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Businessman Using a Fountain Pen

Collecting Fountain PensFountain Pens at eBay

two fountain pens 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 any budget.

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.

writing with a silver fountain pen 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 valued.

Fountain Pen Manufacturers

fountain pen writing on rose-colored paper

  • MontBlanc
    This marquee name in fountain pens has been known for several generations as a designer of fine writing instruments.
  • Parker Pen
    Venerable writing instrument manufacturer features a broad selection of fountain pens and ballpoint pens.
  • Pilot Pen
    This writing instrument manufacturer and marketer features Varsity disposable fountain pens.
  • Namiki
    Division of Pilot Corporation of America specializes in the marketing of premium priced writing instruments and accessories. Product line includes several collections of fountain pens.
  • Platinum Pen
    Over 80 years of quality pens and accessories.
  • Sheaffer Pen
    Writing instrument series include fountain pens, roller balls, ballpoints, and retractable pencils.
  • Cross
    Maker of quality pens since 1846, this firm features fountain pens, engraved pens, pen and pencil gift sets, and other fine writing instruments.

Fountain Pen Resources

  • Glenn Marcus Fountain Pens
    Fountain pen manufacturer directory and overview.
  • Fountain Pen Hospital
    Founded in 1946, the staff at this New York City-based firm has a wealth of experience in vintage and modern writing instruments.
  • Pen World
    Premier magazine for fine writing instruments.

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Woman Writing with a Fountain Pen