While they date back to the early 1800's, fountain pens are still used by artists today to create elegant and beautiful writing.
Okay, But What's a Fountain
A fountain pen is a writing tool with a metal tip and an ink cartridge (a small container that holds the ink).
It's similar to a quill, or a regular ballpoint pen but in reality, it's literally right in between the two. While it has a tip similar to a quill, it has its own ink and doesn't require being dipped several times in ink.
So, Who Made the First Fountain Pen?
1827 - Petrache Poenaru, a Romanian inventor, made the first fountain pen. Originally people had been using quills, but Poenaru (a student at a school in Paris at the time) tired of continuously dipping the quill in ink. So he created the fountain pen.
While Poenaru's fountain pen started the chain, it did have its flaws, continuously leaking ink.
1883 - Lewis Waterman innovated Poenaru's fountain pen, finding a way to better channel the ink to the nib.
Well Then, How Did Waterman Improve Fountain Pens?
Originally Poenaru had ink flowing from swan quill directly to the nib. Waterman discovered that, in order for the ink to flow in a steady stream, air had to be able to move through the capsule. He also found that ink corroded steel so many pen nibs are made of gold or titanium; so while some pens still have steel nibs, more expnsive ones are gold.
But Why Are They So Important?
The fountain pen is actually what led to the invention of modern-day pens! Obviously, a different tip is used but it's the same concept and we wouldn't even have them if we didn't have the fountain pen!
And even now some people use fountain pens for calligraphic art, creating a beautiful means of writing. Fountain pens have withstood the test of time and the art is still used today.
How Is STEM Applied to the Fountain Pen?
Science was required to figure out what materials the fountain pens should be made of to keep it strong and last longer.
Fountain pens are a form of technology, helping many artists to create beautiful font easily. Even the fountain pen was later innovated into the modern pen!
Math helped determine the best measurements in order to keep the ink flow even and gradual.
Engineering was necessary to decide what improvements needed to be made, what had to change about the fountain pen to make it easier to use.
We hope you enjoyed our presentation on the fountain pen!