Pepys, English naval administrator, wrote about a metal pen that he used to carry ink. Standard pens were better in the 19th century due to mass production of cheap steel pen nibs. The French government granted a patent for Petrache Poenaru's fountain pen which had a barrel made from a large swan quill on May 25, 1823. The invention of a fountain pen with a method of supplying ink to pens from a reservoir in the handle was patented in America in 1848 by Azel Storrs Lyman. Early fountain pens didn't understand the role that air pressure plays in the operation of pens, so three inventions were needed to become popular: iridium-tipped gold nib, hard rubber, and free-flowing ink.

In the 1850s,

the first fountain pen had all this. The stylographic pen used a wire in a tube as a valve for ink, and was invented by Duncan MacKinnon and Alonzo T Cross. The pens were filled with an eyedropper. The first self- filling fountain pens were made in the 20th century. The crescent-filler pens had a rubber sac and a crescent button on top of them.

There was a problem with the early fountain pens, so some manufacturers tried to solve it. It was possible to have a retractable point which closed the ink reservoirs. The inner caps of the screw-on caps were sealed around the pen. After that, more improvements were made. Solid-ink fountain pens were made from celluloid instead of hard rubber, filling mechanisms were made with pistons and levers, and there were other things. After the cheap and easier to use variant of fountain pens became a status symbol, they became type fountain pens.

Inventions and new patented inventions.

In the 19th century, an American inventor Azel Storrs Lyman patented a pen with a combined holder and nib.

There was a steady stream of fountain pen patents and pens in the 1850s. After three key inventions, the fountain pen became a popular writing instrument. Free-flowing ink and iridium gold hard rubber were what they were.

The first fountain pens using all of these ingredients appeared in the 1850s. In the 1870s Duncan MacKinnon, a Canadian living in New York City, and Alonzo T Cross of Providence, Rhode Island, created stylographic pens with a hollow, tubular nib and a wire acting as a valve.

The fountain pen finally got started. The leading American producers in the pioneer era were New York City's Waterman and Pennsylvania's Wirt. The new and growing fountain pen market was filled by many companies, including Waterman. Waterman remained the market leader until the early 1920s.

At this time, fountain pens were almost all filled by using an eyedropper to insert the ink into the hollow barrel or holder. There was a tendency for pens to leak inside their caps and at the joint where the barrel opened for filling.

The next problems to be solved were the creation of a self-filler and the problem of leakage, since materials' problems had been overcome. W. B. Purvis patented a product in 1890. The Conklin crescent-filler was probably the most successful of self-fillers.

The runaway success of Walter A was the point at which the tipping point occurred. The lever-filler was introduced in 1912 and paralleled byParker's button-filler.

There are many mass-produced nibs.

Josiah Mason improved a cheap and efficient slip-in nib Birmingham , England, which could be added to a fountain pen and in 1830, with the invention of a new machine, William Joseph Gillott , William Mitchell, and James Stephen Perry devised a way to mass manufacture robust, cheap steel pen nibs Perry & Co.

More than half of the steel-nib pens manufactured in the world were made in Britain. There were thousands of skilled craftsmen in the industry.

The city's factories were able to mass-produce their pens cheaply and efficiently thanks to new manufacturing techniques. The sale of these to people who couldn't afford to write encouraged the development of education and literacy.

They created a way to mass produce cheap steel with the invention of a new machine in 1830.

Popular usage

By the 1960s, refinements in ballpoint pen production gradually ensured its dominance over the fountain pen for casual users.

Although fountain pens are still used in France, Italy, Germany, Austria, India, and the United Kingdom, at least one private school in Scotland, and public elementary schools in Germany use them.

Many people view fountain pens as superior writing instruments due to their relative smoothness, and they have a growing following. Retailers still sell fountain pens and ink for use in calligraphic work. The resurgence of fountain pens has many manufacturers saying sales are climbing. A new wave of casual use fountain pens and custom ink manufacturers are using online stores to sell their products to a larger audience.


Water-based ink is intended for fountain pens. Bottles are the most common place to find these inks. Bottles of bottled ink are the mainstay for most fountain pen enthusiasts, even though plastic cartridges came into use in the 1960's. A wider variety of colors and properties can be found in bottled ink, which costs less than an equivalent amount.

It's important to take care when selecting their ink. The narrow passages of contemporary fountain pen ink are usually filled with dye particles.

It is not a good idea to use iron gall inks for fountain pens as they will cause flash corrosion and destroy the pen's usefulness.

Modern iron gall formulas can be found for fountain pens. Even though they contain a small amount of ferro gallic compounds, modern iron gall ink can still be corrosive if left in a fountain pen for long periods.

A more thorough than usual cleaning regimen, which requires the ink to be flushed out regularly with water, is sometimes advised by manufacturers or dealers.

"Carbon Black" is a fountain pen made by the brand Platinum, but it's not one of the rare ones. It is not possible to use normal India ink in fountain pens due to the fact that it contains a binder which would quickly ruin them.

This generally excludes permanence and prevents large-scale commercial use of some colored dyes, though it should be noted that free-flowing, non-corrosive ink is what most people want with that, most problems will be prevented by proper care and ink selection.

Why is a fountain pen called a fountain pen
Disassembled Fountain Pen

Dip pens

The world used dip pens before fountain pens. A dip pen needs to be dipped into an inkwell, a small container for your ink. Writers had to carry both the inkwell and pen with them when traveling. Business dealings, transactions, and off-site contract signing weren't suited for this. The solution was to put the inkwell in the pen.

Most writing was done with dip pens, which were basically pens that had a reservoir to hold ink inside the pen. However, this wasn't ideal as it meant that writers had to carry both the pen and the inkwell with them, which wasn't convenient for business purposes.

The fountain pen had a compartment inside that was specifically designed for a miniature inkwell. It was said that one could tap an ink source, a wellspring, or a fountain to get the ink down to the paper. The pen became a fountain pen because it was self-supplying.

To understand the dilemma that writers faced back then, it would be easiest to picture a water well as opposed to a spring. Think about drawing water from a well. It's useful and perfectly functional, but tiring and time consuming. It's easier to fetch water from a fountain. The analogy is that a writer uses a dip pen to refill their ink constantly. The fountain pen supply was much less frequent and easier to source than the springs.

An overview of the fountain pen's creation and development, tracing it from its earliest conception in Egypt to the lovely pens we know today is what scholars disagree about.

Anatomy of a Fountain Pen

Sometimes it's hard to tell which parts of a fountain pen are what, especially if you're newer to the hobby. Depending on who you're talking to, there are different names for different parts and it can be difficult to figure out what's going on when you call someone else. This is something we've noticed when trying to help our customers by phone or email, so we put together this infographic to show some of the most commonly talked-about pen parts.

Why is a fountain pen called a fountain pen
A beautiful Fountain Pen Nib

The Platinum #3776 is a pen that is fairly representative of what you'd expect to see in a conversion pen. There are many parts that can have multiple names, and depending on the model of pen you're handling there might be different terms used. The most common terms we've used in the fountain pen community have been chosen by us.


The pen body is covered by the part of a pen that's attached to it.


The metal doohickey is usually attached to the cap that holds your pen in your shirt pocket and keeps it from rolling off your desk and landing on the ground.


The plastic liner on the inside of some pen caps helps keep the pen wet.


The metal ring is usually placed near the bottom of the pen cap for decorative purposes, or to provide reinforcement to the cap threads.


The open end of the cap is where the threads of the body meet.


The main body of the pen houses the ink storage.


A pen has grooves cut into it to hold parts together.


When holding a pen, the part of the barrel where the threads step up can matter.


The pen barrel is usually used for the ink storage.

Trim Ring:

They serve an aesthetic purpose.


The pen's metal tip touches the paper.

Tipping Material:

A small piece of hard-wearing metal that is welded to the end of a nib and ground to a specific intended size.


The ink from the feed to the tip is carried by a thin cut running from the breather hole to the tip.


The tip of the nib has two front parts.


The widest part of a pen is where the tip begins to form.

Breather Hole:

A vent hole is a hole at the end of the nib that allows air to get into the ink flow.


The face of the nib has an engraving or impression left that shows the brand, model, or size.


It is usually the part of the nib that is imprinted.


The reverse end of the tip is where the pen's section starts.


The piece of plastic or ebonite that hugs the back of the pen acts as a vehicle for ink delivery from the source to the end point.


There is a wide part of the feed that matches up to the shoulder. Sometimes the feed wings have nibs on them.


The small, thin pieces on the feed allow ink to penetrate into the air channels. When writing speed varies, these acts as an ink regulator.

Ink Channel:

The ink can travel through the feed if there is a thin slit against the back of the nib. The capillary action necessary for ink flow is provided by this.


The back end of a feed is where ink goes into the channel.


The pen is attached to the pen barrel with the nib.


Sometimes referred to as just a 'section', the front of the section is where you hold the nib.


There are grooves in the pen to hold things together.


A small filling mechanism that fits onto a pen and also accepts a cartridge is called a screw-piston type. This will allow you to use any brand's bottled ink instead of using limited proprietary ink.


There is an opening on the feed post to hold the converter in place.

Ink Reservoir:

A pen has something inside it that holds ink.


The 'working' part is what creates the vacuum.


The threaded part of the piston mechanism causes the seal to move when the knob is turned.


The back of the ink reservoir has a metal covering that holds the mechanism.


The part that you turn to move the seal up and down is what fills the converters.

How is a fountain pen used?

A fountain pen is a little like a bottle filled with water. It's easy to understand the science of how a fountain pen works, if you imagine writing with a bottle of water. If you want to write your name with the upside down bottle, take the top off and tip it. What's going to happen? The water floods out in a matter of seconds. In about 10 seconds, you can see your page, desk, floor and everything else. I'm not trying to be funny cause they're important.

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