Ink Pens

Ink pens have developed very slowly over time, ink pens are practically the quill pens that evolved in the 19th century into the fountain pen. For more than three thousand years the quill was the writing instrument found in most cultures all around the globe. Despite what movies say, the first quill pens used only a small part of the quill as a nib and the rest was thrown away. In other parts of the world like Asia, the pen was replaced with some kind of brushes which are still present in traditional writing forms. The first step in the development of ink pen industry was the invention of steel and the mass production of steel pen points. They were sold in many sizes and shapes according to the large varieties of writing styles. Those simple pen points were simply fitted to a holder and dipped into ink, then you could write a few words and dip again and so on.

If we look back into historical records we can trace the first patent for ink pens, it was owned by Lewis Waterman the man who created the Waterman company. He was the first in the modern history to develop a fountain pen model without any flowing problems. It is true that pens with ink carrying capacity had existed for more than one hundred years before him, but all those models suffered from common problems such as ink leaks. In 1702 a Frenchman called M. Bion created a fountain pen that was very advanced for those days. In America the fist to obtain a patent in the pen industry was Peregrin Williamson who got his recognition in 1809. Furthermore the first self filling pen was recorded by Jacob John Parker in 1831, yet the common problem for all these old ink pens remained ink spills and material issues, this is why they had a close to zero commercial success.

The mechanism of ink pens was simple, they contained three parts, the first was called “the nib”, the second “the feed” and the third was the barrel, which bound the nib and the feed together. Lewis Waterman's genial idea was to introduce a small hole in the nib for the air to enter, and three small grooves in the feeding mechanism, the combined solution successfully prevented ink spilling. As for the reservoir, the first ink pens with reservoir used an eyedropper, and then, from 1915 self filling sacks of rubber were used. The sack was usually pressed with a metallic plate to produce the needed pressure that once released would suck the ink inside the reservoir.