One of our bestselling items is the pen. They are bestsellers everywhere worldwide, certainly. Because of this, we wanted to allow some time to talk about their origin.

One of the earliest writing methods evolved in Sumeria around 3500 BCE. The writing system was known as cuneiform in which clay was written on using a stylus. Over the millennia, as writing become fashionable, many people wrote on paper using pen and ink. Below is a short history of pen and ink. 


Quill Pens:

These pens came into being around the sixth century BCE. People realized that long feathers from the wings of swans, turkey, and geese did a better job. Before drying using gentle heat, the feathers were culled (or plucked). The feathers were first culled (or picked). Then the removal of all the greasy and waxy substances that could block the ink followed.

Feathers from the left-wing were best for right-hand writers since the feather would not obstruct their view.

To use the pen, a writer had to sharpen the quill using a knife because its point became blunt. The quill was easily sharpened using the knife, which was specially made for incising and sharpening the quill. The blade of this knife, as opposed to the future pen knife or desk knife, is convex on one side and flat on the other to enable round cuts in shaping the plume.   

To fill the grooved shaft that functioned as a reservoir of the pen, the quill was doused in an ink can.

Beautiful manuscripts were produced by Christian monks like those in the Irish monasteries by the use of quill pens.

Although swans, turkeys, and geese fluffs were often used, some writers utilized crows, eagles, owls, and hawks’ feathers.


Steel-Point Pens:

John Mitchell, in Birmingham, England, ushered a significant improvement in 1790 when he created a steel point using a machine. His pens were handy, essential, and could be mass-produced to give an inexpensive writing implement. 

Exclusive rights to a hollow central hairline slit at the top steel point pen were given to James Perry, an Englishman in 1780. It was additionally connected on both sides by slits. This new pen model allowed continuous and steady ink flow and offered a superior precision compared to their predecessors.

It should be noted that previous steel-tipped pens existed before. Archeologists discovered a Bronze pen in Pompeii, Italy.


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