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Since then, ballpoints have been the standard writing instrument in America and fountain pens only continued to be used in grade school by children in some parts of Europe.
While Sven Raphael Schneider grew up writing with a fountain pen in Germany, I on the other hand never even saw one as a child.
Using a nib, the fountain pen is the modern version of the original dip pen, and unlike its predecessor, utilizes an internal ink reservoir that draws the ink from its container to the nib using a feeder without having to constantly dip it in an inkwell.
Despite the fact that the fountain pen is a more modern variation of the dip pen, it still dates back centuries to 973 when Ma’ād al-Mu’izz, the caliph of the Maghreb requested a pen that wouldn’t stain and was given a pen with a built-in reservoir for the ink that could be held upside down without leaking.
For the men and women who previously couldn’t afford to write, the fountain pen proved to increase literacy as they began to acquire their own collection of pens.
Despite the increase in production and quality, the pens were still widely unreliable as the manufacturers didn’t accurately understand the role that air pressure played in the pen.
Once the free-flowing ink was invented, along with hard rubber and the iridium-tipped gold nib, the industry caught fire and fountain pens became the standard writing instrument used on an almost global scale.
By the end of the 1800s, stylographic fountain pens were popular and by 1880 the fountain pen as we know it today became a reality.
Some of the companies that continue to produce pens, today were incorporated and the New York-based Waterman company became a frontrunner in the fountain pen industry.
Despite the appearance of the pen being the same as it is today, the actual process of filling the reservoir with ink was a tedious and messy procedure requiring a steady hand.