Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fountain pens and ballpoint pen.

The fountain pens appeared as an evolution from the ancient feathers that people used to write with. Before Waterman invented the fountain pen, a nib was incorporated to feathers but it could only retain a few drops of ink, so it was necessary to refill the feather in the inkpot. As well as the spots were frequent, the nibs broke easily.

It isn't clear who the inventor of the fountain pens is, but Waterman presented his fountain pen model in 1884 and it has been considered the first modern fountain pen because it included the capillarity principle. This principle says the water can advance through tiny grooves if it is in contact with all their walls.

(The Waterman's pen design)

In the modern models we insert the ink in a small tank. The air enters in the tank through a small hole in the nib, it prevents the vacuum when the ink leaves the fountain pen and then we can write.

(A nib with the hole through the air enters)
Nowadays we can find three kind of nibs with different forms according to the broadness we want to write, so we can find nibs type F (fine), M (medium) or B (broad). There is a special nib for calligraphy too, it has an angular tip to do special strokes.

Today there are many fountain pen models in honour of great historical personalities or facts.
Waterman, Parker or Montblanc are some of the most important fountain pens brands.

The ballpoint pens were designed by the Biro brothers, they were called Laszlo and Geor.
They changed the fountain pens, they introduced a point with a small ball in 1919. This ball was situated at the end of the tank of ink and it permitted the ink to leave while the air enters when it turns. It is the most important difference with the fountain pens.

The pointball pens imposed over the fountain pens for their regularity to apply ink, the manufacturing cost and security.

(Biro's patent)

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