Milestones in the history of writing pens

There is a wide variety of thoughts written today. There are rollerball pens, fountain pens, reed pens, feather pens, ballpoint pens, dip pens, gel pens, shaft pens, etc. Notable pen manufacturers include Parker Pens, Mont Blanc Pens, Waterman Pens, Bic Pens, Cross Pens and many others. This remarkable writing instrument, with the help of which you can leave an ink trail on a paper surface, is an indispensable part of our life. In fact, it is an indispensable part of human culture.

The history of writing pens dates back to ancient times, approximately from the year 3000 BC. C. They were cut from reed stems. The English word “pen” (a writing feather) comes from the Latin “penna” which means “feather of a bird”. It happened due to the great popularity of goose feathers, which became the root. Since the 6th century BC, bird feathers have been widely used by many civilizations. The best samples were made with large feathers from swans, turkeys, and geese. Archaeological finds in the ruins of Pompeii include bronze variants of pens, however they received wide distribution only at the end of the 18th century. After a century, pens with a capillary system, or simply fountain pens, were invented by LE Waterman, a New York writing-supplier. Taking into account the latest methods of manufacturing ball bearings for machines and weapons, Laszlo Biro added the ball mechanism to the capillaries and introduced the ballpoint pen to the world in 1944. The Tokyo stationery firm Pentel was the first to introduce the ballpoint pen. felt. tip pen to the world in 1960.

The time path of writing the history of feathers is about 6000 years. These are the main milestones in this regard:

Around 3000-4000 years BC The old man scraped a wet clay plate with a bronze or bone stick.

Around 3,000 years BC, the Egyptians began to use images in their compositions. Fine reed or quill brushes were used to make inscriptions on papyrus scrolls.

1300 B.C. C. The Romans used metal pens to write on thin sheets of wax placed on wooden bars. The writings were erased by the other end of the pen.

Middle Ages. The Anglo-Saxons began using wax-filled bars in addition to parchment. They wrote with metal or bone pens, one end of which was sharpened and the other used for erasing.

600-1800 AD Europeans discovered that the use of sharp pens changed the style of writing (handwriting). First they used only uppercase letters, but later they started using lowercase letters to increase typing speed. Pluma (goose quill) which first appeared in Seville, Spain, was used as a writing instrument from 600 to 1800 AD

1790s. Regardless, the slate pencil was invented in France and Australia.

1800-1850s. The metal fountain pen was patented in 1803, but the patent was not used for commercial purposes. Steel pens were widely adopted in the 1830s. In the 19th century, metal pens completely replaced goose-quill pens. In 1850 the use of bird feathers decreased significantly, as the quality of steel feathers increased: their tips were made of heavy alloys with the addition of iridium, rhodium and osmium.

Lewis Edson Waterman, an insurance agent, invented the first fountain pen in 1844.


The invention of the ballpoint pen is officially dated to the end of the 19th century. In 1888 John Loud took out a patent, in 1916 – Van Vechten Reisberg. Unlike other patents, these were used for commercial purposes.

The invention of the modern ballpoint pen is attributed to Laszlo Biro and George Biro. In the summer of 1943 the first industrial examples were manufactured. The patent rights were acquired by the British Parliament. Ballpoint pens were used by the military during World War II because they were more convenient and reliable than quills.

Ballpoint pens appeared on the US market in the 1940s. They were sold as the first thoughts that wrote underwater. The pens were a great success. More than 10,000 pens were sold in one of the large department stores in New York during a luncheon on October 29, 1945.

The first cheap pens appeared in 1953, when the French Baron Bich from BIC Co, dedicated to the manufacture of pens, managed to improve the technological process and considerably lower manufacturing costs. Bic pens were very cheap and soon became extremely popular.

In 1960, the marker pen was invented in Japan. Markers soon appeared on the US market and caught on.

Rollerball pens appeared in the early 1980s. They had a moving ball and could use liquid ink that allowed a smoother line to be written on paper. Technological progress of the late 1980s – early 1990s significantly improved rollers in all parameters.

In the 1990s, ballpoint pens with a rubberized surface that reduced pressure on the pen came into use and became widely adopted.

Mass production of RingPens began in 1997. These pens were developed to write without pressing three fingers while writing.

Technological progress does not stand still. And who knows with which pen we will write in a decade, a century, a millennium…

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