The urge to put thoughts into words has been there in mankind since centuries. Right from engraving on the stones and trees to creating a blog, man has always found a means to write and let his opinions known to the world. In this evolution of writing the role of fountain pens is quite important. To this elegant tool for writing we owe to Lewis Waterman who found a practical way to write with a pen where the ink literally flows on to the paper. However, though it was Waterman who first got the patent for such a pen in 1884, writing tools with a reservoir to carry the necessary ink have existed even since a century before 1884.
Various records have shown that the oldest fountain pen was designed by Mr. Bion, a Frenchman, in 1702. Jacob Parker is known to have patented the first self-filling fountain pen in 1831. While these early fountain pens are known to have a lot of problems, mainly ink spills, the one by Waterman became the first fountain pen to have no such issues as Waterman added air holes to the nib to avoid spills.
Today, fountain pens are made with different materials like wood, plastic, silver and even gold. Some of them even come studded with diamonds. Though writing is slowly giving way to typing on computers, a fountain pen is still a favourite for many, and there are even people who collect fountain pens. Sometimes youll find them with prints and designs to add elegance to these pens.
Besides the elegance they add to your collection, fountain pens are best known for the clarity and durability they provide. For purposes like adding signatures to documents, fountain pens are the best. Here are some other benefits of using fountain pens:
They are cost effective in the long run.
They can add a style and character to your writing.
They are environment friendly.
Fountain pens can make the writing smooth and thus gives you a comfortable feeling. Training children to write with fountain pens can not only make their handwriting better but also let them enjoy writing.
There are many lovers for fountain pens. A mere search on the Web can give more interesting and amusing facts about fountain pens. A fountain pen in your possession can not only be a proud addition to your collectibles but also be a good item to be passed on to your children and grandchildren.
The first fountain pen was invented as a viable product in 1884, previous models did exist but none was ready for mass production. Lewis Waterman was the first to create a good viable pen, and he was a real pioneer for the writing industry. Although previous patents for fountain pens were recognized in both North America and Europe the pens had many functional problems. Ink spills and material issues were the main difficulties for the pen industry. Because of such failures early pens like those from the 18th century were very hard to sell in those days when the quill pens were still ruling.
As a historical record the fountain pen appeared one thousand years after the apparition of quill pens, in fact it was the quill that inspired the inventors. They noticed that the ink had the tendency to remain in the feather natural capillary system acting like a reservoir. So they thought how to create a larger reservoir that could store an increased amount of ink. Their idea was simple, to create a man-made pen that would not need constant dipping in the ink. The most primitive pens included a long rubber reservoir with a metal nib at the bottom. This first models were a failure from a certain point of view because of ink dripping: they weren’t good enough to draw a straight line on paper.
Lewis Waterman created the best fountain pen of his times, it is said that the innovatory idea came to him after loosing a valuable contract because of leaky ink pens. He added an air hole into the nib, and he also modified the feed mechanism adding three groves. All fountain pens contain an internal reservoir, for which the first viable solution was the rubber sack. This flexible sack was simply squeezed and inserted in the bottle, when the sack was released the internal pressure would fill it with ink.
There are nine sizes for fountain pen nibs, each of them can be italic, oblique or straight. In the old days the ink composition wasn’t similar to the one we have in our days. The fact is that corrosion affected the metal so fast that few nibs could be used; hence gold was the only good alternative to other materials. To compensate for the lower hardness of gold the tip of the nib was treated with iridium. Another characteristic for early fountain pens was the fact that the nibs would flex gradually according to the owners’ writing skills, this is one of the reasons for which people avoided lending their pens.
Muna wa Wanjiru Has Been Researching and Reporting on Pens for Years. For More Information on Fountain Pen, Visit His Site at FOUNTAIN PEN