fountain pen collection

Fountain pens. A memoir of handwriting

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Osama fountain pen
©osamazia.com

Before the current era of cameras and text messages, writing was considered as the only source of documenting memories. Not long ago, earlier in this century, the old tradition of writing letters to loved ones became a diminishing memento.

The creation of ink is dated back to centuries where people used to mix carbon with gum and upon drying, the carbon pen has to be dipped in water prior to write on a paper or leaf. The story of inventing fountain pen is no less than a fantasy. The event in the history is funny yet thought provoking and the passion to out run a competitor is ice on the cake.

Insurance agent
©Michel_Fanoli

In 1884, a translator and an insurance agent by the name of Lewis Edson Waterman, invented a tube at the end of which he installed a steel nib. He filled the tube with ink and went to see a merchant in order to sign an insurance policy. While it was the first test write of the devised fountain pen, when he started signing the document, the ink from the tube leaked all over the insurance policy and hence, the document became useless. Next day, Waterman went to sign the insurance documents but upon his arrival he was devastated to know that another agent signed his deal instead.

Lewis waterman fountain pen

Coming back to his resident, angry and confused, the Waterman decided to modify his product. He quickly figured out the problem and next thing that happened with an insurance manager is quite astonishing. Within no time, as soon as the idea of fountain pen floated in the market, he quickly became a businessman and for the next four years, he was the sole manufacturer, owner and distributor of fountain pens.

In contrast, bird’s quill and bamboo dip pen has been used for centuries till our very own 21st century, but not being revived by artists and on the other hand technology took the toll for its extinction. Before the start of this century, the ones who were enrolled in schools and colleges were the last ones who enjoyed fountain pen to the fullest.

In late 90’s, famous fountain pens among the students were dollar which not only provided sufficient ink in a cartridge that lasted for a complete  week but it was well known for its smooth writing and durability specifically for those who were newly acquainted with the fountain pen and started their high school freshly.

Having satisfactory fuel (ink) tank capacity, the legendary dollar fountain pen acted as a filler as well and the easy cartridge system made it possible to make a transfusion of ink-blood to the needy friend’s dollar pen or even Hero fountain pen which was another legendary fountain pen brand back in 90’s.

Fountain pen
©osamazia.com

Hero mostly was not that durable, though it was a hero yet it was like a delicate and luxurious fountain pen for those students who could have afforded it. The writing was smooth yet an iPhone can easily break while slipping out of hands on the ground. A hero pen would have started leaking on first fall but conversely, the low cost, high value and cheap looking dollar pen refused to leak every time no matter if a tractor would have run on it and hence remained as a champion in every student’s heart.  😊 Respect!

Farewell parties, the last nail in the coffin of a fantasized journey to leave schools and get rid of all this nonsense, would become Holi festival every time. Warriors in the shape of back benchers who had analyzed each and every student’s move from the back would bring special two-barrel dollar gun pen to shoot ink canons at enemies. During this process, many innocent teachers were molested badly too. ☹

Bamboo pen souvenir
©osamazia.com

Back in the days, the division of a status was derived from the frequency of pen a kid would change. Some would get two every month and the parents of these children had the psychology of zero-meter drive vs expired thing is of no use however, many upgrades took place mostly in the start of new year. Keeping the plans of future in mind, everyone would keep his/ her old pen safe in order to down enemy at incoming farewell parties.

In-short, the era of fountain pen is dwelling in souvenirs, all blame to the efficient ways of writing love letters coming directly from the clouds of progressing digital deceits. Virtual reality is anyhow more compelling to take a rejection, which can easily be deleted and to avoid any kind of written proof, but that my friends is the end of a century long rule of fountain pen even so for some of the passionate people, fountain pen always remained a fountain of youth in stirring up a sense of joy that is scarce and valuable.

2 Comments
  1. Beautiful era

    1. Osama Zia says:

      Indeed.

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