What is a Fountain Pen?
How is it different from a dip pen or ballpoint?
Origins Of The Fountain Pen
A fountain pen is a writing instrument equipped with a metal nib (usually solid gold) that utilizes a cartridge, converter, or other internal reservoir in order to provide a continuous and refillable ink supply. Fountain pens were introduced in the late 19th century and largely replaced the earlier dip pen, which had evolved from feather pens and which required dipping in an ink well every few lines in order to maintain an ink supply.
Golden Age and After
Portability and ease of use led to fountain pens being the most popular writing instrument throughout the first half of the 20th century. In the post World War II era, cheaper ballpoint and later rollerball pens, which use a metal ball rather than pointed nib as their writing surface, became predominant. But ballpoints and rollerballs, despite their lower cost and mass production, never were able to equal fountain pens in terms of expressiveness and potential for customization.
The Contemporary Renaissance
Fountain pens never lost their allure in Europe and Asia, and in the late 1970's a renaissance of interest began in the United States as well, leading to what many now consider a new golden age of fountain pens that rivals that of the 1920's and 30's. From everyday writing instruments to one of a kind works of hand-crafted art, fountain pens remain an essential writing tool for many business professionals, calligraphers, artists, and pen enthusiasts. Or just anybody who likes to write with a pen on paper.