A Brief History of the Pen

Brief History of the Pen


Written communication has been a long cherished tradition among humans, hence the centuries-long quest to perfect the pen. Finally, we have arrived at a place where choices for writing implements are endless—giving us a variety of methods to profess enduring love, record memories, outline business plans, and more. The mighty pen has come a long way!


Earliest Days

The earliest kind of writing tool was a reed pen. It is thought to have been used by Ancient Egyptians around 3000 BC. Made with bamboo or reed, it was used on parchment paper with ink.


Quill or feather pens came next, around the 7th century. Although an improvement, these pens were somewhat cumbersome. In fact, fancy script or even small letters were not possible in the early stages of development. Writers could use only block or capital letters. These pens also used inkwells. Quill pens have a rather famous past. Versions of this early pen were used for the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Constitution of the United States.


Around the 10th century came the reservoir pen. Rather than dip the quill into an inkwell, a more convenient method was developed. A quill, cork, and ink were housed within another quill allowing the ink to be delivered to the tip for writing. This is the first incarnation of what we think of today as the fountain pen.


Brief History of the Pen


Looking Forward

The quill is replaced by a closer version of what we use today. Metal nibs or pen tips were patented in 1803. Things began to move quickly after that. Lewis Edson Waterman devised the still famed Waterman fountain pen in 1883 and received a patent in 1884. He was prompted to improve on pens when a leaky fountain pen cost him a lucrative business deal ten years earlier. The ballpoint pen was patented in 1888. Different from fountain pens, ballpoint pens dispense quick drying ink through a ball. Ballpoints are less expensive to make than fountain pens so it was easier to make them commercially available. By 1943, pens were more widely accessible. Not much later, the Biro brothers would make them a household name with their BIC ballpoint pens.


Papermate brought us the felt tip pen next. The 80’s and 90’s saw an explosion of types and styles of pens including different grips and tips to roller balls and ink delivery systems. Even now with rapidly advancing technology, pens are an irreplaceable feature of everyday life.


Whether you’re looking for an ordinary or extraordinary pen Bindertek has the right writing tool for you.The Semikolon Eclipse Pen (shown above) is available in a variety of barrel colors with a sleek coordinating box. For a playful option, the Semikolon Ballpoint Pen in Tube arrives in a space-age package for an eye-catching twist. Take your pen with you by adding a Large or Extra Large Pen Quiver to your notebook or binder. Sure, it is the words pens produce that matter – but Bindertek gives you implements you can count on to share each word with style.

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