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Who Invented Fountain Pen

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Fountain Pen is writing equipment on paper that consists of liquid ink to write on the paper. There is a storage point that holds the ink for writing and a nib that comes into the touch with the paper to handle the flow of ink. The first patented design of a fountain pen appeared in the 1800s, giving them a long history. These were initially employed as luxury writing instruments, but as they grew more readily accessible, they started to be used frequently for regular writing tasks. Gold and Silver nibs are also been used in Fountain Pens, considered the premium type of Fountain Pen. In today’s scenario, ball pens and gel pens have acquired the most customers’ attention for writing purposes, but still, some people prefer fountain pens for their smooth ink flow and frequent writing experience. For calligraphy, handwriting, and aesthetic expression, they are frequently employed.

Who Invented the Fountain Pen?

There were many unique Fountain Pens designed in the past period, which raised the conflict about who is the actual inventor of the Fountain Pen. But, some of the data can be considered which elaborates on the development of Fountain Pen.

  • The fountain Pen was officially invented in the year 1809 and also it was first time patented in England by the Inventor Frederick Folsch. Frederick Folsch is considered the real inventor of the Fountain Pen.
  • Petrache Poenaru, a Romanian Inventor achieved the Patent for a Fountain Pen on May 25, 1827. In Poenaru’s invention, the barrel was constructed of wood or another material, and the nib was made of quill, gold, or steel.
  • The self-filling Mechanism of the Fountain Pen was also Patented by an American Inventor, John Jacob Parker in 1830. A rubber sac that held the ink in the Parker pen could be crushed to draw ink into the pen.
  • Francis Wolle, an English inventor, received a patent for a fountain pen in 1844 that had a “reservoir pen” that stored ink in a coiled barrel. To get ink into the pen, you could twist the barrel.
  • The feed Mechanism in Fountain Pen was a remarkable invention that was invented by an American Inventor, Lewis Waterman in the year 1884. This mechanism was used to ensure the consistent flow of ink on paper. Lewis Waterman integrated air pressure and gravity to apply this mechanism
  • The first ballpoint pen, which employed a tiny ball bearing to transmit ink from the pen to the paper, was developed by Hungarian writer László Bró in 1901. The most used writing equipment gradually gave way to the ballpoint pen.
  • Lewis Waterman is mostly given the credit for designing the contemporary fountain pen as we know it today, even though various other innovators contributed to the development of the fountain pen.

History of Fountain Pen:

Below the relevant history of Fountain Pen is added in brief:

  • Early Writing Instruments: There are specimens of quills, reed pens, and metal styluses that date back thousands of years. Humans have been utilizing writing tools since antiquity. This early writing equipment was frequently inked up and needed refilling.
  • Early Attempt at Fountain Pens: A pen with an ink reservoir in the 10th century which is nowadays known as the Earliest Attempt at Fountain Pens was done by an Egyptian Caliph. However, this design was not extensively used, and the first fountain pens were frequently messy and unreliable.
  • Improvements from the 19th Century: Over the 19th century, several inventors produced important improvements to the fountain pen design. Poenaru’s invention, the barrel was constructed of wood or another material, and the nib was made of quill, gold, or steel. John Jacob Parker, an American inventor, received a patent for a self-filling fountain pen in 1830 that contained ink in a rubber sac. Francis Wolle, an English inventor, received a patent for a fountain pen in 1844 that featured a coiling barrel that could be turned to draw ink. Lewis Edson Waterman, an insurance salesman from New York, experienced the worst scenario with a faulty fountain pen in 1883, this faulty pen spilled all the ink over one of his important contract papers. This knowledge inspired him to create a better fountain pen, and in 1884 he obtained a patent for a model that controlled ink flow using a feed mechanism. The Waterman’s pen immediately gained popularity because it was more dependable and less messy than prior models.
  • Innovations from the 20th Century: The first ballpoint pen, which subsequently replaced the fountain pen as the most common writing implement, was invented by the Hungarian writer László Bró in 1901.

Relevant Story of Fountain Pen:

Ma’d al-Mu’izz, the Fatimid Caliph of Egypt, commissioned the development of the first fountain pen in 953 AD. Ma’d al-Mu’izz wanted a pen that could store ink in a reservoir and use capillary action to pass it to the nib for writing on paper.

Petrache Poenaru, a Romanian inventor, invented the first fountain pen with a removable ink cartridge in 1827. The first functional fountain pen with a nib that fed ink via a system of channels and air pressure wasn’t patented until Lewis Waterman did it in 1884, though. Since they provided a more elegant and effective writing experience than the dip pens and quills that had been used earlier, fountain pens immediately became popular among authors and professionals. Early in the 20th century, high-end variants of fountain pens were created from priceless materials like gold and silver by luxury manufacturers like Montblanc and Parker. Fountain Pens have emerged with various designs, and styles nowadays, which range from low to high-price models. Many Luxurious Pens cost Thousands of Rupees.

Fountain pens are adored for their effortless writing, ergonomic design, and flexibility in choosing the kind and color of ink. Many people still appreciate the physical and creative experience of writing with a fountain pen, despite the development of digital communication.

Why it is called a Fountain Pen?

The reason for calling Fountain pen is that it uses a small storage of ink that is constantly delivered to the nib of the pen through a feed mechanism. This ink is then delivered on the paper for writing purposes. The term “Fountain” defines the fact that the ink flows constantly from the pen’s storage like a fountain of water. Due to this simple fact, this Pen got the name Fountain Pen.

Fountain Pen Patents and its Innovations:

  1. The real Inventor: The real Inventor Frederick Folsch patented the Fountain Pen for the first time in 1809.
  2. Lewis Waterman’s Fountain Pen Patent (1884): Waterman designed a pen that used capillary action to regulate the flow of ink to the nib, which prevents it from the problem of spilling or smudging.
  3. Sheaffer’s Level Filling System (1912): Sheaffer invented a lever-filling system that made the process of filling ink in a pen easier. This system became a standard feature in many fountain pens. 
  4. Parker’s “51” Pen(1941): The Parker “51” was a revolutionary pen that was designed which consists of incorporating a hooded nib, a streamlined barrel, and a cap that clicked on and off. This is one the most popular fountain pens up till now. 
  5. Lamy’s Cartridge System (the 1960s): Lamy proposed a Cartridge system that made refilling easy without having any eyedropper or other filling mechanism. 

Features of the Fountain Pen:

There are various features of Fountain Pen which are discussed below:

  1. Smooth and Constant Writing: Fountain Pen provides a smooth and consistent writing experience, due to nib design and a flow system. The shape and size of the nib affect the overall writing experience for writers.
  2. Comfortable and ergonomic: Fountain Pens are mostly designed with keeping comfort and ergonomic points in mind, which features like a tapered grip and lightweight materials with balanced weight.
  3. Prestige and Style: Fountain Pens are linked with Prestige and Style which makes them more fashionable, status symbols, or thoughtful gifts.


Q1. Who invented the first practical fountain pen?

Lewis Waterman, an American, is credited with inventing the first practical fountain pen in 1884.

Q2. Who invented the first recorded fountain pen?

Petrache Poenaru, a Romanian inventor, is credited with inventing the first recorded fountain pen in 1827.

Q3. What type of ink is used in Fountain pens?

Specialized ink with a variety of colors and types, including waterproof, archival, and, specialty inks used in Fountain pens.

Q4. How to Refill Fountain Pen?

Refilling a Fountain Pen totally depends on the design of the Pen, many Fountain pens come with a converter or cartridge system which makes the refilling process easy. For refilling the pen, we need to unscrew the barrel and remove the cartridge, insert the ink, and then reassemble the pen.

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Last Updated : 19 Apr, 2023
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