New and Improved Fountain Pen

Most popular form of writing instrument at the time

Lewis Edson Waterman invented the first practical fountain pen in 1884.

Waterman's Pen (1884)

-Controlled ink flow

  • smoother writing
  • less ink wasted

-Ink was added to the pen with an eyedropper


  • leaking
  • refilling often


  • Expansion went from 36 pens per week to the Ideal Pen Company in NY to the L.E. Waterman Company.
  • Frank, Waterman's nephew, took over after his death and sales increased to 350,000 pens per year.

Impact on Writing

  • Improved writing efficiency (people did not have to refill the ink as often)


For people today:

Not practical because of the advancements made since then

  • Self filled fountain pens
  • Ball point pens

Still used today by some people who like it's classy look

For people of the late 1800s:

Very practical compared to the other pens which had to be dipped in ink such as the:

  • Steel pen
  • Quill pen

Fun Facts!

1. Waterman lost a large sale because his pen leaked and someone else stole the sale while he searched for another one.

2. The fountain pen was the most utilized writing instrument until the invention of the ball point pen in 1938.

3. There are some small companies today that still make these pens by hand, like Waterman used to.

Works Cited