If ballpoint pens are just too boring for you, then consider the fountain
pen. Fountain pens are elegant, easy and comfortable to use, and
come in a variety of attractive styles. And while they do enjoy a
rather extravagant reputation, there are fountain pens available for most
Fountain pens were patented by Lewis Waterman in 1884 after 1,000 years
of quill pen use. The fountain pen was a welcome invention, as it
held more ink than previous pens and didn't need to be continually
dipped into an inkwell.
How does a fountain pen work? It contains a liquid ink
reservoir. The ink is passed to the nib of the pen by means of
capillary action and gravity when the pen is used. While ink refill
techniques varied in the early models, modern fountain pens are often
refilled by simply replacing the ink cartridge.
Fountain pens come in nine different nib sizes with three different
nib tip cuts: straight, oblique, and italic. While the
advent of the disposable ballpoint pen has diminished the popularity
of fountain pens for everyday use, people still do use them for reasons
of comfort and legibility.
Today, about $25 will buy you an everyday fountain pen and several years
worth of ink, while a high-end fountain pen can cost upward of $200.
Fountain pens today sell as classic writing instruments, and original pens are considered
collectibles. Prestige fountain pens from Mont Blanc and Omas, as
well as older model and commemorative fountain pens, are most highly