The Fountain Pen

By: Kara Johnston

Lewis Waterman

Lewis Waterman didn't create the first fountain pen, yet he did create the capillary feed. He also created a better design for the pen, which he had patented in 1884.

Timeline from Then to Now

May 25th, 1827~

First fountain pen is made by Petrache Poenaru in Paris. While he was at school taking notes for a class, he noticed that he had to dip his quill in ink every few letters. He wanted to find a way to stop this.


Lewis Waterman is commonly referred to the person who invented the fountain pen, yet his patent in 1884 was only a improvement on Poenaru's original design.

More improvements were made over the years such as sleeker designs, better flowing of ink, and better grips.


The fountain pen now has a sleeker, more efficient design. They now can hold different colored inks, and many companies produce them.

How Does it Work and Facts.

The modern fountain pen works by using gravity and the flow of air. The revisor, is effected by gravity, so when you tip the pen to write the liquid ink flows down through the feed and to the nib.

  • Unlike gel or ball-point pens, the fountain pen runs on liquid ink. This meant that the older designs, which had nibs of steel, were corroded and covered with ink. When Waterman started making pens, he added gold or iridium nibs.

  • Gold and iridium nibs were different because gold could add a unique character to the writing style because the gold would soften and bend. Iridium is a very hard metal, which was good for pens because it would last a long time.

How Has it Impacted Society

The fountain pen allowed for us to not have to dip quills in ink about every few letters. The fountain pen lead to many other types of pens, since it was the original pen.

It improved society by not giving us so much trouble to go through when writing, it also saved money, since with quills you had to buy quill razors and sharpen the edges every few pages.

How Would Society be Without the Fountain Pen

Without the fountain pen, we would still be with quills and ink most likely. We would still be getting aggravated when we had to buy new quills or sharpen them after writing a bit. We would be dipping them in ink every few letters, it would be costly and take up time.

How Has It Impacted You

The fountain pen has lead to better pens and writing equipment overall. It has impacted me by giving me more pens to choose from, and the pens not being so costly and time consuming.

The pens give me more choices to write, draw, or just have different colors. The pen now could help me by giving me a new drawing utensil.

Is it Still Existing?

Yes, the fountain pen is still here today, it is not replaced. It is just upgraded with modern equipment. It has better designs now, there are more types of them.