There are few inventions more important to human history than the pen. Our ability to write down our thoughts and pass along important information has not been around for as long as you may think.
The first iteration of what we would recognize as a pen was invented in 1800. The fountain pen was the first writing tool able to hold it’s own ink without spilling, breaking or running into other problems. The fountain pen began to see mass production in the 1880s when it was refined and perfected. These pens could be refilled with a pipette and became extremely popular towards the end of the 19th century.
This dates back to 3500 BC. The Sumerians were the earliest known peoples to write things down by chiseling stone walls and tablets. While it is possible people were writing earlier than this, it is our first verified proof of human writing.
In 3000 BC the Egyptians took things to the next level by developing a form of paper and ink. Papyrus was the type of paper they developed and they used a primitive form of ink.
A leap in innovation came around 700 AD when Europeans began using feather quills and ink to write. This would carry humanity for the next 100 years until the first fountain pen would be invented.
“The ideal quill was one of the 5 outer feathers of a large living birds left wing, harvested during the spring months.”
We’ve come full circle as I write this article about pens without the use of a pen. Sadly, pens have taken a back seat in the digital age as we write more and more often on computers and other devices. Even though writing has evolved to the digital age, there is still something satisfying about writing with a good old fashioned pen.