Fountain pens are those pens that have an internal reservoir for liquid ink, there are a variety of mechanisms that allow pens to suck ink inside them, for example older pens had a rubber sack which was pressed and released in order to create the needed pressure. The first pen with a reservoir was invented in 953 AD, when the caliph of Egypt asked for a pen that would contain ink. Another record goes back to the 17th century when a German scientist described a pen created from two quills, one of them was like a reservoir included in the other. The explanation of the slow progress is that back then people didn't fully understand the importance of pressure, not to mention that ink had a lot of impurities which affected the pen longevity.
Beginning with the 19th century, more precisely with 1875, the pen industry started to develop, there were many problems with pens in those days because of the materials but people liked them anyway. Almost all fountain pens had a problem, they leaked and were hard to fill. With the appearance of new materials the problems were corrected one by one. The golden era for the fountain pens was the inter-war period; in those days some of the best models were created, the Parker Duofold and Vacumatic, the Pelikan 100 and the Sheaffer's Lifetime Balance series were just some of the top models. In 1940 the ballpoint pen appeared, which marked the beginning of the fountain pens decline. In the first decades after the 1940s the pen industry continued to produce even better pencils like the Parker 51, the Sheaffer Snorkel and Eversharp.
By the late 1960s, ballpoint pens evolved a lot so that they ensured their dominant position in casual writing. At present fountain pens are still used in France and many private schools in Europe prefer them as a symbol of tradition. Some teachers even claim that a child can learn how to write faster if he or she uses a classical pen. In our days good quality gold and silver pens can be found at a decent price especially in Europe. Most people who use fountain pens say these items are part of their writing habits, and for those who sign business contracts, they are part of the work routine. Even official national papers have to be signed with fountain pens: there is a tradition that requires it.