"Necessity is the mother of invention"

Fountain pen invention

Major Drawback of Quill pen and Dip pen was that it needs to dip into ink much frequently to write, to overcome this problem our ancestor has designed practical pen known as Fountain pen. Major advantage of fountain pen is that it has built in ink Reservoir which contains sufficient amount of liquid based ink to write longer than usual. Fountain pen become one of the best and most popular writing instrument after its invention. History of fountain pen was such versatile that it has more than 3 decades of improvements for its final practical revision. Fountain pen is still receiving love from people and has style statement. It will never run out of fashion, there is still segment of people who prefers fountain pen over other modern writing instruments. If you are more curious about how writing instruments invented and want to know in detail then read our in depth article Writing Instruments History.

Fountain pen inventor was Leonardo da Vinci read how.

First Fountain pen in the world


Fountain pen history how it all started....
There are clear evidence that famous artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci (1452 to 1519) has constructed and used working fountain pen during Renaissance (period in Italian history covers 15th and 16th centuries). There were cross-sectional drawing how it looks, of reservoir pen in Leonardo's journal. Historian experts has also found that his journal was writing with constant ink pen as words has consistency of shades. Where Dip and Quill pen has faded words when re-dipped or ink about to finish on point. But there was not any single physical items was survived from that time.

Self filling fountain pen with swirl type nib

Fountain Pen History in Timeline

  • 1636 : Fountain pen inventor in Germany, Fountain pen invented by Daniel Schwenter, he developed first fountain pen in the world during 17th century which was made of two quill pen, one inside another. Fact was that One quill act as ink reservoir and another as quill to write. Pen ink was sealed inside quill with Cork, a cork material which was made out from bark of oak and has a property to float over liquid called buoyant. Small hole was done at point and ink squeeze out of it to write

  • 1663 : Samuel Pepys who was an administrator of the navy of England referred a metal pen to carry ink

  • After that there were not much updates in Fountain pen invention found until mid 19th century as the ink used in it was majorly corrosive and not pure, has small particle inside it which was major drawback

  • 1809 May : First English Patent of fountain pen was issued to Frederick Fölsch

  • 1809 September : Patent issued to Joseph Bramah for improved fountain pen feed system

  • 1819 : Patent by John Scheffer’s Penographic, was one of the first workable fountain pens and first design to see commercial success. Its secret was a flexible tube made of a goose quill and pig’s bladder. Pressure was applied on a lever and a knob to force ink into the nib when required

  • 1827 : Petrache Poenaru an Romanian inventor received patent for invention of fountain pen made of large swan quill barrel

  • 1828 : Josiah Mason invented cheap and slip-in type fountain pen’s nib in Birmingham, England

  • 1830 : William Joseph Gillott, William Mitchell and James Stephen Perry invented machines to mass manufacture sturdy, cheap fountain pen nib. Which were further known as Perry & Co. and later on acquired by British Pens Ltd (in 1961)

  • 1832 : Another note-taking and mind attention, Pioneer patent design for fountain pen to Jacob Parker, a self filler fountain pen which has screw operated piston mechanism to refill

  • 1848 : Azel Storrs Lyman from America, patented pen with “Combined holder and nib”

  • 1850 : More than half steel-nib fountain pens were made in world were from Birmingham, England

  • 1880 : This was the time when Mass production of fountain pen started and ‘Waterman’ from New-York and ‘Wirt’ from Pennsylvania were the dominant market producers of this Pioneer era

  • 1890 : William B. Purvis received patent for self-filler fountain pen

  • 1898 : George Safford Parker released pen named ‘Parker Joint-less’, as name suggest it was made from single piece barrel. Purpose to launch this pen, previous intervention pen has major one drawback was that they gets leaked. As this pen made from single barrel it doesn’t allowed ink to came out and hold it at nib side.

  • 1901 : Conklin introduced one of the first mass-produced self filler fountain pen

  • 1907 : ‘Pelican’ company patented solid-ink fountain pen and mas produced in 1911

  • 1911: R.N Saha patented fountain pen design in India

  • 1920 : ‘Waterman’ remain market leader until early 1920s

  • 1932 : In India, Fountain pen inventor was Ratnam Pen company

  • Fountain pen still tops market in 1940s an 1950s

  • 1949 : Sheaffer introduced Touchdown filler system. It named as ‘Exclusive Pneumatic Down Stroke Filler’

  • 1956 : Capillary filled system introduced by Parker in model Parker 51

  • 1960: Cartridge filler fountain pen were still common use in India, England, Germany, Austria, Italy and France.
    Most pens in recent era used Piston filler system, Squeeze-bar filler system or Converter/Cartridge system

Fountain Pen History and Design

Fountain pen founder faced many practical issue during Well if we look into the most common problem faced during improvements of Fountain pen was leakage of ink. Air pressure performs major role on pen performance and that was less known until 19th century which impacts slowdown of improvement at that time. Majorly of problems solved & also design improvements done during 20th century.

Fountain pen over modern pen

Popularity of fountain pen get lows after invention of ball pen. But that doesn’t mean that it run of of fashion. Fountain pens are now considered as status symbol They are like Iphones of industry. Fountain pen invention as diversified the writing industry in history of evolution era.

To write with fountain pen it requires trick to hold it and use it with care unlike ball pens. Previously fountain pen were made of hard rubber material and with several other metal parts, but as the improvements done in 19th and 20th century material changed and fountain pen were made out of ebonite material or Vulcanized rubber, acrylic resin, cellulose acetate which are less expensive and can be easily molded.

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